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Old 02-15-2012, 08:32 AM   #2296
Throttlemeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
We knew we had a solid riding day from San Agustin back down into the valley then back up north and over the mountains to the west to Popayan. Certain roads in this area were were told not to ride due to the possible FARC or ELN para military. When researching about Colombia that has been one of the risks. As in the past there were lots of kidnappings by these groups as that is how they funded there activities. So were were aware and asked about this, and have not had any issues.
It is just nuts what groups say about certain areas, this is in constant flux and you just have to always ask the local bus drivers and the military from that area what the current condtions are. If I listened to what everyone told me I wouldn't be riding anywhere in Colombia. You just have to make your own choices by what you hear. You could have saved a lot of time and not ended up riding in the dark by going on the direct route from San Agustin to Popayan instead of going back up and around over to La Plata.

Popayan is in the top left above, aqua color track is the direct route instead of going all the way up to La Palta.
I was going to cross that same bridge but thankfully was informed by a local that it was not open. You are right on my tracks sort of. Maybe see you now or later. It's a good 5 to 7 hours depending on your speeds from Pasto to Quito. Goodluck, at least the border crossing should be very tranqullio for you two

Nice you took the time to go over to San Agustin, it is a nice archaeological site worth the visit.


If I don't see you today in Quito I will surely see you somewhere else along the way in SA. Take it easy amigo, I sent you a pm with my Quito contact for storage.

John in Quito for a little bit longer.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #2297
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LOVED the video..YOU GUYS ARE NUTS! in a good way, of course
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #2298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
...Certain roads in this area were were told not to ride due to the possible FARC or ELN para military.
...
...there were tons of Military guys in full gear.
...
Then a group photo.



...
Friendly looking bunch, but upon riding up to them I would be wondering: "What do the guys in the FARC wear?"
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #2299
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Guys,

Allow me to clarify a few things. First Off FARC-EP and The ELN are Guerilla Groups and Not Paramilitaries. Paramilitary groups are still very present in Colombia. Many have simply changed their names and not really run out of town/killed off or beaten back as .Gov would have you believe. The AUC ( Autodefenses Unidas de Colombia) for example..........many desmovilized and then simply swapped patches for service in los BACRIMS. ( Bandas Criminales) Los Rostrojos , Urbeños and many others are alive and well. On where to roll and where not too...........well, i have seen guys ride thru Guerilla territory and have no issues whatsoever. But i have also seen people travel thru safe heavily militarized areas and still get hijacked and taken away............ often for 5 to 14 years at a clip. One guy Thomas Hargrove was picked up on a familiar road near Cali. The movie "Proof of Life" with Meg Ryan and Russell Crow is that man's story. Most of you travel the Pan American Highway and other more popular routes and these are safer then the more rural routes. Although they can and do get hit! A warning about some routes and areas. If you think crossing Purace is a risk, and YES it most certainly can be, never ride thru the roads that cross the roads from Jambalo to Toribio. Can it be done? Sure it can be done........... but the Guerilla openly walk this area daily/Nightly. Also, taking trips off the Pan American Highway into areas of Cauca is mostly suicide. I am specifically discussing Bolivar, Balboa and Argelia. DON'T DO IT!!!! You have been WARNED by a guy who has BTDT! Capice???
Other then that ride your arses off and don't linger around Southern Colombia in any given spot too long. This area is NOT Medellin!

If you see Jungle Camo with a Colombian Flag on the arm........... roll on the throttle, you are now riding with Farc -Ep at your side!!! Ejercito uses Pixel. Cops Dungy Green / O.D.. Bacrims and other nefarious creatures can be anything from a old man carrying a machete and a bundle of coca leaves to a young indian guy with pony tail and a NEW Lexus SUV! Have fun............
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:22 PM   #2300
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GPS/Google Maps

Saw Throttlemeister's map post. You seem to have access to good data with your computer, I-pad, GPS and your increasing ability to get good local knowledge... what considerations went into the decision to take the route you did as opposed to the one TM points out? I noticed that you are using a Zumo GPS. Which model? How has that worked out for you in: Mexico, Central America, and now SA? Thanks
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #2301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockymountainoyster View Post
Saw Throttlemeister's map post. You seem to have access to good data with your computer, I-pad, GPS and your increasing ability to get good local knowledge... what considerations went into the decision to take the route you did as opposed to the one TM points out? I noticed that you are using a Zumo GPS. Which model? How has that worked out for you in: Mexico, Central America, and now SA? Thanks
I just image local (or not so local) intel had a good part in it. You hear a half dozen different reports from people on an area down here and sometimes just have to go with the majority or your gut. That route I took is not exactly and easy one, especially in the rain:


But it sure was fun
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #2302
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Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Thanks Craig. I liked these photos too. Think this is a better crop though. Shows more of the red Tatacoa Desert in Colombia.


