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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.
It doesn't feel very much like Christmas here. It is about 30C and very humid in Cali today.
I walked over to the Chipichape Mall to go to the bank machine. Chipichape is six blocks from here. Cali's largest mall. They say there is even a skating rink in there. I walked around for a while but never saw it. I get the feeling I didn't see half the Mall. Chipichape ranks as Cali's third most popular tourist attraction according to Lonely Planet. You could tell it was Christmas eve over there. Wow, Crazy traffic!
Merry Christmas to all!
We seem to be having a Christmas riders meet here at the Moto Cafe
Frank and Tony, two San Francisco riders just arrived and are staying for Christmas. They are two of the guys I met in Cartagena that sailed on the Stahlratte.
Steve is here from BC, Mike from Scotland and myself, so we should have fun tonight.
Alison who also sailed on the Stahlratte should be nearby tomorrow in Medellin, which is about an 8 hour ride from here. She will likely join us soon.
There is another rider, Adam, I believe his name is who is on his way here by bus from Southern Colombia. He had an accident yesterday and collided with a truck. He broke his hand and a bone in his arm I understand and will need surgery and he wanted to get it done in Cali instead of the small town where the crash happened. Mike's wife who is Colombian has been trying to help find out where his bike is, transportation details all that stuff because she of course speaks Spanish.
Adam has just arrived. I spoke with him briefly, before he and Mike took off somewhere in Mike's truck. His arm and hands look pretty messed up but he's alive and kicking. I'll see if he'll let me take some pictures later.
Mike and his wife are wonderful hosts, Mike arranged to get me some tires. The tire guy had what I need in his computer but couldn't find them in his warehouse.He found something very similar. Mike has arranged to have them delivered to me Wednesday morning. he is an awesome guy. I would highly recommend his rental business to anyone who wants to fly to Colombia and ride Motolombia, He has several locations in Colombia and is easily found online. We met his assitant, James yesterday. James is a very entertaining guy, originally from New Hampshire. He has to deliver a BMW GS 1200 rental to Medellin tomorrow. Tough job but somebody has to do it!
Merry Christmas from the Casa Blanca Hostel and Motolombia in beautiful Cali Colombia.
We had a good time last night, a chicken dinner sort of like Kentucky Fried at a place near here and then a few beers at a local bar then we came back to the Hostel and all got together with some of the backpackers that are staying here. I played a little drunken chess with a German traveler and got my butt kicked. All in all it was a very nice night.
The city is very quiet this morning, hardly a car moving. Mike just left to pick up two Americans at the airport who are flying in this morning for a four day ride. He has two brand new KLX450R's for them to ride. He tells me they are desert racers and he's hoping he can keep up.
Here are a few pictures
Mike, the owner of Motolombia and the Casa Blanca Hostel
His nice new KLX450R's
The Casa Blanca, where we are staying
As i said yesterday. I met Adam very briefly before Mike whisked him off to the hospital. When we left for supper they still were not back. When I was walking back to the hostel I was wondering if he was spending Christmas Eve in hospital but...he was back. This is the only picture i took last night. Meet Adam
For a guy that doesn't know where his bike is and is all banged up, he's in very good spirits.He has to wait for 4 days for the swelling to go down before they can operate on him. He has broken bones in his hands and forearms
He says all he can remember is a lot of broken plastic and that he hit a truck, but no detail, then he remembers the hospital. I don't know much more about Adam, the party was in full swing here when I got back. Mike and his wife had provided lots of snacks and everyone had a very good Christmas Eve. I went to bed at midnight and there were a lot that were still partying then.
I highly recommend Motolombia. It's a great spot
I'll take, "Problems I didn't need for 200 Alex"
My bank card is about to expire!:huh
I bought the tires I needed and in order to pay for them I needed cash. I withdrew the money from my checking account using my bankcard as always. I then called home and asked Angele to put some more money in my account. when she did she saw a meesage from the bank, "You're bank card is about to expire and we've mailed you a new one" Yikes!:eek1
sure enough, I checked my card and stamped into it is an expiry date, end of 01/13. Who knew bank cards expire?
I have had that card for years. What are the odds it would expire when I'm on an extended trip in South America?
We are hoping Angele will get the new card in the mail, soon, and be able to FedEx it to me here somewhere. WAPITA!
The KLX's don't need to be registered?
I'm not sure about that
Might be worth calling your bank and try to get an extension on your current card after explaining that you are traveling abroad. I know it can be done, but if they'll do it is another question. Good luck!
I went for a walk to the Mall with John a gentleman originally from South Korea who now lives in Sweden, working for Korean Air Cargo, and on the way we passed the local MV Augusta motorcycle dealership
For those of you not familiar with MV Augusta they are an Italian motorcycle company that hand builds very beautiful motorcycles. They are something like the Ferrari of motorcycles. Their bikes are rolling works of art.
The dealer was just unloading two brand new bikes and John and I gave him and his two helpers a hand.
The MV Augusta 675 F3
Huge brakes to rein in 128 hp
Then we unloaded this Brutale
I had to try it for size
I can only imagine what it must be like to ride these in the mountains of Colombia
In the afternoon Steve and I went to a Festival Cali has Dec 26th. There were thousands of horses and 100's of thousands of people. I never really got a good shot of horses there were so many people, 5 and 6 rows deep trying to see them. But the party was awesome. They sell big cans that shoot spray foam and everyone shoots each other with the stuff, there is lots of music, dancing, beer, betting on Guinea Pigs and just plain good fun. We had a ball!
Here is a look at a cool Jeep truck I saw this morning
This guy's been guarding our bikes. He's a wonderful big baby
And finally. This is Romi. She is one of the many friends we made here at the hostel. She's very kind and happy and I love her great Aussie accent. She took Adam to the hospital this morning for his surgery to give him moral support
Fantasti string of pictars Dwight! Thanks for the up-date.
Our Hong Kong friends Frankie and Tony have arrived back in Cali and needed some repairs done so we have delayed our departure until tomorrow. I'll miss Cali. I could live here, no problem. Wonderful people and an amazing city.
Enjoyed the RR so far. I have an 08 KLR looks just like that, except yours is were I'd like mine to be.
Fellow Maritime'r here , and following your adventure,big thumbs up to you
My wife and I both have Gen 1 KLR's and love them...
All the best on your continued journey and we have subscribed to the thread and look forward to your updates!
R n H
Just point it south and ride! They are a great bike.
Thanks for following along. Good to have you aboard!
We finally tore ourselves away from Cali this morning at 8:30. Frankie, Tony, Steve and I rode together to Pasto. What an excellent day. Nice weather, mountain road that rates a 10 + Stunning scenery! Absolutely excellent. It's a long ride, we got to Pasto just before dark, searched for a hotel or Hostal, thought we had one then realized our bikes would not fit in the room they had for parking
We did meet some local, women, walking down the street, at the first hotel who asked if they could take a picture with our bikes. Then they wanted us in the picture with them too. They even sat on the bikes. It was very funny but neat that they thought the bikes were so cool. They were very nice and welcomed us to their town. People have been unbelieveably kind in Colombia, every where we've gone.
As we were driving around town, still searching, a young lady in a car asked what we were looking for and when we said a cheap hotel, with parking, she called her husband who spoke excellent English, he suggested a place and then she lead us there. How nice is that? Not like she was doing anything, just taking her aunt to hospital to she if she had a broken wrist
Turns out the husband has a 1200 GS BMW and he showed up at the hotel to welcome us to town.. Very nice guy.
Today we had a lunch at a restaurant that was built on a cliff with absolutely stunning views of the valley below. Today is also some sort of festival where everyone throws water at each other. We started getting hit by people standing at the roadside about halfway through the day. It used to be a Pasto area celebration but it seems to have spread up into the mountains. They throw water balloons, pails of water, use hoses, whatever it takes to get you wet. It felt good in the afternoon sun but was pretty chilly by the time we got here. Pasto is at and elevation of 2500 meters or about 7500 feet. It's cool here tonight even though we are very close to the Equator
We met up with our German friends, Jana, Lawerence and Nikko, from the hostel in Cali. they took the bus here last night leaving at (9:30 PM and arriving at 5:00AM), then they slept until two. Jana said that the bus was going so fast and passing that she was afraid all night and couldn't sleep. I don't think I would want to ride in a bus over the mountains. Lawrence had accidentally left his passport and wallet at the hostel in Cali. He called me last night, I found it and we returned it too him today. He was glad to see us! They came to supper with us and we went for 1 beer but we came home early after a very long day. I took lots of pictures today. I will try and post them tomorrow.
Pasto to Ecuador yesterday. This morning we are in Tulcan Ecuador.
We had a good ride yesterday, left pasto fairly early and rode to Lajas Cathedral which is just north of the Ecuador border. It is a stunning building built at the bottom of a steep canyon. The story goes that someone saw the face of Mary in the rocks there so they built a cathedral in this very unlikely spot.
