The Ultimate Ride - Brother and Sister Motorcycling Duo

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by UltiJayne, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. PaulGir

    PaulGir Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    79
    #81
  2. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Crossing the Darien gap was a pleasure. Sure getting to this point was a touch stressful at times, but the actual voyage was a delight. Getting the bikes OFF the boat, however, was another story.
    All up there were five of us on board. Captain Marc, First mate Dida, Greg, Jayne and Phil. Plus the three bikes of course.

    <dl id="attachment_5379" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Captain Marc practicing in the dingy before tackling the big boat.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5356" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dida filets us some fresh caught fish!</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5339" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Greg takes the dried flying fish like a champ</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5343" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jayne tames that Crazy Horse, if only for two hours at a time</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5350" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Phil pretends to man the wheel, while really just posing for a timed photograph.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5347" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Leaving Colon, Panama. Avoiding ships heading for the Canal.</dd></dl>
    The captain mandated 2 hour shifts, which was great, giving you 8 hours off between "watches". Basically, keep the boat straight, don't hit things, yell if there's a problem. The first 24 hours was fantastic smooth seas and while there were distant thunderstorms, no rain. The thunderstorms were quite incredible to watch overnight, my second shift going from lightning lighting the night, to the sun lighting the day as it rose up over the bow.
    Eventually we even got the autopilot working right, making watch quite easy. The only strife was when someone wouldn't wake up in time to replace you on your night watch. I slept through my alarm when due to replace Jayne, and had the favor returned with Greg oversleeping the start of his shift a couple times. Still all in all very pleasant "sailing". With little wind, we motored the full distance.
    Successful sailing:


    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pKqY-9ZRxII" allowfullscreen="" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>


    The first day wasn't without scandal and excitement, when Captain Marc yelled down that he had found two stowaways hiding on the back of the boat.
    Stowaways:


    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/8_w-SRryEiM" allowfullscreen="" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>

    <dl id="attachment_5353" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">That they got a free ride was a little tough to swallow.</dd></dl>


    <dl id="attachment_5352" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Beautiful scenes while taking a pee in the head (aka toilet)</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5399" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">A bit sea sick early on, fortunately Jayne made a quick recovery</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5374" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jayne reminds us how crazy our horse is.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5359" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">My room. aka the kitchen aka the living room.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5354" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Trolling for our catch of the day.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5390" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sunsets happen everyday, but I still love a good one.</dd></dl>
    Finally arriving in Cartagena!

    <dl id="attachment_5362" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Confiscated homemade submarines!</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5358" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dropped anchor next to the Stahlratte. Hoped to see Tanya and Ernesto but they were already on land.</dd></dl>
    Much troubles finding a way to unload the motos. No dock with a deep enough draft (Crazy horse sits over 9 feet under water) will take us. Turns out that bringing bikes around the gap on a sailboat is technically illegal, so the dock owners want no part in it! Eventually a couple locals and they're skinny dingy came by to offer their services.
    <dl id="attachment_5363" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Local bike-unloading-company, at your service.</dd></dl>
    It looked a little tippy, heck our dingy was wider than that one. But the men claimed to have unloaded many bikes in the past. I'd seen video's posted by others using dingy's to unload their bikes, so maybe. "No, no no no no no no no no" Jayne was not having any of it. "Absolutely not". She didn't like how skinny it was, nor trusted their assertions that they had even done it before. If the bikes go overboard, that's the end. There must be another option.


    Unfortunately, our final dock hope soon called back to say we would not be able to unload there either, and suddenly these boys looked to be our only option after all. Fortunately, here were a couple other moto's on another sailboat nearby, so later that day we watched them go first.
    Watching the test bike, our new friend Tom and his Suzuki DR650:


    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Hwejg9XzM2I" allowfullscreen="" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>



    All going smoothly, and Jayne away in town, Greg and I decided that this was our only option, and went crawling back to the gents who had been so adamantly told to go away. Marc called Jayne to inform her that this was the only recourse, and we unloaded this bikes without Jayne's presence.
    <dl id="attachment_5364" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Last loaded, first off. Greg's bike trial run. I didn't argue.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5365" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Next up: Cricket. Quick, before Jayne sees.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5367" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">It always feels a little different riding Jayne's bike.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5368" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Easy... easy does it!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5371" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Marc holds tight while Jugs goes slowly overboard.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5373" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jesus on a motorbike: Riding across the water.</dd></dl>


    Then the final heave to get Jugs on land, only one minor stumble along the way.


    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iXoOK6mGdsE" allowfullscreen="" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe>


    <dl id="attachment_5337" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Good haul for the local boys at 50 000 COP (25$) a bike.</dd></dl>

    Great deal for us too, as we actually had our bikes on land now and could finish importing them. Down to the DIAN office to meet our agent for some paperwork signing. We had been told that, officially, we rode our bikes through the darien gap, bringing them in over land. Without using a recognized air/freight shipping method, over land is the only legal means.
    Caused us no problems, other than overpaying a bit for the agent at 40$ a bike. We hadn't negotiated beforehand, again our fault, but we also only ever had to show up when signatures were required. For the record, you can do all the imports for free if you do it all yourself. AFTER you have your temporary import papers, head over to buy your insurance for 15$/month. Don't listen to anyone who tells you you can get insurance without the import papers.
    During all this commotion of trying to find a way to unload the bikes, real-sized Kelly arrived for round two as part of the Ultimate ride!
    <dl id="attachment_5376" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Kelly is here, and ready to save you should you fall overboard.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5377" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Working on falling overboard.</dd></dl>

    Now complete with real-sized Kelly, our import papers and insurance, we would say goodbye to the crazy horse and it's crazy crew.
    Captain Marc doesn't think he'll do another run with bikes, but if he ever does, I highly recommend a ride on the Crazy horse.
    Now to explore South America!


