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Old 05-03-2012, 04:12 AM   #31
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Bogota page 2


soldiers and police on nearly every street corner.




Some old American junk




















The girls love to stuff their plump butts into tight jeans












After taking this pic I was told to move along, by the guard outside!
















I was scolded by a guard for take this shot. Even though I was quite discreet and the place empty, the clown was bird-dogging me!
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:27 AM   #32
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These little Suzukis where all over the place.




















The internet bard






Concertina wire!














Art deco






My Guest house
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:55 AM   #33
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Come Monday, expecting to receive the bike, I discover that US customs has held up the export permission for my bike, claiming they need a power of attorney from my agent. This despite the fact that I presented the export paperwork to them in person the previous wednesday. WTF!

Gaston my agent in Miami eventually gets it sorted out and the bike gets shipped. I was able to receive the bike on friday.

This was a sight for sore eyes, In my excitement I didn't notice how crappy the picture was. Anyway y'all get the idea! My first experience in shipping and receiving a motor vehicle.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:43 AM   #34
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I left Bogota first thing saturday morning, 7 days in Bogota was plenty, really not the most endearing place imho.

I decided to go straight for Medellin, apparently there is only one road there. It was a busy 8 hours of adrenaline pumping passing and splitting lane action. Pretty countryside, though the one place I stopped to eat ripped me off! Charming!
I arrive in Medellin in the dark to a busy saturday night. Busy it was!
I wander and wander around looking for the motorcycle friendly guesthouse that was recommended. I must have noted the gps coordinates incorrectly.
Couldn't find the place, so I settled for a cheap hotel with secure parking. Turned out to be a leaky smelly shithole with drunks carrousing outside my window all night.
The next day had a nice breakfast and coffee, then found the intended guesthouse. It was indeed very moto friendly and more, great place.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #35
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My flurry of photos was in Medellin.

Medellin is a busy, noisy, smoky and congested place.



Modern skytrain


the security would help the handicapped passengers
















Fast food by tortoises


Gazillions of these china enduros all through SA









the city essentially is choking itself to death with these smoke belching collectivo's


Street people


Headless fish. They must be squeamish like Americans,
In Asia and AK the head is the best part.

Legal gambling, I didn't check it out.












Next the Botero walk
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #36
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Medellin is the home of Fernando Botero. So his sculpture liters this park, massive bronzes, cool stuff.










Medellin has a pleasant blend of people and culture.








A police KLR



An unusual blend of architecture.
























to be continued
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #37
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Leaving Medellin I stayed with some fellow motorcyclists.
my bike got to share the garage with a nice and shinny Harley


I spent three more nights in Colombia on the way south on the Pan American hwy.
I wanted to get off the PanAm but the one road I wanted to go on had reportedly had a bridge recently blown up. That and the obvious heavy presence of police and military everywhere I'd been seeing had me spooked. In the nine days riding in Colombia I was stopped 4 times by the cops who picked through my paperwork, I just wanted out of the country! Peru I was checked once, Chile 0, Argentina 0.
Spent one night in Cali at a guesthouse that was reported to be moto friendly. They apparently converted the moto parking to an internet computer room.
As I unloaded the bike on the street I was harried by someone telling me how unsafe the street was. The guesthouse staff was unhelpful.
I had to park the bike in a lot public parking lot a block away! My room had no ventilation and was the most expensive to date. Apparently the owner is an expat from somewhere. He never did show up, even though the staff kept saying he would.
Cali felt like a dangerous place, with surly kids wandering the streets and a general tense air to it. The food also sucked at the one place I ate.
The traffic in the city was even more unpleasant than Bogota or Medellin.

The next night I found a great motel out in the countryside for half the price.
I was eager to get out of Colombia.
Some travelers report how Colombia was their favorite SA country. The opposite was my experience. I think I made the mistake by spending too much time in the big cities. That mistake wasn't repeated going south.
On the way back north I'll avoid the big cities.

So I only took a few move pics in Colombia.

typical town-countryside







It was raining and cold as I approached Ipiales(9200feet) the border with Ecuador. I pulled into the first hotel I saw asked for some food.
This is what I got!




Talk about the right thing at the right time! Man o man was that delicious!
The hotel/restaurant folks were so gracious they let me park the motorcycle inside the restaurant after they closed. I had three heavy wool blankets on my bed, I needed them all. It was cold up in them hills!
The next day was on to the border crossing into Ecuador, my first for this trip.
Got some money changer dudes to mind my bike while I got stamped out of Colombia. Once stamped I had to clear the bike out through customs. To bust my chops the customs guy wanted to see the original copy of my temporal import papers! Fortunately my spanish is good enough to out bluff scum like this and I told him this is exactly what the "aduana" in Bogota gave me, if he wanted to question them, then let's call them as I whipped out my phone.( I did have a Colombian sim and a contact#)
He didn't call my bluff and I was outa there! Scum!
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #38
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Fantastic! Looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:14 AM   #39
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Checking into Ecuador I met fellow rider from the UK on a Versys he'd bought in Cali. We rode together for most of the day and had a fine meal in a friendly little town.
He sidestepped Quito and I went into Quito which is a huge nasty snarl of smoky traffic.
I had to buy a new rear tube for the bike. I'd just used up my spare in Colombia.
Stayed in a great guesthouse.
Met the owner of the local Kawasaki dealer(he rides an Africa Twin). Got VIP treatment. He invited me to join a weekend ride with them to the coast. I passed because I had the hot springs in Baños on my mind.



