3.5 months to Machu Picchu - Or where ever the ride takes me

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AK Smitty, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
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    I just read through your report while sitting in my hotel in Bogota waiting to ship my bike north. We met at the Colombia/Ecuador border and chatted for a while. I'm on the 950 Super Enduro. I thought about trying to start my report while on the trip but the internet connections have been spotty and I've been riding most of each day so I decided to write it up when I get home. Kudos to you for getting much of it done on the road. Great report.
  2. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Somewhere in South America
    PM sent. Wim and his buddy Pete are awesome!!


  3. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    Work is a 4 letter word but a means to an end. I am damn lucky to be where I am in life at my age.

    The blog is a battle but I know in the end it is for me and family so that keeps me going. I am just shy of a week behind now but I keep a journal to keep it all as real and accurate as possible. I am also not a real stickler about proof reading or punctuation as I am sure you have noticed. It is for me to remember the highlights and others to get some information. I am not writing a book here.

    Thanks for following along and the positive words. I am already scheming my next adventure!

    To ride or not; if a person doesnt go to AK in their life they are missing some of the most amazing nature to be seen in the world. It is a very special place!

    I do have a mac book pro and it is holding up like a champ after 2 crashes. If money were no object I would get a mac book air. Once this hard drive takes a crap in mine pro I will be replacing with a solid state.

    I do have a 3l Tourtech jerry can(mounted on non-exhuast passenger foot peg) which is enough to get me out of a jam but fuel has not been an issue. I am not sure yet what I would get rid of but something. I am like a girl with a eating disorder that looks in the mirror and always sees a fat person; every time I look at my bike I just see too much stuff. No matter how much stuff i get rid of I always see myself as a fat girl. From seeing others I am on the middle to light end but it is still too much!!! Smaller tank bag comes to mind. I hate my current one. Smaller back pack for day hikes.

    Just point it south and make a list of places you don't want to miss. Planning in my opinion is a complete waste of time b/c the plan changes daily. You gotta be dynamic or you will miss more than you see!

    Thanks again for following. No plan for from Florida yet. Maybe visit my sister in VA. Its all up to US Customs!!!:huh

  4. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
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    See previous reply. And i will restate it is a battle at times but know in the end the real time will all be worth it and it wont get done otherwise.

    Great talking to you at the border.

    Who are you shipping with? An how much is you dont mind me asking? PM info or post here your call.

    I will be PMing you in the future. Thinking about an SE in the future!!! The F800 is awesome but I like the hooligan attitude of the SE

  5. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

    Joined:
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    AK

    Great Stuff.

    When are U heading to FLA?

    Remember Daytona 200 is 3/16.

    I know what you mean about adventures changing, but U have the correct perspective, just roll with it baby:clap

    Keep em on 2 wheels & Stay Safe

    Rhino
  6. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    We're shipping with Lyn Cargo who I recommend highly. GREAT service. Was just there yesterday. Veronica said another motorcyclist was coming in to ship and we thought it might be you. My shipping to Miami was like $880. My bike flies out this morning and I fly out tomorrow. Henry is shipping to Mexico City and flies out this Saturday. If it is you coming in to Lyn Shipping, we left a hotel recommendation for you. Its close to the airport and Lyn Shipping, and has secure parking.

    The SE is a GREAT bike and is sooooo much fun!!!!:clap:clap:clap But I do stupid things on it and it spanks me every once in awhile. I've struggled with the hooligan urges on this trip and have been mostly successful at containing them. It was nice to finish the trip with no visits to a South American emergency room.:D
  7. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    So after parting ways with Mihai I made the push to Riobamba. I was hoping for Banos but hit Riobamba with about an hour of daylight left. I made the right call and stayed in Riobamba.

    Somewhere around Riobamba

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384057679&k=8MFN4kD&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-8MFN4kD/0/L/IMG_5828-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Got up and got a move on in the am and went to Banos.

    I thought that it would be just over an hour but due to rain, getting lost and a rock slide that made the road impassable until it was cleared by heavy equipment it took me about 3.5 hours to get to Banos.

    Had a little bit of good dirt and fun turns. I really was enjoying the ride but I was concerned about the harsh threatening mountain weather.

