Medellin to Bogota

June 12th, 2006 by David

   I entered the city of Medellin, Colombia’s second largest, on a Sunday morning. Every Sunday in Medellin, they have the ‘ciclovia,’ where a number of roads are closed to cars (see video on left). I rode in quite happily, and met a local, Lucho, who showed me around to the city’s many parks before afternoon rain showers.

Riding into Medellin and the Ciclovia
Lucho met me on the ciclovia and showed me around town
It just rained hard in Medellin
Brick Cathedral in Medellin

   Most people in Medellin asked me how the city compared to what I had heard about it in the news (‘how does Medellin seem to you in comparison to how it is painted on television?’) I of course tell the truth – Medellin is a beautiful city, and I felt just as safe in the city as any other city on this trip. It is clear to me that Colombians are upset about their reputation, and, especially in Medellin, I felt like they all wanted me to go home and tell everyone what a great place it is.

Bomberos de Medellin - can you spot the fake bombero?
How a bombero in Medellin celebrates his birthday

   In Medellin, I stayed three nights with the firefighters, who showed me the town (this time in a fire truck), helped me get in the local paper and on television, and set up a presentation for a group of teachers. I also now am carrying five items that say ‘Bomberos de Medellin.’ Thanks again to this group of firefighters, who are definitely on the ‘receive a letter from Argentina’ list. (Can you spot the ‘fake bombero’ in the picture on the left?)

   The video on the right above shows how a bombero celebrates his birthday.

   Leaving Medellin, I followed the road over the mountains, into the Magdalena river valley, and then back up into the mountains towards Bogota. It has rained heavily almost every day, but when the rain has stopped, I have received vistas of steep mountains or large rivers high from the recent rains.

Magdalena River
Rain is good for some things
Colombian Andes, road to Bogota

6 Responses to “Medellin to Bogota”

  1. Karen says:

    WOW, you have totally changed our mind about future trip to Columbia! Beautiful pictures!

    We are enjoying so much your fantastic website.
    May I ask one more technical question for our bike tour preparation to Denmark.
    Do you ever send your photos by palm or only when you get to internet cafes?

    In admiration, Karen

  2. winston says:

    hello david it’s fine that people like you do that kind of trip and show everybody that all what is on the news isn’t the whole truth keep it goin!!! or better riding!!!

  3. Kate and Eric says:

    The pictures from this entry are by far the best. I love the firefighters and Dave.

  4. Juan Villegas says:

    I’m a colombian stuying a PhD at the University of Arizona, concened about climate and envirnmental issues. It’s an encouraging pleassure to see how people like you take action and reflect that action on others. I bet you are having a great time in my country, I just vame from there and had a great time too. Our main challenge now is to be able to influence policy makers to get a more environmentally oriented national and international regulations.
    Thank you for your great descriptions of my country. By the way, the PAramo is among the most amazing ecosystems I have ever seen, I share your concern about the possibilities of our children to enjoy it.

    Good luck on your trip.

  5. Néstor Salas says:

    hello, You lacked to visit La Guajura it is the most beautiful in Colombia, it will be the next one, luck with those trips!!

  6. Eric Lopp says:

    As a former human rights worker in Colombia, it is refreshing to see a fellow “gringo” undertaking such a noble trip and that you add insightful and important commentary. Good luck with the rest of the trip! ¡Mucho animo hermano!

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