Thursday 9 February 2017
Today we did another bike tour, this time with BiciTour Bike Tours of Medellin. It was just us, our guide Carlos, and a guide-in-training, Daniela. Negotiating through Victoria traffic by bicycle is nothing compared to this. Felt we really accomplished something by the end, including a lung-busting climb (at least for me) up a mountain for the view at the end. A fun way to see the city for sure...and not just the tourist areas. After the cycle, once we/I caught our breath, we tried our hand at the very modern metro system, to go to a plaza in the old quarter where Fernando Botero (remember him from the museum in Bogota?) contributed a significant number of his larger-than-life bronze sculptures. Quite a happening place, although about 5 pm a small street vendor took the opportunity to warn us not to be there after 6 pm, after which he quickly packed up and left. The reputation of this area is infamous.
However, being very cognizant of our belongings and surroundings, nothing untoward happened. Times are changing, mostly for the better. There is a lot of police presence, and we have heard several not very nice stories, but the people have been kind to us (for example, we asked a business man for directions to the plaza, and he didn't just point us there, he interrupted his day to actually accompany us there). The important thing seems to be awareness and not making yourself a target.
After the big hill ride - look and feel like I've been through the wringer 🚴😢😳:
The Botero statues: