Oregon to Ushuaia on an XR650L

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Ulyses, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. marior97

    marior97 marior97

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    Hey Bryce, those 5 days on and off Independance you will never forget !! but a few months later all will be :rofl
    Now enjoy Colombia and rest of SA !!!:clap:clap:clap:freaky
    Saludos amigo !
  2. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    For sure. :clap

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  3. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork I wish I was cool

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    Quit being so lazy. Some of us are trying to live through you vicariously.
  4. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    As long as I dont hear "Sweepers, sweepers man your brooms" ill be alright :lol3

    Not sure- might be right after I do alaska, which is next year in april. Well see how it goes :evil

    Until then, I stay sane riding and reading reports like this one :thumb
  5. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Okay, okay, its 5:30 AM and I can't sleep....I'll redo it.
  6. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I spent a long time typing up a huge post about the last few days, but when i tried to post it, it all got deleted! So, now it's 5:30 AM and I can't sleep due to the sore throat that I developed after 30 hours of projectile vomiting my insides into the Caribean.....might as well re-do that post.

    I'm not going to re-type everything, but I'll throw in all the pics.

    On the 17th we got dropped off from the Independence and got our passports done. Later, Mike and I found a room in Getsemani near all of the Hostels with A/C for $44, which we split. Hotel San Roque. Nice place if a little expensive; they are going to let Mike leave his bike here for a week while he flies back to Belize to see his wife.

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    Afterwords we went and saw the rest of the old city. Cartagena de las Indias is a UNESCO Worl Heritage Site. It's easy to see why. Beautifully restored buildings and walls, impressive churches and museums, and really intriguing fortifications. My pictures don't do it justice; I have a crappy camera that can't quite capture the contrast.

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    We also managed to find the inquisition museum. Apparently the inquisition was going strong from 1610 all the way up thought the beginnings of the 1800's in Cartagena. Here's the infamous rack:

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    This nasty little device was called "eyes on god":

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    And here is a handy questioner if you ever need to talk to a witch:

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    Cartagena was at one time sacked by Sir Francis Drake and then ransomed back to the Spanish for an exorbitant fee. Eventually, they ended up spending tons of money fortifying the city. They've managed to restore most of the walls and the huge fort on the land ward entrance.

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    This picture doesn't make much sense to me:

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    Who points a cannon back at their own wall? Maybe a swivel gun loaded with grape, or some rather large muskets, but certainly not a long cannon. Whoever restored this section messed up. Here's Castillo San Felipe de Barajas:

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    Extremely impressive fortification. I love seeing this stuff.

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    The next day, December 18th, we headed down to the harbor to unload our bikes from the boat.

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    Here's the process in pictures:

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    I wasn't too happy about having to lay my bike on it's side in the little skiff, but I didn't really have much of a choice. I figure that for $900 there should be people unloading the bike fore you onto a dock, not you unloading the bikes yourself into a skiff......oh well.

    After getting the old XRL out of the skiff it was flooded and wouldn't start. This nice guy came up on his scooter, stuck his foot out and pushed me from my passenger peg while he throttled along. It was a perfect push start! Obviously they do this sort of thing down here quite a bit. I had him sign my tank.

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    After rescuing the bikes and picking up the customs paperwork, we go insurance and then said goodbye to Kevin and Katerine and their amazing XS 650's:

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    They are selling these bikes when they get to Buenas Aires if anyone is interested. After the goodbyes, Mike and I mozied on over to a car wash to rinse off all the salt brine and WD-40 from our motors.

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    That's when I realized that I had managed to WD-40 all over my brakes! We spent the next hour searching fruitlessly for brake cleaner. I did find a slightly used XR600R:

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    Elsalvadorklr, if you are reading this, I think there is an awesome parts bike in Cartagena just waiting for you to come down here and pick it up!

    I also saw an homage to the best bike in Latin America:

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    That's right, the XR250 "Tornado"! If you wanted to do this trip and never have to worry about getting maintenance done or finding spare parts, this is the bike for you! They are everywhere. I'm surprised Jdowns isn't on one of these instead of his Super Sherpa. Hell, I almost want one now.

    After bike time, Mike had to split for Belize. I gave him some stickers from Ed Zachtamundo's stolen sticker stash which has been bequeathed to me to distribute to fellow ADVriders whom I meet along the way.

