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Old 02-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #1666
JDowns OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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There were clouds everywhere in Pamplona this morning and I was having a hard time figuring out which way to go. As is always the case, I don't really care in these situations. I just figured I would ride until I found a way out of town.

Speaking of finding a way out of town, let me tell you my method in the medium sized mountain towns in Colombia. Every larger town I went through yesterday came in one direction and left another direction. I have found there is no logic and certainly no street signs to point the way. So my method is to pay very close attention to the wear marks in the streets. If you look closely, you will see a wear pattern in the city streets that points to the way traffic has passed through this place. I remember passing through one town where I had to make 5 or 6 turns this way and that before being spit out on the other side of town. It is a big plus if you see long haul trucks or buses on the street you choose. But some of these turns went down streets that looked in no way like they were going anywhere. You will get thrown off at times and have to ask directions. But your intuitive ability to make it through Latin American towns will get stronger the more time you ride down here.

Pamplona was a big town, and big towns can be a tough nut to crack. I headed up two different roads that looked promising. Here is a pic from one dead end at a gated monastery looking back towards Pamplona:



I tried twice and finally found a road leaving town. And what a road it was. As it turned out, I got my kicks on route 66. Careterra 66 headed out zig-zagging up the mountain out of town. It headed up into the clouds. Looking back at 2 miles above sea level:



This road was nothing but curves for 80 miles or so. Here is a shot of the straightest part where you could pass the semis:



And semis there were. It was quite incredible to see a 40 ft. trailer making it around these hairpins. Of course they took up the whole road so you had to be on your toes going around blind corners and be ready to hit the shoulder or ditch which I did numerous times. But it was a really fun road with nothing but curves.

Above the tree line it reminded me of mountain passes in New Zealand crossed with northern Scotland with a little bit of the Bear Tooth Pass in Montana thrown in. It was quite cold up there above 10,000 ft which is where the road wound around for 40 or 50 miles:





Until it hit a pass at around 12,000 ft. I wanted to take a pic up there of the huge radar station with clouds swirling up around it but there was a military checkpoint right where I wanted to stop and it seemed inappropriate for a gringo on a green and white military looking bike with full black riding gear to be snapping pics of a military radar station, so I rode on. Here is a pic down out of the clouds as the road switch backed down to warmer elevations:



dropping down through the clouds:



Maybe 30 miles before Bucaramanga, there was some serious road construction going on. They were stabilizing the landslide prone hillsides.:



Shooting liquified concrete (gunnite) onto welded wire mesh and driving rebar into the hillside with some metal plates to hold:



I couldn't stop where the big action was taking place since there was nothing but trucks coming down after the flagman waved them through.

Finally made it into Bucaramanga around sunset and wandered around town looking for the Bocata Hotel I stayed in a while ago. Finally found it and am ensconced in the same room I had last time I was here. The ladies remembered me. Great wifi this evening and good street food. I really like this town. It was really fun ripping around town with the other moto folk splitting lanes in rush hour traffic between taxis and buses until I saw a familiar road.

I spent 57,500 pesos (33.05) on gas, food and lodging today.

Hasta Mañana,
Juan Santander
johnthomasdowns.blogspot.com
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JDowns screwed with this post 02-12-2013 at 10:24 PM
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #1667
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Nice full circle. You should try eating the big butt ants this time. Hormigas culonas. Nice adventure Juan Santander
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:47 PM   #1668
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John, I've just started reading this report (not sure how I missed it till now...) and am loving every moment of your adventure. I'm only on page 20 right now, but it looks like you're still going strong, which excites me. I hope my small donation will keep you on the road a bit longer, sharing your great energy with everyone you meet. It's reports like yours that keep me satisfied until I take off for SA in 2014. Ride on, brother.

Regards,

Jason
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:45 AM   #1669
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Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Originally Posted by jkdwings View Post
John, I've just started reading this report (not sure how I missed it till now...) and am loving every moment of your adventure. I'm only on page 20 right now, but it looks like you're still going strong, which excites me. I hope my small donation will keep you on the road a bit longer, sharing your great energy with everyone you meet. It's reports like yours that keep me satisfied until I take off for SA in 2014. Ride on, brother.

Regards,

Jason
Hi Jason,

Glad to have you along for the ride. Thanks for your generosity. I will keep reporting back and keep you entertained for a while longer. And 2014 is only a year away. You're going to have a blast amigo,

Muchas gracias,
Juanito
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:14 AM   #1670
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Great story, John. I plan my trips for a month, but usually shorten them to 3 weeks. call it home sick. I really admire you guys that can go for extended trips indefinitely.

Dielectric grease is the new buzz word since Computers became popular. Any kind of grease works to protect connectors, and it doesn't pass any significant electricity. Save the dialectric stuff for micro-mini voltages of 'puter circuits of your vehicles. Your Sherpa probably doesn't have any.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi Dracula,

Some dielectric grease would probably do the trick. In the meantime, I'll just pull over in a covered area and let the rainstorms pass. I'm having a lot of fun coasting or pushing the bike into places and meeting nice folks, so it might be a feature instead of a bug.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #1671
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[QUOTE=JDowns; I noticed that the bag of hardboiled eggs I put in had turned into a bag of yellow and white powdered eggs with tiny bits of shell mixed in. That's how rough this road is. My thinking was that the worst that could happen is that they would be pre-cracked for easy peeling. HAH! Once again, failed logic on the roads less traveled:

[/QUOTE]

I'm a minimalist as well, John. One trip out in SW texas I boiled up a batch of hardboiled eggs.

