Deaf Rider's solo journey exploring Americas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WhicheverAnyWayCan, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Hello John! Didn't seem long ago when we exchanged PM and you advised me to take something smaller like a thumper and well there you go I am on single cylinder BMW. ha!

    Yes I made it to the colorful river in Colombia on the road that was once infested with guerrilla and I think you were a year early to try taking the road. It probably would have been safer in 2016? I went although I was advised not to because it is still considered conflicted zone. Also, I enjoyed the death road but unfortunately it got me. I'll post report about them shortly.
    bobw and Throttlemeister like this.
  2. RoaringTodd

    RoaringTodd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Great to see you back. Picture of Claudia?
  3. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I made several changes to my moto for comfortable and for balance. I bought a Z-Technik windshield to improve the air flow and reduce fatigue. OEM windshield was not helpful for me. I bought Aerostitch tank panniers to put tools and spare parts in there taking some weights off the rear. Happy Trail sent me a replacement because the brace for top case was bent and they beef it up so I put it on there. Not too much work and I was ready to go. I brought two spare rear tires from USA but my TKC-70 is still in great shape although it was mounted in Oregon so I decided not to change the tire. I will leave one rear tire with Claudia and she will fly to Lima later bringing 2nd rear tire to me in Lima. I will mount TKC-80 in Lima for Bolivia-Argentina, and bring spare rear tire with me.

    The plan was to travel to Neiva and spend a night there then continue to San Vicente del Cagnun, which is supposedly to be last town before traveling through guerrilla infested area to La Macarena. La Macarena is the town you need to go to if you want to explore the Colorful River of Colombia.

    I left Medellin August 9th heading south to Neiva. (Stuff on floor I leave with my girlfriend)


    I passed by Pablo Escobar's old finca, Hacienda Napoles. Finca is what Colombian call their place to get away from the town for family time and/or for party time or just to rest. His house at the finca has been demolished and is gone. It is now a waterpark and zoo park. I think that entrance is the only thing remaining and I would not be surprised if they decide to demolish it someday. There is a decent big-ass entrance to the park behind this old entrance.


    Bike was making noise after 55MPH. I was not sure what the noise was and I was worried it might be transmission?? To be safe, I stayed between 50-55MPH all the way to Neiva. Got there at 4pm and checked into hotel room. The next day, I decided to work on my moto and it seems that the chain is the problem. When I took it out for a ride without all the load, the noise disappear but with all the load, it gets really bad. I decided that the best solution was to load up my moto and then get chain adjusted. These funny guys helped me adjust the chain with the load on and they refused my money.. it only took 5 minutes to get it done.


    The road from Neiva to Florencia is speculating and I enjoyed some scenes.



    Then you climb to cross the peak of the mountain to get to Florencia. As you climb up, it is mix of drizzle and rain with cold air.. some cloudy up there.


    When I got to Florencia, it is a run-down town. I don't have anything good to say about this town. I wonder if this town was a good place before FARC and guerrilla issue?? There are two military bases in the town. Air force and marine. I pressed on because it was around 12noon and felt I could get to San Vicente del Cagnun.

    I get to Marco Pollo Ferry, a small pueblo that ferry people and materials from here to the village that is not reachable by vehicle.



    Stopped by one of many military checkpoints. One military guy approached me and checked if I could take photo. After he gave my placa (plate), he said it was ok so I snapped a pic.


    As I progress north on Rt 65, a road between Florencia and San Vicente del Cagnun the road is really very rough. There are few good sections but most sections are bad. Lot of road construction and few new bridges are being built. I believe that with the peace talk of FARC being resolved, and them giving up control in the regional, Colombia see the Colorful River as opportunity for tourism business so they are improving the road to San Vicente del Cagnun. Some new buildings are being built on the road. Few abandoned buildings are being renovated including the abandoned waterpark.

    bobw likes this.
  4. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Gas station is plenty in these part but they do not have credit card machine so bring efectivo(cash)! I knew about this before I got to Neiva so I stocked up efectivo for this trip and for the tour guide to Cano Cristales, aka the Colorful River.


    It is really hot out here and very dry. I brought water in my camelback, but it doesn't stay in there long enough I would stop often to fill up camelback more than I fill up gas.

    One of many sections near San Vicente del Cagnun being improved.


