RTW on a thumper... Round the World ADVenturization

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rtwpaul, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    more on this later...i kinda sorta found where we were talking about, need to go thru photos before a post....:huh
  2. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    and don't forget to have a last look at the bubble butt before you hit the ground...:lol3
  3. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    +1 on the above

    now my 0.02 cents...

    when you think of north america, europe and some other countries, there are areas that are state owned BLM land in the states, crown land in Canada...these are public lands so YOU own them, they are yours to use for free, you can find them, i wild camp a lot in the states i ask at a state or national park where the nearest BLM land is and go there for free...but as mentioned you are kind of tied to your spot, so its a late in the day option

    but in Central and South America...

    there are no public lands to speak of so everywhere is privately owned and the chances are if there is evidence of humans then chances are people could come thru at anytime, so stay by you tent

    on private camping down here, it is all over the place if you look hard enough, but generally they are busy and noisy and about the same price as a hotel, they are used more as a novelty...for example in Nicaragua i was offered a camping spot for $3.50 and next door was a hotel where i could get a private room with a bathroom for $6...what would you do?

    agreed once you get further south in SA you wild camp, sometimes no choice, and in small towns there are campgrounds in a lot of places i went thru and prices are way better than a hotel and it only has campers not families partying until 4 i the morning

    hope that helps if you want real specifics drop me a PM
  4. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    I sure hope you found it:lurk
    I tried to mark it well with some stickers:lol3
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  5. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    i always kinda wondered what you had in all those bags strapped to your bike...friggin stickers, millions of them...i have seen them everywhere...but not that one i'm afraid
  6. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    OK, so a few things have come up at home i need to deal with so this time around Cuba is off but the RTW is still on...

    lets just say its personal and leave it at that - :cry...ask no questions and i'll tell you no lies!!!




    other info that might be useful because of this is i got my bike booked to fly from Bogota to Miami for $915 with Lynn Cargo, now thats a deal



    so a few emails back and forth between me and throttlemeister and he knew already the Cuba deal was off so i got a "well if thats the case you need to go here then, email..."

    i'm come to that in due course, right now sitting in Mediellin, at Casa Kiwi, Al wasn't around at The Shamrock but of course as soon as i check in here i get an email from him, figures...so its off to his place tonight for a few suds - :freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky
  7. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    getting up with the birds in Salento and going for a walk up to the Mirador (lookout)

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    by the time i came down the town was coming to life with some of its brightly colored doors starting to open

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    what's your favorite color? :evil

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    the bells rang from the church in the main square and the towns dogs went on their daily search for food

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    i agree with this...from an ADV standpint

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    after i done my walking it was a quick ride to Cali...

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    trying to not get run over by the sugar cane trucks, longest one i saw was a SEVEN trailer, empty, and a FIVE trailer full, so if they are 40 footers plus the tractor thats 300 feet to get around before someone else shows up

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  8. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    in Cali stopped at the Casablanca Hostal, thanks Mike, didn't see you to say goodbye, had a great time

    i didn't get to see much of Cali as mainly i was trying to arrange very short notice shipping to Miami (two posts back), but i did get to see this, yummy

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    and this above a banks doorway, guess where the profits are going, not back to the customers...:huh

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    and a poster on a wall that i played with a little to correct its look - :deal i did see plenty of this on the road but never this full, thats more Guatemalan style

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  9. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    TM you're up

    so TM and i have a few emails going back and forth, he knows Cuba is off so he emails me and said well if thats the case you have to go to Buenaventura and find the old Cali road, he told me he did it from BV back to Cali, as i was leaving and heading north then i figured i would do it from Cali west and come back towards Buga as i wasn't returning to Cali like he did

    he sends all the details i need we go back and forth and i find it on the map online, but we agree that its not showing exactly on any may for the garmin, and i have three COLRUT, garmin SA and OSM, Colrut is the closest so he tells me to use that

    i get out of Cali and head for dieciocho a town outside of Cali the ride up is amazing views as normal, and the occasion giant cow, the road i am looking for is about 3 - 5 KM's from there

