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Old 06-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #256
mopulga
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Buy the man a beer (see link) and you get a message that he sends out and links to his webpage ( he updates it more frequently)

Latest was:
http://www.ryanbrunhaver.com/mountains-and-valleys.html



Quote:
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Bump.

Long time, no update. Hope everything is okay. Excellent ride report.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:01 PM   #257
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Quote:
Long time, no update. Hope everything is okay. Excellent ride report.
I changed my photobucket account and resized the images, unfortunately on ADV that means that they are HUGE and I cant seem to resize them. I tried doing an update last night but at 4000x3000 pixels it doesnt work well.

Here is an example, the first photo below is a guy herding horses on a bike in the Valle de Cocora. My dad flew down to travel for a week and rented a big bad ass F800GS and we put 1000 miles on our bikes in one week.

The second one is my dad on the bike. Im going to change the settings the next time I upload photos but unfortunately I cant do anything about it until I upload more photos on a lower setting.

Check out my website if you want to see where my dad and I rode last week. The next section I promise to write about on ADV as well.

Cheers,
Ryan



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Old 06-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #258
makinwaves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post
I changed my photobucket account and resized the images, unfortunately on ADV that means that they are HUGE and I cant seem to resize them. I tried doing an update last night but at 4000x3000 pixels it doesnt work well.

Here is an example, the first photo below is a guy herding horses on a bike in the Valle de Cocora. My dad flew down to travel for a week and rented a big bad ass F800GS and we put 1000 miles on our bikes in one week.

The second one is my dad on the bike. Im going to change the settings the next time I upload photos but unfortunately I cant do anything about it until I upload more photos on a lower setting.

Check out my website if you want to see where my dad and I rode last week. The next section I promise to write about on ADV as well.

Cheers,
Ryan
Glad to read all's well and how cool it must be to have your dad come do some riding with you!

Off to your website now...
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:24 PM   #259
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Week with dad

I just realized I have a few from the first day, from my dads camera so her it goes.

Part 1 of a week with dad.

My dad flew in and we drank some beer:



I have been very impressed so far with the microbrews in Colombia, I didnt even realize that they existed here. Thats a nice change since CA.

We went to the Botero museum and walked around the Candelaria. Our first day of riding was Sunday so after we got the bike, delivered to our door from Motolombia, we ate some breakfast, had some coffee and took off. I decided to book us some hostels so my dad could experience the dormitory life and we had good luck everywhere we went. No smelly backbackers, no people having sex, no surprise coke parties (its Colombia) just could clean comfy dorms.



Check out this espresso machine:



Need any stuffed animals?



I also took him to moto heaven in Bogotá. its a must see if you are in the area, my dad took some good shots of it:







Oh yeah, before leaving we also did some light maintenance on my bike, some in Bogotá and the rest in Medellin.

I noticed some corrosion in my spark plug caps, probably from so much coastal riding, so I had my dad bring some new caps. I also switched out the spark plugs and was happy to see really nice color, but I switched em anyways. I also finally got around to the relocation of my new Voltage Regulator, a must since I am headed for hot temps in the coming weeks. My dad brought me some screws and some brackets and things and helped me rig up a pretty sweet deal. Now the VR sits near the burp tank for the coolant and next to the air intake snorkel where it will cool much better. Oh and he also brought me a new radiator cap since mine didnt seal anymore. All set to go now.



Its been a while since me and my dad worked on my bike together.



The rest of the week with my dad is on my site.

At the moment I am in San Gil, headed North. Heres a few shots of the last few days. In the next month I hope to explore the Caribbean coast and a few places inland. Should be lots to see.

Bogotá to Barichara:



South of Tunja I picked my way through some side roads through Villa de Leyva and rode some excellent one lane farm roads, on and off road until I met up with the highway again and did the last 100k to San Gil. Just when i got back on the highway the valley narrowed, turned into a canyon and then the road rose up out of the canyon and over the side. Great views.

I also stopped in Villa de Leyva again because they have excellent coffee. I found some poetry in the coffee shop, I love that about Colombia, art and poetry all the time.