Baños is a very cool quiet little town. It gets busy on weekends with tourists from Quito. All in all a very mellow scene. I could have stayed there much longer. A definite breath of fresh air after Colombia!
Interestingly at my hotel I met another American who had just returned from Thailand and the stereotypical greedy/issan/witch scenario, we shared numerous tall tales over numerous tall beers.



Local marching band, man I was having fun!








Went to the hot springs everyday I was there






Town Plaza


My new pal's China enduro




My bike's little hideaway


Interesting trees.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #40
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Great thread this mate, excellent photo's, looking forward to seeing more of your journey down south.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #41
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From Baños I headed into the Amazon basin and followed the road through Puyo and up over the mountains on a brand new road to Cuenca.


The first of many bridges and river crossings.




Cool job


Some Black Vultures, I would see many more of these along the way


And the one and only four star hotel where I stayed in Cuenca. It was only $30.usd and had a very secure parking garage.


Cuenca Plaza, a pretty laid back un-touristy place.


The pigeons seemed to like this guy.










Impressive old Spanish architecture




A really quiet place


After Cuenca it was down to the coast through some very arid mountains.




Had a great meal, some regional dish, chopped liver and stuff! Really darned tasty! Near the coastal town of Machala.


then back over the mountains to the crossing into Peru at Macara.
It was raining and very foggy up high in the mountains, the road was under construction, it was very slow and nerve wracking riding. At times I was in first gear barely able to see in front of me! The road unmarked and constantly changing from new concrete to sometimes mud!

I found a hotel in Macara straight out off a quentin tarrentino movie. People were great, the street fried chicken delicious and the beer came in tall bottles. I was way too shattered after the ride over the mountains to get any pictures. I was in tatters.

Next day Peru!
Gasoline in Ecuador was really cheap, about $1.50 a gallon. At the border they had a restriction where you could buy only 10 gallons at a time.
These guys had been waiting since 04:00 in the morning for the station to open.
They very graciously let me cut in line.


Smile you are in Tambogrande, Peru


At this point I need Peruvian money so I head for the larger town of Piura for an ATM.
It was a hot congested busy little town, might have been interesting I did spot a couple of western tourists about. Anyway found an ATM and instead of Peruvian Sols the thing dispensed USD.
Oh well I figured the would take dollars here like they did in Ecuador.
Wrong!

When I stopped for gas in Olmos and tried to pay in USD they shook thier heads, fark! I leave the gas station in search of a money changer with the station owner looking admiringly at my $350 Seiko watch, my only piece of jewelry.
After touring the town of Olmos I find the bank who will change my dollars.
I go back to the gas station, get my watch back, the boss was a little disappointed to give up the watch.
I decided to stay he night there at nice motel I'd spotted.
Had a divine ceviche across the street from the motel
Ceviche the Peruvian national dish, yumm!


Northern Peru is very arid




these mototaxis were a common sight.


Then into some impressive valleys to Chachapoyas


Chachapoyas is kind of a cultural tourist gateway for Peruvians.
Some very interesting sites in the area with none of the grandiose bullshit of Machu Pichu.

Chachapoyas:
















lots of taters and yucca root/cassava


My hotel, it was cheap and had my own private garage!


That night I ate this wonderful goat curry
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:37 AM   #42
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Excellent photos..thanks for sharing !!!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:54 AM   #43
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Next was the pre-Inca fortress on top of a 3000 meter mountain.
It is supposed that the Inca raided this place to steal the blond haired women!
The 35 kms of winding mountain road was eye opening.
The rumor was the Inca used to raid this fort to steal the blond haired women.




seeing this place was well worth the effort, not many tourists get up there.
























Fossils in the walkway!


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Old 05-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #44
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Great photos and report. Thank you for taking the time
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #45
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On the way down off the mountain it rained a bunch and caused a creek to bust out on the main road to Leimebamba.
They had a way cleared in a matter of minutes.
A French couple who were following in a RTW Landcruiser camper turned around when they saw this, they missed some the best parts of the trip!


Next stop was Leimebamba
Something I ate caused some intestinal distress, so I hung out here for 3 days, the only time I got sick.
Very pretty little town and super nice people. My hotel let me park right in the lobby!










The Hospedaje, my room was right on the plaza.








These doggies would have territorial squabbles periodically
















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