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Locombia Chapter Twelve: The Pain

Is this the beginning of the end?

Omar is trying to fix my neck at a truck stop. 

Omar is trying to fix my neck at a truck stop. 

Ibagué - Cajamarca 47 kilometers, elevation gain 1,500 meters

The day started with shoulder exercise and stretching before breakfast and departure. Today's segment was short but steep, and we considered it the first real climb on this journey. While stretching, I felt a strain in my neck. It didn't feel right, but we packed up and headed out.

After about an hour on the bike I could hardly turn my head to the right. I could hardly bend it upwards and I could certainly not bend it to the left.

Today's climb. From Strava.  

Today's climb. From Strava.  

I knew my neck and shoulder could be the Achilles heel on this trip and potentially ruin the trip for both Omar and me. Despite this problem, we decided to start. We also thought the climbing would be gruelling. It turns out it hasn't been as difficult as we feared. You just grind down, maintain low speed on a low gear and focus on turning the pedals on round at the time. The fact that we deal so well with the climbing makes it even more bitter that the muscle spasm is acting up in such a way. And we're still only five days into the journey.

Up, up, up! 

Up, up, up! 

Omar is small next to the trucks. 

Omar is small next to the trucks. 

We've thouroughly enjoyed the trip, despite having spent today on transportation roads. Trucks dominate these roads, handled by faceless drivers who probably wouldn't care to keep distance if it was their own mother on the bike ahead of them. It's peaceful and beautiful when there are no trucks around, but then one of those noisy and smelly beasts crawl up on you and ruin the ambient while scaring you half to death in the process. To Omar's despair, all trucks also mean no local cuisine. He has turned this journey into his personal "eat myself through Colombia" tour.

I refuse to give up yet, but we will work on a contingency plan. Ride on?

 

We came from way down there. 

We came from way down there. 

We spent two nights at the López in Ibagué. Thanks for the superb attention, Clementina, Junior and Floriberto!

We spent two nights at the López in Ibagué. Thanks for the superb attention, Clementina, Junior and Floriberto!

Locombia 2017 Chapter Eleven: The Whisky

Locombia 2017 Chapter Thirteen: The Line