    Riobamba to Banos
    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384058075&k=QZ8XMzT&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-QZ8XMzT/0/L/IMG_5830-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Not quite ideal visibility but still a cool ride

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384058345&k=S8qXSnT&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-S8qXSnT/0/L/IMG_5832-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Trying to show the size of the area. There is a moto in that pic

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384058989&k=27zRC7K&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-27zRC7K/0/L/IMG_5837-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I intentionally over-exposed this pic a little. This is damn near what it was actually like as far a visibility.

    Very cool place that the river bottle necked creating a cool canyon.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384061238&k=FvxcFNV&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-FvxcFNV/0/L/IMG_5839-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384064116&k=RCzFfRL&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-RCzFfRL/0/L/IMG_5852-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384064414&k=MK8qwk3&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-MK8qwk3/0/L/IMG_5849-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Somewhere in the woods south of Banos

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384062636&k=prscQLL&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-prscQLL/0/L/IMG_5846-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I had lunch in Banos and the weather really started to turn. I think Banos would be a really cool place to hang out not in the pouring rain. Lots of cool hking and ATVs to rent.

    So after a hot meal on with the rain gear and into the really nasty weather. Instead of going up the PanAm which I really try to avoid I took the road that went east of the mountains. I also thought the weather would be better. I was wrong! Very!!

    My plan was to push to Baez. The rain had been beating me up all afternoon so I thought Baez would be a good compromise to Otavalo. All along the road there were pretty nice hosterias so of course there would be a couple near Baez!

    Nope! A couple of hours of brutal rain and i reached my goal to find no hotels! Or any other type of accommodations. OK hmmmm I will head toward Quito 200k away and find something.

    As I climb the mountains to Quito the temperature drops...a lot! I am now soaked all the way through my gear and the temp drops to 38F. The rain has almost stopped but I am cold to the core. I have all my gear on and still worrying about hypothermia. Having trouble feeling the hands even in winter gloves.

    No option but to keep pushing. Luckily after about an hour the temp really starts to climb and I can start to feel my left foot again. I didn't really see any worth while accommodations until Cumbaya. Its very close to Quito so what the hell. At least I know where there are lots of good accommodations in Quito.

    I get to Quito just before 7. My GPS starts sending me in circles and since it is dark I cant really use the landmarks I know. I try to flag down a cab to do the follow a cab trick and none will stop because they are confused that I have a moto. A lady stops and tells me they wont stop b/c my bike wont fit in the cab...no shit. After explaining 7-15 times I am just trying to get a cab to follow she finally gets it. She knows where I want to and says follow her. She goes about a mile and stops. Asks how much I am going to pay her. I say 5 bucks and she says she will just give me directions. I have explained to her that I have been on the bike for 12 hours and I am cold and exhausted. I will follow a cab. She says no no follow me. Goes another mile and stops again to ask me more questions and gives me directions. She stops in the middle of the road and I just drive off on her. No patience left and I have now confirmed this lady is whack.

    Finally I explain to a taxi driver my deal and he says no problem for 5 bucks its done. Finally over 2 hours after arriving to Quito I am at my hotel. Very tough day. My toughest since a day I had in Guatemala. All part of the journey...right?:eek1

    I decide to spend 2 nights in Quito. I need some rest and to dry out. All my gear is soaked and I could pour water out of my boots. As I am in bed at 1 and dozing off to a movie I hear the buzzer for the front door of the hotel constantly buzzing. Off and on for 45 min. I get up and see what is going on. The front door guy is wasted and passed out not hearing the buzzer. I let the guest in that had a room there. The icing on the cake to just a total kick in stomach day.

    I am not going say today I was all positive attitude and remember you are living a dream during all this. I was pissed, cold, very tired and wet! But I did wake up the next day and laugh it off over coffee breakfast and blue skies that Quito was nice enough to treat me to!!

    A little walking around Quito today hope to cross back into Colombia tomorrow.
  8. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
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    414
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    It is me. I had planned to be in Bogota late today or early tomorrow from Popayan. I am now trapped in Popayan due to some protest from coffee workers. They have blocked all the roads. I tried to go today and talked to a bunch of truckers that said dont bother. They had been sitting there for 3 days.

