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Old 03-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #1996
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Ever been to Ron's Small Engine and Auto in Atkinson? That's my uncle

-Kurt
Hi Kurt,

I know Ron's. I haven't actually been there, but called him up to see about some riding mower parts for the John Deere. I'll have to drop by and say hi. It's only 30 miles east of where I live.

Best,
Nebraska John
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:08 PM   #1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Go to El Cocuy N.P while you're still in Colombia (if the weather is nice)... it is a very nice area, specially the dirt roads heading from the towns of Guican to El Cocuy where you can get pretty close to the glaciers.
Hi Silviu,

Cocuy National Park is on the list. It was raining cats and dogs up there when I passed by a few weeks ago. Really beautiful area. Give me a chance to break out my long johns and down jacket.

Gracias amigo,
Juanito
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #1998
SS in Vzla.
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Originally Posted by ONandOFF View Post
Now, there's a way to promote prosperity among constituents! Stop work...

Let's suffer because the leader who thought he was making things better for us has died.

Reminds me of the old line "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"
AND... March 31 is top date in which to pay our annual taxes....
They force people to close down their stores, wanna bet they don't give any tax extensions?
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:18 PM   #1999
SS in Vzla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post

I think I fixed the Sherpa. I hope it rains so I can test my spark plug cap repair. The seams in my riding pants are coming apart so I'm spending this evening sewing up my pantalones.

Saludos,
Juan Medellin
Ask Trululu about a seamstress (costurera) they will probably do a more permanent fix and they are cheap.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:58 PM   #2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Been staying at the Shamrock the last couple of days:
Tell Al I said Hi, and tell em I said to give you a fickng discount! Pet Missy and Rocky as well. Man I love that place.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:08 AM   #2001
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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
I hope it rains ...

You don't hear that to often on a RR
Enjoy Colombia , I miss it :freak
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #2002
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I hope it rains...

That pretty much explains jd
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
I think I fixed the Sherpa. I hope it rains so I can test my spark plug cap repair.
Juanito,

Loving every line of this still.

If this little plug fix works, fill us in on what the fix was. I may just do the same as a preemptive to the up and coming "winter" months.

Keep it coming!

Cheers
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:54 PM   #2004
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It's not so hard to simulate rain, and the benefit of doing so is that the bike can be tested under conditions when not relying on it to keep moving. However, a potential drawback is that it could cost an opportunity to rely on the kindness of strangers.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:30 PM   #2005
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Having breakfast with Trululu and John at Río Claro. John is in his way to guatape now.
You all are welcome to Medellín.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:00 PM   #2006
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Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Been off line for a while riding up in the mountains. trululu96 dropped by with his Mom and Dad on Saturday morning at 8. He was riding his XRR and his Mom and Dad were two up on a GS12. If you ever get a chance to ride with spirited safe Colombian riders in the mountains, take it.

I didn't have time to take pictures until we stopped for gas. I was too busy shifting up and down and leaning into the corners. Here is Daniel, his father Pedro and mother Diana. What a great family! :



We stopped here:



to eat breakfast:



Got stopped at a police roadblock for checking papers:



Only the second time this month. The rest of the time they have waved me through. I think it was because of the big BMW, but I could be wrong.

Daniel's bike started cutting out and running rough. I was behind him and it seemed like tight exhaust valves to me the way it was running. We limped into the next town and dropped off the XRR in a parqueadero and Diana offered to take the bus to the park on the Rio Claro where we were going which was only another 100 kilometers or so. Daniel rode with his Dad two up on the GS12 and I followed the rest of the way. This is the bike I was following:



Keeping up with a GS12 meant I was flogging the poor Kawazuki Sherpa ratbike the whole way. What a fun ride! Nothing but curves the whole way up and down over the mountains. Finally got to the park:



and checked in to a cabin. It is a private park/ ecological reserve. We hiked up the trail through the jungle. There are steep limestone cliffs on either side of the river. Kind of hard to photograph:



Up the trail there was a high dive platform. Looking down at the people in inner tubes floating down the river it is kind of hard to tell how high it is. It was like jumping off the roof of a three story house into a swimming pool:



Here are the people on the platform working up their courage to jump:



Here is Eva from Chicago asking people to count down from five:



5,4,3,2,1… Geronimo!!! It takes a few seconds to hit the water. One second:



Daniel, two seconds:



Oscar, three seconds:



Sploosh!!!! Yeehaw!!!:



It was a rush! There were a dozen other people at the park from the software company in Medellin where Daniel's Dad works. We all went on a hike up over the mountain and down through limestone caves. It was really fun. I didn't bring my camera since it's not waterproof. I wore my flame shorts from Mexico, a tee shirt and motorcycle boots. As luck would have it there were some size 10 tennis shoes in the lost and found that fit me. In South America that is the equivalent to finding unicorn blood for a KTM. I still looked like a goofy gringo hiking through the jungle.

