The excitement was dimmed by increasing traffic after reaching the main road at Chiquinquira and, getting closer to Bogota, i began to doubt i chose a route far enough from the capital, as it felt as if i was passing through the industrial outskirts. But after half a day of sharing the road with lorries and cycling past boring concrete blocks, the downhill part made up for that, leaving trucks and most of the traffic behind. After a small stint on the panamericana, i took the turn-off to Pueblo Nuevo, from where a rail trail leads towards Villavieja at the entrance of the Desierto de Tatacoa. Here at one of the bridges and tunnels.
I underestimated the distance and ended up cycling through the night over rocky dirt road, which was rather annoying at first, but once i got used to it, i enjoyed cycling underneath the star sprinkled sky until i reached Villavieja. After some shopping, i cycled into the desert and camped just off the road. While searching for a camp spot, green eyes lit up in the dark and once the light of the head lamp pointed in that direction, it revealed spiders and i saw several scorpions scuttle away, besides one, which found its way into my panniers during the night.
A short ride in the morning brought me to the end of the paved road, which terminates at the observatorio and the first view point over the part of the desert called “el cuzco”.
The vegetation played along in prickly desert style,
Until i reached the grey coloured version at “los hoyos”.
There was supposed to be a swimming pool nearby. But as it was just too much fun to explore, i lost my way until, after managing to make a big loop through the area, i heard the noise of the engine, which is pumping the water towards the pool, and followed the waterpipes. There was no one else around and though the pool was less than half filled, it was a perfect break at the far end of the road into the desert.