    I will try again tomorrow. the rumor is this is the last day of the protest. I really need to be at Lyncargo on fri b/c I have a flight Sunday. Shit is getting a little stressful for me. If I dont make it through tomorrow who knows what my next move will be.

    I think it will be all good tomorrow. All details coming in one of my next posts

  9. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    I am suppose to fly on Sunday and moto fly the day before. All up in the air due to this BS protest and blocked roads.

    I will be back in AK before the 16. Work soon, jury duty etc.. real life is hitting me hard at home while I am stuck in Popayan due to coffee protest.

    Its really crazy the two worlds that I am trying coordinate right now. Sooooooo different! I will get to Florida eventually!

  10. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    I walked around Quito and enjoyed the nice sunny skies which I did not have my first pass through. I realized that I saw what I could in a day the first time around and just kind of had a lazy day. I went to the Gondola since it was blue skies and would be a great view of the city. Lonely Planet said it was $4 in 2009 or 2010. It is now 850. I didn't go up. For me a total waste of money. You get good views of the city on the way in. I am also a retired ski bum and have been on a lot of cool trams and gondolas so to go up one just for pic is not worth the money to me at all. It is also very clear that this whole gondola thing is a total failed venture. There are run down and abandon gift shops and the area leading up to it is just not well kept. My 2 cents if you are in Quito save your time and money.

    Pics from the bottom of the gondola

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384064899&k=XprQwqF&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-XprQwqF/0/L/IMG_5855-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    The gondola

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384065342&k=3Rrr3sJ&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-3Rrr3sJ/0/L/IMG_5857-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Then off to one of the bigger parks in Quito. It was very cool! Lots of activity b/c it was a weekend. Nice to see people taking advantage of the park. They had a very nice BMX track and skateboard park as well.

    Future X game athletes

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384066128&k=h9T4DDc&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-h9T4DDc/0/L/IMG_5860-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384066419&k=rRw3NQ6&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-rRw3NQ6/0/L/IMG_5861-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384067111&k=SHV4gx4&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-SHV4gx4/0/L/IMG_5866-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384067633&k=Lt4k3jK&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-Lt4k3jK/0/L/IMG_5865-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384068074&k=5562F9V&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-5562F9V/0/L/IMG_5867-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384068531&k=hbx4RkK&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-hbx4RkK/0/L/IMG_5868-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Going to head north tomorrow. How far will depend on how the border crossing goes.
  11. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    On the road about 830 and shooting for a big day.

    The border crossing was a breeze and I had it all done in about an hour.

    Back in Colombia

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384069195&k=FFKWLQh&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-FFKWLQh/0/L/IMG_5870-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384071359&k=Bm5HgJQ&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-Bm5HgJQ/0/L/IMG_5872-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384071991&k=xFHFn3b&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-xFHFn3b/0/L/IMG_5878-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Off and on rain but really clear skies compared to my ride to Quito. I was making pretty good time and thought about pushing all the way to Popayan.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384071707&k=gT6W37P&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-gT6W37P/0/L/IMG_5875-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    As I was siting on the side of the road in Pasto at 4 PM trying to make my decision on weather to go for Quito or not a guy pulls up next to me. This is the second time today I stopped on the side of the road to mess with the GPS and the second time a Colombian has just randomly stopped and asked me if I need help or directions. Pretty damn cool I think.

    So the guy in Pasto is Wilmar. He is on a small moto and offers for me to follow him to the PanAm North. I explain to him that I am not really lost and just trying to decide weather to stay in Pasto or not. I said I noticed the stadium had a lot of activity as I drove by, and asked if there was a soccer game tonight. He says yes at 530 and pulls his ticket out of his pocket.

    Then tells me he has a friend that runs a nice cheap hotel and calls him right on the spot. I decide to stay and Wilmar leads the way to the hotel. Once I get there I find out that my room isnt ready but Wimar's best friend says I can shower and store my things in his room until after the game. Wilmar then offers to go buy me a ticket to the game while I shower and he will be back to get me in 30 min!:clap How cool is that? Totally going out of his way for a total stranger and I finally get to see a soccer game!

