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Old 12-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #361
Ulyses OP
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Originally Posted by aviatorbdm View Post
Wait a minute, I thought Marines liked boat rides?
I agree with Brown Falcon on this one. Here's why they put Marines on boats: they get so sick and angry of being cooped up on a ship that they will literally charge onto the beach with only bayonets and willingly kill thousands of the enemy rather than being forced to stay onboard.

I never had the pleasure of being forced to go on a booze cruise with the navy (a MEU as it's called). And thank god I didn't! If I hadn't been sent to Afghanistan and got all of that combat pay, seperations pay, hardship pay, and the whole tax free thing, I wouldn't have made enough money to afford this damn trip! They almost sent our battalion on a MEU for my first deployment, but then they wised up. Why would you take a battalion from a desert hell hole like 29 Palms and send them to Singapore to get drunk on shore leave when you could put them in a different desert hell hole (Helmand), therby making them so furious that they will literally kill Taliban with their bare hands? True story. One of our Marines ripped a machine gun out of the hands of a Talib and used it to cave his skull in. Buttstroked his grape until it exploded like a melon. They gave him the Navy Cross for it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #362
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Yeah, Colombia's "road food" is not like in Mexico. The food you will find next to the road is generally not very good at least there is a long line of truck in front.
Man, thanks for the heads up! I lived off taco stands all the way through Mexico. It's better than the resteraunts. From here on out I'll stick to places that have signs.

What's the best Colombian food?
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by mathews42 View Post
......... Isabelas beard is pretty much the same....
Hahaha! I'll tell her you said that!

They kept asking me when you were going to sell your stuff and ride down here with Sonia.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post

Also, if I did it again, I would have brought the little wrist strap. I think it's defiently better to have it on your person than mounted on your bike. When Ed Zachtamundo got hit, I found him in the grass a good 50 feet from his bike (and his SPOT which was mounted on his handlebars). I don't think I would want to crawl that far back to my bike to hit the SOS with my femur sticking out of my leg....
I'll second that. I would have had the little wristband holder sewn onto my jacket a la Radioman.

You're making good progress, man! Glad to see it's going so well for you!
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:20 PM   #365
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Yeah, Colombia's "road food" is not like in Mexico. The food you will find next to the road is generally not very good

Over the months I spent in Colombia that was not my experience at all. I've had some of the best asado in South America at Colombian roadside food stands, especially in Los Llanos. Not all of them are good of course, but man there are some real good ones, I mean like "holy crap this is the best asado I've had" good.
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crashmaster screwed with this post 12-20-2012 at 05:26 PM
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:28 PM   #366
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Hmmmm......well, it has a little green light that blinks a lot, so I guess it works....

Really though, it works okay. The tracking feature works like a charm. The "I'm okay button" usually works, but you have to have a really clear view to the sky and anywhere from 2-10 minutes for that thing to get through.

It's defenetly worth it though. Something is better than nothing. It let's me check in with my family and keeps them from panicking when they don't here from me. And it's a great way to track your progress. Just get a spotwalla account.

Also, if I did it again, I would have brought the little wrist strap. I think it's defiently better to have it on your person than mounted on your bike. When Ed Zachtamundo got hit, I found him in the grass a good 50 feet from his bike (and his SPOT which was mounted on his handlebars). I don't think I would want to crawl that far back to my bike to hit the SOS with my femur sticking out of my leg....
Thank you for getting back to me. Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #368
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Rough Road to Medellin

Day 66
Sincelejo, Colombia to Medellin, Colombia
Day's ride: 298 Miles



Woke up late. Didn't really feel like getting out of bed. That damn boat ride really put the hurt on me. I finally pulled it together and got out of town around 10:30 PM. I rode about ten miles and then pulled into a gas station for my first oil check of the day. And was immediately swarmed by a mob of Colombians!



Before I even took my helmet off they were asking me questions: How fast does your bike go? How big is the engine? What model is it? Can you do wheelies? Etc, Etc, Etc. They really, really, really love bikes down here, especially if it's bigger than 250cc. I really felt like a rock star going through Central America, but Colombians take it to a whole new level. After answering the same questions over and over for about 10 minutes, I finally distracted them by asking for a group photo.

As I was talking with my new fan club, a band struck up behind me. Wow, I thought, I'm so popular now that they are going to give me fanfares every time I stop for a piss break! My head almost exploded.



There really was a band playing in the parking lot of a service station. I guess that was their practice venue. They were pretty good; played some Latin flavored stuff which had people dancing in the street (true story). After I escaped the fan club I talked to them for a while. When I was ready to go, they played me out! What a great experience! I did a big wheelie for everyone as I came back out onto the road. And nearly ran down a pedestrian.

The first half of the day was pretty uneventful. Saw some signs of American/Colombian solidarity:



Saw lots of roadside stands near river crossings selling some big ass fish:



And took advantage of the moto lane at all of the toll booths:





Around noon I stopped for lunch at a grocery store. I was immediately swarmed again by a hoard of Colombians asking about my bike. Hmmmm....this might start to get annoying after a bit......



They were cool. All of the Colombians I've met so far speak really fast and I'm having a hard time understanding them. I eventually escaped and went inside for food. When I sat down, I looked out and saw this:



Man, I'm going to be popular down here. I'm going to have to keep a close eye on my bike. I may come out someday and find the Colombians setting it up as an idol or something, right up there with their golden calf. What do they do when they see a KTM 990? Have a heart attack?

After my experience with the street meat yesterday, I played it safe: chicken lasagna, chicken tamale, and red bull (sugar free). It was quite tasty.