    When I get to San Vicente del Cagnun, it is much worse than Florencia. I have not seen any police officer in sight. Actually it has been a while since I see one after leaving Florencia. I was a little worried. San Vicente del Cagnun also has a reputation for smuggling goods in and out of this town. I have not seen a good choice of hotel or restaurant, but using the iOverlander waypoints, someone with vehicle was in this town earlier in the year and added the hotel so that is where I went. Hotel was run by a family and it was not bad for this town. I paid 40.000COP. When I asked around about the road from here to La Macarena, respond was raising the eyebrows and says muy malo! So I asked the lady of the hotel if I could leave most of my stuff here and travel to La Macarena lighter. She said with pleasure and showed me where I could leave my stuff.

    Later, I walked down the street to eat at the restaurant and although it was not really open, they said they would cook me hot dogs right away so I decided to accept. After dinner, I saw this small moto shop and inquired about the oil. To my surprise it was dirty cheap and they said it would cost 2.000COP to change oil for me. Done deal!


    This fine young fella is a hard worker. He did not have the tool needed to fix on moto with cc bigger than 250cc so for him it was interesting and exciting to work on a 650cc moto. Of course, we had to use my tools (on floor) and we worked together on my moto. There was 5 people in the shop when we started. By the time we got done changing oil, oil filter, cleaning and lubricating chain, and putting it back together, there was over 60 people ooh-ahh at the bike. I was a little worried especially after my girlfriend reminded me that some of them may be relatives to FARC and/or guerrilla. I give this fella a thumb up for fine work he did helping me. I end up giving him 22.000, which was the change after 3 qt of oil was paid. He was a happy man!


    This is how light my moto was when I left the hotel for La Macarena.


    I fill up gas and left La Macarena. You ride through a single lane bridge and then the road become unpaved and you pass the last military checkpoint, and they were inspecting every vehicle that enter La Macarena with mirror and dogs, and checking documents. That would be last military checkpoint on the road. After about 10-12 miles, I would arrive to this toll booth that was started by the locals.


    She wanted me to pay 2.000 peaje, the cost for moto. I asked what it was for and she told me it is to improve the road ahead. I figured 2.000 was not bad so I paid and she let me pass.

    Well, I would find out why later on. Road actually get bad.

    Instead of concrete bridges, you cross wooden bridge supported by timbers

  5. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    For heavier vehicle, this is best option.


    Water was not that deep for most part..


    See many of this on side of the road.


    I saw the truck driver having lunch so I stopped and asked him. He said he bring milk to this place every day to refill and someone has the job to fill up milk carton and deliver it to the locals that live in the area.


    Lot of ditches on the road supported by plank of woods. Some are good but some has big gap you need to be careful driving through.. some planks are broken you need to weave around carefully.


    The only thing that I see about FARC or guerrilla is this sign but I think it is old sign and badly spelled??


    This water crossing was almost waist deep when I crossed it the first time but on return trip it was just above knee. (pic taken on returned trip)


    As I get closer to La Macarena, the road get muddy and a bit challenging but it is not impossible that anyone can do it. This road, although worse than Dalton Highway, is doable for anybody on any size of bike. I believe R1200GS can do this road with comfortable than my F650GS. When I got to the hotel in La Macarena, I was exhausted, hot, and my ass was sore despite having a comfortable saddle built by Russell's Day-Long. It took me 5 hours to travel on this road, but few days later, a brit told me he did it in 3 hours on a 250cc moto and I believed him because it would be easier on a smaller moto.

    When you see another military checkpoint about 15KM south of La Macarena, it is a relief.
    bobw and roadcapDen like this.
  6. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,064
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA
    You look the incredible hulk in that green outfit in the photos.Good luck on the trip.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  7. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Cano Cristales

    To visit the Cano Cristales, aka the Colorful River, you need to go to La Macarena because it is the only place that you can have access to Cano Cristales. You can get there by plane or by vehicle. In the past, people also took road there from Villavicencio but as of recently, I was informed that because the road is very difficult to get to La Macarena they are now requiring a special permit for you to travel or you will be denied so that is why I decided to travel from San Vicente del Cagnun.