    These are the times you have to go with your gut! 20 min after meeting this guy I have dumped all my worldly possessions in his friends room and am off to a soccer game in a strange city with this guy! I had a good feeling about him. They only mistake I made was I under estimated his generosity. He is truly one the good ones in the world.

    One a side note after traveling solo again for about 4 days I have noticed a change. More people approaching me and offering to help. More conversations and interactions. When the Quebs and I were traveling together we met lots of people but it is for sure a different experience being solo. Not saying one is better or that I would trade my time with the Quebs. It is just different. Mihai and Pawel for sure made my time on the road better. Lots of laughs and great riding. Super fun guys to travel with and they even put up with my total lack of patience. Thanks guys. I really believe I will see them both in the future and probably do another ride someday. I hope. But once again solo the trip is not the group you are in moving along together but now all about interacting with strangers b/c it is you all on your own.

    Right now I cant say that I prefer one or the other. I think that Mihai and Pawel were the right 2 people to run into. Other people I met on the road I could tell right away it would not last a day had we ridden together. That being said I think it is a choice people need to figure out for themselves. I like to travel with the right people but due to my antsy nature and lack of patience I dont see myself waiting on someone to do a trip. If I have the time and the plan I am going to go. People are welcome but I will not delay an adventure to wait on someone. The end result of that is far to often the trip not happening at all!

    Enough babble where was I? Oh right, here!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385456441&k=cxGBknJ&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-cxGBknJ/0/L/IMG_0731-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

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    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385457215&k=cW4mVWf&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-cW4mVWf/0/L/IMG_0732-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I only had my phone b/c I didn't think taking my nice camera to the game was a good idea. We had a blast! Wilmar and I met his son and little brother at the game. Wilmar is just a good dude with great values that loves soccer and his town of Pasto.

    Thanks again so much Wilmar. You took a town that I thought I would just pass through and made it a truly special experience of my trip.

    After the one goal of the game. Pasto beat Barranquil 1-0. There were a lot of scoring chances, yellow cards and jumping out of my seat. Just truly an amazing time!!!!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385458077&k=k7LZRw9&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-k7LZRw9/0/L/IMG_0733-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Not a great pic but any event with riot police and armored vehicle outside of it I need to check out!!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385458714&k=FnMF4Gm&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-FnMF4Gm/0/L/IMG_0736-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Dinner after the game.

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    The boys both had lots of questions for me. Especially about bears! I told them they only like to eat cafe skin people so I am safe. So much fun and so many laughs. Thanks again to all of you!!

    Saying good bye with some pics of the boys on the moto.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385459651&k=TZTV2zP&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-TZTV2zP/0/L/IMG_0740-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2385460080&k=VctsWsX&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-VctsWsX/0/L/IMG_0742-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    One last word on the kind of people that you can meet traveling. Wilmar and I have traded emails with the help of google translate. I said thanks and how special it was for me to really feel like a friend or even family.

    The gist if his reply is that family is characterized by nice people and where you are in the world. He wanted me to feel like family b/c if he was in AK he would hope to find the same.

    He is practicing what he believes and what a great outlook. I love the sense of family value and passion for meeting new people in South America.
  12. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    A short ride from Pasto to Popayan. I wanted to head east from Popayan through the dessert and to Neiva. I have heard different opinions of the road so I thought it would be better to get on it in the morning. As I was riding just south of Popayan near Tibio I came to several people in the road. Protesting and make shifts road blocks.

    I thought I would just talk to them and pass on through. No dice. i talked to guy who was pretty reasonable but not happy. He told me coffee workers were striking for 3 days. Hmmm ok. I guess I will think of another plan. As I start to formulate said plan a guy comes up to me and tells me there is a way around. Awesome. He hops on his small moto and takes me through some dirt roads. I think the protestors knew what was going on but turned a blind eye. The guy wished me luck and I thanked him profusely. Wooo hooo on the other side and on my way to Popayan.

    As i walked around Popayan that night I saw a TV in a hair salon and there was a moto on fire something about coffee farmer protest and Neiva. Hmmm this could cause a change in plans.