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Old 02-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #2303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
It is just nuts what groups say about certain areas, this is in constant flux and you just have to always ask the local bus drivers and the military from that area what the current condtions are. If I listened to what everyone told me I wouldn't be riding anywhere in Colombia. You just have to make your own choices by what you hear. You could have saved a lot of time and not ended up riding in the dark by going on the direct route from San Agustin to Popayan instead of going back up and around over to La Plata.
Thanks John,

We initially were going to ride that road. Mike from Cali said it was 5 hours or so. But we were told be more than several people not to ride that road. Including some of the local people in San Agustin. OH well you never know. Have to live with the decisions. It was a great ride anyway, just wish we had gotten to see the roads coming into Popayan!

Got you PM thanks with PM later. We will see you on the road soon!
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:28 PM   #2304
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Originally Posted by Colombianito View Post
Guys,

Allow me to clarify a few things. First Off FARC-EP and The ELN are Guerilla Groups and Not Paramilitaries. Paramilitary groups are still very present in Colombia. Many have simply changed their names and not really run out of town/killed off or beaten back as .Gov would have you believe. The AUC ( Autodefenses Unidas de Colombia) for example..........many desmovilized and then simply swapped patches for service in los BACRIMS. ( Bandas Criminales) Los Rostrojos , Urbeños and many others are alive and well. On where to roll and where not too...........well, i have seen guys ride thru Guerilla territory and have no issues whatsoever. But i have also seen people travel thru safe heavily militarized areas and still get hijacked and taken away............ often for 5 to 14 years at a clip. One guy Thomas Hargrove was picked up on a familiar road near Cali. The movie "Proof of Life" with Meg Ryan and Russell Crow is that man's story. Most of you travel the Pan American Highway and other more popular routes and these are safer then the more rural routes. Although they can and do get hit! A warning about some routes and areas. If you think crossing Purace is a risk, and YES it most certainly can be, never ride thru the roads that cross the roads from Jambalo to Toribio. Can it be done? Sure it can be done........... but the Guerilla openly walk this area daily/Nightly. Also, taking trips off the Pan American Highway into areas of Cauca is mostly suicide. I am specifically discussing Bolivar, Balboa and Argelia. DON'T DO IT!!!! You have been WARNED by a guy who has BTDT! Capice???
Other then that ride your arses off and don't linger around Southern Colombia in any given spot too long. This area is NOT Medellin!

If you see Jungle Camo with a Colombian Flag on the arm........... roll on the throttle, you are now riding with Farc -Ep at your side!!! Ejercito uses Pixel. Cops Dungy Green / O.D.. Bacrims and other nefarious creatures can be anything from a old man carrying a machete and a bundle of coca leaves to a young indian guy with pony tail and a NEW Lexus SUV! Have fun............
Thanks Larry Appreciate the clarification!! We love Colombia!!
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #2305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockymountainoyster View Post
Saw Throttlemeister's map post. You seem to have access to good data with your computer, I-pad, GPS and your increasing ability to get good local knowledge... what considerations went into the decision to take the route you did as opposed to the one TM points out?

I noticed that you are using a Zumo GPS. Which model? How has that worked out for you in: Mexico, Central America, and now SA? Thanks
See reply to TM about the road that TM pointed out.

Zumo 660 In Mexico was fairly good. Central was OK. But Garmin maps start missing lots. Columbia on Garmin SA maps was good, Ecuador not so much. But I have a set of Open Source Maps that seem to be good on Ecuador! The GPS is just a guide. I also get paper maps to review. They are also .... so so depending. Not enough detail on the Columbia Maps.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #2306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Thanks Craig. I liked these photos too. Think this is a better crop though. Shows more of the red Tatacoa Desert in Colombia.