    You need to have a tour guide to go to Cano Cristales. You can't just go there by yourself. You will not be allowed to use bug repellent or sunscreen(They are harmful to the plant). You can not bring plastic water bottle, but you need to buy a plastic bottle and pour water from the bottle into it (??? sound like money-making scheme but it was not expensive) Recommend to wear long sleeve shirt and hat (I didn't had them and I got burned bad on my face and arms). Tour guide is 280mil COP for 7 to 10 people or 450mil COP for private guide. Oh, best time to visit is between July and December when the river is low allowing plant to be exposed by sun making it colorful.

    La Macarena is a small town you could walk all around the town in 30 minutes or less. There are few authorized agents that you can buy a guide package and it includes boat ride, truck ride, guide, and lunch. After you pay, you need to attend the induction process by watching this video. Although in spanish, subtitled in english.


    Then you take the boat ride..


    And travel by truck


    Old guerrilla camp:


    Group photo- 5 Colombian, 1 Japanese, and 1 American with 3 Colombian military on patrol duty


    Hiking to Cano Cristales on hot day can take toll on you.. I bought two plastic bottles and fill it up with 1.5L water bottle and by the time I had my lunch, I was down to 1/4 of the second bottle.

    The 'Green Sea' they said:


    Don't worry, despite the heat, you get chance to swim few times when you are near the Cano Cristales and that helps.


    Although it is labeled the Colorful River, I see mostly red plant.. the other color is simply from sand and rocks..



    And we closed the day watching sunset from the boat on the river.


    My take on this: The peace talk with FARC that started year ago has made it possible to make the Colorful River become part of tourism business for Colombia. Right now, traveling there by road is difficult and many things are limited. Colombia government is not doing any road maintenance between San Vicente del Cagnun and La Macarena because they are focused on the road between Florencia and San Vicente, which is more than twice the size. I believe that once the road is finished, government will begin the process for road between San Vicente and La Macarena. In 5 to 10 years, everything will boom and there will be more choices.

    I see a rewarding business opportunity in La Macarena. A hostel for traveler, and the rental of hat and/or yeti bottle to keep water cold for long period of time (mine got warm before I had my lunch). :lol3
    bobw likes this.
  8. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    My temporary permit for moto expire on August 18th. I left Medellin for Cano Cristales on 9th and returned to San Vicente del Cagnun from La Macarena on the 14th so it leave me few days to get to Ipiales. 3-4 days seems plentiful for that route but I still wanted to play it safe and allow myself a day to explore the cathedral. At the time, I did not know I would take Trampolin del Diablo (Devil's Trampoline) road. Also known as Adios mi vida(bye-bye my life) or Trampolin de la muerta (Death's Trampoline).

    Through endless amount of mountain curves, the front brake of my moto overheated and seized 40km before Mocoa I was forced to take it off and ride with great careful from that point to Mocoa. Using iOverlander waypoints, one rider reported there was only hotel in town that had a secured parking lot so it was the first place I went to and checked in. 20.000COP a night. No WIFI although there is a claim but that is ok.


    Cable tie it to crash bar.


    It is not clear what happened. I was not sure if brake fluid was leaking or not. It was wet and hard to tell. It was too damn hot to touch and the fork was damn hot too! I took it to first motorcycle dealer, which is a 250cc dealer and they had service. A guy eagerly worked on it and fixed it within 20-30 minutes. It was working fine so I stopped to pick up my dinner and returned to hotel room.

    In the morning, I woke up and took off.. well I missed the turn, which is Route 10 that would take you through to Trampolin del Diablo. I lost 1 hour one way so it took me little over 2 hours to get back to Mocoa. I was literally 1 hour away from the other Ecuador/Colombia border riding on a rough dirty road that is being built into paved road before I turned around. I could have continue to the border only if I had my motorcycle title. Yes, I left out the important part. When I came to Colombia, I left my motorcycle title in NC! :doh So I had it mailed to me and it was sent July 14th to Claudia's address but it still had not arrived when I left on August 9th. However, good news is that it arrived on the 11th so Claudia called the hotel in Ipiales to check if they would receive it and hold on to it until I arrive. When the hotel confirmed that they would, Claudia had it mailed there for 10.000COP. Well, it got to hotel before I got to La Macarena so..