    I got a hold of Ximena the doctor in Popayan that we met on our way south that said if we needed anything to get a hold of her. I asked her about this protest and she made some calls. The road to Cali was for sure blocked and but the one to Neiva was suppose to be open. I got lost trying to find the right road and started thinking about what I had heard about the protests. I was skeptical that the road to Neiva was open. I knew the road block for Cali was close to Popayan so i thought I would at least go take a look. Here is what I saw as i go close.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387743656&k=6mqTzVn&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-6mqTzVn/0/L/IMG_5900-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Also noticed very few vehicles heading south and no big trucks at all. As i got a couple of kilometers south of the road block I stopped and talked to some truckers.

    Some of the guys

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387743757&k=kt9kSGW&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-kt9kSGW/0/L/IMG_5901-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    They told me not to bother going to Neiva. The road was blocked. A couple of the guys were even form there and said it would be wasted effort. I thought about it and what was the point in getting a couple hundred kilos from Popayan and possible not having a place to stay or dealing with a bad situation. Back to Popayan it is. Some of the protesters and truck drivers said that the protest should be over tomorrow. Another day is making me cut it close for the scheduled time to ship my bike but nothing I can do.

    Hiked up to the 3 crosses in Popayan and these kids were on a mini field trip/PE class. Lots of question about AK and bears.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384072786&k=VdRZRGQ&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-VdRZRGQ/0/L/IMG_5898-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Climbing some trees to pick these little sour fruits. Even the teacher was climbing the trees.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2384073330&k=M4zpKPP&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-M4zpKPP/0/L/IMG_5897-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Found this article on line after online after the first day I got turned around North of Popayan.

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/...ombia/130226/colombian-coffee-growers-protest


    Not time now to ride through Neiva. I need to go through Cali to make my shipping date and fight to FLA.
  13. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    Yesterday I actually had a lot of fun with the truckers and laughed a lot. They were all really nice guys. I did my best to communicate. I asked one of them if he could call Ximena when the road open and she could email me. He said no problem.

    Thanks Luis. The next day I get up pack and ride out to the truckers again. It is probably a lost cause but have an unrealistic amount of optimism that I will be able to sweet talk my way through the protest. I stop and say hi to the truckers and tell them I am going to look.

    I roll up on the road block and talk to a guy with a stick. He has several other friends with sticks. There was a pile of burned tires in the road and several trees across the road. One guy is pretty much an asshole. We talk as good as we can an I tell him I understand his problem. But now I have a problem. I cant get home to see my family and go to work to live and support my family. Some of the other guys really seemed to get it but the one that did the most talking said so. He didn't care.

    Then another dude comes up very nicely and says I have a nail in my tire. Yep there is a big nail hanging out of my tire. I ask the leader guy if that is from them. He said yes. I tell him I think that it is bullshit. I didn't try to pass any of their road blocks and now I have a nail in my tire. He says he doesn't care. I refrain from telling to f@*% off and he can tell that. The approach attitude and protest of these guys is bullshit in my opinion.

    Not sure if it is true but there is a story that an ambulance tried to get through and the protesters said no. The lady in the ambulance allegedly died.

    I understand these farmers are at their wits end. They are already dirt poor and losing money. They want to provide for their family and I get all that. However when people directly or indirectly cause the loss of life it does not motivate the other side to help and negotiate. I am fearful this will escalate and end badly. The protest that was suppose to be only 3 days and is now in the 5th. The president has already basically said tuff shit there is no more money to give. So now what? Who bends? Right now nobody and police are gearing up to go in.

    I drive off with the nail in my tire. Go back to my trucker buddies and tell them what I saw. Then they all watch me plug my tire. I had a pretty big audience. All they guys were pretty impressed and thought my plug work was pretty slick. Glad I nailed the plug on the first try. I have never had tubeless tires before and it was my first plug! Tubeless tires are AWESOME!