    (Real-time update: Crazy Horse IS doing another run. Contact us for contact details)
    #82
  3. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Scenery changes, people come and go, things break or wear out, the language switches from time to time... but there has been one constant this trip: my front tire. A Kenda K761, has lasted me through the good times, the bad, and over 42000kms. But a new continent deserves a fresh start, a fresh tire, so I finally installed the Avon Gripster I've been hauling with me since we left my buddy Cam's place back in California.
    <dl id="attachment_5412" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">First noted benefit of the new tire: Jugs and cricket now match trip odometer readings again!</dd></dl>
    I suppose that should go in the Motorcycle Minute section... More later.

    Some things from Cartagena and area:
    Met up with our amigos Tanya and Ernesto of Guatemala fame.
    <dl id="attachment_5402" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Reunited, I just can't fight it.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5404" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Old town Cartagena reunion.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5425" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Tanya and Ernesto finally meet real sized Kelly.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5429" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Alcohol enhanced photo
    </dd></dl>




    A major task in Cartagena was dealing with bike paperwork. For those of you looking for information on how to do that: Go HERE for the DIAN (customs) office to import the bike, then go HERE to buy insurance for 15$ for a month. Just don't put your feet on their chairs or the insurance folk get upset. Kelly can tell you all about it some day. Also, when service is slow or wrong, don't ask who you need to go yell at. Our American motorcycle compatriot did that, and it surprisingly didn't help things along for him, but did slow down everything for everyone else.
    The old walled city is very pretty. Which makes it a touch touristy. Which makes it very safe. Too safe, if you ask me.
    <dl id="attachment_5435" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Though I suppose there was the risk of Kelly falling through this hole in the wall.</dd></dl>

    Kelly and I were stopped and searched by police three times during our night walk around the wall. I suppose gringos in Colombia awake after bedtime leads police to only one conclusion: cocaine. We were innocent of such suggestions of course, but not without the local pushers trying. In hindsight, I did get the drug pushers hopes up and I could have more carefully chosen my words when I said "It's so hot here I dream of snow". Maybe the police overheard such things.

    Overall, the walled old city is pretty, but a touch expensive and touristy. Now able to ride our bikes, we tried another local attraction: the mud volcano.

    Mud Volcano? My friend Jen had recently visited Cartagena and recommended we head to the "mud Volcano". A volcano? Of MUD?!! That must be the most amazing sight in the land!
    <dl id="attachment_5416" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">It wasn't.</dd></dl>

    A large anthill with stairs to the top surrounded by tourist vendor stands... not exactly an exciting proposition. I was already planning my "what the heck?" email to Jen. But we'd come this far and it was only 5000pesos (2.50$) to jump in, so why not.
    <dl id="attachment_5417" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">why not indeed...</dd></dl>
    Wait a minute... this is amazing!
    <dl id="attachment_5418" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The Muted splash of Mud</dd></dl>
    The mud is warm, and very buoyant, it was like being suspended in outer-space, except with air, warmth, and mud. Ok, so nothing like outer-space, but the sensation was other worldly.
    Then the teenage boys jumped in and started to rub us down. While Tanya floated on her back, Kelly noticed the boy was rubbing her back under the mud in such a way as to make her boobs jiggle, then staring at said jiggling boobs. They are teenage boys after all.
    <dl id="attachment_5419" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The harder he stares, the more they jiggle.</dd></dl>


    <dl id="attachment_5420" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">He stared hard, but my boobs just wouldn't wiggle once.</dd></dl>

    I received a much shorter massage than the girls did, for some reason. The boys did shove me down to completely submerge me below the surface however, a feat impossible to accomplish on my own due to the buoyancy of the mud.
    <dl id="attachment_5421" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Bearded man born from the womb of the volcano
    </dd></dl>


    As we exit the mud volcano, we note the genius of their set up. Children have flocked in to carry our clothes, saving them from our muddy appendages. One of these children has been taking photos for us with my camera the whole time. We are then led down to the lake, where women strip us naked, wash us and scrub our muddy swim suits.
    <dl id="attachment_5422" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Real-sized Kelly is too far muddy to carry anything without ruining it.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5423" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Note our carefully carried clothes in the background.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5424" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Into the lake to get washed like a child</dd></dl>
    The clothing carriers, the photographer, the mom's scrubbing you: It's all for a tip of course. And lets not for get those boys who made your tits jiggle. There were many hands out. In the end all were worthy of their tips, as it was a surprisingly fun morning. Speaking of tips, thank you Jen for this one, as this mud volcano was a blast!
    A short ride back to Cartagena, where we moved into our first air-conditioned hostel of the trip. Cartagena is HOT. Too hot to bear in the midday sun, and still hot under the midnight moon.
    The air-conditioning at the hostel was great, but their resident parrot sounded like a dying goat early every morning.
    <dl id="attachment_5430" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">If a pet bird has already been immortalized in a wall painting, does that mean you can mortalize said bird?</dd></dl>

    We managed to get in touch with Roger and Sasha from the Ednabel.
    <dl id="attachment_5427" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Serious discussion over beer</dd></dl>
    We had met them while sailing in the San Blas, Roger having organized the little island BBQ party. We went for drinks on their boat and some dinner. Great little meet up. Roger even let us in on his custom modification of the boats water tank. It doesn't hold water: it holds 120 liters of Gin!! The water-maker machine on-board makes the extra tank somewhat obsolete, and think of the weight and space savings on the glass bottles!
    <dl id="attachment_5428" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Roger demonstrating the magical Gin tank modified-gasoline-priming-pump.</dd></dl>
    A great stop with good catching up with friends and getting the bikes sorted. Cartagena though, with dying-goat mimicing parrots, and the suffocating heat, had us feeling it was time to move on. With my new front tire leading the way, next stop Monteria!


