World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 34.0 km (Accumulated: 30079.0 km)
Elapsed time: 02:51:40
Start 09:30am., 19c, overcast & no wind, at white roadsign "Cali ->" at South end of Ipiales city, 3km from the border to Equador, in Colombia. Finish 13:18pm., 27c, humid, light wind & same, at km-stone "36 / 2501" on hwy. 25 (the Pan American Highway) to Cali.
Colombian impressions :-)
After running across the border to Colombia on a short 25km stage yesterday it was our small team's first full-day encounter with running in Colombia.
I imagine that most probably would have more than just a slight hesitation to enter this contry, which has had a reputation of beeing one of the most dangerous places on our planet. Planning to run straight through Colombia, South to North; doesnt make it better eighter.
Yet, I have to say that already on this our second day, its nearly exclusive positive impressions we have !
The nature - Wild and exotic with deep valley's below the highland road, many waterfalls with their start high above us near the green mountainpeaks, and occational mud/rock slides making running a bit of a thrill.
The small-city ambience, at a first glance, has a strange similarity with what I experiensed when running across Siberia back in 2004 (world run 1): Not only the slightly dated houses, roads and other infrastructure, but also a style in graphic expression in paintings on house-walls, fences etc. Hard to explain exactly, but I think the first half of todays pictures gives a hint !
Finally, the people. -Its hard to get any valid impression from only one full day of running, but there seems to be a distinct difference compared to what I have seen when running through the rest of South America; Chile, Argentina, Peru & Equador. The 'closedness' of people - usually I politely greet locals as I run by, and in South America this almost without exception results in an exited reaction; eighter commenting about the run, shouting a question about where I am running to, or just greeing me back. Very enjoyable :-) But in Colombia, or the tiny bit I have tasted' so far, there is a level of 'stone-facing' which I have only come across one other place on the other continents I've run through: Siberia, again. Perhaps one explanation could be that both share very hard living conditions; Siberia with winters of 4-5months and temperatures down to minus 40c; Colombia with a very recent past of violent struggeles (I will be back with details on that and a brief overview of Colombia's, fascinating-, history in some of the next reports). However, as those who have followed world run 1 will know - the run 7500km across Siberia was the main highlight of the entire first world run's 26 232km's ! Because beind the Siberian stonefaces' where some of the kindest people I have met, once you got to know them and earned their respect. Somewhere I have a little feeling that Colombia might be of the same caliber, but we'll see during the next thousand km :-)
Finally, something which is not on todays pictures: the military presence. The security along the main highway through Colombia (and South America as well), the Panamerican Highway, appears to be high. Often there are policemen on patrol and atleast on a 5km streatch I saw heavily armed soldiers standing at the roadside in 3-man teams, guarding the cliffs on each side of the road as well as checking the veichles on the road. At first sight it was a chilly' scenario; rugged pineapple-faces' behind dark sunglasses, staring at me as I was appoaching them at good pace on the steep downhill road from Ipiales. Each with a machinegun which looked like it would need two persons to be operated; not a light package to carry. Yet - when I, perhaps out of naivity, also greeted them - I was greeted back and the 'pineapple' expression dissolved in a smile and a thumbs up'. Contrary to what I saw from the civilians. What an odd situation; in all other contries I have run through (I have lost count, its about 30-38contries, I think), its the civilian who are open and greeting, and the police/military which sometimes keeps a strict face when I come joggin by.
I am very curious to what this contry will bring of other surprises during the run through it !
NB: The reports from the last two days will be uploaded shortly. I have again had trouble with the endomondo system, and needed to make priority at solving the problems, but luckily my webmaster has a back-up system in the gps-stamped pictures, so we dont have to rely entirely on the endomondo system :-)