We had to admit it…. We were waiting on mail again. We’d rebuilt the bikes after their flight from Panamá and sorted out a few things (a new chain and new gear shifters for tom). Sarah got new glasses as there’s only so much you can do with superglue and electrical tape. But it was difficult not to get frustrated as we were getting increasingly excited about our planned route through to Ecuador. We’d been very lucky to have some very patient warmshowers/casa de ciclistas hosts in Claudio and Angélica. 2 French cycle tourists arrived after we did, having spent 6 months working their way up from Tierra del Fuego. It was great to see where they’d been and have some tips on places to go – lots of inspiration to reinvigorate our journey. The flight and continued limbo in Bogotá while we waited have almost lead to us feeling as if we’re starting a new trip. 1st August marked a year since we left Australia and the 9th, a year since we started cycling, all clean and innocent behind the Banff Springs Hotel in Canada.
Then it all came together :-) The rim arrived, so I spent an afternoon carefully swapping it into the wheel, so that all we needed to do was ask the mechanic to do was true it (tighten all the spokes up properly). The following day, when we were thinking about getting going anyway and bussing back to Bogota when/if the other parcel arrived, it did. Even more happiness ensued, as we felt released from our doubts and uncertainties.
Nearly 2 weeks in Bogotá has meant that I’ve been able to write a healthy chunk of an academic book chapter I’ve been asked to do, and made some meaningful progress on my ongoing articles. We had our ups and downs living in a household exclusively speaking spanish, but know that we wouldn’t have coped at all less than a year ago. Our ups are fantastic – nice fluid spanish conversation, and chatting properly. Our downs are less good, with halting, effortful sentences and too much work to say more than simple things.