    Anyway, when I got back to Mocoa, I found a shorter way to Route 10, which appear to be the beginning of Trampolin del Diablo many years ago? It was real short before I hit the pavement because of selection of restaurants before the bridge that lead to Mocoa. It was a single lane road and thankfully there were a good amount of guard rail. I get the idea where it got it's name being called Trampolin because it felt as if I am being bounced while riding on the road.. not from the big rocks but the road itself. Several times I would get close to the rail or to the cliff letting big vehicle pass me. I hit few water crossing from the waterfall. Some is not bad but one of them I fell down and moto was soaked in water I had to take few things off the moto so I could pick it up myself and move it out of the way.


    That big rock in the pic is what caused the front of my moto to bounce up into the air before I got control of the moto. At that point I had my moto in control, the brake failed to keep moto from slipping back into the water and I could not keep it upright causing it to fall down. That would be the second time I dropped my moto the whole trip. First in Panama then here in Colombia.


    While I was taking my time assembling things back on my moto, I was entertained watching female driver in SUV trying to negotiate with van but she was not successful because not only would she need to negotiate with a van but two vehicles. She end up backing up.


    Got to this spot and it seems like a good place to take photo. I am pretty sure someone in this forum took pic at same spot or look closer to it.


    Well, as I was getting to halfway of this death road, I got around the corner and got to heavily loose gravel section.. knowing I had brake issue I am very certain I did not touch front brake but I don't think it made any difference. The front brake seized again causing the front wheel to turn right too fast and the wheel dived into loose gravel causing me to fall down on right side. I fell down face down and my right foot got pinched under the saddlebag. The pain was incredible and I struggled trying to lift the moto up from behind me. All that weight right on my ankle and I was alone. After few efforts, I finally lift the moto up high enough to drag my injured ankle out before I struggled to get up. It was hard trying to get up with one good leg and one badly injured leg that is now weak. The first truck coming from San Francisco approached me and it had small moto in back of the truck. The gentleman came over to help moto up. I was limping badly and I showed the guy what was wrong. Front brake is seized. He think we should move it but I tried to tell him we should remove front brake first. He didn't listen so we tried to move it but it was becoming dangerous because the more we move it, it was moving toward the edge of the road and there is no guard rail it could drop all the way down bottom. He is convinced we need to remove the front brake so I took out my tool and we got it off with a little struggling. It did not take me any effort when I removed it 40km before Mocoa but this time it was more challenging I was worried.

    After we got it off, we moved it to the curve so he could get his truck around. It will no longer be an obstacle to any vehicle coming and going. I decided I need to lay down and rest a little while deciding what to do next. I was agonizing in pain and every heart beat it just hurt. I move it around and thought that maybe the bone in upper calf area could be broken because it hurts as hell up there just under my knee. The gentleman in truck with moto in back returned because he forgot his piece that was used to remove front brake and he got down to take my boot off and lowered the sock. He massaged my leg from ankle up to knee and I did not feel any real sharp pain that would give it off as broken bone. He said he doesn't think it is broken. In the process, few vehicles stopped by to check us out. One guy offered me water and I gladly accepted because I was very thirsty. The transportation company using truck in place of bus as a public transportation to make it safer to travel these dangerous road offered to take all my stuff and bring it to their next station for me to pick up later so I could travel lighter. I gladly accepted his offer and asked him how much? He refused my money. He drew me the map and address where to pick it up when I get there then he was on his way with my stuff in his truck. I took the risk not knowing if I will see it again? I hope I do!

    Without all the stuff on my moto, I struggled to get my injured foot over the saddle. When I upright the moto, I could feel pain in the foot. It was too weak to stand and too weak to support the moto if it lean to the right. I lose confidence in my riding ability. Using it to brake also took great challenge with so much pain it will be hard to use brake. Front brake is having problem although cooled off and working and right foot is in so much pain it is weak to tap the rear brake. I still had about 20-25km to get to San Francisco and with so many curves, it could take few hours traveling at 5-10MPH. I decided that I would have to rely on engine braking and move slowly. It was the most safe way to deal with this. In the process, many vehicles and motos passed me and I didn't mind as long as I am moving along at safe pace.

    I was never more happier when I saw the pavement. If you have been on the Dalton Highway and see first pavement just north of Fairbanks, multiple that by 10! I stopped at first gas station in San Francisco to fill up and I opened the master brake reservoir. Fluid was really low. :( I bought DOT4 brake fluid from the gas station and topped it. Never had any brake problem from this point on to Ipiales, which was about 2-3 hours ride.

