The Grand Tour. South America in 100 days.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by muf722, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
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    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    I kind of figured that might me the case.
    #21
  2. muf722

    muf722 Muf

    Joined:
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    IMG_2560.JPG Arriving in a very small town, San Pablo de Borbur, I needed help from the locals to find accommodation since there are no hotels or the like. I returned the favour in beer and became very popular.
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    Early morning from my humble room in a local house.
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    Jesus overlooking Villa de Leyva. Hike up to the Mirador.
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    Do I still need to go to Rio? Hopefully I can take a similar picture of Christ the Redeemer.
    #22
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  3. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    G0118396.JPG On the way to Honda on local roads.
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    Coming down from the mountains, the weather is very hot. Choose a place with a pool.
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    Small town above 3000 meters. G0129209.JPG
    This road has a long stretch above 4000m. For the first time ever, I switched the suspension setting to "mountain"
    #23
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  4. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Sep 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Scandinavia
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    4138m or 13500 feet. Its the highest I´ve been on my bike, and surprised to find these altitudes in Colombia.
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    In Salento on the mandatory coffee tour
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    This guy from Barcelona making a guided tour of his private coffee farm. Standing behind a Robusta plant and next to an Arabica.
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    We got to play with the real deal. I will actually change the way I make coffee after learning new things.
    #24
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  5. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Location:
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    While in Salento you must visit Cocora Valley. The Quindio tree is Colombias national tree. Very tall palm trees indeed and a very peaceful place.
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    On the way back from the Valley hike, I recognize the two bikes from our Polish friends. I did not see them around.
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    Her bike is very cool.
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    If you do not have a bike then a colourfull taxi is an option.
    #25
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  6. DanesDownunder

    DanesDownunder n00b

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    Nov 15, 2017
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    Australia
    Did you see your coffee guy was wearing an Australian t-shirt? Go Aussies...
    #26
  7. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    El eje cafetero is a Willys Lover’s paradise. Lve those old jeeps!
    #27
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  8. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    You would think, with all the coffee around, that Colombians have a fine coffee-culture and plenty cafés to choose from, but you´d be wrong.
    I found it difficult sometimes to find a decent café enroute. This machine is more likely placed to attract a passing tourist, and so it did. A damn good cafe latte for 500 pesos. (15cents)
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    Roadsides are littered with crosses and flowers from accidents. I counted 6 crosses on this hill alone.
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    On a break on the road to Cali.
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    I stop at Motolombias rental shop in Cali. The owner Mikkel is a dane who while on a bike trip in Colombia, fell in love and got stuck.
    He was out of shop, so I wait sipping coffee and taking pictures.
    #28
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  9. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    No, I didn´t notice. He did tell me that he loves Scandinavians, South Koreans and Australians, because of their coffee culture, and their willingness to pay top dollar for high quality coffees.
    #29
  10. muf722