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    Justin, your sticker legacy lives on!

    And now for a little aside: this summer I took a little trip on my Harley (yes I am an evil Harley owner, you can start hating now) cross country. It was a totally different vibe, no riding gear, just some Levi's, a cut up t-shirt, and a little half helmet. I managed to do 700 miles one day on this thing:

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    One day in late August I pulled into a KOA in Amarillo, Texas and met this really cool British couple, Byron and Isabel, on an old 1979 BMW R100RS. They had flown their bike from the UK to Alaska, then spent the entire summer riding around the north, down through Canada, and all over the US. They were currently heading west for California and then were going to turn south for Baja.

    We hit it off and spent the rest of the night talking and drinking beer. The next day we decided to ride together for Albuquerque, New Mexico. I called up my good buddy Jeff (Matthews) who met us about half way and then invited us all over to his place that night to crash! We had a great time!

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    Fast forward nearly four months to Cartagena and imagine my surprise when I find out that they are staying in the Hostel just a block away from my Hotel! Granted, I had been keeping up with them by email and I knew that I would probably catch up to them sooner or later, but I didn't imagine we would only end up being a block apart!

    After saying goodbye to Mike, Byron, Isabel, and I went out and had dinner and drinks and got caught up on the last four months. They've had a hell of an adventure, even crazier than mine! I'll try and find their blog address and post it up on here later. They are great folks!

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    I gave Byron one of Ed Zachtamundo's mustache stickers:

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    These guys are great! I introduced them to Denny's back in the states and they repaid me by buying my dinner and drinks! Excellent!

    So now I'm going to go get some breakfast with the Brits and then plan my route to Medellin. It's about 400 miles and I don't really feel like pushing it today; does anyone know of a good place to stop in between?
  7. NotAllWhoWanderRLost

    NotAllWhoWanderRLost Lost

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    Bend, Oregon
    Please keep up the great reporting and photos! :clap

    It sounds like your having a great time and experiencing some amazing adventures. Thanks for including us in your fun. :beer
  8. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Its a pretty fast 400 miles.
  9. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Prince George, BC
    Great stuff... I was following JDowns' RR as well as this one and to see the two merge and cross paths to help a downed rider really illustrates the true sense of community here on ADV. Keep up the great work, and here's to a speedy recovery for Ed! :freaky

    I feel your pain, brother... that's happened to me a couple times as well. Now, the last thing I do before I hit the 'Submit' button (especially when on sketchy internet connections) is copy the whole damn post to the clipboard. If it craps out, just refresh, paste it all in and try it again.
  10. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Tio Juanito,

    This Marine landed with a rather green complexion and some serious dehydration issues and is now a little tuckered out....

    When are you going to quit messing around in Central America and cross the Darien?

    Ulyses
  11. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    That's too bad. How many miles do you have on your current motor?

    You're moving to Reno? I like Reno. Really close to Lake Tahoe.
  12. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Thanks man! I hope "papa noel" gets you something good for Christmas.
  13. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Haha! I'm not a neat and tidy person, but seeing the clutter and gernerally nastiness of that ship made me want to punch somebody. I seriously wanted to round up a bunch of Lance Corporals and have a field day. That thing could be so nice if they would just clean it once in a while.

    That would be epic if you could go straight from Prudhoe bay down to Ushuaia. What bike would you do it on? I saw on your profile that you have a DR 650, would you use that?
  14. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Thanks! Getting compliments and hearing that people are actually reading this thing is a big part of what keeps me going!
  15. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I think it would be if I had slept more than five hours last night. I'm spent. I just stopped for the day. I only did about 110 miles. Meh.

    Should have just took an extra day in Cartagena and then just did it all in one big push.
  16. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    This community kicks ass! I've seen a couple of people get some amazing help from ADV riders now, and it's really incredible. I'm proud to be a part of it.

    I was just hitting ctrl-c when the thing gave me the white screen of death! So close! I forgot to do it until just after I had hit the "submit" button. Hopefully I've learned my lesson.
  17. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    depends on what part of the motor. Most of the top end has about 6k. Most of the bottom end has.... well, i'm not sure. bought it from a guy. but it served itself well. The 2nd gear went out so I sent CW the motor, xr600r countershaft and tranny with NX 2nd gear, and he's going to do the camshaft and hardened rockers and it already has a JE 102 piston in it. I'm hoping he can undercut the gears for a good price also.
  18. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I'm going to try and start something new and begin each post with some stats and a little progress map of the day's ride. We'll see how long this lasts.