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    now at this point, if your Spanish is like the video below then you get bad directions, or understand badly...yes that would be me:lol3:lol3, but i did try,

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4cKGyOE_jOI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    so i looked and looked and looked and asked and got turned around :huh, felt a lot like this :dog and then some of this :ddog with a lot of this :kboom loads of this :baldy and then of course this :hmmmmm because maybe i wasn't asking for the right place - if you see his photos you'd understand why, so post them up TM

    i took the main road down to BV and it was a blast in places literally, as they were dynamiting holes in the mountain side. About every 2-3 km's there was a new work crew either working on the road or working on a new tunnel

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    when you did get in a tunnel they were long, badly lit, potholed and full of dust

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    so on the way down there were lots of military, usually anywhere in Colombia you get a thumbs up, not here they were shaking there heads at me, then i see this, 50 cal's pointing at me

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    i tell them i am going to BV, they shake their heads but let me pass, so i wonder what i am heading into, then the rains start, and when that happens i am still 15km's short of the end of the road, i fill up with gas and grab a snack and wait for the rain to subside...it doesn't it gets worse, so at this point i cut my losses and turn around, i simply didn't have time just incase something went wrong to keep searching as i have a plane to catch (one thursday) and a bike to check in first thing monday morning in Bogota...sorry TM...this is one for John Downs to find once he's finished playing Captain Blythe between Colon and Turbo, amongst the other routes i have sent him and his little bike to go check out

    so riding back i have the opportunity to take some photos and if this is the road cut into the side of the mountain that he wanted me to go on then i am jealous and somewhat annoyed i couldn't find the entry point just past 18

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  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Forgive me for the long post and highjack here:evil

    Here is the map I was showing Paul of a screen shot of my tracks in Colombia on a Colrut map showing the old road. Even Colrut is not as good in the location of the old road but since there is just one road you can't mess up once you are one it other than not finding the entrance to the old road where it meets the new road labeled "Old BV RD" waypoint in the map below, just a little before the small community of Dagua. Unfortunately in the screen shot below I highlighted the gps cord. for blue flag way point "0698" that shows up in the bottom left of the map the coordinates at the entrance of the old road from the Buenaventura end and not the Cali end where Paul was wanting to start the trip, that sucks because this was one of the neatest roads I remember riding in Southern Colombia. Here's the map shot I sent Paul with the waypoint at the Western entrance selected:
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    The photos in Paul's above post where the ones from the new road going to the coast. It was explained to me by some locals that Colombia wants Buenaventura to become the biggest Pacific port in South America, and from all the construction of the tunnels and via ducts on the mountainous route to the coast I believe they are serious about it. It's staggering how much work they are doing on the new road making it into a main artery to the coast. It's funny Paul and I though the same thing looking across the valley and seeing that little road cut on the other side, it looked something like a little Death Road version, it was a crazy path that could have been the second old road or something to Cali but was not the old road on the Colrut mapset. Some of Paul's pictures of that little road cut into the mountain:
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    So onto Buenaventura, a kinda rough place that would be where you would most likely end up if taking a boat on the Pacific side to cross the Darien. Old junky picture of a picture in a hotel I stayed at in BV:
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    There are just not much in the way of road options out to the Pacific Coast in Colombia, only two that I'm aware off and almost everyone will frown on you for going out that direction as Paul found out. You can go but people don't know why you want to go:lol3 Good ADV is usually found where most people don't go:deal

    I have yet to even write this up in my poor lagging ride report...
    When I went out from Cali earlier last year, Joe from New Zealand wanted to come along and I was game for some company for a few days as we where also going to go to San Cipriano off the main road down to BV for a little railroad moto riding and do a little jungle trek to some waterfalls:
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    kinda scary fast when you think about a bearing failure and flipping one of these things:eek1
    http://throttlemeister.smugmug.com/...r-Brazilian-VISA/i-gJQDmNH/0/M/IMGP1589-M.jpg
    Even had little versions of traffic jams on the rails:
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    We stayed one night in the jungle at San Cipriano and then took off for BV for the next night before finding the old road the following day and heading back to Cali taking our time swimming along the way.
    Hell I even like the Colombian mannequins more, this one from BV:
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    We took off early as possible the next morning and found the old road after some dead reckoning and finding a road heading off in the direction I was looking for and got on the wonderful old track going back to Cali meanwhile all the time looking out for all these bad guys we'd been warned about on this route.
    This is the route I was wanting Paul to find:cry