Another bouncy road into Barichara







Barichara is on the edge of a cliff with awesome views






Remember that scene in the Jungle Book with the vultures? This reminded me of those guys.
"whatchoo wanna do?" "I dunno whatchoo wanna do?" "I dunno whatchoo wanna do?"





I stayed at the Tinto Hostel, very safe parking on a nice street.





Sign reads: "Dont take Viagra, drink goats milk"




Here is me waitin for the bus for a little day tripping, Im sitting like this because of the goats milk, wasnt ready to stand up.



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Old 06-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #260
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The last thing is supposed to be a google map, if you scroll it to the left and hit the link you should be able to see my route so far.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post

Here is me waitin for the bus for a little day tripping, Im sitting like this because of the goats milk, wasnt ready to stand up.

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Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 06-14-2012, 07:31 AM   #262
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Ryan,
Good stuff, man. All the BS getting across the gap looks like it was more than worth it. I'm envious. Keep doing it right.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:55 AM   #263
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Happy to see you are finally seeing what riding in South America is like.
Buen viaje!
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:04 AM   #264
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That was so funny how you and your dad blew through the tunnel, I did the same thing and was pulled over on the other side and had my documents run through and then gave the guy a sticker and he let me off. I told him it wasn't a problem breathing in there for me Damn long tunnel thou for sure, one of the longest if not the longest in all of Latin America, think it was like 4,500m+:




Can't see the light at the other end in this one.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #265
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Accomodations

This is an open question, I've been meaning to ask it before but since I'm planning on heading south myself in the very near future....how do you (And others) find all these inexpensive hotels and hostels which seem to be fairly clean and safe?

I rode ATL to Puerto Vallarta myself last year and had trouble finding anything under $40. The best I did was $24 in Navojoa on my way back north. My GF, who is Mexican but wasnt with me, about had a cow that I was staying someplace so inexpensive and was sure that I would be kidnapped LOL.

None of the places really had what I would call secure accomodations for my motorcycle (well, one place in saltillo had a gated parking lot...but the gate was always open).

Do you plan ahead where you're going to sleep? If so, any particular resource for finding these places? Or do you just roll into someplace around 3 or 4pm and ask around?

And sorry if I should have posted this somewhere else, but you seem to have had pretty good luck in where you've been staying.

thanks,

CM
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #266
Shibby!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemike View Post
This is an open question, I've been meaning to ask it before but since I'm planning on heading south myself in the very near future....how do you (And others) find all these inexpensive hotels and hostels which seem to be fairly clean and safe?

I rode ATL to Puerto Vallarta myself last year and had trouble finding anything under $40. The best I did was $24 in Navojoa on my way back north. My GF, who is Mexican but wasnt with me, about had a cow that I was staying someplace so inexpensive and was sure that I would be kidnapped LOL.

None of the places really had what I would call secure accomodations for my motorcycle (well, one place in saltillo had a gated parking lot...but the gate was always open).

Do you plan ahead where you're going to sleep? If so, any particular resource for finding these places? Or do you just roll into someplace around 3 or 4pm and ask around?

And sorry if I should have posted this somewhere else, but you seem to have had pretty good luck in where you've been staying.

thanks,

CM
To start, travel books are a solid base of knowledge. It's not "off the beaten path", but if you roll into a city at night, bike overheating, and just want to get off, it's a direct source of info that will find you reasonably cheap accommodations. Sadly, they can still be hit or miss, but it's something.

As you head south things get cheaper. Past PV and off the main strips things go down in price quick. Lastly, prices can be haggled a bit. I didn't bother, but at times I got a better rate unintentionally.

You have to be ok with less then optimal conditions sometimes, but normally things are worn, but still very clean.

There are also websites that cater to this like Tripadvisor, etc. Nice that you can add the app to your phone, stop at a coffee shop, have a snack and look for a warm place to sleep that night! Get the travel books in PDF too so you can view them on your phone rather then carrying a huge book around.

