Ottawa-Inuvik-Tierra Del Fuego

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Super Tenere, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Day 108


    Made it to Maracaibo, Venezuela and staying at Hotel Caribe for 290Bs, it was late and I had not eaten since breakfast so the first one that did show up was good enough for me.


    The border crossing near Maicao, Colombia into Venezuela is verily simple and did take 1.5hrs to complete, both Colombian Aduana and Micracion are at the same place but in two building across from each other, there is space to park at Aduana on the left and then walk across for other. Then drive to the front of this huge line up of Venezuela plated Chevy Impala's and every other old (60s 70s) piece of gas guzzling US metal, most of them are being held together with some make shift welding and parts from anything and everything attached (Mad Max style), sorry no pictures of the cars at the border decided not to because these guys are smuggling gas and goods to Columbia and back, I don't think they would like it if I took there picture. In front of this row of cars you will find the Venezuela Micracion for an easy hand over passport and get stamp. Next drive about 2km down the road for Aduana and have a copy of your passport, vehicle registration and drivers license with you, also show him your Colombian SOAT and he won't ask for you to get Insurance while in Venezuela, he will ask how long you plan to stay and I said 1 week and he gave me 30 days on the papers, okay that was good.
    Some pictures of cars at the gas station.
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    The first thing you notice in Venezuela other then the bad ass cars is the amount of plastic bags along the streets, most shredded by the wind and stuck in everything, trees, shrubs, fences, it looks post apocalyptic and strange.


    Day 109


    The further you go from the border the less garbage you see, and the other thing you now notice is the huge line-up's of cars at the gas stations, I guess filling those huge tanks takes a lot of time.


    Finally into the mountains towards Valera where I started looking for lodging, most places wanted 400Bs if you paid cash or 600Bs to use credit card, what a rip off. I had tried several ATM's but no money, so I figure there will be more small towns down the road with better prices and hopefully no extra charges.
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    Landslide
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    After a while I find myself now riding into the night, until it is pitch black the small towns have no lodging so I keep moving on further into the mountains coming through passes with no roads from the washouts, after a couple of hours of this my body is starting to hurt from the strain and I need to stop often to gather more strength, navigating through gravel inclines is starting to take it's toll on me and I can't help but think how stupid this is for a few lousy bucks, by now it's 11:30 with no end in site, I have been riding since 8 this morning and I know I need to stop or I will crash on these roads so I start looking for a possible camp site, with a rock wall on one side and a steep drop on the other, there is not much choice but to move on. I have also been riding blind because my GPS has no maps of this area and all I know was that I was heading South West most of the time towards Saint Cristobal so I decide to take the next road that is heading North East towards Hwy 1. After another hour l I finally come to a town with a hotel and he is asking 150BS but was okay with 145Bs because that's all the cash I had. This place has no Internet no nothing but a place to sleep and I will happily take it.


    More to come.


    Jeff
  2. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Wow!
    I though I had it tough finding a hotel today but no comparison. Glad you made it it one piece!
  3. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
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    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks Dave, hope those Spanish lessons come along well for you, I know my Spanglish is god awful.

    Jeff
  4. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

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    I was out like a light bulb and slept like a dog if that is possible. When I woke it was almost 9 and that never happens to me, I now also realize that I have no more cash, so it will have to be some left over cola with 1 granola bar for breakfast, a travellers culinary delight (or so I keep on telling myself).


    There is a toilet in the closet with no seat and a pipe with a valve on it sticking out the wall with no shower head and no sink, this is great you can shower and take a dump all at the same time, just my kind of place super efficient.


    It's already 10 and I head out but will need some cash soon because my fill up from yesterday is already flashing empty. After an hour I'm getting nervous and that's when I see a sigh with airport 1km on it, thinking there has to be a ATM or some kind of money exchange going on, so with relieve I head to the airport but only to find this small building with one ATM that won't give me any money and the other ATM showing on the screen choose your boot device.


    Are you kidding me this is it, I ask around and everyone is saying the same no money exchange, I'm now becoming desperate so I head to the restaurant and ask the guy at the cash if he would be willing to change some US cash to Bolivares if I have something to eat, thank god he agrees, so now I get some food and cash all at the same time (theme of the day).


    Venezuela is great when it comes to having to fill your tank, yesterday's 18 liter did cost a whopping 1.25Bs or about 20cents US and today it did cost nothing because when I was at the pump the attendant points up at the ceiling that have these scanning panels hanging on it and says to me that I need a something or other to make the pump work, that's when a military truck pulls up behind me and the guy in the truck signals that I put my bike behind his truck so that it can be filled. Okay I understand and thinking that they will restart the pump but no the attendant after filling the truck comes to me and fills it up without stopping, I ask how much and the guys waves back nada, now isn’t that great.


    Made it to San Cristobal and will head back to Colombia today.


    Jeff
  5. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Location:
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    Jeff
    I am really enjoying your report. Cheap Gas, running out of cash, bank machines that don't work, sketchy bathrooms, the joys of travel. You are doing a great job of hanging in there.

    Kedgi
  6. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    777
    Location:
    Lakewood, CO , USA
    Jeff, when you get to Brazil, would you please post some pics of the women?! :rofl:rofl:rofl
  7. ReadyFreddy

    ReadyFreddy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    16
    Wow, Jeff, the adventure continues and what an adventure it is. It definitely is exciting to read and makes us realize how good we have it here and how we take our quality of life for granted.
    You're a good man to be able to face the hardships of the challenges in your road, and be able to summon the help of those around you help when you need it most. Only a good natured individual who can exude his qualities will invite this kind of help through his travels.
    Keep the faith, Jeff, always nice to see the pictures of a smiling face enjoying R&R when you know how hard it was to get there.
    Cheers
    Anthony
  8. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
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    Thanks Kedgi, I know you had your share of these travel delights as well.

    Jeff
  9. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

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    Hey #1Fan, just woman or do they have to be pretty as well. :evil

    Jeff
  10. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

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    Thanks so much Anthony, I believe without hardship there would be no way of knowing how happy or good we have it now, compared to if things were always to go right. I hope my travels can bring light to this and having a smile on your face no matter what, can make you achieve the impossible.

    Jeff
  11. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
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    Location:
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    Day 111


    Venezuela has been a real disappointment, the roads, the scenery, the cost of food and the heat. San Cristobal has outrageous hotel prices for some reason, and it did take almost an hour and a half to find something for 420Bs with no extra charge for credit card use, that's still $70 for something less then half decent. The only thing Venezuela has going for it is the cost of gas, and that does not make up for the rest.
    San Cristobal.
    [​IMG]


    The Border crossing at Culcuta did take 3.5hrs but mostly due to the Aduana guy being on a 2hr lunch break. Getting out of Venezuela was easy, on the left side under the big archway is Migracion it is the first counter., you will need fill in a piece of paper and buy a exit stamp for 110Bs from an officer that sells them and he is usually hanging around the area.
    Then ride your bike through the archway, and all the way till you get to the roundabout, go left on it so that you can get to the back entrance of this same building, there you will find Aduana hand in your temp permit and get your passport stamp cancelled.
    Then cross the bridge and your in Colombia, go to first building on the right where you will find Migracion and then go to Aduana that is next to it, it is the building behind the scales.


    Made my way into the mountains on Hwy 66, on my way up it started raining and the temps went to below 10c, my altimeter was showing just under 11500ft and man was I happy that there was a Hotel, it was somewhere between Pamplona and Bucaramanga.


    Day 112


    Got up with a splitting headache the room I had was right on the street and all night long the trucks would come and go plus stand there with the fumes coming right into the room, this place is a Hotel/Gas Station/Diner all in one and is the only place for miles around. After 2 aspiring and breakfast things started to look up, man is it beautiful out here, very cold but absolutely spectacular.
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    Most of the people wear clothing like you would see in the Andes (hats and woollen blankets). The landscape reminds me of that when going up north, a bit barren but yet very peaceful and pretty in it's on way. The roads are great and coming down the Mountain was a feast for sore eyes, wow what a view.
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    Made it to another small town and Hotel just before Barbose on Hwy 45a, this is about 245km's before Bogota, that I hope to reach tomorrow.


    Jeff
  12. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Lakewood, CO , USA
    I thought all Brazilian women were pretty!

    Sent from my SM-T210R using Tapatalk 4
  13. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    You didn't spend enough time in Venezuela to have any fun:cry Rule #1 Never use any credit/debit cards in Venezuela, always the black market with dollars and today's rate for decent amount of money exchange is nearly $1 : 45 Bs:eek1 You could have gone to Angel Falls dirt cheap. At least you could have gone up in the VZ Andes to Merida, some really nice riding in that area. As you found out the roads near the border suck.

    The Colombian town of Pamploma near the border is a nice Colombian college town with a great pizza place. PM if want some waypoints.