    The place that is supposed to have my stuff is in the next pueblo after San Francisco, which was about 5KM away. It didn't take me long to get there and I found the place. All my stuff was there. Nothing was missing. I was relief. With so much pain walking back and forth from my moto to where they keep my stuff, it took me 20-30 minutes to load up my moto then I took short water break. Finally I hopped on my moto and rode away. As I eat more mileage, I became more comfortable knowing I haven't had any more brake issue. I got to Ipiales at 7:30pm that night after leaving Mocoa at 8am. Good thing I already reserved the room because hotel was full. Ipiales appear to be as shady as it was in Florencia & San Vicente del Cagnun. Nobody was in the street after 8pm.

    I notified Claudia of the situation but I knew she would not get the message until 9pm because she is on her way from work to home. When 9pm came, she told me I must go to the clinic and must not tell them I had accident on Trampolin del Diablo. She said I must tell them I had an accident somewhere in Ipiales because it was too dark to see and I hit something causing moto to fall down on me. That's the story we stuck to, and it worked because SOAT end up paying everything. I did not pay anything. X-ray was negative with no broken bone. I was given a shot in my ass in front of a woman who was receiving IV next to me then I took a IV, and it all went into me in a minute my body went from chilling cold to hot but did not really feel any bad side effect from IV or shot... within few minutes, the pain went from agonizing level to very bearable level.

    In the hospital of Ipiales, it is so old fashioned I felt like I was back in the 70's. Well, most stuff are old except for X-Ray machine and MRI.



    This guy was my taxi driver. I did not ask him to stick around, but he decided to stick around after he took me from the hotel to the hospital. I got to hospital at 10:30pm. He rolled me from room to room in the wheelchair, carried my boot and stuff, talked with nurses on my behalf as if he is my family member. When he got me back to my hotel room, at 4am, he wanted 45.000COP. I thought it was worth the price and paid him.. thanked him and insisted that I should take pic of us together for me to remember. He gladly obliged.


    Concerning my permit. Well, because it expired on 18th and despite having almost 2 days of rest, my leg was still far away from being 100% to ride Claudia and I decided it would be best for me to return to Medellin to recuperate. She said I would stay at her brother's mountain house for free and I didn't mind knowing there would be no internet for the duration of my staying. I was ok with that. The cellular signal there is faintly but enough to send WhatsApp texting message to Claudia or to my family/friend. So I took taxi to the Dian at the border because I read somewhere that someone dropped the permit off then circle back to Ipiales and store vehicle for 10 months. I was hoping it would work the same way by dropping my permit. Well, they wouldn't go for it but the good news is that they said they would scan all the documents they need then email it to me and all I had to do was to email them back requesting for extension with the document they scanned attached to my email. And they would give me until Sept 25th. When I got back to the hotel I received the email and sent request for extension. Few hours later, they told me good news that permit is ready but I need to return to border to sign the permit and it had to be done that night, no further. :( So other taxi run to the border at 11pm, I signed the permit and got it extended. First taxi trip was 30.000COP and second run was 16.000COP.

    Next morning, I took bus from Ipiales because it cost 120mil COP and it was cheaper than taking plane. Plane from Ipiales to Medellin is 585mil COP but it is 340mil COP from Medellin to Lima(Peru). And the next plane to leave Ipiales is not until Wednesday (It was Friday at the time of booking bus ticket). Bus it is and it took 1.5 days in bus to get to Medellin.
    roadcapDen and Len like this.
  9. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    There you go.. was taken at small festival north of her brother's mountain house.. I end up buying that hat. Love it!
    RoaringTodd and Len like this.
  10. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I don't have much photo of the house I am staying in but here they are..

    Pic taken new year day


    View of the mountain at back of the house.


    And on the side


    It can get chilly up here at night you need a fireplace to keep warm. I am alone there most of the week, but her brother come few times a week to check me out once in a while. Depending on Claudia's schedule she come 1-2 nights a week but stay the weekend with me. I love it here.


    It has been a little more than a week since the nasty spill. My leg is better than it was a week ago but still have a way to go. I went to Migracion office today to file for medical extension and was granted. Instead of Oct 6th, I can stay until Nov 17th if need to. That mean I can also extend my moto permit if need to since the permit is usually based on your visa permit. That's why I am typing this report from Starbucks minus the BMW (haha) waiting for 6:30pm to get here so I can take taxi to where Claudia work and we will go back to mountain house tonight. I am hoping to be back on the road in 2 weeks, more or less. Finger crossed!