    Motorcycle minute:
    After the tire change, next up was an oil change. I now understand why they put little reminder stickers on your windshield at Mr. Lube, as jugs was now at over 7000km since my last oil change. A little angry at myself for overlooking this. Great folks at the lube shop, they didn't mind much when I made a bit of a mess.
    <dl id="attachment_5414" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">My skid plate has been bent into the way after meeting a couple logs, so it fills with oil a bit when draining. Sorry guys.</dd></dl>
    So now Jugs needed a wash. Though really she was due anyways. Even tho Jugs was wrapped in a plastic sheet, the terrors of sea spray are not to be under estimated. Jayne took Cricket for the same much needed TLC.

    <dl id="attachment_5415" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Soapy Jugs at a carwash. Just what I needed.</dd></dl>
    #83
  4. telejojo

    telejojo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    503
    Location:
    Huntsville Ala. foothills of the Smokey's
    Great ride report ...........................Looks like a great ride and a time of your lives.:clap
    #84
  5. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Thanks Telejojo! It has been, and continues to be just awesome. And the beer price is dropping or at least holding steady :freaky
    #85
  6. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,941
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    i'm gonna go start digging me a mud volcano right now..... :evil
    #86
  7. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    We were sweltering in Cartagena. The hottest I've felt on this trip. We had to get out of that city. I looked a the map in the Couchsurfing app on my phone and sent a couple of couch requests to towns that looked a reasonable day's ride South. Alex in Monteria responded and invited us to come stay at his apartment.


    We love Couchsurfing, the opportunity it provides to meet local people and explore their area from a local point of view. However, it also means that sometimes, indebted to our hosts, we are held hostage by our manners, and find ourselves in a situation we cannot politely extract ourselves from. To make this situation worse, often our host doesn't even realize that this is happening. This is the story of one such experience.


    The Friday afternoon we made it into Monteria, Alex met us on his motorbike and led us to his apartment, which is on a main street across from a couple of bars. He told us he had made some juice! Unfortunately, his last couchsurfers had drunk it all. Nevertheless, as promised in his emails, he was still going to cook us his speciality for dinner. This was great because we were hungry!


    Alex welcomed us into his home, apologising for the lack of furniture. His girlfriend took it all in their recent break-up. We made good use of the plastic table and chairs he did have. Alex promised he would take us to his family's finca (farm) outside of the city and he told us about his love of cycling, and a bit about Colombia and Colombian customs. He said that in Monteria the people were warmer and touched each other more than in other areas, which was big reason why he lived there and not in Bogota, Cali or Medellin. (This assertion turned out to be false, in our experience Colombians all over Colombia were great, and none of them particularly touchy feely.)



    When Kelly and I expressed an interest in learning to salsa he declared himself a great dancer and said he would teach us. He then proceeded to show me how to salsa with his body glued against mine, "here in Monteria this is how we dance". He explained that women in other Colombian cities don't dance body to body and he feels insulted.


    Phil suggested that Alex could show him how to dance and they could have a "sword fight". When Alex didn't understand the joke, Kelly and I demonstrated:
    <dl id="attachment_5478" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">A re-enactment of Kelly and I swordfighting</dd></dl>
    Alex laughed but was slightly horrified.


    Alex had already expressed admiration for the fact that I was riding my own motorbike. When he told us that the plant he was nurturing on the window sill was called "Nymeria" I recognised it as the name of Arya's direwolf in "Game of Thrones". It happens that I have been reading the series by George R. R. Martin[​IMG]. Alex was seriously impressed. It seemed as if he was now starting to analyse everything I said as to whether I would make a good girlfriend for him. This was the start of what I like to call "the girlfriend interview".


    Alex went out for a little while, but before he left he reminded us that he would be cooking us his specialty for dinner. When he came back he was accompanied by his friend Carlos, who is also a teacher. In preparation for his specialty, Alex pulled five packages of 2 minute noodles of various flavours out of his bag. Kelly and I exchanged looks, but smiled politely as he told us that we still needed to go out and buy the "secret ingredient" - ketchup! Phil tells us that we did not mask the look of horror on our faces.


    We were starving by this point and it seemed doubtful that Alex's specialty he had been promising for days was going to live up to expectations.


    Dinner that night was five flavours of 2 minute noodles, mixed together and boiled for a very long time. To this was added tinned tuna, and lots of ketchup.


    When, at 10pm, Alex finally decided to start "cooking" he asked me to keep him company in the kitchen. His first question? "What do you find attractive in a man?" The interview continued throughout. He told me he liked independent, light skinned girls, who weren't after his money and who would also still cook and clean for him, because that's what women do when they love a man. In an effort to make him stop I told him I told him I was a terrible girlfriend, very selfish and terrible in every way. I then tried to change the subject. It didn't work.


    When I offered to help Alex said I could make some juice - I was looking around for the lemon squeezer when he handed me a packet of juice crystals, saying they were his favourite. I made the juice by adding the powder to a bottle of water and shaking...
    <dl id="attachment_5288" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Alex's special dinner</dd></dl>
    I could only hope that this was not a sign of typical Colombian cuisine. It reminded me of being in Cambodia, where they loved to add meat and veg to 2 minute noodles.