    My bike awaits my return in Caracas one of these days for me of the free gas. Nice to hear you made it through the border, there has been some reports of people from US, Canada, and elsewhere being denied entry:huh

    Your 420Bs hotel in SanC would have been just $9.33 on the black market instead of $70. You got to use the system and then things really get good.
  14. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Jeff

    At least you can say you got into VZ.

    I was with a group last year and we got turned away at the border because it was election day. Not sure what that had to do with us visiting, but they wouldn't let us in. I opted to skip VZ and rode south to Honda, Colombia and Cali.

    I had passed through Honda on my way north from Bogata to Cartagena, The road between Honda and Medellin is out of this world.

    If you go to Cali, Mike at Motolombia is an awesome guy, has a great hostal in a nice neighborhood and he has lots of motorcycle resources.

    I'm in Hartford CT this morning on my way to Texas, Arizona and Mexico.

    I am trying to keep my RR current, looks like you are having better luck with wifi in SA than I am in CT

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929171

    Kedgi
  15. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
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    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks Throttlemeister, it's good to hear from a pro that there are some other options out there, a little late for me but thanks just the same. Hope you make it back someday and continue your awesome journey.

    Jeff
  16. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for the tips Kedgi, to bad you did not make it last year, but now I see your also on the move again and maybe this time.
    Will catch up on your new RR, and have a good ride.

    Jeff
  17. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Made it to Bogota and staying at the Angry Croc Hostel for 23 pesos and have the bike in secure parking for 7 pesos. The ride was verily uneventful, just beautiful scenery and some 10.000 ft passes, this made for some relatively cool riding all the way to Bogota that lies at 8.000ft.
    Will get together with Marcos and his girlfriend later and see what he's up to.

    Some more shots from yesterday.
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    Will change hotels and stay another day in Bogota before heading to Cali.


    Jeff
  18. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Day 114


    Changed to Hotel Madeleine and called Marcos to see what he was doing, and of course he was having lunch with his girlfriend and was doing some bike repairs that afternoon. He would see if he could come down later, I guess things did take longer because I did not hear back from him and I hope to see him down the road somewhere.
    Did take in a rest day to catch up on my accounting situation and at day 100 I was still averaging $60 per day, so not bad and will see if I can bring it down in the next 50 days.


    Day 115


    Decided to head towards Cali today and did get lost in trying to find the road out of Bogota. My GPS has no map of this place because for some reason when I downloaded the free maps I guess I did not get it. Found my way completely to the wrong side of town instead of where I was suppose to go, so seeing some bikers chatting along the roadside I thought lets ask them. Luckily they were a friendly bunch and after all the usual questions they said they would take me to the highway where I need to be on. Had them lead me all the way across town and there I said goodby with many thanks, again this go's to show how friendly people and especially bikers can be, viva Colombia.
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    Beautiful scenery coming out of Bogota.
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    Made it to Cajamarca where I'm staying at Hotel Nevado for 30 pesos.


    Jeff
  19. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Very nice ride over some mountain ranges going to Cali today, beautiful road and scenery. If it wasn't for all the trucks that you constantly have to get around it would have been perfect.
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    Lower part shows new super Hwy being built through the mountains, using very large viaducts and tunnels to smooth this out, a real undertaking and I'm amazed at how well the Colombian roads are maintained. Also check out the Pine trees on the hill, there growing towards each other on the upper slopes.
    [​IMG]

    Checked in at the Casa Blanca Hostel, that is well known by most ADV riders for only 17 pesos or $10 US.
    Will stay an extra day and check out Cali before heading towards Pasto.


    Jeff
  20. Super Tenere

    Super Tenere Voyager

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Day 118​


    Had a productive day in Cali, did meet Mike at Motolombia and was able to get a new/used Alaska leather sheep skin from him, my old one died on the road after getting soaked several times, it finally started to come apart, and only after some 40 years of use you would think it could have lasted longer.
    Then to Asturias where I asked for differential oil, thinking I will change this myself, they offered to change this for me on the spot for 25 pesos, how could I resist. Had my right highway peg fixed for 40 pesos because I can not find them anywhere.
    Did see some of the sites including this nice sculpture.
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    Did ride up to Cristo Rey and then followed some nice mountain roads.
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    Day 119​


    Made it to Pasto from Cali today through the mountains, to bad the weather was off and on rain all day.
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    Tomorrow heading to Ecuador.​


    Jeff​