    The plan will be to get to Quito and get my brake issue sorted out. I decided I will replace the brake fluid with new fluid (clean it out with rubbing alcohol and put fresh fluid in). I am going to install fresh brake pad while I am doing that and it is cheaper in Quito ($100 for both front/rear while $166 in Medellin and my moto is 1 day ride to Quito). Exploring Ecuador probably will have to wait until I am on return trip so I will press on to Lima where Claudia is scheduled to fly there last week of September so I can get TKC-80 mounted and carry 1 spare tire instead of 2. If TKC-70 is still in good condition, I'll just have Claudia bring it back to Medellin so I can have something fresh to ride back to USA. I'll probably get new chain in Quito because chain is still making noise despite being adjusted. It has been sitting for few months and can see rust in some places despite being cleaned and lubricated. Sprockets from Touratech of Seattle is still in great shape I am hoping it can last me another thousand mile or two.
    phreakingeek and OtterChaos like this.
  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,297
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Court of Freedom Bike rentals in Quito, Ecuador should be able to get your brakes fixed for you. I would get them fixed as soon as possible, big risk with all the time you have in the Andes.
    Hell I'd be tempted to head back up to Cali to Austrius Motos and let the Spaniard Jorge fix your brakes, he is genius of a moto mechanic.
    What ever you do don't screw around with shitty brakes!
    bobw and OtterChaos like this.
  12. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Sud!

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,486
    Location:
    Grover Beach, Ca
    Quite the adventure! Sorry to hear about the leg injury but you did an amazing job getting the bike out of there and all sorted.
  13. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    My right leg is about 75-80% now. It is strong enough to support but still limping a little, and a small amount of pain. Pain is bearable. My visa has been extended but when I tried to get my motorcycle permit extended, it was not possible. DIAN of Ipiales suggested me to get it extended by DIAN of Medellin because my signature would be needed (required) but DIAN of Medellin would not go for it since they require the motorcycle to be presented for a physical inspection. Things doesn't always work out the way you would hope to but at least the permit expire on the 25th so I have 11 days. No problem.

    So I have about a week left at this beautiful and cozy cabin..


    Flowers being grown front of the cabin. It will be exported to the USA when it is fully grown.


    I'll take bus from Medellin to Ipiales on Friday the 22nd or Saturday the 23rd. Change tires in Ipiales and send TKC-70 back to Medellin. Get moto checked out by Freedom Rental at Quito (Quito is much shorter than going up to Cali anyway). Court Rand told me to just get my moto to his shop and he will take it from there.
  14. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Lafayette, CO
    Thanks for the update.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  15. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I posted my last update at Starbucks of Oviedo after my appointment with Dian but that was before I informed my girlfriend and my friend who is a doctor. They wouldn't have it so they made several calls. My girlfriend has a contact that used to work at Migracion(immigration) of Belen here in Medellin. She told me that we will have to deal with the bureaucracy process. The first step was to see Fisiatria for consult and if he determine that it is necessary to stay longer than my maximum days in Colombia that he will provide a medical certification. With the certification, present it to Migracion and they can give special extension without having to apply for TP7 medical visa, which is $265usd.

    So we went to see Fisiatria. The consulting fee was 140.000cop ($48usd) and he referred me to get x-ray and ultrasound. He wanted me to return for follow-up appointment. But he prepared a formal document and a prescription stating that the motor of muscle is not working and must not travel on motorcycle for two weeks until further notice.

    With formal document from Fisiatria, we went to Dian and present our case. The person who handle the permission still would not go for it because my motorcycle is in Ipiales and I am here in Medellin so we asked to see her boss. We presented our case and explained our reason why I can not go to Ipiales so the boss picked up the phone and called Dian of Ipiales to see if someone there would be willing to go and inspect my motorcycle in person and report back to office of Medellin. The person there said someone will go and inspect my motorcycle so we were told to make copies of documents (motorcycle title, registration, passport, stamp date, soat, formal doctor note). We made copies and brought it to the office. They told us that we would hear from them in few days. (I came by few days later to get new permit, which was good until Oct 6th, the last day of my tourism visa)

    My doctor friend, Jose, decided to see if he could pull some string and try to see if he can get my soat to still pay for all the treatment since the case is technically unfinished and soat pay up to $15 million COP per accident. The bill from clinica of Ipiales came to 480,000 COP and that is surprisingly. I still have plenty of cap with the soat if we are successful. Unfortunately, a friend of my friend apparently no longer use the same phone number so there was no way to contact her so I will have to pay for the cost from this point on and I was a little concerned.