    Day 65
    Cartagena, Colombia to Sincelejo, Colombia
    Day's Millage: 115

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    I woke up at 5:30 AM this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I ended up rewriting the post that I had accidentally deleted last night.

    At around 8:00 AM I met up with Byron and Isabel for breakfast.

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    Can't say enough good things about these guys; they're great! If you get a chance, check out their blog: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Adventures-on-the-flying-aga/

    After saying our goodbyes, I went back to the room and did some packing. I wasn't in a hurry, I just planned on not making it all the way to Medellin today. I was also pretty damn tired. Didn't end up leaving until around 10:00 AM and had to make a quick stop at auto shop to get some carb cleaner to clean out all of the WD-40 on my brakes. I've learned my lesson with WD-40 and disk brakes: mask, mask, mask before you apply! Having oily pads and disks magnifies your stopping time/distance by two!

    Riding out of Cartagena was a little bit of a madhouse; apparently the roads weren't as good on the outskirts of the city as they were in the interior. Check out the elevation difference between these two lanes:

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    It's hard to tell, but it's almost a foot and a half high! Right off the bat one of the things I've noticed about Colombia is all of the motorcycles; there's tons of them! Still mostly 200cc and smaller; but still, they're everywhere!

    After about 20 minutes of everyman-for-himself riding to get out of the city, things quieted down.......until I saw this:

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    Ohh no! I thought I had escaped the speed bumps/topes/tumolos/vibradores when I left Central America. Apparently they are following me so that I don't get to comfortable and actually start enjoying the riding....

    I rode for about an hour then stopped for a little street-meat at a roadside stand.

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    I asked for a typical Colombian meal and this is what I got:

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    Some pork that looked like it had been cooked two days ago, some really bland and dry plantains, and a very tasty "arepa". Arepas are similar to Papusas; a big thick tortilla type bread stuffed with meat or cheese or both. I had one bite of the pork and was about to take another when I realized that they hadn't quite totally skinned the pig when they butchered it. There were still quite a few curly black hairs sticking out of the meat. I ate the arepa and got the hell out of there.

    Back on the road again I began seeing another central American nemesis that seems to be haunting me:

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    The semi-domesticated ass! I think I saw about 20 today grazing beside the road, most of them were untethered, just waiting to jump out into the road in front of an unsuspecting gringo motociclista!

    Colombia is definitely bike friendly. I had heard from numerous people that the toll booths where free for motos and had a little motorcycle lane on the far right side.

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    Brilliant! This needs to be instituted everywhere!

    After only a few hours of riding, I was feeling done. I'm still tired from that damn boat ride and I haven't been sleeping well lately. I decided to call it a day at the next major town.

    I pulled into Sincelejo and immediately saw a few likely looking hotels. The first one I stopped at was closed due to construction, but the second one said they had rooms for $50,000 pesos. Doing the rough math in my head, I figured that would be about $25 american, so I said yes.

    However, after they ran my debit card and I got my receipt back, I realized that it was $150,000 pesos (about $83 american)! Snap! I totally misunderstood the lady behind the desk! Just like the space gravy incident.

    Unfortunately, I was too tired to raise a fuss at this point and I dully shuffled off to my room. The Hotel is called "Hotel Boston".

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    To it's credit, it's almost as good as a low to mid level hotel room back in the states.....except that the hot water doesn't work. They do have a nice private garage though.

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    Which is only occupied by my poor little abused XRL....

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    I'm going to make the most out this outrageously overpriced hotel room and get some much needed sleep now. In the morning I may thrash it like a rock star and then blast out of here before the staff catch on to the fact that I threw the flat-screen TV out the window....
  19. laughatmyvanagon111

    laughatmyvanagon111 Wet Side of the Mountains

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    Nice! Party like a rock star.

    Been following along from the beginning and enjoying every adventure. Cheers!:freaky
  20. wbedient

    wbedient MoTard

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    I've been accused of living vicariously through your road report.

    :eek2


    Guilty as charged. :deal

    Keep up the great work!