    Phil got talking to Alex's friend Carlos, who expressed an interest in ultimate frisbee, and suggested that Phil go to his school on Monday and teach the kids about it. Despite it being fairly late Friday evening, Carlos was soon on the phone to the academic coordinator to arrange it.


    They then decided that it would be safer to move our motorbikes to a parking lot across the road, where there was a security guard over night, only one catch, we had to move them by 8am the next morning. So much for sleeping in... Sigh.


    That night we discovered the joys of sleeping on air mattresses, with the local bars competing at who could blast their music the loudest. I declined Alex's offer to put my air mattress in his bedroom, and was soon regretting it as at least his room had a fan and a door that might have muffled the chaos outside.


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sWs8-L5ayL4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    The next day Alex went off on a long bicycle ride, so we set about seeing what Monteria had to offer. Monteria is a small city in Northern Colombia. Other than a nice park beside the river, it doesn't have anything in the way of attractions. Many people suggested we visit the shopping center when asked what we should do there.


    Phil and Kelly set off for the supermarket, while I took full advantage of Alex's washing machine. We had a lot of dirty clothing after our time in Shelter Bay and the ocean crossing. The machine was a godsend, despite being "semi-automatic". You had to take a hose from the tap to fill the washing side, then turn the knob to drain it after it was finished washing. Then transfer the wet clothes to the spin side, spin, return them to the other side, and repeat to rinse.
    <dl id="attachment_5289" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">We did so much laundry that it was hanging on every available surface</dd></dl>
    I also took Cricket across the road to the "Pit Stop" car wash, where all the salt and such from the boat was thoroughly scrubbed off (along with a couple of stickers unfortunately). She was positively shining, and all for just $5. When I picked her up, all of the men working in the place stopped working and came outside to see the gringa with the giant motorcycle. I felt like I was famous!


    That afternoon we decided to cook Alex something that we like to eat in Canada. I assisted chef Kelly with a delicious, veggie packed stirfry. We saved some for Alex, but when he came home he explained that he didn't eat rice, and he didn't seem thrilled with the veggies either. He seemed to power through our meal the same way we powered through his, washing down the vegetables with gulps of juice. While he was eating he continued on the theme of relationships and told us what a great lover he was, and how he has a very high sperm count, which is part of the reason he got tricked into fathering a daughter.


    Afterwards he took us to a place for ice cream by the river. He said we could go to the expensive ice cream place or to his favourite which was cheaper.


    As we wandered through the streets, he told us how this ice cream place was the first place he took girls on a date, to make sure they were his kind of girl. My heart dropped, another girlfriend test!


    When walking through town Phil and Kelly would usually walk together, leaving me alone talking with Alex. He alternated telling me what a great guy he was with asking about my religious beliefs, previous relationships (and why they failed) and my desires. By this time I was no longer answering his questions good naturedly, when he tired of my obviously curt and disinterested replies, he'd find a way to try make me feel guilty for not liking something he liked, even if I'd not tried it before. For example he had taken some other couchsurfers to eat some chicken that he liked, and was upset when they didn't like it. He was going to take us and of course we would like it...


    It turned out that the ice cream place was a snow cone stall with about 30 flavours of very sweet syrups to choose from. We tasted almost all of them before making our selection for our snow cones.
    <dl id="attachment_5290" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The place to take a girl on your first date.</dd></dl>
    As we were walking home I asked if we would be spending the next day visiting Alex's family farm that he had told us about. He told me no, because he was going to sleep in, then play xbox 360 for the rest of the day. He then showed us the hot dog stall that he takes girls to if they pass the first date.


    Later that night he took off and came back with his ex-girlfriend. Seemed odd that he would still be hanging out with her after she took all his furniture, but there she was.


    That evening, Kelly and I basically begged Phil to reneg on his promise to go to the school on Monday so we could leave Monteria the next morning. We had seen all the town had to offer, and were not sleeping at all well. Every conversation I had with Alex was designed to either make me feel sorry for him (how he didn't get along with his brother, or how a woman tricked him into getting her pregnant etc), or to analyse my worthiness.


    I had had enough and I didn't want to be there any longer.


    Unfortunately for us, Phil is a man of his word. He would not be swayed. He wanted to stay another two nights so he could go to the school.


    That evening Alex told me he would be in his room with his ex-girlfriend, but when I was ready to go to bed I should just turn the light off and he would open the door so I could come in and sleep there too. Needless to say, I did not.


    The only bathroom in the apartment was in Alex's bedroom, and given the noises emerging from it, Kelly and Phil didn't want to interrupt. The kitchen sink served as a replacement. (Don't worry, it was well cleaned afterwards.)


    Phil played tetris with the air mattresses in the other small room and managed to make space for me, Kelly and himself. At least that room had a fan. We had to debate between the noise of the fan and being too hot however.


    The next morning Phil went to an internet cafe. I was pretty grumpy about still being in Monteria, but determined to make the best of being somewhere we did not want to be, Kelly and I explored the riverside park some more. We ate real ice cream, and saw lots of wildlife as we watched the people stroll by. The two of us gringas were quite an attraction, with me being so tall, and Kelly's curly red hair. People stared.


