South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. GeneC

    GeneC Been here awhile

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    Hey John,

    Just want you to know that I still check your report every day and as many have mentioned, really appreciate you sharing your journey with us. I've learned a lot on many levels.

    All the best,
    Gene
  2. Dracula

    Dracula Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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    I realized you put into words exactly the duality of my own thoughts. Being on the road after camping many days in cold and wet weather, sometimes eating one meal a day covering distances, longing for the comfort and warmth of being home, yet once returned having soon again the itch to leave, dreaming about riding to new imaginary far and distant places.
  3. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Life isn't good enough until you take yourself to the edge of the earth and realize it again. It's a vicious cycle. Good thing I never got into drugs.
  4. VooDooDaddy

    VooDooDaddy Been here awhile

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    That statement should be on a giant billboard in every town in the USA.

    While I would never say I regret anything I have done or the decisions I have made, I will admit to getting entrenched in the propaganda that says you have to go to college immediately after H.S., or into military service, then get a job/career right away,...and then after a few years of eeking out a living, get married and have a couple of young'uns.

    I loved being a Marine, a cop for over 20 years, gots my BS and MS, and three great kids,...but man, I wish I would've been smart enough to take 6 months to a year "off" and seen much of the world on a motorcycle before I got weighted down with a mortgage, diaper changes, and student loans!
  5. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    The problem is, once you start, you don't want to stop. I have zero interest in a career, family, mortgage, anything. I'm only in school because I was offered a full ride. If I weren't here, I'd be working my bullshit retail job saving to travel year after year. Wanderlust and the need for adrenaline are my source for inspiration, and I don't really think you can beat them. I fear John is falling victim to the same disease.
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Thank goodness working nights pays more $:clap. Quicker way back to ADVentredom.
  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF Road, or off?

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    They say "home is where the heart is", in which sense some of us may have multiple "homes". However, most of us have ties to a particular spot in the world which we consider our main home. There is a sense of love, familiarity, security, and comfort associated with what we call home. It's our haven where we come to feel safe to rest. Some people may be able to sustain a nomadic lifestyle, but generally they travel in groups for their sense of security. Most of us feel the need for a place we belong. Having a place to call home seems to me to be a large part of what makes travel so fascinating.
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi ONandOFF,

    I can only speak for myself, but I am at home wherever the people are friendly, warm and accepting of me. Right now that is Medellin. Soon it will be back in Bassett, Nebraska. And later this summer it will be Oregon. And then again when I save some money it will be South America once again. Hopefully by next fall.

    At the same time I am a stranger in a strange land wherever I go. I don't personally find comfort in groups. I like traveling solo through life and on the road. Stopping wherever feels nice. And blowing through areas that aren't. I don't mind riding with others for a day or so. But being able to go wherever you want is a freedom I enjoy as well.

    But here's the thing. Everyone is different. I know I am. For me at least, I do agree that there is a balance. I like traveling. And I like coming back to by current home in Nebraska. It is the people that make the difference. Which may be why I like hanging out with other inmates on ADVrider. I have more affinity with fellow travelers on ADVrider than I do with normal people.

    And with today's technology, I like hanging out in the evening with folks like you and others who comment on this ride report. We are much more connected than when I first started vagabonding around the world so many decades ago. Back then I had no contact with anyone from home. Other than sending back an occasional postcard from Nepal to let people know I was still alive. Now, I can update this ride report often and anyone I know can check out what's going on in my life.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Clem Kevin,

    ADVriding and travel are a disease and there is no cure. In my case, I enjoy a balance of work and travel. I enjoy working and I enjoy traveling.

    Riding a bike 15,000 miles zig-zagging down to South America is fun, but challenging. It is nice to take a break from riding to make myself useful here in Medellin. Finished painting the front of Al's pub today and fixed the sign up on the roof before the rains set in. Tomorrow I will mortar the roofing tiles in place that got knocked off when the boys in the dorm jumped up on the roof to get back in last week. As well as ride over and find some concrete slabs to mortar in place in front of the place to make a nice flat space for the sidewalk tables.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi VooDooDaddy,

    When you are young, you never think you'll get married, settle down, get a job and buy a house. But these things have a way of happening in the States. It's what's expected. Nothing wrong with that.

    But as you say, better to take a long ride when you're young and have the time and desire. It's a lot of years before you get old like me and have the freedom once again to take off.

    Saludos,
    Juan Filósofo
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Gene,

    So glad you are following along! I too have learned much by reading ride reports. Glad you are enjoying it. The commenters on this ride report offer a lot of good advice and insight. I would highly recommend a live ride report if and when you take off for a long ride. Its a lot of work, but well worth the effort. I have met some great folks who have PMed me along the road. Many have donated gas money to keep this ride going into the Spring. It will be over soon, and I will be home reading ride reports just like you and getting more ideas and inspiration from those on the roads less traveled.

    Saludos,
    Juan Viajero
  12. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Shibby!,

    I haven't had much luck finding somewhere to park my bike for a few months until I can earn some money and get back down here. I am confident that something will work out. In my case the FrankenSherpa isn't worth shipping home. At the same time it runs great and is down here. I don't want to sell it. I would rather fly home and return next fall to continue south.