Search in the trip planning forums and you can probably find more info!
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Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #267
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Quote:
how do you (And others) find all these inexpensive hotels and hostels which seem to be fairly clean and safe?
Travel books like the Lonely Planet can be great for finding cheap places quickly but they also lead you directly to the backpacker scene which, as a motorcyclist, you have no reason to join if you dont want to. The nice thing about bike touring is that you really get thrown into a country and you find yourself in all kinds of good and not so good situations. And you often find yourself WAY off the beaten path, for better or for worse.

If a place I am staying at has free internet, I look up the city I am headed to next and then I write down a few names and addresses then search them out when I arrive. I try to ride in the morning and arrive at my destination in the early afternoon. Its safer and much more relaxing to ride in this way. I often spend an extra hour or two looking for a deal but thats what happens when you want to travel for a long time and you made minimum wage back home.

I enjoy searching but I definitely get sick of it sometimes. You have to decide how much walking and riding around you want to do in your riding gear. Shibby is right, south of Puerto Vallarta it got much cheaper and more travel friendly, i.e. more budget options which were cheaper because they were simpler, not necessarily crappy.

I fashioned a "sleeping bag" out of a cotton sheep which I get into when I am not sure about the cleanliness, but I have only used it a handful of times. I also have a hammok which, in combination with my hobo bag, is a nice way to sleep once in a while.

In Colombia, if you choose to stay in hostels, they have a nice thing going on here. Every single place I have stayed has a desk covered in business cards, grouped into cites, of different hostels. Sometimes they have 5 or 6 different recommended places in a single city and you can decide where you want to stay.

For example, in Santa Marta, they have the Brisa Loca, it looks like a party hostel with a pool and a bar. They also have Dreamers, which, judging by its name and what I have heard from others, is where you go if you value your sleep.

In short, to save money while traveling, you have to work for it, and you have to search out cheap places.

If you dont like to work then you will end up paying, thats the difference between traveling long term on the cheap and taking a vacation. Dont save money by stiffing restaurant servers and sneaking out of your hotel bill. Do save money by searching high and low, asking politely if you could get a discount and ask other travelers or even the staff at the hotel who sometimes can recommend a similar place in another city. In short, be creative and resourceful.

I have slept and ate in all kinds of places and I do value my sleep, especially if I am planning a long day of riding. Dont mess around on Colombian (or Mexican etc.) roads, dont ride tired, they are dangerous if you are not constantly vigilant.

You never know what you might find around the corner.

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #268
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Towns with cool names

Just before leaving Barichara I was invited by two South African girls to eat lunch at a restaurant in town which serves steak and other fine food, with ants. Its a local treat, called "Hormigas Culonas" or ants with huge asses. I went with them and the food was surprisingly tasty. I had tried the ants once before all by themselves and didnt like them but I must say, they go well with steak.

It was a full meal and it was delicious, with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.









From Barichara I made it only as far as San Gil, about a half hour away. I stuck around for a few days resting and poking around the city which I found very comfortable. Its about 50,000 people and feels safe but not in the wealthy sterile kind of way, more in the friendly but still very rough and tumble Colombian kind of way. And the nightlife was excellent.

I began drinking aguardiente (local booze) in the park with a cool group from the hostel. 2 Colombians from Baranquilla, a Mexican guy who I had met in Panama city and ran into again in San Gil, driving a green dodge caravan to Argentina, and 2 Norwegian girls who spoke perfect spanish and got drunk really quickly. Somehow I ended up at a huge underground club with live music that didnt even start until 1am. I believe I made a lot of friends and managed the Colombian dance moves more or less ok, and then, uh, I woke up in the hostel so thats a good ending.

The next morning I found some delicious tamales, which are different than the mexican tamales. The food in Colombia is excellent but I never know when I will find something cool. On the surface it seems like just simple and plain but there are hidden gems everywhere.



Here is a picture of a bathroom in San Gil. It was at a bar, I wonder how many people get drunk and accidentaly pee in the sink.





After San Gil I drove to Bucaramanga to check out a city supposedly worth a visit but totally free of tourists. I have to say it was pretty cool. It rained hard when I got there which is really nice to experience when you are off the bike.









I wanted to go to Moes Tavern but it was closed so I went back to the hostel and watched Los Simpson on TV instead. Then I watched the Winds Journeys again which got me excited to drive up north and through all the towns where it was filmes like Becerril and Valledupar, in the Guajira province.