If you agree you can post in the vote for front page thread. Sorry to be sell serving but this is a cool photo that captures riding and doing Ride reports :)


http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34180

+1 and now RM & TM are about to connects up?!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:01 AM   #2307
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February 14 & 15 Popayan then onto Pasto, Colombia

Popayan is a different city than others we have been in. It has whitewashed downtown area where we stayed.





It was Valentines Day.... But did not have any meaning for me. My wife never liked Valentines Day so I never did anything on that day (she really did not want me to, got "mad" at me once early in our courtship when i did, but that was because she felt it was too commercial and that sharing your love should be done all year round not on a "holiday". I loved to bring my wife fresh flowers and mushy cards at random times, and she loved it too was one of the reasons we had a great life and marriage to each other.

Since we arrived late, and the hostel did not have secure parking we ended up paying more in a hotel. It was $23 USD each including breakfast in the AM, and WIFI so we could get some things caught up online.



Across from our room had a great covered patio to hang out and watch the world go by including the changing weather!





As I was checking some Latin America Threads I see Colombianito actually now lives in Popayan. I send him a PM to just say Hello. No expectations other than to connect with another ADV rider.

I go for a little walk about town in the afternoon while James works on uploading videos. And Colombianito rides up to say hello in person



He tells us more about the area, How he and his wife own a hotel in Cali and other business ventures here, and we have a great conversation!! Then he is off on his new Honda Tornado! Thanks for coming to see us and share so much about Colombia.



He gives us an America Salute as he pulls away!



Colombia is certainly a mix of new and old. Guy delivering fruits to local stores pushing his cart down the streets.



More churches



And some cool artwork on the walls....





These ladies are making up some empanada de pipian which are a local speciality that I wanted to try. You dip them in a spicy Peanut sauce.



Had some rain, which is cold as you are up over 5,000 feet.



We took a day off to relax and just catch up a bit.



We get ready to leave the next day and James tire sensors tell him he has a flat tire. Must have been punctured by one of the rocks coming over the mountain.





Plug it up.....









Just as we wrap up Larry comes by. Great timing as he shows us to a hardware store. James lost a bolt in the rough roads in the mountains.





Guys from the hardware store checking out James bike.



While Larry and I talk about riding, life and a few other things.



We say goodbye as we head down the road to Pasto. Thanks Larry



We had a great ride along the mountains, down into the valleys as we ride the roughly 200 miles.



really great views as we go.





Stopping to get some photos ....







As we get closer to Pasto we climb up in elevation and some amazing scenery unfolds





Had to stop for some video.



Waiting for road construction just outside of Pasto.



We arrived in Pasto which is a city of 370,000 at 2,550 M (8,369 feet). road around a bit and then found a hotel because we needed secure parking. The hotel had great beds. Again cost us a bit more but included breakfast and we knew we needed to get a good rest before heading to the Ecuadorian border. Last night in Colombia
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:35 AM   #2308
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I agree that the countryside down around Pasto is amazing! Thats basically where the 3 cordilleras of the Andes Collide. Its highly Sismatic and dotted with several Volcanos as well. I am wondering if you Gents stopped by The Inglesia Las Lajas en Ippiales?? Stay safe.........
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:23 AM   #2309
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Waiting for road construction just outside of Pasto.



Can I Get A Pillow Pls...... we were just waiting around for about 30-40 mins and I was sooooo board...
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #2310
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February 15th Pasto, Colombia into Quito, Ecuador!

Parked our bikes in front of the Hotel Senegal in Pasto. They had one the most comfortable beds I have slept on the entire trip!



Just a couple hours to the Ecuadorian border. But we had to stop and see the Sanctuary La Lajas. Our first glimpse as we road down the hill 6 KM off the Panamerica Hwy.



We were able to ride down the to park near the church (after the guys at the top said "parking here" James asked another guy and he said ... you can ride down. So we went past the chained area, and rode down the cobblestone... Was fun. Had to walk up the stairs on the other side to get this shot.



Oh yea! Awesome views.





There were lots of plaques that are prayers to the virgin Mary







service inside.





waterfall across, I took the photo from just above this looking back at the church. Best view but lots of stairs to get there.



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