    Mostly a simple old worn out gravel road passing through many small communities along the way and crossing many rivers, nice old bridges in place since this used to be the only way out to the port town.
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    Road is very remote in the middle sections and not used by anyone else other than the locals and the few supply trucks that move up the end closest to BV, I could hardly tell that anyone crosses the middle section that is barely used at all, but the old infastructure like signage is still in place and even some good concrete sections on the tougher big uphill sections still in remarkably good shape with a few bad spot thrown in for good measure:wink:
    Follow a big river for a good ways and ran into a lot of campesinos gold mining out in the remote areas.
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    Then we start coming on all the good swimming holes along the way, this one with the rope swing made me stop and we drawed quite a crowd as we both stripped down to enjoy the cool waters of the clear creek:
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    Here Joe giving it a good go:
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    Even the military came to give us an inspection and a friendly local helped pass us the swing rope from the bridge:
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    We where very happy to run into the military and they where kinda amazed to see us in the area. All our questions about the security of the area where laid to rest as we got the good "muey tranquillo" We posed for a group photos and the stickers where a big hit with the personnel and locals, Damn fine guys:clap:
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    The more remote the road got the better it got, just too many numerous good swimming holes we had to pass up and then the waterfalls started in as we left the lower ground and climbed up through the mountains.
    Joe splashing through one of the 1,982 chugholes along the way:
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    Old US Steel Export bridge on the old road from back in the day, that sticker shot from the previous post was from this one:
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    Another good swimming hole calling my name but we wanted to get back to Cali before tomorrow came:
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    The road got tighter as we left the normal traffic route as we entered the middle section that nobody hardly uses:
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    Waterfalls got more numerous, little ones first (notice the pristine concrete):
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    The road getting just a little worse:
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    Bigger waterfalls for nice beauty shots of the bike:wink:
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    Had our lunch in the middle of the road, not a bit of traffic seen in this section:
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    And hell, why not some waterfalls right on the damn road for fun, it was a good douching, doesn't look like much but you get soaked:
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    This road was really starting to make an impression on us both, it was great:clap
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    This was the part I really wanted Paul to see:deal

    We finally made it through the desolate middle section and broke out to the other side where the road was "used" again and met up with the rains and stopped at a nice old lady's roadside stand, she couldn't hardly believe we come through the section:lol3
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    The Virgin or somebody special out in the middle of nowhere, nicely maintained little park-like setting:
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    Here you can see how far off we where running from the Colrut's idea of the old road from BV, not any options so I knew we couldn't go wrong:
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    Road got wider and more well used on this end as we came across some kind of hydro production facility on an un-damned river:
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    We stopped for some refreshments and to reflect on a nice little bar on the river:
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    Little soccer pitch the locals had across the river, they love their football everywhere down in Latin America:deal
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    Real nice local girl running the establishment, she confirmed the security situation of the area as being good and was also impressed of mine and Joe's crossing of the old road, it was a damn fine ride:clap:clap:clap
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    I talked with some locals across from the bar and ended up getting a good trade; one of my dressier shirts for a good cap of my favorite cheap local beer nicely named "Poker" Nice fellows too:
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    We started meeting more and more signs of civilization, I almost had to try this but backed out as time was against us and the Garmin showed a good ways to meeting back up with the main road to Cali:
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    We broke back out to the paved stuff again and had the rest of the way easy enough:
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    Lots of signs of flooding in this wet area of Colombia:
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    Even got caught up in a little cattle drive, shut em down and waiting for the cowboys to push them past us, one was pretty hornylol3:
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    Joe being diabetic was getting low one sugar and hurried on up ahead once we got back to the tie in on the newer road and we stopped at one of my favorite roadside restaurants Alain introduced me too. I stopped and marked the spot on the old guard rail at the begging or end of this great route in Southern Colombia:
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    We had a fine meal here to top off a wonderful day of riding.
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    I highly recommend this route, really sorry I could get it explained to Paul any better:cry

