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Thursday
Dec302010

Suesca!

During our travels we've found Colombians always the most friendly. After years of talking we finally got there. I finished work in Ecuador and met Cathy in Bogota. Erika Tovar, a friend of a friend of Meaghan Laughlin, met us at the airport and took care of us. We had a blast with Erika. She's an exceptionally friendly and fun person from the friendliest country in the world. 

Colombia's reputation for drugs and drug thugs like the FARC keeps most tourists away. The reality is most areas are safe and Colombians don't like drugs or drug thugs. Travel smart and the Colombians love showing you their country.

Victor Correa who runs the El Cocuy guide service Guaicani, Cathy, Erika Tovar and the local security guard at Erika's house in Bogota. Bogota is a city of seven million at 8,612 feet.

 

Downtown Suesca, where we based for climbing.

 

Suesca is the main crag in Colombia and has over 300 routes. The guidebook, Guia de Escalada Suesca, is available at Monodedo in Suesca on weekends and Climbing.com has an article by Carole Lunny. Other popular places to climb are the bolted routes at La Mojarra and alpine rock of El Cocuy National Park.

 

Cathy leading El Bong (5.9).

 

Erika after leading the overhanging finger hand crack of Mandahuevex, a four-star 5.10c.

 

Cathy on Azul Turbio, 5.10a. 

 

The route LP is the longest route at Suesca and has four pitches of clean and steep rock. 

 

Cathy on the last pitch of LP.

 

Cathy and Anna Pfaff nearing Valle de los Halcones, a sunny sport crag above the main Suesca crag.

 

Anna Pfaff leading El Imperio de Los Sentidos (5.11a).

 

Cathy on La Vida es Real 5.10b. 

 

"Hey everyone! Christmas is tomorrow and I'm only five dollars!"

 

For Christmas we went to Erika's hotel in Tobia, 90 minutes from Bogota. At 2,500 feet below Bogota, Tobia had jungle heat, huge tropical bugs and beautiful birds. 

 

Vacation quality can be measured by the number of books read. The Heart of the World is now my favorite adventure book.

 

I was a vegetarian for 11 years. In 1996 I discovered rotisserie pollo in Peru. I'll never go back to rabbit food.

 

"Oh my god! Shoes!" Cathy souvenir shopping in Bogota.