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Old 02-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #1696
Throttlemeister
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You sound like me driving until midnight in Colombia You see the sign for the Volcan on your way? If you go certain days you can go for free and even camp out there have the whole place to yourself or someone you might bring along

Plenty of stuff to do in Cartagena and if you stay long enough you can see the Castillo for free on the last Sunday of the month, amazing old fort and worth seeing for free.

JP is a good kid be sure and tell him I sent you, me and him go back a few years Just ask him, but not about a certain shock He can help you find nearly anything you need in town as he knows the place well, I used him as my translator right before I was heading up to Cuba, we went all over Cartagena gathering up stuff.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:16 AM   #1697
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What a journey, what a great report. You should bottle patience and sell it to other travellers. It would double their enjoyment.

Those little Renaults were around in the '60's & '70's in Europe, called the Renault 4. Engine was a 4 cylinder water cooled initially of about 750cc. The gearbox was in front of the engine and the change was via a lever through the dashboard, over the top of the engine and down to the box. Empty they weighed about the same as a loaded full dress Harley, 650Kgs, 1430 lbs.

Cornering was interesting, even on the skinny 135 section radials of the day you knew when you were going fast enough as the door handles scraped the ground. Well, it felt that way. Loooonnnng travel torsion bar suspension and soft shock absorbers. Brilliant little cars apart form the propensity to rust.



Sorry for the hijack, fond memories
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #1698
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I had a few R4's too. Really spongy for running cart tracks in France. Renaults answer to the Citroen.

Thanks John for continuing the report it's just so interesting and informative
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:09 AM   #1699
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Wow. Didn't see that one coming. Here I paste the contents of the email Dad sent me:

"Para no tener que inscribirme y respetar un sinnumero de reglas, cuando puedas dile a Juan que estamos siguiendo sus aventuras y admiramos, no solo su osadia sino su excelente y fino humor. Como siempre, abrazos."

Maybe the next leg will be Medellín again and that would be loop #2

Cartagena is an awesome place to forget about the bike for a day or two and take pics in the old town. I recommend the fruit smoothies from the street vendors. For something exotic ask for jugo de zapote. I'd stay away from borojó unless you get some company
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
You sound like me driving until midnight in Colombia You see the sign for the Volcan on your way? If you go certain days you can go for free and even camp out there have the whole place to yourself or someone you might bring along

Plenty of stuff to do in Cartagena and if you stay long enough you can see the Castillo for free on the last Sunday of the month, amazing old fort and worth seeing for free.

JP is a good kid be sure and tell him I sent you, me and him go back a few years Just ask him, but not about a certain shock He can help you find nearly anything you need in town as he knows the place well, I used him as my translator right before I was heading up to Cuba, we went all over Cartagena gathering up stuff.
I rode around the fort on the way in. That place is HUGE. Definitely have to check it out. And yes, I passed the Volcan mud place. It's only maybe 30K out of town so I'll check to see when the free day is and head over there. Nice to know you can camp up there. Thanks for all the tips amigo. Really appreciate it.

It was fun meeting Jean Pierre last night. He covered his face and said, " I threw out his fucking spring" when I mentioned I had been recommended to come from my amigo John from Oklahoma. So he still feels bad about tossing your shock.

I was still wired from riding all day and through the night so sat up and talked with JP until his shift ended at 5AM. He is a really good kid. I see what you mean. Good person to hang out with since he speaks English and corrects my Spanish and I correct his English. Sort of like having a Spanish teacher.

He got really stoned smoking some buds a friend dropped off while I was updating the ride report. He said the fucking gringos are raising the price of pot in Cartagena. He showed me the handful of buds that cost him 10 bucks. Seemed cheap to me. But what do I know? I don't buy pot. Of course, people like me are part of the problem with raising the cost of living for the locals here.

Muchas gracias por todo,
Juan Señor
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:34 AM   #1701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packer View Post
What a journey, what a great report. You should bottle patience and sell it to other travellers. It would double their enjoyment.

Those little Renaults were around in the '60's & '70's in Europe, called the Renault 4. Engine was a 4 cylinder water cooled initially of about 750cc. The gearbox was in front of the engine and the change was via a lever through the dashboard, over the top of the engine and down to the box. Empty they weighed about the same as a loaded full dress Harley, 650Kgs, 1430 lbs.

Cornering was interesting, even on the skinny 135 section radials of the day you knew when you were going fast enough as the door handles scraped the ground. Well, it felt that way. Loooonnnng travel torsion bar suspension and soft shock absorbers. Brilliant little cars apart form the propensity to rust.



