Cañas Gordas


Fat cane.  This is the name of the main street outside of our housing complex.  It is one of the main roads running south, in and out of Cali.  Trucks, buses, busetas, cars, horses, motorcycles and serious road cyclists.  Yes… it is one of the main thoroughfares for road riders.  Peloton after peloton, early in the morning, in the evenings and all day on the weekends.  There are even little refreshment stands, catering specifically to these athletes (both men and women), selling fresh jugo naranja. It’s amazing.  I had no idea that road riding was so popular here.  Some groups have their own support car, following behind with hazard lights on.

Compared to other roads around Cali, the pavement on Cañas Gordas is remarkably smooth and the shoulder is quite wide.

A week ago Saturday, I attempted a run with Summer.  I had intended to run north and cut up into the side streets after a few hundred meters.  When I walked out the gate, I noticed a group of runners, dressed in bright Nike and Adidas, heading south along the wide shoulder.  So, I did the nerdy traveler thing and joined them.  Speaking in broken Spanish, I managed to invite myself along.  Me and Summer ended up running about 10km with a group training for the Cali Half Marathon.  It was hilarious, the runners were exactly the same as any group at home (and so very nice for including me), but the atmosphere was wild.  Dirty exhaust puffed in our faces, small roadside stalls let off hot and savory food smells and, at one point, a dead stray dog lay in our path.  Huge packs of cyclists whizzed past (as well as all of the traffic, described above).  For a few minutes, I tried to ask whether any running groups ever run in the mountains.  I don’t think anyone understood what I was talking about. Or at least, I wasn’t able to understand any of their answers.

Still looking, hoping, to get out into those trails.  Cañas Gordas is great in a pinch, but Los Farallones… well… look…

Some safety-conscious little group has to be out there.  So pretty.


One Response to “Cañas Gordas”

  1. Love this. Good for you for joining a bunch of strangers. Or are you getting desperate? You’ll find a group of friendly trail runners. I’m sure of it. Give it a bit of time!

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