We are at a high elevation here, some 9000ft or 3000mts. The walk back up the hill after seeing the cathedral takes a toll on you. I was feeling the effects of high elevation and thin air after sleeping in Pasto. It feels like really bad heartburn combined with shortness of breath. Tony has it real bad and may have it combined with a cold. He went to bed as soon as we got here yesterday and hasn't got up yet.
We had a long day crossing the border and only made it as far as Tulcan
Here are my photos Pasto to Ecuador, well, having said that I guess I have to keep you in suspense a while longer. The internet here is painfully slow and it is taking forever to download pictures. I'll try and post them tonight if we have internet. We are leaving shortly for the Equator.
Lots of pictures
First a few from Cali
From the Chipachape Mall
The rink at Chipichape (it's plastic in the tropical heat)
Outside the round hotel attached to the Mall. It is a huge mall
Outside the mall there were always people selling or giving away puppies. I liked this little guy. He had 5 or 6 brothers and sisters, all looked alike.
Steve and I checked out a market next to the mall. It was about twice the size of a super sized Wal-Mart
Not sure what this was in the produce section
Tons of rice. People eat rice here with nearly every meal
A little truck made by Vespa, the scooter people
Frankie and Steve
Carlos, a rider from Panama, awesome guy! He was so helpful in Cartagena and Cali and even invited all of us to his Lake House near Cali. Tony and Franki took him up on the offer and had a great time
Lady, who worked at the Casa Blanca hostel in Cali and Jean my South Korean friend who lives in Stockholm
A better picture of Jean. He had come to Cali for a huge Salsa Dancing festival. Wonderful guy.
Taken as Steve, Franki, Tony and I were getting ready to leave Cali
Colombia between Cali and Ecuador
Restaurant with a million dollar view where we had lunch on the way to Pasto
No words I have can describe how beautiful Colombia is.
Today we crossed the equator. I am sending this from the Southern Hemisphere. It has taken me 55 years to get here but what a way to arrive.
I have more pictures of the beautiful Hacienda we are staying in and I'll post them tomorrow, stayed tuned!
I almost forgot a few pictures by mistake but here they are.
When you ride through Colombia your GPS looks like this or twistier most of the time. In the really twisty stuff with some of the best scenery it can be tough to find a spot to take a picture.
What can I say?
At the top of a pass near Pasto, Colombia
Hotel in Pasto the wonderful Colombian rider and his wife led us to
Here he is
I met him so briefly at the end of a long day I have forgotten his name
A Pasto street
The amazing Lajas Cathedral
It was bulit in a Valley where someone saw an image of Mary on the rocks. Walking down to this and then back up at 9000ft elevation was a challenge ( we didn't walk from this spot but we still walked a long way)
My ride report was titled Lobsters to Llamas
Lots of souvenir sellers on the way down to the cathedral
Lots of thank you's for favors received
This river runs right under the Cathedral
They were having Mass
Bikes at the Ecuador Border
At the border we ran into our German friends Jana, Lawerence and Nikko. They hope to join us for a New Years Eve Party tomorrow at the Middle of the World
We waited in this line on the Ecuador side, for an hour and a half, for our Migration stamp before we even started the process of importing the bikes.
When the border process was finally over we stopped in Tulcan Ecuador, the first available place.
A street in Tulcan
I had a great meal there in a restaurant a police officer recommended
When we left Tulcan for the Equator we had a great ride. About halfway to the Equator the E35, the main highway to Quito takes a winding plunge into a desert valley, you drop from 3300 meters to 1600 meters stunning scenery, smooth pavement, little traffic, wide enough we used the "third lane" we could pass even in blind corners by riding the yellow line. It was like the best roller coaster ride even with four bikes all in a line, flying low. Outstanding riding! Died and gone to motorcycle heaven kind of riding! Sorry I don't have pictures, we looked for a place to stop and it just wasn't available. We finally came to this lake where the kids were enjoying boat rides.
and renting quads to ride on this track
A Dad asked me if his kids could sit on my Moto
They were so cute! All three, very politely, shook my hand afterward and said Gratias!
We left the lake and made the last dash to the Hacienda Guachala where we satyed last night. It is a great spot recommended by another rider, RTW Paul and Paul was right. Quiet, peaceful, and luxuries like hot showers which are just not available in most places we stay.
On the way we stopped at the Equator Monunment, We Had crossed the Equator!
Pointing at Ecuador!
School Kids balancing eggs on end
We found out later that the monument we were at has been replaced by a new monument, almost across the street that we hadn't seen. Turns out the old monument determined before the days of GPS was 200 meters out. The new one is exactly on the Equator and is a more fitting monument, so Franki and I got up early this morning and rode over there before anyone was there and took these photos.