    muf722 Muf

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I believe this is Mikkels personal bike.
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    Finally I get to meet Mikkel and his wife. Back in the office for a talk. He tells me that instead of GPS´s on the bikes, he now uses cellphones with the free offline maps from maps.me. Now downloaded.
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    We exchange stickers and I get a Motolombia t-shirt.
    Time for salsa in Cali.
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    Next morning in Cali traffic/market.
    #30
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  11. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Scenery in Colombia is staggering all around.
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    A few dirt roads today.
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    The main square of a small town. As an example of the missing cafés. I here sat in an long since closed ice cream shop now selling roast chicken with some guy who went on a search to bring me a coffee.
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    The planned detour to Silvia ended without success. As I arrived to take pictures of the beautiful town and blue dressed indigenous people with bowler hats, the taps from heaven opened and everybody disappeared. So lunch until the rain lessened.
    #31
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  12. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Getting out of Popayan was not to be easy. The nightly rain caused a landslide on the edge of town cutting off all traffic. Several truck loads of mud had to be removed to allow the road to reopen. When it did, not even the skilled Colombian bike riders on light dirt bikes dared to ride the slippery mud left behind. We all chose to walk the bikes through. My heavy bike slipped all over the place and I strained a muscle in the neck/back area trying to balance the bike. Checking in to Pasto I chose a 5 star hotel to use their spa facilities. A massage and steam bath helped a lot.
    Pasto is last stop before the border to Ecuador.
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    The migration center on the Ecuadorian side. Many tricks are used to jump the que. The red bike belongs to a South Korean on a South American tour.
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    This line took 2 1/2 hours. Same as on the Colombian side. Just to get a stamp in the passport.
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    Remember to export the bike in Colombia. Just hand over the temp import to the DIAN office. The temporary import of the bike to Ecuador only took 30 min at this office. They didnt like my stamp from the migration office, as it didnt specify the number of days I was allowed in the country. I was allowed to jump the line to let them add the 90 days max to the stamp. No reason to buy insurance as it is state paid. Now I can ride in Ecuador.
    #32
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  13. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Spending 6 hours at the border means a very short riding day.
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    Somehow I got the impression to bring Euros and not Dollars. That a mistake. Banks will not exchange cash, and the border money handlers will take 15% in their rate. So I keep my Euros as emergency cash and try to find an ATM. Ecuador has lost its own currency to US Dollars.
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    New country, new beer.
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    Early morning after a wrong turn. Lots of old cobblestoned streets lead out of Otavalo. Slow but without traffic.
    #33
  14. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    The moment my GPS exchanged a N to a S. Crossing the equator.
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    I crossed the line about 3 times this day. Expect a nearby Equator museum or mark near the road. This giant sundial should be the oldest of the sites.
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    The drone is up and above. East is up to mark the beginning. West is down to mark the end. North is left, South is right. In Ecuador they tilt the globe on the side to show how they view the world.
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    My route takes me to the Pacific coast. To the town of Manta. I´d hoped to arrange a diving trip to see manta rays. The manta rays you find here are the largest in the world, but unfortunately the season is over. Just before darkness, I get a brief view of fishermen returning from work.
    #34
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  15. slowriding

    slowriding Dopeless Hope Fiend

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    Geezerville, AZ
    Great stuff, I'm in on this ride.
    #35
  16. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Location:
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    Nice catch. Not a looker. Manta is the place for seafood, and I had a nice tuna steak.
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    The coast has hot weather, so I head back to the mountains. Some places have fog or rain and will slow progress down. Nobody cares to turn on headlights and risk level is high. On the way to Cuenca, I stop at an Inka site with a sun tempel. We learn that its build on top of an even older Canari site. They worshiped the moon.
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    Cuenca was a pleasant surprise. Maybe the most beautiful city in Ecuador. So I decide to take a rest day here.
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    The next morning is spend hiking in El Cajas national park. The lakes are at 4000m.
    #36
  17. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Love the drone shots—can’t wait to see more.

    Actually Ecuador lost its own currency due to big-time devaluation after artificially set exchange rates were removed. When the old sucre was finally allowed to float it was killed by depreciation. The government fixed the problem by adopting the dollar as the official currency there about 20 years ago. Panama did this many years ago as well, and that fact gave it, like Ecuador, an economic advantage over other countries in Latin America due to the lack of exchange rate risk (greatly strengthens the banking system and enhances foreign investment) and lack of a central bank (they cannot print their own money and “inflate” their way out of the overspending, kind of like a natural barrier to rampant government spending and resulting inflation). That’s the primary reason why Panama and Ecuador look very different from other countries in the region. Enough economics—now back to moto adventure!
    #37
  18. Kagemand

    Kagemand n00b

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    Copenhagen
    Godt at høre fra dig. Ser spændende ud, med de sædvanlige udfordringer i U lande. Fedt med drone billeder af turen, pas nu på ikke at filme noget narko relateret...men hold fokus på Copacabana strand og duller. Ser frem til flere updates. Per
    #38
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  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    #39
  20. PHKMANN

    PHKMANN Adventurer

    Joined:
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    NOVA
    Good luck buddy! Keep up the good work.
    -Phil
    “Fair winds and Following Seas”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #40