Locombia 2017 Chapter Thirteen: The Line
It's never pretty to see a grown man do everything he can to avoid crying.
Cajamarca - Armenia 52 kilometers, elevation gain 1,683 meters
The Line is an infamous stretch of road crossing the central mountain range of the Andes. I have passed it twice by car. Back then I was told it was very steep, very long and very dangerous. After passing it, I didn't see what the fuzz was about.
Now I do. The Line is horrible. It wants to kill you, and if it doesn't succeed, it makes you want to kill yourself. It's very steep, seems very long and feels extremely dangerous. And it drains you for energy.
I rarely shed tears. And I certainly avoid it in a country where I stick out to begin with. So upon reaching the top of the line, head throbbing because of the height, I squeezed my eyes and mouth together and looked at the view. Omar did the same. He nearly had a mental breakdown five kilometers from the top.
Rolling down on the other side was a breeze, swirling between the trucks that passed us on the way up.
Speaking of trucks, I realized why I won't get a tan. I constantly carry two protective layers. First sunblock and then a second layer that consists of dust and exhaust particles.
There will be more brutal climbs on this trip, but not as intense as The Line. And surely I must be in better shape in a week's time.
I don't want this trip to be all about my shoulder, but it's silly to ignore the pain. Status today is that it's a bit better, but it still hurts quite badly. Omar gave me a deep-tissue masage yesterday, and he'll give it a go again tomorrow. I have problems turning to the right, which is a bit of an issue in roundabouts.
I think I'm coming down with something. I didn't sleep well, I've been a bit off the whole day and I'm cold despite warm weather. If it's so, I've just set a world record passing The Line sick.