Sorry for the hijack, fond memories
Hi Packer,

Hijack away. Renault 4's must be bulletproof little cars. I see a ton of them on the mountain roads. They have rather high clearance for a small car. And yes, they corner like a baby buggy gone wild. The first time I was following one for a while in the bumpy hairpins I couldn't believe the guy could keep it on the road. It was like it had 4 wheel independent suspension with all four struts blown. But he was whipping that thing as it bounced this way and that over the rough sections. I think it helps that Colombians are good dancers. It definitely looked like fun doing the Renault 4 salsa Colombiana.

Long torsion bars and soft shocks. It makes sense now. Thanks for the historic Renault4 info amigo. Much appreciated.

Saludos,
Juan Salsa Sherpiana
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #1702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trespalacios View Post
Wow. Didn't see that one coming. Here I paste the content of the email Dad sent me:

" Para no tener que inscribirme y respetar un sinnumero de reglas,cuando puedas dile a Juan que estamos siguiendo sus aventuras y admiramos, no solo su osadia sino su excelente y fino humor. Como siempre,abrazos."

Maybe the next leg will be Medellín again and the would be loop #2

Cartagena is an awesome place to forget about the bike for a day ir two and take pics in the old town. I recommend the fruit smoothies from the street vendors. For something exotic ask for jugo de zapote. I'd stay away from borojó unless you get some company
Hola Ricardo,

Thanks for forwarding your Dad's message. Glad he's following along in lurk mode. I think I'll head back to Medellin in a few days or so before heading over to Venezuela. I miss the guys at the parqueadero. Plus the roads are pretty flat and boring in the coastal areas. I'll be ready for some more of that springlike Medellin weather after a few days of roasting down here on the coast. And I hear there is some fun mountain riding from Cartagena to Medellin.

I'm heading out to find some jugo de zapote. And I'll stay away from the big butt ants and jugo de borojó. I don't think you need aphrodisiacs in Colombia.

Saludos,
Juan Caliente
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JDowns screwed with this post 02-15-2013 at 11:57 AM
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:30 AM   #1703
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After a long days ride into the night yesterday, I spent today sleeping and hanging out in the Amber Hostal. Went out to find jugo de zapote. Found a juice bar and they asked if I wanted it con agua o leche (with water or milk). So I had one with milk. Sort of like a large milkshake blended up with ice. Really good. Forgot to take the camera out so no pictures. Sorry.

Went to the Supermercado and bought some food. "Exito" is the name of the local large supermarket. Prices are quite high for what I was buying. Avocados for over a buck each. Small packet of gouda cheese for 4 bucks. I spent 37000 pesos ($21.26) on a bag of groceries and headed back to the hostel.

Like Casco Viejo in Panama City, the prices are inflated in these areas on the gringo trail. But Cartagena is nice and there is a reason so many tourists come to visit. And after all, I am just a tourist.

A dorm bed here is 20,000 pesos ($11.49). Pleasant place to hang out. I spent 69,500 pesos ($39.94) today without really trying.

Saludos,
Juan de la Pista Gringo
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:22 AM   #1704
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Nice report

Nice report you are sharing!
If I may, one of the roads I like the most here in Colombia is the one from Santa Marta, north to Riohacha. The coastal twisty roads are something else, and the sea on your side is the perfect companion. Further north you could reach the Cabo de la Vela, where sand dunes melt on the sea and little cabañas with hammocks await for unforgettable nights with clear skies. (most of the time :P)
We did that the opposite way long time ago, entered venezuela thru cucuta and then back home on paraguachón. If I were you I would enter vzla from Paraguachon, travel around and then come back from there to colombia over cucuta if the situation in venezuela allows it.
If you come thru Bogota sometime, I will give away my bicycle odometer to you for the cause. ;)
Glad you are having a good time here, have a RON at havana cafe 2 blocks away from amber's.
Best of luck, safe travels.
Esteban.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:04 AM   #1705
trespalacios
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There's hope for Taganga

...should you decide to follow estebansos' advice



Quote:
Originally Posted by estebansos View Post
Nice report you are sharing!
If I may, one of the roads I like the most here in Colombia is the one from Santa Marta, north to Riohacha. The coastal twisty roads are something else, and the sea on your side is the perfect companion. Further north you could reach the Cabo de la Vela, where sand dunes melt on the sea and little cabañas with hammocks await for unforgettable nights with clear skies. (most of the time :P)
We did that the opposite way long time ago, entered venezuela thru cucuta and then back home on paraguachón. If I were you I would enter vzla from Paraguachon, travel around and then come back from there to colombia over cucuta if the situation in venezuela allows it.
If you come thru Bogota sometime, I will give away my bicycle odometer to you for the cause. ;)
Glad you are having a good time here, have a RON at havana cafe 2 blocks away from amber's.
Best of luck, safe travels.
Esteban.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #1706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estebansos View Post
Nice report you are sharing!
If I may, one of the roads I like the most here in Colombia is the one from Santa Marta, north to Riohacha. The coastal twisty roads are something else, and the sea on your side is the perfect companion. Further north you could reach the Cabo de la Vela, where sand dunes melt on the sea and little cabañas with hammocks await for unforgettable nights with clear skies. (most of the time :P)
We did that the opposite way long time ago, entered venezuela thru cucuta and then back home on paraguachón. If I were you I would enter vzla from Paraguachon, travel around and then come back from there to colombia over cucuta if the situation in venezuela allows it.
If you come thru Bogota sometime, I will give away my bicycle odometer to you for the cause. ;)
Glad you are having a good time here, have a RON at havana cafe 2 blocks away from amber's.
Best of luck, safe travels.
Esteban.
Hola Esteban,