    Maybe next time...

    ps you should have stopped for some of that crazy goat milk blended up shit by that photo of the cow where all the goats where tied up along side the main road:1drink Joe hated the stuff, it would have been better with rum:deal

    Sorry for the long picture heavy post, I think I need to get back to writing up my own report:D
  11. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    It's not stickers in all those bags on Throttlemeisters ride. He's got a tool, part and gadget for every possible breakdown scenario.

    I have no idea where he is hiding all those stickers.

    <a href="http://s1141.beta.photobucket.com/user/lenmacdonald/media/Columbia/IMG_2267.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n585/lenmacdonald/Columbia/IMG_2267.jpg" border="0" alt="Oklahoma John enjoying the mud in Santa Catalina, CO"/></a>

    :lol3
  12. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    TM comes in with the reply of the century...
  13. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    :rofl That was a good day too Len!:freaky Paul did you stop at that Vocan I told you about for your mud bath???

    Sorry about that:evil

    Hope you didn't mind Paul, I guess it shows I've been negelecting my ride report too much but that was a damn fun road, just saying:lol3

    So many roads and so little time:cry
  14. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    no its all good, i actually enjoyed reading it, now makes me more annoyed that i didn't have the time to explore more and of course the weather cooperating would have helped a lot too...

    but two days after this i think i may have found a road that you haven't found, well maybe...when i rolled around the corner on the top of a mountain the military asked me how the hell i ended up there and found the road 'cause its not on many maps...so i may return the favor and have somewhere to send you
  15. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    after sitting in road works for hours i had to make a judgement call looking at the map to make the most of my last few days riding in Colomba...so i headed for Salento for the second time in a week, know this would leave me with a few good solid days of various mountain roads for those last few days

    i found a good dirt road to Salento, that i think was a coffe plantation track and as usual on a big bike rolling down the road creating a big dust clod the locals look at you in total dumfounded awe

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    even found a tunnel that seemed so out of place

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    i got into town and the Trucha (trout) festival was in full swing every room was sold out, but by chance i bumped into a guy i met earlier in the week and he asked a friend who he knew had a spare room if i could use it (for cash) so he agreed and i handed over $11...sweet

    sun was starting to drop so time to walk to the main square and walk thru town to the Mirador (lookout)

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    the steps up were full of people heading up to see the sunset

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    its quite a unique location, first the sun drops and fills the valley with shades of orange

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    then you literally turn around and watch it drop behind the town

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  16. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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  17. Dazzer

    Dazzer Been here awhile

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    Thanks Paul. great info and ride report.
    still not got a frigging clue how you find the time to up load the photos and do your write up while your on the road. were 3 months behind on ours :eek1

    to busy :freaky:wink:

    Maybe see you on the road soon

    Dazzer and Leigh
  18. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    easy way of doing it is if you don't have a connection write the day or week up in MSword, then just copy and paste it across to here

    for photos i drop them into Picasa then export them into a separate folder, this makes them 10% of the size but for blogs the quality os still there and when you uploads them to smugmug it super quick so a bad connection doesn't really slow you down too much

    hope that helps..:deal

  19. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    i was only in Medellin for the afternoon & night, some people need an urban fix every once in a while, for me living in a city of over 10,000,000 people for years and years i don't need that

    i had a quick look around and saw these

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    look at the tank area????

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    and now my bike the XT660Z is for sale in Colombia

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    so leaving in the morning from the Casa Kiwi before Medellin was awake and heading east out of town

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    going out of town over the mountain it was 8C or 46F degrees, but felt a lot colder, i headed to El Penol and it wasn't open so i took a couple of shots, i wasn't going to wait for a few hours climb 639 steps and headed on...

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    following the lake around i headed to Guatape and its not awake yet either!!!