After a couple hours of hiking up and down steep trails of jungle roots and rock crevices we got to the cave entrance and descended into the abyss. There were some rare owl like birds living inside that made eerie haunting echoing sounds. Other worldly as we dropped down into an underground river. The next 40 minutes were in the dark. I didn't have a flashlight so relied on the reflections of others to make my way down. At several points you had to jump off ledges a couple meters into pools. In the center was a massive cathedral like cavern with stalagtites and stalagmites. Everyone turned off their lights and we sat and rested for a while in the total darkness.

Continuing on, the water got deeper and we were swimming in narrow channels, climbing over ledges and jumping into dark pools. Really fun. Finally saw light at the end of the cave and more eerie owls were making their clicking and hooting sounds near the exit. The cave exit was up the canyon wall a few meters and involved climbing down a rope net down the waterfall and jumping into the rushing river. There was a rope across the river to grab onto and pull yourself across to the other side. Then it was time to hike down the trail back to the main lodge and eat some dinner. Here is the caving crew:



Kind of blurry since everyone was busy eating dinner. All in all a great day!
My thanks to trululu96 and family for a wonderful adventure packed day. Later we walked back down to the cabins. There was a big swimming pool and I enjoyed swimming and watching Colombians drink aguardiente, talk about movies, food and the day's adventures. I understand maybe half of what they are saying. But Daniel speaks excellent English and fills me in. He and his Dad Pedro are going around the world on bikes the summer after next. Daniel is only 16 years old. What a great family and life he has! He and his Dad are heading out to Cabo de la Vela with dirt bikes in two weeks. Should be fun. Maybe I'll catch up to them if I'm in the area. Who knows?

more later……
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedrogomezrios View Post
Having breakfast with Trululu and John at Río Claro. John is in his way to guatape now.
You all are welcome to Medellín.
Hola Don Pedrogomezrios,

Really fun riding with you and Diana. What a great weekend! Hope Dani made it home okay.

Muchas gracias por todo,
Juan Guatape
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:52 PM   #2008
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Got up this morning and gathered around the pool. Here is part of the Medellin crew:



Really tranquil place at the Rio Claro Reserva. Here are some shots of the hotel grounds:





It's located on the Rio Claro:



We walked up for the complimentary breakfast at the main lodge:



and signed up to go rafting this morning:



I didn't take my camera once again. I need a waterproof camera. Really fun floating down the Rio Claro. Stopped a couple times for some rope swings. The river cut through a towering canyon with tall limestone cliffs. There were massive stalagtites hanging down 40 feet that were ten feet in diameter pointing straight down at you if you looked up. At one bend we stopped where the river had undercut the limestone cliffs to create a giant cavern a hundred feet deep and 40 feet tall. Pretty impressive. After making it through the rapids we loaded up the boats and jumped into a covered flatbed and took the steep winding gravel road up over the mountains and back to the lodge for an included lunch. Quite a fun day.

By 3:30 PM it was time to head out. Daniel met some friends who gave him a ride back to his XRR. So I bid him farewell and walked back to the cabins with his Mom and Dad. Here are the bikes waiting to be loaded up for the ride north:



Pedro had to take one last run on the water slide:



Here is Oscar at the bottom:



I took off, but it wasn't long before Pedro and Diana caught up to me. Rode with them until the turnoff to Guatape and La Piedra de El Piñol. I waved goodbye and cutoff through the hills. Here is the first glimpse of the giant monolith in the distance:



and a little closer as I entered the city of Guatape at the base of the rock:



and here is my bed at the Guatape Hostel:



Where I'm spending the night. Nice place. An Argentinian chef Alejandro is cooking up dinner for everyone tonight and breakfast tomorrow.

I'm heading up the hundreds of steps to the top of the rock mañana. Should be good exercise. I hiked up steep hills and down through caves yesterday, so I am ready for some stair climbing.

I'll report back tomorrow. Might stay another day here. This hostel is really nice and quite cheap at 20,000 pesos ($11.11).

I spent around 125,000 pesos ($69.45) over the weekend on gas, caving, rafting and accommodation.

Hasta mañana,
Juan Stairmaster
johnthomasdowns.blogspot.com
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #2009
Dracula
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Hi John,

I love the updates, and am enthused about what you describe and that you are enjoying so much being there. Dreaming about the time when I will do my own, maybe not too far in the future.
Gotta learn Spanish which shouldn't be hard for me, as a romance language speaker I already have the feel for it. Knowing myself I would just pick it up on the fly by it's sound as I did living in Italy a while back.

Best,
Vic
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:43 AM   #2010
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Hi John,

I love the updates, and am enthused about what you describe and that you are enjoying so much being there. Dreaming about the time when I will do my own, maybe not too far in the future.
Gotta learn Spanish which shouldn't be hard for me, as a romance language speaker I already have the feel for it. Knowing myself I would just pick it up on the fly by it's sound as I did living in Italy a while back.

Best,
Vic
Hi Vic,

The more Spanish you know, the more in depth conversations you can have with the locals. If you already picked up some Italian you may have an easier time with Spanish. Although I know some French from high school and it can actually be a little confusing conversing with French speaking people in Latin America. I tend to combine Romance Languages.

Buenas dias, je suis muy encantada de vous voir mon amigo de Montreal.

Ciao,
Juan Linguafranca
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