This morning we had planned to go to Corcora and were to leave at 7:30 but when I emerged at 7 my host said there was a problem because of the rain it – began about 4 or 5. We talked to another friend and from our conversation I understood that we were postponing the trip until next week when hopefully it would be dry.
So I decided to go for a run despite the rain and I took a few pesos and set off toward Calarca. The River Quindio was in a flood state and even as I watched for 5 minutes I could see it was still rising very quickly. Later I was told that the bridge was called Maria. I have to ask why.
From there itâ€™s a fairly steep climb up the valley side to the top where there is a junction that goes to Pereira and Calarca. Calarca direction is a busy road as Calarca is at the foot of the mountain where the road from Bogota descends and is a junction for Cali to the West and North to Pereira. This was 45 minutes from home so I continued up the mountain road. At first I had thought about making it a 2 hour run but quickly thought that 3 would be better and by the time I got to the 1Â½ hour point I decided to make it a four hour run, turning round at the 2 hour point. 15-20 mins before I turned around I saw some pine trees and almost simultaneously I felt the temperature drop a few degrees and I felt I had arrived at the alpine level.
On the way back down I had to refill my water bottle at a small roadside shop and that would be enough for another 1Â½ hours home.
When we came this way last week, the return journey was slightly different from our outward section and this had caused me a little confusion when I was looking for the Calarca road off the road I ran along from where I began my route and because we had stopped at this roundabout on the way back, I thought that I had to take the right-hand turn so it began to get quite hot at this point but only thinking I had 45 minutes to go felt ok. However the road quickly became unfamiliar and worse seemed to go on and on and it was very quiet. After Â½ an hour I began to get concerned as my water was getting low and there was no sign of a road heading into Armenia from the North. I finished my water and still no road and I knew I still had to climb some hill off to my left as the road I was on was low down in the valley. Finally after about an hour I came to a junction and gratefully started heading South again but was still a way away from home. Found a small bakery that had some water and finally got in at 4:29:03.