South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,155
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    +1 on Cold El Cocuy
    I was planning on going South out of El Coyuy and loop around the National Park but the locals (along with the need to find some bearings in Bucaramanga) talked me out of it and instead I went up to Pamplona and then back to the East and around the National Park and crossed into Venezuela at the nice border crossing of Aracua, I think this one is the best, 2nd most remote one to that of river town border crossing of Puerto Ayacucho that hardly any foreigners use. Even I was advised against using the roads that are closest to Venezuela as being dangerous, they do have a sort of feel to them in that area:deal No problems for me and I ran into some nice people.

    No need for HW64 all the way, there are too many of those perfect little mountain roads in the area. Map with San Gil in the far left instersected by purple and teal tracks, not hardly a straight road to be found in the whole area, this was all crazy good riding, some very cold and I was glad to have my heated jacket:deal
    [​IMG]
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE

    Hola Ricardo,

    I'm heading to Carnivale in Baranquilla. I just got a little side tracked today heading south to go north. It's Pamplona tomorrow on backroads.

    Okay, Parque El Gallineral does sound nice and it's just up the road. Might have to check it out in the morning.

    As far as nice people, I just call them like I see them. The Colombians I met today were awesome. Starting with the moto shop that wouldn't take my money and ending with the nice receptionist here at the hotel who cut me a deal on a nice room for 15 bucks:

    [​IMG]

    Crap photo of her looking intently at the computer instead of the sweet smile a second before the camera clicked.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  3. Dual Personality

    Dual Personality How many more days in life do we get to ride?

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Knew you had it in you John, thanks for the pics of the roads with curves....
    and of curves in hotels as well. :clap

    Great RR - looking forward to what comes next.

    -Larry
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi SS,

    Taganga sounds like a nice alternative for the financially challenged. Look forward to the coast if I can find my way north out of the Colombian mountains. Pretty nice down south around here.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    So far Colombia has proven to be a great country to break down and get things fixed in a timely manner. The warmth and generosity of the Colombian folks I've met so far has been a true delight. I had heard that this is a wonderful country to visit, but you never know until you get someplace if it is somewhere you will like. Which is why I always like to make up my own mind rather than relying on the warnings of others.

    Everywhere I have gone so far has been considered dangerous and inhospitable by the people in the preceding countries. Don't get me wrong. You may hate Colombia. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Which is why I try not to recommend things to people unless I know them fairly well.

    Plus I think people respond to your energy. If you are a sourpuss by nature then people will treat you like one. I try to joke around and have fun and not take life too seriously.

    People seem interested in pinning you down as to where you're going and how long you'll be on the road. It's only human nature. I really have no idea, but understand that wandering around aimlessly, goofing off and having a good time on crazy good back roads until my money runs out is an unsatisfactory answer. This week I am telling people I'm headed to Baranquilla and Carnivale which is a very satisfying answer to all who hear it.
    It's kind of like when I was traveling in India. The locals couldn't understand someone with no children. Being a vagabond with no children just wasn't cutting it. So to stop feeling like a pariah, I finally had to invent a son who was studying engineering and a daughter who was a nurse.

    But in truth I am just a solo vagabond wandering around aimlessly, meeting nice people and having a good time on crazy good back roads until my money runs out. I have no desire to rush through South America. It is a HUGE continent and could keep a traveler busy for years. When I'm broke I'll head home, earn more money and return for more.

    Saludos,
    Juan Viajero
  6. thepackrat

    thepackrat i can ride that

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    southern Ontario
    my sentiments exactly. Having the same marital status and interests in travel, Keep it up!.
  7. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    748
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    That's what makes your adventure so endearing. Just talked to dad and he wants to let you know he goes online everyday to follow your ride and he's starting from the begining. He says he's taking you to your word of going back to Medellin though not necessarily in three weeks. He's borrowing a bike to take you on day long rides around the city. Oh and the guys at the parqueadero ask for news about you
  8. Grits&Gravy

    Grits&Gravy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    392
    Location:
    The Cleave
    Hi John,
    It is definitely polite and very advantageous, as we can all see, to abide by the customs of a society when one is a visitor. Your smiles and positive attitude go a long way as well.

    I'm still keeping up and it looks like the tent is still with you too. I tell people about it all the time. I didn't tell you, but I bought that tent in Southern California about 10 years ago and used it to camp in Anza Borrego Desert, Mojave, and up in Big Bear, and now it has made its way to Columbia S.A. Too Cool.....

