Samuel, the American cyclist

Colombia - Posted On

Popayan, Christmas day.

It’s late afternoon when I get out of the cybercafé. I was talking with my family back home.

My brother just came back from two years in Australia, they are altogether for Christmas, and I wanted to be part of them through the Internet connection for this special day.

It is late afternoon in the middle of the big city of Popayan, in the middle of Colombia. As I never go to hotels, and finding a place to camp is impossible before dark, I don’t really like the situation. It’s raining of course.

So I apply my emergency plan no1: asking hospitality to the Police station, then the Firefighter station.

They keep on telling me off, for safety reason they can’t accept anyone. I am a bit surprised as usually it works quite well in smaller cities.

As I am begging at another door, a crazy guy on a traveler bike just appears at the corner and yells at me: “- Damn it, I was trying to get at you for days! Here you are Mr. French cyclist!”.

Samuel, USA, 26, comes from Paraguay where he has been living for three years and is going back home on a bike.

Smiling and laughing like no one else, he explains me he has been hearing about me for the last couple of days: “There’s a French cyclist who passed by two days ago…” and was trying to get at me.

Here in Popayan, he was in the same situation as me and was asking to the Police and Firefighter station… when he finally got to me!

I am so happy; having a friend means being much stronger facing the adversity. We finally bargain hard a hostel where we crash for the night after a last drink to Freedom, Traveling, Christmas and us!

For the next couple of days we will ride together until Cali.

Sam will teach me the “thumb up” way of answering the klaxons. This is the most sarcastic and ironic way of saying “thank you” to the cars or trucks honking stupidly at us.