So our travelling plans fell through for this weekend but it's actually turned out really nice, and I spent most of it out and about on my own, which is quite unusual for me here. I finally managed to make it to the Museo de Arte del Tolima (MAT) on Saturday, our only art gallery here in Ibagué, which is teeny-tiny! But the exhibition they've got on at the moment is actually quite likeable despite the fact that it's based on football-related images. The artist, Demián Flores, is Mexican and in the main body of the exhibition he's taken photos of footballers training, from the 70s it looks like, and added traditional Mexican designs to them so that the positions the footballers are holding look kind of weird and macabre.
MAT also have a weekly cinema club and the genre for this month just happens to be science-fiction, which as you can imagine I was pretty happy about! So after the exhibition I sat in a café for an hour or so watching the world go by and scribbling down some thoughts, and then returned to MAT to watch George Lucas's directorial debut THX 1138. I wasn't overly impressed, I have to say, I can see why I'd never heard of it until the day before yesterday.
The film I saw at the cinema on Sunday (solo cinema trips twice in two days might help you realise quite how small my social circle is here!) was much better; In Time, has a pretty interesting and original premise - a society in the future where money is literally time, and people are paid in and pay for items with minutes, hours and days, unless they're super-duper rich and they're paid in months, years or even decades - although it was let down a bit with the dialogue.
(A photo of MAT from their monthly newsletter and my observations scribbled around it.)
Then this morning I woke up (before 8am as bloody usual), started a crossword and had breakfast, then Olga Lucia (the lady I'm living with), suggested a bike ride, first down the ciclovía (every Sunday most cities in Colombia close off some of their main roads for the sole use of cyclists, joggers and walkers) and then onto a cycle route down near the airport.
So off we went, freewheeling through the city and out into the countryside, and it was just beautiful. The weather was perfect: warm and sunny, with a light breeze, and we were cycling! And surrounded on all sides by the brightest greens - lush rice paddies and verdant pastures filled with cows and horses grazing, and in the distance the mountains marching off towards Bogotá. I felt blissfully happy!
The bliss soon faded however and I was feeling a lot less appreciative of cycling and the scenery on the way back, our carefree coasting on the way out replaced with pedalling. Lots of it. Uphill. In the 25 degree heat.
After six months of not cycling my body was rebelling and I had to stop many, many times, close to fainting at one point! When we finally made it back to the flat (I wasn't sure that I'd ever make it) and had a chance to glance in the mirror, my face looked like I'd been boiled alive. (Dad, Mum and Shabnam - remember the steps in Dubrovnik? This was so much worse.)
Despite the complaining though it made me realise how much I've missed cycling and I want to do it again, although next time I will be venturing out much, much earlier and I will be avoiding the midday sun!