It's been another week where the weather in my part of the hemisphere couldn't be more different from where I would literally be in South America.
So the snow and Arctic winds left us on Sunday, but only to be replaced by days of endless rain, arrrgh. Equally unpleasant for cycling and running! Whilst the river temperature rose to a 'balmy' 6deg, getting changed in pouring rain after a swim is not much fun.
But, like a true Scot, I still managed to muscle it out and achieve a distance of 204.4km
The distances look like this...
190.6 km cycling (whoop, and despite the rain, only 28k of it indoors!)
I've now covered a total distance of 958.8km which brings me past the city of Neiva and a spectacular part of Colombia - the Tatacoa desert, also known as the tropical dry desert. This part of Colombia is a real delight in terms of the contrasts in landscape. From the 330 square kms of the arid Tatacoa desert to the changing vegetation and breathtaking views of the Parque Nacional Natural Nevado del Huila. At 5,364m, the Nevado del Huila volcano is the highest in Colombia, and after lying dormant for over 500 years, caused concern for the surrounding towns and villages after erupting back in 2007 and 2008.
Not quite as dramatic as these conditions, but back in London I was pleased to see the rain clear for at least one day for a glorious bike ride to Hampton Court Palace. I have often avoided going to this tourist attraction as it is always so busy. Not this week though, I can recommend a spin round the grounds during lockdown!
In a cultural nod to where I should be, I have also managed to get hold of some bocadillos, a classic guava, and in this case guava and raspberry energy snack classically used by Colombian cyclists over the years. Forget synthetic energy gels, these little cubes of fruity wonder are natural and even wrapped in plantain leaves.
I think I will be needing them for my next wildcard challenge that Coach Tom set me for next week which is....
'To do at least 50% of my rides this week on my bike loaded up with the kit I would need for an actual trip like this'
Eeek, so the fun begins as I look out my front and rear panniers to load up with bottles of water, books and all sorts of other 'weighty stuff' to simulate this load!
In an otherwise fairly uneventful week, the highlight has to be.....getting my Covid vaccine!!
I was at first slightly aggrieved at receiving my text from the NHS citing me as 'clinically vulnerable'. I only have mild asthma, but I certainly wasn't going to argue and so headed (by bike obviously!) to get my jab.
This did make me feel nostalgic about my 'real' South American trip back in 2017 where I had my own little health passport to log my numerous jabs (mostly a series of rabies ones to protect myself from angry Argentinian dogs!).
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.