The road north from Bucaramanga to Valledupar.



Palms with chopped tops





My bike turned 45,000 the other day. If you remember, I had exactly 35,001 when I left home.



In La Guajira, when you are driving near Venezuela, you can find really cheap and much better quality gas for sale on the side of the road, often right next to the regular gas stations.



Somehow I missed the sign for Valledupar and drove all the way to Villanueva. Whoops, it was dark by then so I got to drive for a couple of hours in the dark which sucked. I made it just fine, and it wasnt all that bad but its much more stressful, the roads there are full of large pot holes.

Here is the sign, how could I have possibly missed that in the dark?



But I made it to Valledupar and actually really liked the city. Its much more wild than what I had seen near Bogotŕ and Medellin. There doesnt seem to be any stop signs. People just group together and creep forward until cross traffic stops and then we all go together. The accent is much different too and people have different manerisms (i spelt that one wrong I think) and in general it feels very distinct from what I have seen up until now.



The local swimming hole in Valledupar.




Valledupar is also the capital of Vallenato music which I really enjoy. Unfortunately I was unable to see any live music because I started to feel sick. I was planning to go to the Guajaira Peninsula which is supposed to be very remote and without paved roads (awesome) but I started to get some wierd heat rash or something on my neck and back. That night I woke up feeling nauseous and with a wierd feeling in my whole body, just about fainted while taking a piss, and decided that maybe I should hold off on the Guajira. I would hate to get stranded somewhere when its 100 degrees and im all by myself. So I waited until I felt good enough to ride and went back to Bucaramanga where its slightly cooler.

I feel better now but Im going to lie low for a few days just to be sure. When traveling alone you cant be too bold, I seem to find something interesting wherever I go so Im not too worried about it.


I have also decided that I cant afford to see Brazil at the moment. Its something I have been thinking about ever since I forked over all that cash to get across the Darien. I miscalculated my travel costs but Ive got a plan. I need to make more money first so when I do go to Brazil, I can see it right, and see it all. After another month or so in Colombia I plan to switch continents for the time being, Ive accepted a job in Spain and decided to put Brazil on hold. I thought I could afford to go to Brazil but I already burned through most of my funds.

Dont worry though, Im still going to Brazil, just not right away, I like to spend a lot of time in one single country and so far Colombia is awesome for traveling, no regrets. Oh, and no Im not going back home, the title of this RR still fits.

I plan to sell the bike, get a plane ticket, and hopefully another bike in Spain and work for a while. If I can, I will be exploring Spain Portugal, Southern France and Italy on some little old motorcycle. Southern Italy is pretty wild actually, more like Mexico than Norhtern Italy, and could be very cool. Plus, my girlfriend who is French, has quit her job and flown to France to watch her brother get married and visit family. So, with free places to crash, a smaller cc bike and someone to split gas, seeing a bit of Europe by bike may not be as expensive as it sounds, plus I will have some income again.

I am very excited this new turn of events.



1997 BMW F650 For Sale in Colombia: $2000 US. WIth tools, maps, wolfman tank panniers and a pelican case top box.

Ready to ride. Ready for adventure.

Its in excellent shape, and if you take care of it, maybe I will buy it back from you when Im ready.

I think this RR will have many more twists and turns, the only way to travel for me is to not have a fixed plan, just ideas. This always happens to me, Im horrible at planning.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:00 AM   #269
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Still loving this ride report and admire your spirit for adventure. Hope your finances take a better turn.

Have you looked much into the Spanish economy right now? I met a cardiologist from Spain while in Buenos Aires (she was there for a conference) and was telling me how poor the job situation and economy in Spain is right now. I think she said she was currently an intern in her last year and hoping to be able to find a job next year. Imagine being a specialist medical doctor and not sure if you can find work?!

Not to be a spoilsport...just thought you'd like to know in case you hadn't heard.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:33 AM   #270
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awesome report, just found it tonight, and it got me through my midnight shift at work!

You're really good with the camera, perhaps you can make a living doing what you love or what your good at, and your pics are fantastic!

Good job, looking forward to seeing more.
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