I have a coil of wire that goes into a 1 qt thermos container. It draws 10amp and will boil my eggs in a half hour. I figured this could be a good thing and an even better thing if I could eat them while riding.

I got my first egg out and thought that I could bite thru the egg and shell. Just bite it in half, then I could kinda gnaw/scoop out the egg from the shell.

It wasn't working so well, and I was getting a lot of shell. After a while I just ate the egg shell and all. It really wasn't too bad, and I got my daily calcium supply as well. I did scrap the eating eggs while riding plan though.

From moto trailer
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:45 AM   #1672
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Great story, John. I plan my trips for a month, but usually shorten them to 3 weeks. call it home sick. I really admire you guys that can go for extended trips indefinitely.

Dielectric grease is the new buzz word since Computers became popular. Any kind of grease works to protect connectors, and it doesn't pass any significant electricity. Save the dialectric stuff for micro-mini voltages of 'puter circuits of your vehicles. Your Sherpa probably doesn't have any.
Silicone grease is great (low dielectric and high melting point) and should be relatively easy to find. There are several labels for it including sil-glyde and brake caliper grease, just check the fine print :-)
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:00 AM   #1673
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
I'm a minimalist as well, John. One trip out in SW texas I boiled up a batch of hardboiled eggs.

I have a coil of wire that goes into a 1 qt thermos container. It draws 10amp and will boil my eggs in a half hour. I figured this could be a good thing and an even better thing if I could eat them while riding.

I got my first egg out and thought that I could bite thru the egg and shell. Just bite it in half, then I could kinda gnaw/scoop out the egg from the shell.

It wasn't working so well, and I was getting a lot of shell. After a while I just ate the egg shell and all. It really wasn't too bad, and I got my daily calcium supply as well. I did scrap the eating eggs while riding plan though.

From moto trailer
Yo Pete!!
I didn't recognize you until I saw the Sabre :-) Now I remember your story/pics boiling those eggs :-) Time flies!
Still rockin' the helmet and her jacket from RatFab. :-) I have a Works shock I'm hoping to slap on my Sabre.
Glad to see you on here as I haven't frequented the list often. Don't you just love John's adventure and report style? Hope all's well - take care, "geo-dad" (George)

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #1674
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John:

just checking in, as I do every morning. Sometimes I imagine I am on your handlebars and leaning with you through the twisties . Thank goodness for your photos . . .

and all of us appreciate being able to follow along wishing we were there

bob
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:29 AM   #1675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Great story, John. I plan my trips for a month, but usually shorten them to 3 weeks. call it home sick. I really admire you guys that can go for extended trips indefinitely.

Dielectric grease is the new buzz word since Computers became popular. Any kind of grease works to protect connectors, and it doesn't pass any significant electricity. Save the dialectric stuff for micro-mini voltages of 'puter circuits of your vehicles. Your Sherpa probably doesn't have any.
True about Di-lectric grease. (I should have mentioned that earlier) No big deal, I use Vasoline on connectors, works fine ... very light application.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:48 AM   #1676
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True about Di-lectric grease. (I should have mentioned that earlier) No big deal, I use Vasoline on connectors, works fine ... very light application.
Check chief,

¿Donde esta la vaselina Señora? No, no. Señora. Es para mi moto. Honesto!

Juan Caliente
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #1677
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Originally Posted by bESS View Post
John:

just checking in, as I do every morning. Sometimes I imagine I am on your handlebars and leaning with you through the twisties . Thank goodness for your photos . . .

and all of us appreciate being able to follow along wishing we were there

bob
Hi Bob,

Glad you are still following along. I'll keep the photos coming. Nothing like a ride report to help the winter months glide by in the north country.

Saludos,
Juan Periodista
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #1678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Check chief,

¿Donde esta la vaselina Señora? No, no. Señora. Es para mi moto. Honesto!

Juan Caliente
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:12 AM   #1679
JDowns OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
I'm a minimalist as well, John. One trip out in SW texas I boiled up a batch of hardboiled eggs.

I have a coil of wire that goes into a 1 qt thermos container. It draws 10amp and will boil my eggs in a half hour. I figured this could be a good thing and an even better thing if I could eat them while riding.

I got my first egg out and thought that I could bite thru the egg and shell. Just bite it in half, then I could kinda gnaw/scoop out the egg from the shell.

It wasn't working so well, and I was getting a lot of shell. After a while I just ate the egg shell and all. It really wasn't too bad, and I got my daily calcium supply as well. I did scrap the eating eggs while riding plan though.
Hi Ratman,

I admire your ingenuity. You have better hard boiled stories than I do. Now that I'm riding a ratbike I'm going to start thinking like the Ratman.

I never even thought of eating that bag of powdered eggs and shells. I wasted a lot of good protein and calcium when I tossed it.

Glad to have you along amigo.

Saludos,
Juan Raton
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:22 AM   #1680
Dracula
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Quote:
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I never even thought of eating that bag of powdered eggs and shells. I wasted a lot of good protein and calcium when I tossed it.
Hormidas on the other hand is supposed to be a great aphrodisiac..
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