    <dl id="attachment_5291" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">A friend in the trees in the park beside the river</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5286" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Iguana feast</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5287" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">There were a lot of these guys in the park</dd></dl>
    Some time later Phil came to meet us and we went to a small restaurant for lunch. It was our first encounter with the typical "bandeja" or set lunch. Soup, rice, beans, plantain and some kind of meat all for one low price.
    <dl id="attachment_5457" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">When we first met our new friends Erick and Jose</dd></dl>
    We got to talking with two guys at the table beside us, Erick and Jose. Kelly told them of our desire to learn to dance salsa, and before we knew it Erick had bought us a round of beers and taken off down the street to see if the local salsa bar was open. It was, so we went to "Mojitos" where Erick and Jose did their best to teach us the basics. They also taught us that the cheapest way to drink in a bar is to buy a bottle or half bottle of rum, and a bottle of mix.
    <dl id="attachment_5458" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Our corner table. We were the only people there on a Sunday afternoon!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5463" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dancing at Mojitos</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5459" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Meeting Colombian Rum</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5460" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Phil adds to the music with his own special flair</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5461" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Phil and Kelly have a go</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5462" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">That's not salsa.</dd></dl>
    After Mojitos the guys took us to another bar that had a few more people at it. Kelly and I noted that NO ONE was dancing glued together, not even the experienced couples from Monteria. Alex would have felt very insulted had he been dancing there.
    <dl id="attachment_5464" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">With our new friends Erick and Jose</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5465" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dancing in bar #2</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5466" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Walking home from the Salsa bar</dd></dl>
    Spending those few hours with Erick and Jose was by far the highlight of our three day stay in Monteria. Alex seemed put out when he found out we'd made other friends. But then, as with so many things, he'd promised to take us dancing and instead decided to play Xbox.
    <dl id="attachment_5467" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Phil with some of the Monteria school kids</dd></dl>
    The next day Phil went to the school early in the morning, and then we packed up and rode to the school where Alex teaches because he wanted Phil to do a talk there too. But when we got there at 9:30am he thought it was too late, so we said goodbye and headed off towards Medellin.


    I'm fairly certain that Alex didn't realise how uncomfortable he had made me feel, or that his behaviour was inappropriate. Perhaps I should have been more explicit, but then he was very kind in agreeing to host us, and I didn't want to make him feel awkward.


    Monteria was a lesson on making the best of a bad situation. I have never been so relieved to be leaving a place. I was grumpy and tired and my relationship with Phil was showing the strain.


    We had a heated disagreement over the intercom as we were riding away from Monteria. Phil told me I should have just left if I didn't like it there. I reminded him I couldn't because I had his stuff on my bike while Kelly is travelling with us. He told me in the future if I wasn't happy I should just leave, we'd make it work. I agreed that that's what I should have done, and what I would do in the future.

    Special Thanks to Kelly for all her help with this post!!!
    #87
  8. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,897
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    I am really enjoying your ride report and try to stay up on your posts.

    You are right, you should leave if you feel uncomfortable around someone, and your brother/travel companion should stick by you.

    You obviously have good discernment, and you don't owe anybody anything.Some couchsurfing hosts may have selfish intentions or are obvious weirdos, so just move on.

    Keep up the interesting and detailed posts.
    #88
  9. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Hey Gas Guy,
    Glad you're enjoying the read!
    I did stick by Jayne's desire to leave, and encouraged her to do so. We have discussed in the past that sometimes we will have different things that we want to do/routes we want to take, and we should feel no stress in going separate ways to do so. We even had a hammock-tent sent down to us for this exact reason so we would both have shelter in such an instance.

    I was committed to doing a school talk and teaching Ultimate frisbee to the kids. As you might imagine, given that we named this the "Ultimate" ride, the plan from the get go was to play as much ulti as possible along the way. I was not going to reneg on commitments revolving around the basis of this ride very easily. Jayne expressed a desire to leave, in the end she chose not to (this time around).

    The school talk that we were staying for was great and I ended up getting to talk to, and run around with a couple hundred kids. I glad to get the opportunity to teach my favorite sport to so many kids in one stop.

    Phil
    #89
  10. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Hindsight hurts. But sometimes it would really be nice to have some hindsight beforehand.
    A couple days ago (November 18th, 2013), I crashed my bike with Kelly riding on the back on our way to Cusco. We both walked away, but everyone is feeling the lingering effects.
    So this is the story all about how, my bike got flip-turned upside-down.
    And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
    I'll tell you how they fixed my shoulder, but didn't touch my hair.
    (credit Derek Bains/ Will Smith)
    <dl id="attachment_5527" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 650px" data-mce-style="width: 650px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Seriously, just push the beard out of the way or something.</dd></dl>

    The days leading up had been fun, including flying in a little plane to see the Nazca lines. But the fun was not without irritations, holes in my air mattress, spilling hydrogen peroxide in one of my boxes, and a lingering tummy ache to top it off. We pushed through, knowing that once we made it to Cusco we had about a week to relax without needing to ride any further. I spiked a fever in our hotel in Chalhuanca, and didn't sleep great. We debated staying an extra night, but in the morning after some tylenol and a sleep in, I felt good enough to go. I really didn't want to hold up the group, especially knowing that I'd have days to relax in Cusco. Oh Hindsight...


    Our departure was delayed when a coolant leak was discovered on Cricket, but that easily fixed, we hit the road. 15 minutes out of town, Kelly and I took that literally.
    It was sunny and hot out. The road had some nice curves and was a fun ride. I took the gradual right bend at about 90km/h. At the exit of the corner there was a "vado", a shallow concrete spillway crossing the road, with water flowing across. As we rode through, my rear tire lost traction and slid out, we wobbled violently at speed for a few seconds down the highway, then crashed. I thought I had hit it pretty straight on, but should have slowed more. I was riding too quickly for the conditions. Hindsight hurts.