    The plug

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387747586&k=SsW8v5k&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-SsW8v5k/0/L/IMG_0757-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    My audience and new friends. There is an F800 in there somewhere.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387744369&k=B4ctjCd&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-B4ctjCd/0/L/IMG_5904-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    These poor guys have been on the side of the road for 3 nights and sleeping in their trucks. They are losing money as well.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387745015&k=qrcHnbd&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-qrcHnbd/0/L/IMG_5905-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    You can see the cops in the back right of the photo. After the pic I said no polica in photo por favor. All the truckers busted up laughing!! I then told the cops I was just joking and they loved it. Here they are still laughing.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387744854&k=DBRc3Rj&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-DBRc3Rj/0/L/IMG_5907-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    This guys was Luis's co-worker and a riot. A little crazy but a total riot. He kept giving me bananas or plantains. Whatever the are, they are just like bananas.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387745754&k=jkF9fHj&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-jkF9fHj/0/L/IMG_5911-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>


    This is Luis. Another new friend. He said he would call Ximena when the road opens. Great guy looking tough on the moto.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387746938&k=VMP3L3f&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-VMP3L3f/0/L/IMG_5915-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I also talked to the Police while hanging out with the truckers and asked why they don't go in and remove the protestors. They said that there are to many protestors. I have now seen another article that said police are gearing up to go in. I don't think that this is going to stop soon or end well. I hope that I am wrong but the farmers are very angry and not willing to bend. The government claims it has nothing left to give. Where is the middle ground in all that? There were talks last night between farmer's reps and the government and I have heard of no change or results.

    In the meantime I am getting to know Popayan. I went out to dinner with Ximena her brother and niece last night. We had a lot of fun and it was a great dinner. Having good friends here helps to pass the time. There are far worse places to be stuck in the world.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387747172&k=TgjLPqZ&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-TgjLPqZ/0/L/IMG_0756-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    At this point I have missed one appointment to ship the moto and canceled my flight to Miami. It is an experience for sure! It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. I figure my losses due to the protest at this point are just under $200. Not a huge deal and it is more the time than the money causing me stress. I had cut my trip short in hopes of going to visit my brother, sister and their kids. All that becomes much less likely with each day lost.

    Small potatoes compared to possibly losing your livelihood but still important to me. I am still waiting in Popayan at this point.

    Is this the adventure in adventure riding? haha:lol3
  14. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    Juan Valdez is now out of Torta de Chocolate (chocolate cake) and the state that Popayan is in has ceased ALL alcohol sales!!!:cry

    Its a slooooowwwwww painful death!! I hope I survive.

    Working on a long shot now of getting me and my bike on a military herc that is bringing in supplies. It is a real long shot but a guy at the airport said there is a chance.

    Also working on paperwork to keep my moto in country for 6 months and I can just take off and deal with down the road.


    A day around Popayan again! Taking in the sights of the plaza.

    Just like a town in US, right?
    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389380615&k=5T5JLmk&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-5T5JLmk/0/L/IMG_5917-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Cool old camera

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389380714&k=N4LV34R&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-N4LV34R/0/L/IMG_5920-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389381517&k=7qHgGwG&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-7qHgGwG/0/L/IMG_5924-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    These kids were having so much fun! Was great to see these kids totally having a blast outside and running around.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389381909&k=mfKSLwq&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-mfKSLwq/0/L/IMG_5927-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Guy at work seeing pigeon food

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389382103&k=c8Gj7S6&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-c8Gj7S6/0/L/IMG_5926-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2389382713&k=mWTjS85&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-mWTjS85/0/L/IMG_5930-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Hearing more rumors of this thing ending. I will keep my fingers crossed!:pope

    I like Popayan a lot but starting to get pretty stir crazy and feel like a prisoner
  15. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Hey A K just caught up with your ride report. Good stuff. Look forward to seeing how my fellow colombians treat you on your way out. Nice if you could leave the bike, work some more and come back to do some more riding. Let me know if you need anything in Medellin in case you end up there again. Best wishes
  16. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    I think a free C-130 ride from Popayan to Cali courtsey of the Colombian military is pretty damn good treatment!!!:clap

    Trying to raise the bar on the "Adventure" part of Adventure Riding! :rofl

    Colombia is one AWESOME place!!

    Picks and post soon. Weak internet tonight so...I will try but no promises.


  17. AK Smitty

    AK Smitty Self life coach

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Somewhere in South America
    Late afternoon March 2 I hear the protest is over!! I am pretty damn excited about that. I get all packed and I mean all but my tooth brush and I am hitting the road at 7 am. Bogota is between 11 and 13 hours and I am determine to do most or all of it in a day to get the bike ready to ship on Monday.

