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: 50.0 km (Accumulated: 30320.0 km)
Elapsed time: 04:57:35
Start 09:45am., 27c, cloudy, no wind & very humid, at km-stone "17 / 2503" on hwy. 25 to Cali. Finish 16:51pm., 36c, overcast after rain, no wind and extreme humidity, at km-stone "67 / 2503" on hwy. 25 to Cali.
From insects to historical luxury !
Apparently the distance between bugbitten misery and intense luxury is only just about 50km ;-) ...I didnt get much sleep last night, as king-size' insects had a party going on in my else clean and nice hotelroom in a small local village here in Southern Colombia. As you can imagine its perhaps not the ideal setup for a 50km run especially not with 30 000km in the legs by now; but the important part is that it was possible. And, even more important: Enjoyable !
I hope the pictures from todays run gives an idea of why it was so - since the nature and the changing of sceneries km by km makes it a constant thrill to run through Colombia so far. Not the 'thrill' that many perhaps would expect from running through Colombia w. dangers of attacks from the guerilla, casual muggings, kidnapping and other surprises. No, instead I have fealt about as safe as when running through most other contries ! The police and military are indeed very present, often with heavy weapons and patrolling in numbers along the central highway I am running on. The thrill - comes from something else: the pure nature, the warm approach I am met by from the locals (Colombia seems to become more and more friendly and open the further I run North from the border with Equador), the pride/dignity/unaffectedness-by-the-past which you can sense from nearly all people no matter if its big cities or tiny villages and clay-and-bamboo houses out in the remote areas. Maybe its also the lack of tourists ? And the absence of the usual consumer culture where a commercial seems to be waiting around each corner; a large billborad, a big poster or clusters of huge supermarkets. Life seems to be lived quietly here in Colombia, atleast the part I have experiensed. Although, "quiet" perhaps isnt exactly the right word: from nearly every hut, house, mansion or hotel music floats; making Colombia a full experience for the senses with sights of amazing nature, the hot humid air dense with smells of coffebeans, chocolatebeans, bananas, tropical fruits and the smell of steaming red mud after the powerfull rainfalls. The music from the houses, tunes making their way out across green hillsides or over busy streets. Not to mention the beautifull women... :-) Seen from a respectable distance, ofcourse. It is a Run afterall ! :-)
By the way the drive from the finish point to our current base in Popayan city was a bit of a thrill itself. More "thrill" than I think any of our small team could have wanted, since one of the strong tropical thunderstorms began almost exactly as I finished todays 50km run. The road, sky, hillsides and mountains immideately became one blurry mess - nearly impossible for my patient supportdriver Wilmer from Peru, to steer the car through. It took approximately two hours to drive 55km. And, that was not because of "safe driving". Instead the sides of the narrow road leading up and down through the ravines and along steep mountainsides had been washed away in many places. Leaving the tarmac with big holes and at 3-4 places with a sudden pif-fall down to the valley below where the tarmac had been taken by the water which were flowing in small rivers across the road; bringing mud, pieces of trees and rocks with it.
During our rally-style drive to Popayan I decided that it was best to wait with the 'facts' from my Lonely Planet book on Colombia: That driving after dark is not only hazardous because of the traffic and road conditions (in normal weather ;-), but.. because the police & military retracts to the main cities after nightfall. Leaving the roads a bit, unsafe, as they are now in the control of someone else. Not in all of Colombia; but as it happens, the book made a point of mentioning the streatch to Popayan as one of the 'hot-spots' to be avoided after dark. Interesting information. We didnt have any problems, however, through I did notice that we at many sports were the only car out on the highway.
But sometimes there is no choice: We could not have stayed where we were. It would have been even more unsafe. And the throught of spending another night with insects of all colours and sizes didnt tempt a lot eithter, so the only real option were to make it to the 300 000 people city 55km up the road. And the reward were not disappointing - A historical city founded in 1537 by the spanish conquistadores; many of the city centre buildings dating back to the 17. and 18.century. Including our hotel, which as an almost mindboggling contrast to the small local insect-heavens the last few days, had all the comfort and luxury one can imagine - when trying to sleep and think of something else as the next batallion of insects enter through the cracks in the window and door... How strange when such wishfull scenario's of sudden change from difficult conditions to absolute bliss actuall happen. And nearly by the snap of a finger ! What a world. And what a run this second world run has turend out to be. Difficult in abundance - but often you apreciate the good things in your life with intensity when they have been gone for a while :-)
Also, in all reality this was only possible due to my supportdriver, peruvian Wilmer's excellent driving through the thunderstorm, and Reino from Finland's strong financial support while visiting the run. Else... I would have been stuck with my tent in the narrow valley where I finished, no transport to an accomodation for the night, and certainly also with a budget which would have ruled out a few days 'base' for the run at our historical hotel !
NB: A thing which works less well is the endomondo gps-system. Since an update a few weeks ago it uses more batterypower then normally and today was no exception. Thus the gps-track from the 50km run is in two parts as the system cant be put on hold while changing batteries. Today I first noticed that it had gone out of power 1km too late, so there is a 1km gap between the two tracks. I had to turn off the gps-tagging of the pictures as well in order to have enough batteryśpower for the gps function. I hope to soon find a solution for this !
The direct link to the two gps-documentation tracks for today is
Sorry for the inconvenience !