For some reason I can never get enough food down here. I'm always starving. So I took the opportunity to load up at lunch, even though the cashier lady gave me a funny look when I ordered two entrées. Apparently Latin Americans don't overindulge like their North American brethren.

After lunch I saw a big bike and had to pull over for a picture:



Holy BMW's batman! I played tag with this bike for the rest of the day. I think it passed me about 3 times; that 1200 totally leaves my little overladen 650 in the dust, especially at altitude.

About 100 miles out of Medellin the road crossed a pretty big river:



And immediately began to climb......and climb.....and climb. The road was horrible! It reminded me of Guatemala, except for maybe a little worse. Large sections of road missing, bike eating potholes, huge gradation changes in the asphalt; I hardly even bothered trying to take pictures. The road conditions, combined with the absolutely crazy drivers had me on edge the entire time! I had about 10 minor heart attacks when I came around corners and found semi's passing semi's in my lane. I had to bail into the shoulder every time!

I eventually stopped and got a picture of the valley that I was climbing up out of:



Here's one of the nicer sections of road:



It was crazy. Plus it climbed from about 200 feet about sea level, to over 9,000 feet! What a trip. It was defiantly nice to get back up in the mountains. I'm so tired of sweating my balls off at sea level. My riding gear smells absolutely wretched. I wouldn't be surprised to see it get up one morning and leave the room under its own power....

As the road was begging to drop down again out of the mountains, I spotted some familiar faces at an overlook:



Kevin and Katerine, the couple on the matching XS 650's who sailed on the Independence with me! They had a two day lead on me out of Cartagena, but I had already managed to catch them up! We talked for a while and I told them they would probably pass me as i was planning on crashing in Medellin for a few days. And then I saw that R1200GS pass me again and I was forced to go chase it down.

He may have been faster, but he wasn't willing to pass traffic on the right, in the dirt. You've got to be committed if you want to win!

Caught up with the GS again just outside of Medellin. A lot of the houses here seem to be made of brick. It was really quite pretty coming into the outskirts.



As I got into the center of Medellin, I began to appreciate just how many motos there are here. They are everywhere! When you get into stalled traffic, even the white lines are stalled with bikes.



After taking a few wrong turns I finally made it to the Shamrock:



Crashmaster was right; this place is pretty damn cool! I'm hoping I can escape before I get sucked in for a month....

Lot's of riding today. I'm taking the day off to hunt for tires, a pressure suit, and a ratchet strap. I may get my valves adjusted too.

Cheers!
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by Tgpatrsn View Post
This has been a great adventure to read. How has your Spot GPS been working? I have read a lot of good and bad things about them.
It works really well. I get like 6 emails, text messages, and facebook notifications every day........"Hey it's Bryce. Just checking in. Doing okay." Or some load of crap like that.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:37 PM   #370
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and red bull (sugar free)

Man up!
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If you're in my area on a ride and need a place to crash, a hot meal, or some beer let me know. 913 260 7873
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by Tgpatrsn View Post
This has been a great adventure to read. How has your Spot GPS been working? I have read a lot of good and bad things about them.
Our spots have worked pretty well until we got to about Patagonia. Now, it seldom sends a signal through, the satellite is just to low on the horizon and everything blocks the signal. Here in Ushuaia, you are better off with smoke signals! :-)
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Over the months I spent in Colombia that was not my experience at all. I've had some of the best asado in South America at Colombian roadside food stands, especially in Los Llanos. Not all of them are good of course, but man there are some real good ones, I mean like "holy crap this is the best asado I've had" good.
Hmmmm.....maybe I'll have to keep trying. Now if I could just find a decent IPA.....
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:32 PM   #373
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Our spots have worked pretty well until we got to about Patagonia. Now, it seldom sends a signal through, the satellite is just to low on the horizon and everything blocks the signal. Here in Ushuaia, you are better off with smoke signals! :-)
Yeah, I heard that from someone else too. It makes sense though. I was wondering about that when i looked at their coverage map.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:44 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Day 66
Sincelejo, Colombia to Medellin, Colombia
Day's ride: 298 Miles

...

The first half of the day was pretty uneventful. Saw some signs of American/Colombian solidarity:



---
Get used to the smell of diesel, it doesn't really change until you get to Chile! Those big rigs are not very well regulated. :-)

I very much recommend spending some time in Manizales, Colombia. For a nice little ride into Manizales from Medellin, take the road that goes through La Cabana. We stayed in the EcoHotel in Manizales, which was nice, but had we known better we would have probably stayed in the Venecia Hostel and Coffee Farm located about 10 or so kilometers southwest of Manizales. If you want to experience the city, it may not be the best place, the road in is a little rough and it takes a while to get back to the city, but it would have been good enough for us, just to hang and relax for a few days.

I also recommend avoiding Cali but stopping at Popayan (pronouced Papa John, just like the pizza :-)). The locals call it the Blanco Cuidad because all the buildings in the centro area are white. But, see if you can find a good hotel / hostel in the city. We stayed in the Hostel Camino Real, right on the plaza. It was nice but rather expensive. We would have stayed longer in Popayan, but we had to beat feet to get to Quito to take advantage of a Galapagos tour that suddenly came open.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #375
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Hmmmm.....maybe I'll have to keep trying. Now if I could just find a decent IPA.....
Or find an IPA at all! Good luck with that. We fnally found an IPA from Beagle brewery here in Ushuaia, but to give you an idea of how good it is, everyone pronounces it Ipa (eepa) not IPA ... hahaha. Not very hoppy for an IPA, but better than most SA brews. If you get to Abancay, Peru, see if you can find an "Anpay" beer. It's not bad, but very local.
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