    Our friend Tom was riding ahead and didn't see the crash. Jayne and other friend Jeremy were maybe 30 seconds behind the carnage. They arrived and helped pick up the pieces. I had landed quite hard on my left shoulder. Winded, slow to get up, I told Jayne "I think I might have broken my collar bone". Kelly got up quickly, nothing broken, but shaken up. Unfortunately, we had thought the mountains would be chilly riding, so she layered on a sweatshirt. This had quickly proven too warm, so she had opened her riding Jacket to cool off. The resulting abrasions to her stomach and side might have otherwise been minimized. We could have stopped to take off a layer. Hindsight sucks.
    Some amazing passerby's in a pickup stopped to take us to the nearby clinic to have our wounds cleaned. They dropped us there then returned to the crash site to load 'Jugs' into the box of their truck and drove the bike to Cusco for me. Incredible people. I don't have enough kind words for them.
    Jayne really went to bat for us in the hospital and made sure we got what we needed. Patched up, Kelly and I took a bus to Cusco. However the Carnage wasn't over.
    Tom had returned when we didn't catch up, initially thinking a problem with Crickets leaking coolant. He met Jeremy waiting at the crash site, the rest of us at the hospital. After Jeremy came in to pick up Jayne and returned to load my remaining gear, Tom rode off ahead to meet our couch surf and to help with my bike in Cusco. A few hours down the road a truck had spilled some large rocks all over the asphalt, making a minefield. Tom hit a mine, and took a spill himself. Fortunately he was uninjured, though his bike took some dings and scrapes. Not bad enough, the rock he hit flew across the road and struck an oncoming bus. The bus driver stopped and was trying to get money out of Tom for the damages. "Who's going to pay for my bus?!" the driver said. "Who's going to pay for my bike?!" Tom replied. He didn't give in to the extortion, and finished the ride to Cusco, now in the dark. Jayne and Jeremy heard of the crash and had had enough, stopping at a hotel and avoiding anymore carnage on the day.

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/w7Rw6Us9dos" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ACz0dXpzrO0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    <dl id="attachment_5493" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">What's worse than a water leak? A hydrogen peroxide leak (my contact solution), oxidizing my spare nuts n' bolts and some tools. The day we left Nazca, not a great start.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5519" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Taking a nap and resting my unhappy belly during a long construction break a couple hours after leaving Nazca.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5495" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The next morning, a slow start to the day gets slower. Fortunately a quick hose-clamp tighten for an easy fix to the leaking coolant.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5496" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Quite a ways from the corner, jugs finally came to rest</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5499" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Winded, but walking away</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5502" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">One of the many deep gouges Jugs left in the road.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5503" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Kelly getting patched up, wishing her Jacket had been zipped up.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5505" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">T-shirt not representative of feelings of wearer.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5506" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">I can't thank Jayne, Jeremy and Tom enough for picking up the pieces for me.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5509" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Wear your gear!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5498" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Kelly and I took the bus to Cusco. Speed bumps were agonizing.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5513" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Love those photos where they're taking a photo of you right back.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5514" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Like Rob Ford, my clavicle did crack</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5515" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rib joined crack binge. May have invited friends.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5516" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Come for your friends, stay for the wifi</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5518" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Peru length gown. This is the XL I think. Ready for Surgery.</dd></dl>

    The small hospital we were first taken to was without an xray machine. The doctor there felt I hadn't broken anything, but should double check once in Cusco. Total cost for our hospital visit there was around 10$. After a long bus ride, Kelly and I arrived in Cusco to our couchsurf with Wilman, who I must thank greatly for his patience.
    The next day Jayne and Jeremy arrived, we looked over the bikes, and sorted our things. My shoulder and chest were sore, but not bad after some pain medication I had taken. All gear sorted and Jugs pushed uphill to a parking lot, Kelly and I finally set off to the clinic after noon, just to be sure nothing was broken.


    I had xrays at 3pm. My surgery was set for 7pm. Talk about service!


    The hours that followed were spent on the phone to Jayne and the insurance company, including brief discussion of flying home to Canada. Since I have no provincial coverage there anymore, the decision was made to have the surgery here in Peru. Jayne and the boys came by for a pre-surgery party, then surgery was had.

    <dl id="attachment_5528" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">No turning back now, strapped down with leather belts.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5530" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Wait are those bolt cutters?</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5529" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Pretty happy to be asleep at this time.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5531" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The guiding hand.</dd></dl>
    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uQ49YIztF5E" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    Things were less jovial after surgery. The pain I felt when I first woke up is something I wish on no one else anywhere ever.
    The realities of the changes to our trip also began to set in. Our travel buddies will carry on without us, of course, but Jayne is caught between a rock and a hard place. The window to hit Ushuaia is Dec-March, but Jayne had been hoping for on January. And visiting friends in Chile for Christmas.
    Kelly had been wanting to go to Machu Picchu this whole trip, but now with dressings to change a multi-day Jungle trek doesn't sound enjoyable. There is a palpable feeling of apathy about the very expensive ruins.
    So many small moments could have been the difference. I should have stayed in bed. I should have stayed an extra day. I should have just caught up with everyone later. I should have stopped to have Kelly take off her sweater. We shouldn't have had any of us riding at night (Tom).
    Above all, I should have slowed down for that water.
    Hindsight hurts.


