I'm in Colombia training for a month and I figured I'd let everyone know how it is over here and the riding that I'm doing (lots of spare time, why not).
I'm a bit outside Medellin (second biggest city) in a town called Don Matias. The elevation here is a bit under 7,000ft; Medellin sits around 4,000ft and the highest I've gone so far is a little under 9,000ft. The landscape is beautiful and quite intimidating. Lots of lush green jungle/forest and big grassy hills everywhere you look. There is absolutely no flat land, so you're either descending or climbing, with the climbing being pretty insane. Today I did probably the longest/toughest climb in the area called "Matasano" (the verb matar meaning "to kill" and sano meaning "sanity" or "health", so Matasano basically meaning to kill one's sanity/health,etc). It's a killer 8 mile climb with an elevation gain of 4,500ft! I've never climbed anything so tough or long. The view is amazing too. I plan on taking pictures which I'll post here. You can check out the data from my ride here: http://www.strava.com/activities/109...nts/2379877402
The people here are super friendly. Everyone greets each other on the street and it is a common for people to talk to complete strangers as if they were your best friend. The food is good too, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (avocados and bananas galore!). I'm definitely missing peanut butter though, and surprisingly there really isn't much good coffee. I did find soy milk and almonds at the store the other day, which I was very happy to find. Also, everyone rides motorcycles/scooters/dirt bikes, and they do so like maniacs. All of the roads are single lane, and everyone passes in the on-coming lane. It's pretty insane to watch and I'm surprised there aren't more accidents, but I guess everyone is just used to it here.
I'm here until Feb 18th. My focus here is training, basically my base riding and obviously lots of climbing (not a choice, just the reality of riding here), and resting so I should be able to add stuff to this pretty frequently. So far I can definitely say if you are looking for a solid place to train that isn't over the pond, definitely consider Colombia. Oh yeah, did I mention it was really cheap here?