    I get back to my hotel room and consider purchasing a new flight to Miami and something just doenst feel right. I have the news on and really start paying attention and typing words on the screen into google translate. I was reading what I thought I was reading. The protests have ended/ decreased in certain areas.

    Shortly after that I get a text from Ximena saying she talked to Luis(the trucker) and he is till sitting in the same spot. Damn it. :baldy It is a little after midnight and I am tired so I crash. I might have cried myself to sleep. I sleep about 4 hours and then just toss and turn. There has to be a way!

    I get up an dont really accomplish anything except goofing off on the computer. Joined facebook. Already want to cancel my account after a day. And before I run out for breakfast I decide to check Tango app one more time. I need wifi to make it work. There are several messages from Ximena saying that Manuel (Airport Fireman) called and there is a C-130 there he thinks I can get on. No Way!

    I am out the door to the airport in about 20 min. I get there a little after 10 and it takes some doing to find Manuel or anyone that remotely knows my story from when I went to the airport a couple of days earlier.

    There is a plane there but lots of people getting on it. So they tell me not this one but the next.

    Plane 1

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391314254&k=phc8Rd7&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-phc8Rd7/0/L/IMG_5935-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    I am thinking yeah right, this can't be happening! Manuel escorts me and my bike to the tarmac side of the airport and now I am thinking this could really happen!

    On the secured side...one step closer

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391315334&k=qPLrzth&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-qPLrzth/0/L/IMG_5936-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Military C-130 (plane 2)

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391318388&k=sZjJXQG&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-sZjJXQG/0/L/IMG_5937-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391319066&k=3Jp7JMd&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-3Jp7JMd/0/L/IMG_5939-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Mind you this was not my idea and I am really just going with the flow. The deal is that several C-130s have already come in. People that have needed to get out have as well as any medical situations are handled. So now these C-130s are leaving empty or with just a few people on them.

    All the military guys and firefighters are very interested in my story. Most guys thought it was awesome and then there are always a few that are; "why". No matter how you explain it the still dont get why. They are the minority for sure.

    Some of the military guys:
    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391319754&k=dpKJ2tV&lb=1&s=A" title="DCIM\100GOPRO"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-dpKJ2tV/0/L/GOPR0538-L.jpg" title="DCIM\100GOPRO" alt="DCIM\100GOPRO"></a>

    Where I spent most of my day. I talked to German. Another fire fighter that is learning english. A very interseting dude and very fun to talk to. He gave me a firefighter patch. Very cool. I thought I had a pic of him but I guess not.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391320016&k=35XKcw3&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-35XKcw3/0/L/IMG_5943-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>


    I end up hanging out most of the day and the good saint of Popayan (Ximena) shows up a little later. Thank god b/c I was totally out of Spanish. Once she showed up things started happening! Guy comes to search my bike. They were all taking this so serious that at first he just acted like a dog sniffing my bike. After the jokes they did actually go through most bags.

    Where I spent the rest of my day. There is Ximena with that cool stylish vest. I think by the time I left they had offered her a job at the airport! :D She knows how to get things done! I also took the pic right as she was finishing a big yawn! Your welcome for the action shot Ximena!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391320411&k=cFrLfWh&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-cFrLfWh/0/L/IMG_5945-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I had asked her brother if there were any jobs open at the family printing business b/c if I wasnt gone by Monday I was ready to start work.

    One the printing biz products and a gift to me. Yearly planner

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2387747691&k=cKntPRF&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-cKntPRF/0/L/IMG_0758-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    I went through and wrote ride moto on everyday of the year!:evil

    Unloading the plane and general airport activity during a minor crisis.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391322173&k=GGSLr7R&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-GGSLr7R/0/L/IMG_5950-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391323221&k=2gBgTmD&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-2gBgTmD/0/L/IMG_5951-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391323489&k=mp3fKdV&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-mp3fKdV/0/L/IMG_5952-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391324928&k=qQpFjrG&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-qQpFjrG/0/L/IMG_5955-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    The man!! And boy do I mean it. Manuel just made things happen and it was all no big deal!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391322509&k=GpkgTKT&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-GpkgTKT/0/L/IMG_5949-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Had it not been for Ximena and Manuel this never would have happen. 2 people that just give without even thinking. Helping is just their nature. Either of them alone make a lasting impact on a person and then the two of them together just made me truly humble. Without even knowing they inspire others to be better people. This is not overstating it for me at all. To see how it is truly there nature to give and help is amazing.