    But we were also very lucky. We were wearing our gear. The bike didn't land on either of us. None of the other bikes were close enough to get taken out. Strangers stopped to help immediately. A broken clavicle and rib aren't that bad in the grand scheme of things. I have a great group of friends who jumped in to help. The local and extended motorcycle community have all offered whatever support they can. I have a great sister who hassles the staff to get what I need, changes our dressings and otherwise nurses the nurseman.
    <dl id="attachment_5542" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 609px" data-mce-style="width: 609px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Nurse Jayne doing dressing changes on Kelly and I since the hospital staff aren't.</dd></dl>

    Looks like we'll be in a holding pattern for 2-4 weeks. We'll see what comes next.
    <dl id="attachment_5538" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Repaired and ready for what comes next.</dd></dl>

    This blog post is well out of order, but figured it was better to be timely. The bright side is we'll have a lot of time on our hands while the clavicle heals to write and share all the fun stories we have built up before this less-fun one.
    #90
  11. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,941
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    dang man! you'll be glad you had it pinned, i didn't and it's still not right. rest up, dont MOVE, and heal well. :freaky
    #91
  12. Roadinator

    Roadinator Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    316
    Location:
    DC & WV
    Wow. Just made it through the whole report and ending on a crash. This is better than cable TV :yikes

    Hang in there brother Phil. The world needs you!

    Speedy recovery and safe travels (however you travel next, that KLR looked like it needed some work :cry)
    #92
  13. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada

    Too true Vintagespeed!
    I broke my right clavicle into a few pieces years ago (playing sports) and didn't have surgery for 7 months. A disaster.
    This break, while thankfully only in two pieces, was still a "distal third" fracture (broken near the end), which are notorious for not healing. As soon as I saw it I knew surgery was needed. Very impressed when it happened only hours later!
    Thanks for the well wishes!
    #93
  14. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada

    Let's hope the trip doesn't end here, having too much fun :D

    First look the bike should be repairable. But I haven't taken a close look yet, and have mild fears that the subframe might have taken a beating given the weight on the bike at the time. We'll see. They tell me I can leave the hospital finally tonight. So perhaps tomorrow I'll start on the bike repairs.
    Cheers,:freaky

    Phil
    #94
  15. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    A week ago everything changed.


    It was a beautiful, sunny day. We'd had a late start because Phil wasn't feeling very well. The first fourteen kilometres of highway outside of Chalhuanca twist through the mountains, alongside cliffs and rivers.
    <dl id="attachment_5569" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">View from the highway. Photo: Tom Brady</dd></dl>
    My heart nearly stopped when I came round the corner and saw the scene every motorcyclist hopes to never see. Phil's bike on its side with debris spread along the behind it, with Phil laying very still in the middle of the road meters further on.


    A million thoughts flashed through my mind. I need to get there fast, I need to be careful, I don't know what made him crash, he's not moving, is he dead?


    I didn't see the crash itself, Phil had taken off pretty quick, keeping up with Tom on his much lighter Suzuki DR650. I was cruising along behind with our new friend Jeremy, who raced motorcycles in France, and had spent some of the morning coaching me on taking corners with a smoother line.


    I stopped on the side of the road, leaped off my bike and ran to Phil. His eyes were closed, but he was talking. Kelly had already picked herself up and was kneeling beside him. After establishing that he wasn't dead, I ran back to help Jeremy clear the road, and of course, as per our long standing agreement, to take a couple of pictures.
    <dl id="attachment_5555" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Seconds earlier Phil was laying on the road where he's standing in the picture.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5565" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jugs after doing some acrobatics</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5564" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">SO close to 100,000km. We think Jugs went upside-down at some point.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5574" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Always wear your helmet. This could have been Phil's head! *TB</dd></dl>
    Everything happened pretty fast, and we were soon being driven to hospital by a couple of kind Peruvians. Jeremy stayed at the crash site with the bikes, Tom soon realised something had happened and came back. We were so fortunate to have Jeremy and Tom riding with us. They were superstars.
    <dl id="attachment_5571" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Phil and Kelly show off their matching hip wounds. Photo: Tom Brady</dd></dl>
    Tom stayed with the bikes while Jeremy rode into town to get me. By this time our Peruvian rescuers had driven back to the crash site, loaded Jugs into their truck, and taken it with them to Cusco. We can't thank them enough for their help.
    <dl id="attachment_5573" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jugs gets a lift to Cusco. Photo: Tom Brady</dd></dl>
    Tom rushed ahead to make sure Phil's bike was unloaded alright, Phil and Kelly got on a bus, and Jeremy and I loaded all of the remnants from the crash onto our bikes (including Phil's topbox, the tent, Kelly's hoodie and other random items).


    Our ride had moments of beauty but I was shaken, and it soon was dark.
    <dl id="attachment_5563" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jeremy, his bike Smiley, and a beautiful sunset on a terrible day.</dd></dl>
    Luckily we had installed one of our Sena intercom units on Jeremy's helmet, and so at least I had someone to talk to for that long ride towards Cusco. Jeremy's calm, reassuring presence kept me sane.
    <dl id="attachment_5559" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Me and Jeremy, a few days after the crash</dd></dl>
    It was after sunset when Tom called me saying he had also just crashed.


    My heart dropped. I should have told Phil to stay in bed that morning and I should never have encouraged Tom to ride ahead quickly and alone to Cusco. The self blame came on strong and hard.


    Luckily Tom was okay, and his bike still ran. He handed the phone to the bus driver who was demanding money from him for the rock that ricocheted off Tom's bike into his bus. I explained to the driver that Tom would not be giving him any money, and that Tom would give him his Peruvian insurance details.
    <dl id="attachment_5570" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The rocks that caused Tom to crash. Photo: Tom Brady</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5572" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rock 1 - Suzi's Rim 0. Photo: Tom Brady</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5558" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Tom, luckily, was completely unhurt, the same cannot be said for Suzi's sidebag.</dd></dl>
    It was at this point that Jeremy and I decided that riding in the dark for another 130 kilometers to Cusco was a terrible idea. The “highway” descended into dirt sections many times, and there were several places along the way where rocks had slid off the cliff into the road. Decision to stop at the next hospedaje made, it was an hour, and 60km later that we eventually found one. We drove very slowly and carefully for that hour!