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    as i roll out of town i check the map and see Granada, but the problem its a full mountain range and no obvious way across, i looked at my GPS, i was using three different maps, OSM, Garmin SA and Colrut, none of them showed a complete route, roads just ended and 10-20kms they started again...so in true Throttlemeister style i just said f**k it and rode on hoping it would come out somewhere useful...but keep in mind here i have to be in Bogota in two days to drop my bike off at the airport, OK lets go

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    i headed towards San Rafael, in the tiny little town i asked a cop if i could get to San Carlos, he points down the road i'm on and tells me go straight...about 5 kms later in come to split in the road, there's and army check point they ask where i'm headed, i tell them San Carlos and then Granada, they tell me i can go straight, this is the point that i have no roads on my map (any of them consistently all the way thru), i reconfirm and they say sure San Carlos/ Granada, no problem for you...:D

    so here it is on two maps the first one is where the checkpoint was and the second was where i was headed, the army pointed me southwest, not along the road to the east

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    so if you are headed this way i have a track for you if you want it...but...a few km's later there are landslides

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    its possible to ride around them but from here on out its dirt all the way, and amazingly the occasional truck, i figured later they must only go so far then turn around

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    small sections are very steep and reminisent of the hancock pass in Colorado, big boulders, full throttle to get up and of course i was having too much fun and forgot to take a photo or two :cry

    i make a turn and there is a big army checkpoint and about 20 soldiers surround me, as usual more interested in the bike and where i'd been. Once we are done with the 'short' conversation they want to know where i'm headed, i say "Granada?"

    Sure they point ahead, it was the only way other than turn around, i ask if its safe for me, sure no problem, i usually get the opposite answer in this kind of situation! Got me some Throttlemeister luck rolling here

    i'm told it could take two hours to get there, but once i can see Granada the road will turn back to pavement

    so i head on and hit peak after peak, amazing scenery but one thing stands out every single building is empty for miles, but there is some graffiti so was this possibly a drug running route years back and why so many army guys in such a remote area, even riding along i pass some military just walking along the road?

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    hey TM swimming holes...but it was too cold

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    so i see Granada and i'm still on dirt...the military were wrong :huh

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    then i go around the next corner and the pavement starts...the military were right :lol3

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    just before town i find a lady selling empanadas by the side of the road - two please

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    so a few posts back i tell you these aren't around anymore

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    on this day i see seven of them in the Granada area, they must be some of the only old GMC ones left, but everyone comes by me on a blind bend and i never get a good shot in time, so if you want to see the fully loaded old chicken buses in Colombia then Granada is your town

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    once i get thru Granada, there is another mountain pass that eventually drops you onto a main road, i make a left, thru a peaje (toll) and then on my left i spot an amazing waterfall on the other side of the valley, time for a break and a few photos

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    a family stops to take a photo too and as the little boy gets out of the back of the car he immediately shouts WOW!!!

    i turn and look up where he is looking...

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    looking back to the waterfall and more paragliders are playing in the thermals

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    very cool :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap






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  20. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Way to go Paul! You got on some of the really good stuff to Granada:deal


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    I thought that above picture looked familiar, your starting to think like me, good swimming hole:lol3
    I took my friend Valentina with me on a two day loop out of Medellin, I gave her my camera and she was taking pictures from pillon as we went along.
    Here's the shot she took of the same area on the back:
    [​IMG]
    I didn't get off the bike either as I had Valentina with me and we needed to finish our loop back to Medellin that day after being gone for two,
    [​IMG]

    It's too funny, you and her must have the same eye for photos, I just noticed she shot the same little roadside creek as you:rofl
    Yours:
    [​IMG]
    Her's:
    [​IMG]
    Didn't hit me until I looked at the biggest rock and then the one just up from it with the moss and vegetation.


    You got lucky with the nice dry conditions, we rode those roads after a good rain and rode through a lot of mudholes. We had a nice lunch in Granada, yep the chicken buses from that area are some of the sharpest looking in Colombia.

    Great write up, glad you got another good Colombian countryside crossing in before Bogota:clap:clap:clap