    Keep doing what your doing. Everybody is enjoying it and looking fwd to tomorrow!!!! :freaky
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hola SeƱor Huevos Verdes,

    So glad you are still following along! I can't tell you how handy your tent has made my trip. It has held up beautifully through thick and thin. And let me tell you, it has seen some thin. Soccer fields in the Darien, restaurants in Colombia, palm thickets south of Tulum, the beach in Xcalak, the desert of Mexico, or the roof of a Kuna cargo boat. Still keeps the thundertstorms out after all these miles.

    Muchas gracias amigo,
    Juanito
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Never got around to leaving San Gil today. It was kind of cloudy and I really liked the idea of heading over to Cocuy. And would rather head up high elevation switchbacks to the heavens in clear weather. Anyway, San Gil is an easy town to hang out in. Here is a shot from my hotel window:

    [​IMG]

    Took trespalacios advice and headed down to the Parque El Gallineral. Here is a nice stone bust of Simon Bolivar on the promenade along the river on the way over:

    [​IMG]

    I think the sculptor was having some fun with the pencil neck and the pupils in his eyes looking up and to his right like he was bored as hell posing for his statue.

    Parque El Gallineral was a very peaceful and serene place to wander around for a couple hours. Kind of like a toned down Las Pozas. Lots of Spanish moss and stone and brick pathways meandering around:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nice stream running through the park with quaint bridges and stone wall waterfall follies:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and giant Ceiba trees:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These two cute gals were kind enough to pose for a shot. One had on a traditional dress:

    [​IMG]

    There were all kinds of hand painted signs to tourist towns in the area:

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of places to visit in the boonies around here. After leaving the park I wandered around town. I like this stone church:

    [​IMG]

    And this sculpture in the main square made out of welded 1/4" brass wire strands. His loincloth is a little weak. But I like the wings and the eagle coming out of his chest:

    [​IMG]

    Old town market area:

    [​IMG]

    And I'm a sucker for bluegreen fanpalms:

    [​IMG]

    Pretty nice place this San Gil. Maybe I'll leave tomorrow. I spent 49,000 pesos (28,00) on food, lodging, park entry and a hat today.


    Saludos,
    Juanito
    johnthomasdowns.blogspot.com
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hola Ricardo,

    That is so nice to hear! Your Dad is great. Although you must be made of iron. I would have had a hard time keeping up with Orlando as a kid.

    And tell your Dad and the mechanicos I will definitely be coming back to Medellin. I consider the parqueadero as my home away from home. I look forward to cruising around town with him. I just hope he borrows a moped so I can keep up with him.

    Saludos,
    Juan Paisa
  12. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi thepackrat,

    Glad you are following along! And yes, I will keep reporting back what I find on the roads less traveled. It's not a job, it's an adventure.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  13. mario33

    mario33 Howling around...

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    Hola amigo ! Just wanted to give you a head up that I'm still following you.

    Nice place you took for a stay :norton I think you deserve some peace after those problems with Sherpa... Take your time.

    If you find some time and make a close up pic of that part welded on your fork it would be interesting. I'm still curious how it was done.

    Saludos, vagabundo.

    Mariusz
  14. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Mario33,

    Your wish is my comand. It's a bit dark down in the parqueadero at this hotel but here is a pic:

    [​IMG]

    Had to zip tie the brake line to the left lower since the mounting point was missing, but it stops the bike and that's all that matters at this point.

    It's a ratbike owner's dream.

    Saludos,
    Juan Frenos de Mierda
  15. VooDooDaddy

    VooDooDaddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    SW Iowa
    Not for me.

    This is what makes this ride report so damn interesting for most if not all of us around the world, reading, waiting, and watching! You are an inspiration. This is exactly how I want to do my trip. No set plan, no set place I gotta be, no timeline to follow. Just go where the path leads me each day, and hang my head wherever I may be at the end of each day.
  16. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Brilliant!
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE

    Hi Hewby,

    Coming from you that means a lot! You of all people know what I'm talking about.

    Have been enjoying your ride report in my spare time. Keep up the good work! The Salar is calling you.

    Kindest regards,
    Juan of the jungle
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,146
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi VooDooDaddy,

    Glad you're still following along. The twists and turns of this ride have kept things interesting, that's for sure. I have no idea where it will end up.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  19. Dual Personality

    Dual Personality How many more days in life do we get to ride?

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    North Georgia
    That old town market area looks interesting. Nice pics.

    Just curious, since you know much more about masonry/stone than I do -
    how does what you've seen in SA thus far compare to old Mexico?
  20. ex_MGB

    ex_MGB Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    490
    A zoo wolf raised in captivity pacing his enclosure if asked what he wanted, his belly would reply, another five pounds of meat. This answer is belied by his pacing. In his pacing is the forebear's collective yearning for the hunt.

    Our hero is straining at the hot house bonds of a late civilization, a modern day Trouvere on a quest...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.