    My girlfriend made appointment with radiology office at the clinica where she work.. so I went there. I was already thinking it could take 2-3 hours and all just like it does back at home. Well, it was quick all within 1 hour including paying the bill! We walked in and I present my passport. They find my appointment and copied my passport then told me to have a seat (they were still holding my passport). I sat and few minutes later, nurse called my name. We walked to the door and follow nurse to the ultrasound room. Nurse gave me the robe so I undressed and then sat on bed waiting for the doctor. Few minutes later, doctor walked in and proceed to do ultrasound for about 10 minutes. After that, nurse guide me to x-ray room where the specialist process to take few shots. (this time, it was from knee down that was not taken in Ipiales). My girlfriend went to speak with the technician who process image from film to CD and explained to him we need CD promptly instead of the normal 4 days process. The technician understood and assured us my CD would be ready before closing time. I dress up and went back to the front desk and was given the bill. I went to the cashier desk in other place to pay with my credit card. All of this for $36.44!! Imagine that! I went back to the front desk of radiology and present the paid receipt, and the lady (she was hot!) gave me back the passport. I came back at 5pm that day and the hot lady gave me the CD with letter from doctor explaining his examine that my leg is normal, no broken bone or fracture, and ultrasound show normal result.




    We returned to Fisiatria for the follow up visit. He looked at the image result and examine my leg again. He determined I need to have about 10 sessions of therapy and wrote the prescription. He wanted me to stop the ice treatment, and start using heat treatment with exercise to be done throughout the day. With that information, we went to Migracion office right after the appointment to present the case thinking we probably will get the extension because it was Oct 2. Well, Migracion told us that we will receive the extension but this is how it is done. The prescription that Fisiatria provided is not sufficient. We need to make it formal and we need to have proof of sessions with the therapist. Once we have these to come in around Oct 11-15 and present those documents then they will waive the penalty as "Act de Administration". And give me the extension with 15 additional days to leave Colombia, and pay 56.000 COP.

    After my first session of therapy on Oct 4th, which was 40,000COP($14) per session. Fisiatra prepared a formal document that we can use to Migracion and to Dian but obviously we can't go to Migracion until between Oct 11-15 so we went to Dian and present our case. Unfortunately, Dian told us that they can not and will not give us any more extension. Our last extension expire on the day my visa expire, Oct 6, and that is it. The only way they would give me an extension on motorcycle permit is if I get the stamp of extension on my passport and that is it! We were defeated so we left Dian dejected.

    We took few minutes to reflect on all this and try to decide what to do. Do I take next bus to Ipiales that night, but that would mean I need to go north to Bello where her parent house is (she lives with her parent and rent her house out) so I can get few things I will need for the trip before going south to El Poblado to Terminal de Sur bus station and head out.. Or a hail mary at Migracion but we already spent almost 2 hours getting from her work place to Dian and present our case.. so if we go to Migracion, it will be few more hours and that is past her permission of time off from work.. So we decided to do the Hail Mary.

    At Migracion, we spoke with same person who explained to us what they can do and we explained that our situation is "difficult" because if I did not have my motorcycle in Colombia, it would be no problem. But my motorcycle is in Ipiales and the only way to get motorcycle permission extended is to get the extended stamp on the visa. The person said NO. No pudeo! But he sent us to see the verifier to see what can be done so we went to see him. We explained the situation and he said he is in agreement with previous person that he can't help us, however he can send us to see the big boss who might can help since she make the final decision. So that was our hail mary.. we went to see her and again we explain the same thing we did to last 2 people. She looked at the document and at us.. she said that actually the law do not permit this but in her many years of working at Migracion she never saw the case of this before that she would make an expectation as this is unique and special situation with very valid reason. The condition is that there is no more extension after Oct 27th, which is the date Fisiatra suggested. I nodded and agreed to this. When I sat down with the person who process the visa, he explained that they can not give another stamp on the passport, but there will be a document with all the information from Migracion and stamp on it. Dian will honor that document and when I exit Colombia, I must give that original document to the officer to avoid any issue. Losing it will be big problem for me. I was doubtful Dian would accept that document despite how strong that person assured me. I paid 56.000 COP for special extension to October 27th.

