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Locombia 2017 Chapter Ninteen: The Politics

Freedom is relative, I guess.

So much space, so little activity. 

So much space, so little activity. 

Manizales 0 kilometers

We're having a much needed rest before the final push on Bogotá. The legs are aching, but the mind is processing impressions from previous days.

We rode almost 80 kilometers on our mountain adventures. Our only constant companion and a reminder that we were not really welcome was a neverending snake made up of barbed wire or electric cord. Or both.

Colombia has been ridden by civil war for more than 50 years. I'm not sure if people even remember if the barbed wire was set up as a result of the war or if the barbed wire resulted in war.

It's certain, however, that the barbed wire is designed to keep people out and not cattle in. Only a handful of cattle are scattered around the landscape, while most of the green hills are lying there desperate to serve a purpose.

The only purpose they serve today, is a reminder of the greedy and selfishness of megalomaniac land grabbers that accommodated themselves while most own nothing. The foundation for the guerrillas in Colombia was to protest the constant land grabbing by the resourceful and the unfair distribution of land. The current peace process must address the issue of land. It's embarrassing that so much land lies without any use and not creating any employment. Or it could all be converted to natural reserves, as one bill proposes to protect ecosystems in the high mountains. 

We found some space to eat in a ditch. 

We found some space to eat in a ditch. 

Colombians could also start a process of trust by tearing down the barbed wire. As a bonus, we could have had lunch on a nice green hill instead of on the dirt road. We couldn't pass the electric fence. It was indeed electric.

Status

Enough climbing. We took the excellent cable car from Villa María to Manizales.  

Enough climbing. We took the excellent cable car from Villa María to Manizales.  

We spent the day off in Manizales, a city which surprised us with its relatively bike-friendly atmosphere, warm climate and clean streets.

Our legs are completely shattered after intense activities the past days. My legs feel like one big muscular spasm, and the climbing has just begun.

The strain in my shoulder has given way to the normal pain. I guess no news is good news.

Locombia 2017 Chapter Eighteen: The Ladies

Locombia 2017 Chapter Twenty: The Distance