Excellent advice! As trespalacios says, that route sounds nice. It is raining in Medellin this week according to the weather forecast, so I think your idea of heading to Riohacha and up to Cabo de la Vela sounds fun. First I have to head to the lodo at the Volcan down the road. And I will look up Paraguachon to see where that is. Sounds good to me.

Oh and I have to go to Taganga as trespalacios and SS in Vzla have suggested. I appreciate all the excellent ideas.

I have to make it to Bogota now to thank you personally. But I don't really need the bicycle odometer. I have adapted to no speedo/odo.

Muchas gracias amigo,
Juanito
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:59 PM   #1707
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Still in Cartegena. It's 90º and 100% humidity. Wearing black jeans and a black Tee shirt makes for a sauna like experience walking around town. Some people pay big bucks to go to the spa and hang out in the sauna. It costs me nothing.

Walked along the top of the seawall and hopped over the cannon turrets:



and the small arms turrets spaced every 100 meters or so:



Nice stonework. Mostly original in the less touristy areas:



The seawalls have been repaired in sections that have been blown out by time and cannonfire, but there is a lot of original work. The Spaniards put a lot of work into the this port. Miles and miles of 8 ft. thick seawalls with ramparts. Pretty impressive. It is 100 times more work than I saw in Portobello, Panama.

An occasional historic cannon on the seawall:



I had to go check out the main fort:



Lots of hidden passageways leading down into the interior:



Nice restoration up on the top with plenty of cannons:





I especially liked this brass cannon:



with etched engravings:



It cost 9 bucks so I checked out all the catacombs and passageways down these stairwells:



Pretty cool down there. with nice breezes blowing through to cool down the sweating gringo:



I walked down the main promenade. Beautiful woman walking in front of me:



And some guys playing some kind of dice game:



Hard to get a good picture because they were all crowding around and whooping and whistling. It was fun to watch. They wanted me to join in, but I begged off saying I was just an estupido gringo with no skills.

Here are the moto taxi boys waiting to take the locals somewhere for cheaper than the cheap mini Hyundai mini taxis:



Bought a mango:



and sat down next to this bonita mujere who was searching for her cellphone:



Not sure what is on offer here. Something fried. They were selling like crazy:



Went to the Exito store to buy some more food. Here is the produce section:





more selection and cheaper prices than the street. Well at least for gringos that is.

Hanging out is a lifestyle down here. No problem spending all day down here watching the world go by:



more later…..
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #1708
Dracula
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Hi John,

Still looking forward to reading and enjoying every update. Cartagena fort is really impressive. I see those old walls and think of how many generations lived and passed by them. If the stones can only speak am sure they are, to you.
Wondering how without odometer will you know when to service the Sherpa, I guess by now you know by the sound of the engine.
Couldn't resist and went for a few hours ride in Long Island today it was 35 F and snowing some places, must have been the only motorcycle on the road, it felt really good.

Best,
Vic
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:39 PM   #1709
jkam
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Bout time you started including the beautiful women on your epic journey.
I know, you want to be a gentleman and not intrude, maybe even a little shy like me.
Keep up the good job Juanito, this estupido gringo appreciates the effort.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #1710
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Hi John,

Still looking forward to reading and enjoying every update. Cartagena fort is really impressive. I see those old walls and think of how many generations lived and passed by them. If the stones can only speak am sure they are, to you.
Wondering how without odometer will you know when to service the Sherpa, I guess by now you know by the sound of the engine.
Couldn't resist and went for a few hours ride in Long Island today it was 35 F and snowing some places, must have been the only motorcycle on the road, it felt really good.

Best,
Vic
Hi Vic,

Nice you're getting some riding in!. As far as servicing the Sherpa, the only thing I do is change the oil. Well okay, I changed the forks but that was out of necessity. When it feels like I've gone 3000 miles I'll change the oil again.

Saludos,
Juan Aceite
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