    Yesterday, Oct 5th with just 1 day remaining on motorcycle permit, I went to Dian alone and present the document. The person who handle the permit asked her boss if that document is sufficient?? The boss said YES! WHEW! Huge relief came out and I felt a whole better. I expect to hear from Dian early next week to come back and pick up new permit. Visa and moto permit good until Oct 27th but I will leave Medellin for Ipiales on Oct 23rd to allow me some time for motorcycle maintenance as I suspect my battery might be weak and may need recharging?? Change tire to TKC-80 and send still-good TKC-70 back to Medellin for when I return to Colombia later.

    Today, I just had my second session this morning and it is improving although there are still some pain but strength is good and it is feeling much better than few weeks ago.. Will continue with therapy 3x next week.

    More later!!
  16. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    I’m in! Maybe our paths will cross at some point. If I can help in any way, let me know. I have a bunch of contacts in LatAm.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  17. Kawikazi

    Kawikazi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    452
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    So, I followed your TAT trip on the KLR. You did have some issues with the KLR with coolant leaks, but I think they were related to falls and you have come a long way with your riding skills since that ride. The KLR can be set up with pretty good engine guards minimizing radiator damage, and I never really had any sort of mechanical failure to speak of with KLR's. By contrast, I think the BMW is perhaps less reliable than the trusty old simple KLR that can be serviced just about anywhere on the planet. In retrospect, would you rather have a KLR then the BMW on this adventure or would you do the trip again with the BMW?
  18. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,651
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Hello Kawikazi, thanks for following both my RR. You ask a good question. Before I answer, I have to tell you that I found out after TAT my KLR had a bent frame so I sold it. To answer your question, I am happy with my F650GS because I like how it ride good at 80mph or more without getting shaky. I was scared to go over 65 on my KLR especially with the crosswind or draft from the semi. But maybe the bent frame is why my KLR was riding poorly at high speed. In my opinion, both bike are good.. Rotax is reliable engine despite this one is prone to water pump failure that it is recommend to carry spare water pump kit.

    I still haven't had the opportunity to find out why I had front brake failed but I can tell you I replaced the vent screw with BAJAJ brand because it fit on perfectly but it was not until I was just before Mocoa I noticed a leak so maybe I need to buy OEM one, which I plan to do when I am in Quito. Also, the brake fluid seems filmy when I took the master cylinder lid off. That seems odd after putting fresh fluid in Medellin. (I bought a longer brake hose so my Rox Riser would fit and the hose appear to be OK)

    If I was to do SA trip all over again, I would not go with BMW. Why? Lack of tools and some parts can be expensive down here. My girlfriend's brother rides a R1200GS and he was shocked how much BMW Motorrad of Medellin (Ruta 40) wanted to adjust his valve and change oil/filter & tires. He called the dealer "Thief". There was couple of tools I didn't have to help him fix his R1200GS. I'd stick to japanese made moto because everyone will have the tool to fix any japanese/chinese built bike. Knowing what I have seen so far.. I think Super Tenere would be a logical choice for me if I was to do SA trip again.. driveshaft, power, and the comfort. KLR and DRZ will be better choice if you want to do more off road riding down here. I still have no regret with the F650GS and happy with it so far.
    roadcapDen likes this.
  19. Kawikazi

    Kawikazi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    452
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Thank you for the response and insight. My two off road bikes are a 2009 DR650 and a 2016 KLR650. I really like the fact that the DR is air cooled, so no worries about radiators, water pumps, hoses, etc.. Takes some of the failure risk out of the equation. However, my KLR (second one) is so much more comfortable on less technical terrain especially if your doing long days in the saddle. Just came back from the Barber Museum and they had a Super Tenere on display that had been ridden a million miles on an adventure ride. Never been to a dealership and never been washed. Tough bike! Enjoy the rest of your adventure. I will be following along with envy and respect for the way you meet each challenge and overcome it.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  20. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Lafayette, CO
    Dance with the one that brung ya.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.