The route to SJ is much easier than the return. Essentially, you have 900 meter climb from Medellin to Alto de Boqueron followed by a 30km descent to the small town of SJ. You drop from 2500 meters to 750 meters over the 30km. Once you reach SJ, you've covered half of the distance but, in terms of climbing, you've done less than one third of the actual work.
In the past, I descended to SJ on the new road and returned on the old road. The old road is barely used by vehicles these days. I enjoyed the past two climbs on it. But today, I decided to return on the new road. Its a little steeper (mostly 6%-7% rather than 5%), plus it was dry (the old road looked like it was getting a lot of rain).
It was a good call. The 1,750 meter climb took 2 hours 20 mins. Boqueron was hidden in mist once I summited. I had about 15 minutes of sunshine on the descent down to Medellin before I got dumped on near San Javier (see this blog entry for background info on San Javier and its murder rates).
All in all, today was a good ride and I think I am on track to being in form for Letras.
|The view from Boqueron towards San Jeronimo this morning. Normally, its sunny and hot.|
|Sections of the road from San Jeronimo back up to Boqueron are littered with restaurants, like the one below.|
|The final 100 meters to Alto de Boqueron.|
|Looking south towards Medellin.|