Lobsters to Llamas, Maritimes to Argentina

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. KLRJRS

    KLRJRS Jimmy

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    Hi there Dwight
    I have caught up with your RR and its great! You are doing a great job writing and the pictures are amazing. I know that at speed in traffic you have seen so much but can't stop for a picture. At least it will be engraved in your mind and we will have many,many stories when you get home. Safe travels and keep on posting. Fantastic job,
    Jim
  2. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Thanks Jim, glad you're enjoying the report. So many of the Mountain roads in Colombia had staggeringly beautiful scenery but were just so narrow and twisty there was no room to stop. I do have amazing mental images of some of the more spectacular mountain roads i saw.
  3. Smithee

    Smithee F650 Beemerider

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    I finally am up to date. I've been reading your RR for a while now, but Interrupted by 10 days in Costa Rica with my daughters. Your report really makes me want to get on the moto and go. There is something about Centro and South America that really interests me. Need to get more fluent in Spanish first.

    Have you had a chance to check out some of the Latin music? I learned from a new Colombian friends of Presuntos Implicados. Listening to them right now.

    Keep the reports coming Dwight. Wish I was there with you.
  4. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I have heard some Latin music I liked at various places but don't know the names of any of the artists.

    Working hard on Spanish would be a good idea before coming down here. I learn as I go but I wish I knew a lot more. The Americans, who took Spanish as kids in school, have an advantage over me. I don't know many of the basics they all seem to know. Having said that, I get by, I find people more than willing to help.
  5. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I was just looking back through my Ride Report this morning and I realized I had missed reading this post somehow. I want to be sure to say thank you for your generous donation to Steph and her cycling for a cause.

    Here again is a link to her blogspot It's a story of courage and selflessness, for those that haven't read it.

    http://stephgoescyclingforacause.blogspot.com/
  6. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Today I am going to see if I can get my lowbeam headlight fixed. It has been a nagging problem and the Kawasaki Dealer in Cali told me to F.O......not in so many words but his lack of any assistance was disgraceful. He refused to work on my moto because he had seen it at an Aprilia shop called "Racing" just down the street the day before. I had dropped it in there to get an oil change, when they couldn't fix the bulb I went to Kawasaki which was farther from my hostel and he waved the back of his hand at me and said "I saw your bike at "Racing" now go" I'd call him an asshole but an asshole is useful. Just try and get by without one.

    I mean seriously what kind of a man refuses to help someone that has ridden the bike he sells 12000 miles and just needs a headlight because he's having some petty dispute with a business down the street? What a moron! I'll bet he doesn't know I have been writing this blog with over 70,000 hits, but I'll bet he finds out. I can't wait to send a little message about his lack of service to Kawasaki Canada, Kawasaki USA and the South American Kawasaki distributor. You know what they say....don't get mad, get even.
  7. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    Sorry to hear that Dwight.
    Email all three ASAP and don't harbor negative thoughts.
    There are much better thoughts to hold dear on this road I am sure.

    Knowing how to adjust the high beam lower may help if this low beam issue arises again once fixed.

    Best Regards,
    OldPete aka John
  8. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Your right Pete. I didn't let it bother me that he wouldn't work on my bike. It is just a hassle to come to another big city and have to deal with the issue again. I'd just like to make sure that this doesn't happen to other moto travelers in Cali again. Inexcusable behavior for a Kawasaki shop anywhere not to take a few minutes to help a long distance rider. I wouldn't have cared if he said come back tomorrow, I could have.

    I really avoid driving at night in any case, but just in case I would like to have it fixed.

    We are waiting, this morning, for Freedombikerentals to open. I'm sure those guys will be able to direct me to a reliable mechanic here in Quito.

    Kedgi
  9. Smithee

    Smithee F650 Beemerider

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    It's a good idea to get it fixed just as a safety matter. You don't want the low beam burned out and then come to find the high beam has gone dead as well. Those kind of things tend to happen just when they're most inconvenient or dangerous.

    From all reports the guys at Freedom Bike Rentals are top notch. I'd bet they can help you out with a referral to a mechanic or have someone in-house to do the work.
  10. Max Wedge

    Max Wedge ADVenture mowing

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    Are you running a stock headlamp or have you done a HID conversion? Just curious, my headlamps only last about 8k miles, but I do run the high output ones and expect less life.
  11. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I run the stock headlamps. I finally got it fixed yesterday. Sylvain at Freedom Bike riders was excellent. He had the correct bulb and offered me tools and made me a coffee while I fixed the headlight with Dylan's assistance.

    I have some photos from Freedom Bike Rentals I will post later.
  12. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I used Skype to call Kawasaki Canada, then I had a friend in Saint John, NB call Kawasaki Canada on my behalf. In 24 hours they have not responded to the messages we left.

    I had hoped that someone in Toronto would have a contact in Cali a straighten this dealership out, so what happened to me doesn't happen to another traveler, maybe a traveler with a far more serious problem.

    Still, no reply from Kawasaki.:ear

    Kedgi
  13. Scottishman

    Scottishman Been here awhile

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    Hi there. Just new to ADV Rider and the RR.

    Read your log over the holiday and am quite impressed. I am going on a trip from Bogata to Santiago to Ushalia, and then on to Buenos Aires from Oct to December. You have passed on some wonderful insights, so thank you for that. I did a trip through Europe last summer on a rented bike and it was terrific. Never been to South America and really looking forward to it. I will be shipping my bike (GS 1200) from Vancouver to Bogata, and then back from Buenos Aires. Also riding in a group, so not as adventurous as you, but still a challenging trip.

    One of my takeaways from your RR so far is to learn Spanish. I have the time to do that, and very much want to get to understand the people and the culture. Would that be your first "wish I had"? Any other biggies?

    I will be following you with great interest. Be safe, rubber side down. I may be in NB in June or July on a golfing trip and might look you up if you're back by then.

    Cheers
  14. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I get by without Spanish but it would be nice to have some. I know enough now that sometimes I surprise myself at what I have learned, but it all relates to tourist things like meals, rooms etc. i have been thinking today in fact that I would like to take some lessons. I am planning to leave Quito for Mantanita tomorrow and they give Spanish classes there. I think I'll check it out.

    As for other biggies, make sure you bring several different ways to access money. A couple debit cards from different banks and a couple credit cards. Not all banks have agreements with Canadian Banks. Your card will work in one bank and not another. Some small towns only have one bank. I found Banco Populaire in Colombia worked the best for me. Check the expiry date on your cards before you leave. My Scotiabank card expires at the end of the month so now I have to use my Mastercard to withdraw money and that can be expensive.

    You may need to do some forward planning for tires. The guys at Motolombia in Cali and at Freedom Bike Rentals in Quito can help, they are great. Tires for big bikes can be hard to come by here. With your GS, BMW dealers can help too.

    By all means let me know if your coming to NB. I expect to be back in March. The plan is to Fly the bike Buenos Aires to Miami and ride home from there.

    Kedgi
  15. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    As I mentioned we all went to Freedom Bike Rentals in Quito. We met Sylvain. Awesome guy. Fun, obviously loves his work! He was amazing.

    Sylvain

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    Freedom Bike Rentals

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    Sylvain had the right bulb for my bike. Turns out the one I had installed in Cali was marked as the right bulb but was a cheap copy that didn't work. While I fixed the light Sylvain even made me a cup of great coffee. He did everything the Kawasaki dealer should have done and more. And he didn't charge me a cent, except for the bulb and I'm sure he sold me that at less than cost. I highly recommend Freedom Bike Rentals to anyone who wants to fly to Quito and ride Ecuador. A1 Place!

    Today, with repairs finally made I had a little time to explore Quito

    What a nice city. very clean, the cleanest city I have seen in Latin America, huge, with over 2 million inhabitants. Traffic is not as crazy or bad as most cities down here. Well thought out streets and good public transit. The express buses have their own lanes that cars can't go in so they make much better time than the cars and as a result people actually use transit.


    Today, Dylan, Bryce and I went to the gondola up the mountain and Alison headed for the mountain roads southeast of here, continuing her ride south.

    The Gondola


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    4100 meters over 12000 ft

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    It's a steep ride about 20 minutes each way. $8.50


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    Quito sprawling below


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    Incredible Quito

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    A shot of the mountain, taken from the rooftop at this great hostel, Casa Bambu, before we left for the gondola ride


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    A few other shots


    Hostel kitchen that has a million dollar view. What a great place to make your coffee in the morning

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    My $15 private room, sorry about the mess


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    Sitting room across the hall from my room


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    Rooftop


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    Bryce leaving Freedom Bike Rentals, to go get his welding done.


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  16. RhodeHazard

    RhodeHazard ex halligan hooligan

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    Wow! great ride RR!

    Rode NB last fall and was amazed at the amount of undeveloped land up there. Now to point my bike south...:D
  17. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    New Brunswick is a beautiful place. They used to call us "The Picture Province"

    The ride up the old road that follows the St. John River Valley is a great ride. Stop in at all the old government wharves and ride on the little cable ferries for some magnificent scenery.

    The Bay of Fundy with the world's highest tides is amazing.

    NB's North Shore with miles and miles of sandy beaches and warm salt water is a great place to hang out. They say the north shore of NB has the warmest salt water, north of the Carolinas.

    The New Fundy Trail road in St Martin's NB offers spectacular views of the Bay

    You're right NB has a lot of undeveloped land. Great parks and camping, wonderful rivers for canoeing.

    NB has a lot to offer an ADVrider in miles of back roads and woods roads.

    I'm just scratching the surface of what NB has to offer.

    The NB Dual Sport Riders can be found online and can tell you a lot more.

    Glad you're enjoying the report

    Kedgi
  18. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Well, I woke up early this morning, as always, with plans to head to the coast. I was surprised to find it was raining. It's the first rain I have really encountered since New York. I don't think it will rain all day. Even though it is rainy season here they don't get much rain and what comes, usually comes at night.

    I also figured out it's Friday. I think I will stick around one more day in Quito and then find my way out of the city on a Saturday morning when hopefully there isn't as much traffic.

    It looks like a two day ride to Montanita. It's just over 700kms.

    In the meantime I have some great photos to share that Franki took over the last few days of riding together. I really enjoyed my time with Franki, Tony and Steve.
  19. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Riding with Franki, Steve and Tony was great. We share a lot of the same interests and every time we stopped we had enjoyable conversations.

    Franki is a very interesting guy who has ridden most of the world. He has some excellent pictures posted here on ADVrider of his ride through China. He's a talented photographer.

    Franki doesn't waste any time in traffic. It seems he can pass anywhere. He would be ahead of me and then I would come around a corner and he'd be there with his nice Canon camera and a telephoto lens to snap my picture

    Franki has sent me these next 6 photos and they are his work. I want to give him full credit for the photos and his talent in taking pictures.:deal


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    At the top of the pass just north of Pasto Colombia near dusk.


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    My buddy Iggy who did the TLH with me taught me this pose


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    This place, in this fading light, felt like the top of the world


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    Tony and me, after reaching the equator, were tired. Altitude seemed to effect us, both lifetime sea level dwellers, more than the others


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    Thanks Franki for allowing me to share these great photos with my readers
  20. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos brb

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    You seem to have lost a lot of weight, I'll send some burger money your way :)