    There is no way to thank Ximena enough. She was a full time translator and gringo liaison. She was always making calls to the police and road information number to find out what was happening. Thank you just seems like it is not enough.

    As for Manuel the guy was literally running around the airport trying to make it all happen. He is a goofy funny guy that is generous to his core. His ability to make things happen and have a great time doing was great to see in action. Thank you Manuel.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391331092&k=CLBfNtN&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-CLBfNtN/0/L/IMG_0759-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Holy shit...I think this is really going to happen...look how close my bike is to the plane!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391323207&k=53q6NS2&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-53q6NS2/0/L/IMG_5954-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    There was one lady that did not like the idea at all! She was a woman of some authority too, so she made me a little nervous that she was going to kink the whole deal. She asked me what the US consulate said when I talked to them and I just had a dumb look on my face. Never once did I consider myself to be in a state of emergency, hence the idea of calling the US consulate never crossed my mind at all. The whole idea of putting my bike on a C-130 to Cali was hatched by people at the airport. It was all not a big deal to them. Their thought process was if there are empty C-130s leaving why wouldn't you put the moto on it? Manuel just said keep moving forward and it will be done before she even knows what happen. OK! I am just along for the ride.

    Look at this!
    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391325425&k=ZJtMgJS&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-ZJtMgJS/0/L/IMG_5957-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    The military dudes loved it. Even the pilots thought it was cool to put a sweet moto on their plane. It was happening now! Everyone wass just having too much fun with it!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391326035&k=PRSvbwz&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-PRSvbwz/0/L/IMG_5958-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    A wave bye to the Saint/Angel of Popayan! Thanks again Ximena. I think logistics in crisis situations is your true calling!!!

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391326666&k=FkMqqkS&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-FkMqqkS/0/L/IMG_5960-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Moto on and strapped down

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391329210&k=JkcZXzC&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-JkcZXzC/0/L/IMG_5966-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Cant have too many pics of your bike on a Colombian C-130

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391331337&k=3rk4fMR&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-3rk4fMR/0/L/IMG_5969-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    30 min later

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391332450&k=Dh45PSS&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-Dh45PSS/0/L/IMG_5973-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    I am now in Armenia. 4-6 hours from Bogota depending on who you talk to.

    A day for the ages for sure. One hell of a bday present to go from being trapped with no beer to free C-130 ride and lots of new friends. I kept the birthday thing quiet until the end. It kind of came up and then it was smiles all around. People loved that we were all pulling this off on my birthday.

    :choppa

    The rumor is no more protest from here to Bogota or at least peaceful ones. I went through one just north of Palmira today and it was very cilil. Traffic passing by and guys with banners stating their cause.

    Here am now just reflecting on the day and I think now really taking it all in.

    <a href="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/28031330_5ZG9rM#!i=2391332703&k=VDqcNMk&lb=1&s=A" title=""><img src="http://akjts.smugmug.com/Other/Ecuador-and-Colombia/i-VDqcNMk/0/L/IMG_0762-L.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    Someone recently asked me if I was ready to go back to work? I hope they are following this RR. Would you be ready/want to go back to work? I mean this stuff will never happen again!!

    Great times!! How can a person not want more of this?!?!?!
  18. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Guzzi Guzzi

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    554
    Location:
    Grover Beach, Ca
    Great Stuff!
  19. denardjr

    denardjr n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3
    Awsome ride/adventure. Sounds like you met some really great people and thats what I found to be the most inspiring part of your posts. Columbia looks fantastic. Still chillin here at the Bay (currently -27F /-54F WIND CHILL). Loking forward to having a couple beers with AK Smitty...the next rounds on me.
  20. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,573
    Location:
    Eastern Pa
    HOLY SHYTE AK

    Thats is Fcuking AWESOME:clap:clap:clap

    U truly are blessed that the Colombians totally hooked u up.

    Go party like a rock star for pulling that off.:freaky:freaky

    Now I know why I want to ride there. Great People & the women:evil