    After all was said and done, the next day I found myself in Cusco, with Phil in surgery for a broken collarbone, and our plans in tatters.


    I was consumed by conflicting emotions. Depression, shock, sadness, relief, gratitude, worry, anger, fear...


    I was so glad that Phil and Kelly were okay, but also angry at Phil for being so stupid. How could he drive so fast with Kelly on the back? Hadn't he learnt his lesson when he crashed with me on the back in Alaska? Could I trust him to make good decisions on the rest of the trip? Would he be more careful, wait until he is properly healed, make the right choices?


    My faith in his ability to make good decisions and to look after himself and the people he is travelling with was lost.


    I was also feeling very sorry for myself. I had wanted to be in Southern Chile with my friends for Christmas. Google tells me that recovery for broken ribs and collarbones takes 4-6 weeks meaning that it is very unlikely that we will have even left Bolivia by Christmas. Also I have been invited to sail to the Galapagos in February. This is an opportunity that I do not want to pass up. Before the crash, making it to Ushuaia in mid January was very feasible. Once again, making plans had created expectations that were now being crushed.


    As the six days Phil was in hospital passed by, I slowly accepted that I may not make it to Ushuaia and be able to go sailing too. Kelly stayed in the extra bed in Phil's hospital room, leaving me alone to process everything – there were a lot of tears.


    I questioned whether I even wanted to continue. This past week has been a bad one for our friends on the road. One of the Venezualan brothers we met in Lima was hit by a truck, ending his trip. The Australian couple who I met in a coffee shop in Solento (we will catch up on the blog and tell you all about the past couple of months soon) had their motorcycle stolen in Bariloche, Argentina. Seven volcanoes erupted around the world. We were lucky in comparison, Phil will heal and Jugs, while very beat up, still runs.


    I moved into the Estrellita hostel, which is popular with motorcycle travellers.
    <dl id="attachment_5561" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">A lot of kindred spirits</dd></dl>
    I met Greg and Cathy from France. Cathy is recovering from a crash where she shattered her shoulder. She didn't start riding again for 4 months. Even with that, much worse, injury, they didn't give up and go home, they stayed in South America, and now they are back on the road.
    <dl id="attachment_5560" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cathy and Greg - her shoulder is recovering!</dd></dl>
    There is no way to know when Phil will be recovered enough to continue, or how much work it will take to get Jugs back on the road. I have been through a rollercoaster of emotions, and ended up deciding that I am just going to take things as they come. I would still like to see my friends in Chile, they are there until the 4th of January, but if I don't make it, that's okay.


    I am still very much planning on embarking on my sailing adventure in February, and if that means I have to leave Cricket somewhere before we make it to Ushuaia, that's okay too. Life is an adventure, and stuff happens.


    On Sunday, November 24th, 2013, Phil was discharged from hospital, Kelly flew back to Canada, Tom and Jeremy continued on their journey South to Bolivia and beyond, and we were adopted by Sandy and Sandra.
    <dl id="attachment_5562" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Final picture before the gang disbanded. We miss you guys!</dd></dl>
    In response to Phil's post about the crash, an old collage friend, Rob, sent Phil an email saying that his parents and two younger siblings live near Cusco. I soon received a call from his mother Sandra inviting us to come stay with them while Phil recovers and fixes his bike. They run an NGO called DESEA in the Sacred Valley.


    Yesterday they drove into Cusco, loaded Phil and Jugs into their pick-up truck, and I followed them home on Cricket.
    <dl id="attachment_5566" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jugs' second truck ride in a week</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5567" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Our beautiful new home. Our bedroom is the balcony.</dd></dl>
    Once again, despite bad things happening, the world is looking after us. We really are extremely fortunate, and the overarching lesson I am taking away from the past week is to live in the moment. Be appreciative of the people around you, the generosity of friends and strangers, the support shown by everyone, the health, love and life that we all have. I'm trying not to worry about what's going to happen next. It's hasn't been easy, and I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but adventures aren't only filled with fun.


    I am embracing the sadness, and I am confident that everything will work out in the end.
    <dl id="attachment_5575" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The Sacred Valley is a lovely place to recover.</dd></dl>
    #95
  16. Overcomb3

    Overcomb3 Icy PUMA

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Nothin else matters but family and friends. Be safe & try to continue. I'll keep reading if you keep goin;^}
    #96
  17. boatpuller

    boatpuller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    767
    Location:
    Central fly-over land.
    All the best to you two siblings dealing with this setback.
    #97
  18. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,897
    Location:
    Garden City, Michigan
    One of the benefits of riding the KLR is cheap parts.Subframes are dirt cheap in the states.I dont know about getting the parts down there though.

    PINWALL CYCLES
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...JagPjuCTKPEOY9IBQ&sig2=ZtQke-cxXuRhiGM7JJsw8A

    This place has tons of KLR parts cheap.They have subframes for $25.00.
    Maybe if you call them they would be willing to ship to you.

    Anyway,good luck and hope you keep rolling soon.Your ride report is EPIC.
    #98
  19. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,054
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Sorry to hear about the accident and hope all works out for you. Ushuaia will always be there!

    I have nothing but good things to say about Pinwall Cycle.. bought few used parts from them for my Sportster so hope they can help you with your need. Good luck!
    #99
  20. ChazW

    ChazW Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Glad you're alright. Stay positive. You are in our thoughts and prayers.