    I'll let you know what I find out and how it works out. And yes, it is illegal to leave your bike in Colombia for more than your three month permit. Others have done it. I will follow their lead and report back when I get back down here.

    If you don't mind riding to Uruguay, you can leave your bike there for a year. But the flights to South America
    from the U.S. are cheapest going to Colombia. For instance, my dear sister, who is my travel agent, found a flight for 264 bucks on Spirit Airlines from Bogota to Mesa Arizona where her hacienda is. I will take that route home. I am driving her old truck back to Nebraska from Arizona.

    Next fall I intend to return on a cheap flight to Bogota and continue on. I can always park my bike at Motolombia in Cali for 30 bucks a month and catch a bus to Bogota. Not the end of the world.

    Buenos Noches,
    Juan Parqueadero
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    If you don't have the time all you have to do is think JET SET and like John says
    less than $300 will have you experiencing culture shock in no time.
    If you like riding motorcycles and have a couple of grand and two weeks vacation you can really make it count.
    When you get older and get married you will have a wealth of experience to pull from and share with your kids.
    If you can take six months out of a 30 year span in your life it will make all the difference in who you are.
    JDowns and this ride report is such a valuable resource and inspiration, and that's what ADV is all about. Yes, we have fun and poke each other, but in the end we are a resource and inspiration.
    Thanks goodness for Baldy and his willingness to host this site.
    If you do NOTHING else at least subscribe to SMUGMUG and help to be a little part of this wonderous online community many call HOME.
  14. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Dear John,

    This is why your ride report has been my favorite of all time. Not only has the content been top notch, but so is your philosophy. I may be half your age, but I definitely resonate with a lot of what you have to say and I really enjoy and value hearing it. It's honestly been an honor to be able to read your words and share your experiences.

    I understand your value of work. While I've worked retail most of my life, I've had the odd jobs where I have done work where I find a lot of value in what I'm doing. It's not so much the work that's important, but the product is what is the most valuable. I'm glad you've been able to express yourself that way down south with the work offered to you. I'm hoping to get involved with WWOOFing while I'm traveling through SA so that I can take breaks and find that same kind of satisfaction.

    Thanks again man.
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Clem Kevin,

    Funny you should mention WWOOFing ( willing workers on organic farms).

    I met a French couple in Panama on the island of Carti who were heading down to Colombia from a WWOOFing job in Mexico planting coffee to do similar work in the hills of Colombia and Ecuador. Really nice folks.

    I spent time in New Zealand years ago on the WWOOFing trail. Of course they found out I was a contractor and had me remodel their kitchen instead of weeding their organic garden, but it's a great way to take a break from travel and lower your overhead with free room and board. Similar to what I'm doing here in Medellin, now that I think about it.

    Plus you meet a lot of really good folks when you do those kinds of work exchanges. Between that and couchsurfing and the tentspace list on ADVrider, you can meet some really fine people. I highly recommend it. Although I haven't personally tried couchsurfing yet.

    Saludos,
    Juan Lobo WWOOF
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Tuckers,

    I agree wholeheartedly. Although I like to take the trip of a lifetime a little more often now that I'm older and have less obligations holding me back . Like every year or two. When you're young and free or when you're old and have more time like me it makes sense to get on your bike and go. It's not easy, and most people will try to discourage you. Don't listen to them. It's a hoot. As anyone who has followed this ride report must know by now, I have had the best ride of my life and met some GREAT folks and been able to ride some epic roads. And I'm just getting started in South America. This continent is HUGE. It might take me a while to wander around down here. Of course I'll have to go back to the States and reload my bank account. But this ride report is far from over. I intend to ride the wheels off that Sherpa.

    Well okay, I already rode one wheel off and that didn't stop me. I think the engine has to blow before I go to plan B. The Sherpa is a trooper. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

    And yes, get a smugmug account or donate to ADVrider. I have donated 10% of everything donated to me. Although that has dropped to nothing this month.

    Saludos,
    Juan Sherpa
  17. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    wow, she looks totally different with hair!
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Vin,

    Yes, Yudy looks totally different from the picture Throttlemeister posted from a couple years ago. Still sharp and beautiful as ever.

    I was helping Yudy translate Spanish tool names into English this morning. Box wrench, crescent wrench, open end wrench, ratchet, sockets. It was something she was working on for Al. She drew pictures and I wrote down the names in English. She's a sharp cookie. Al knows how to hire good people. It's not an easy skill. I admire anyone who can make a living in the third world.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  19. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    I highly suggest couch surfing. Although if you begin to use it, I suggest using it just to meet people local to you first at some holiday functions or something. Being a stranger and requesting a couch might not get a lot of positive responses, having some references from people does a lot of good.
  20. Ross1969

    Ross1969 Adventurer

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    John, Thanks for a great ongoing ride report. I have a long time pen pal lady friend whom I have never met who lives in Medellin. Your photo's and descriptions have encouraged me to think about a trip to the US to include a flight down to Colombia to visit her. As a couchsurfing host I am surprised that you are not a member! You and others may also find www.bikswop.org of interest. I have some ridge tiles on the roof of my house that need re-pointing - trouble is I am in the UK!:D

    Regards

    JimR
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