The Ultimate Ride - Brother and Sister Motorcycling Duo

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

  1. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    Sorry to hear about the accident! Get well soon, and from my own limited experience I may suggest not to "test" the healed part too early. I have done that and ended up prolonging my recovery, keeping me from getting back in the game as soon as I could have if I had just let my body complete the job.

    Your disappointment at the likelihood of not being able to meet your friends at the end of the world is totally understandable and real. Somehow I believe that even if you miss the meet-up you will still enjoy the remainder of the trip, at least, that is what I hope happens. All the best to you both.
  2. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    First off, thank you to all for the well wishes and kind messages we have received since my crash. I am out of hospital and healing in Pisaq, Peru. Ribs are sore, but the clavicle is better each day. Jugs is not doing so well with frame issues, but I have found a good mechanic who can un-break that which is broken. Now back to all that happened before the crash...



    One of the great parts of motorcycle travel is the instant kinship you have instantly with anyone else also traveling by bike. It is through this kinship that in September we met Rusty (real name, I saw his passport). He saw our bikes pulled in at a truck-stop with a view for the night, and decided he'd stop too. Rusty had been travelling on his 1974 BMW for the past couple years. Nearing the end of his travels, Rusty was a wealth of information for us venturing forth, since he had been there and done that. We would travel together in a mini motorcycle gang to Medellin.
    <dl id="attachment_5657" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Teaching the youth of Colombia the magic of the truck stop jumping photo</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5659" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Local kids adding a whole new spectrum to hitchhiking</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5658" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rusty's 1974 BMW "Black Betty"</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5661" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rusty rides Black Betty in the gang</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5660" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Fantastic road through the mountains up to Medellin!</dd></dl>

    Medellin is a fantastic city. The altitude is just right to create weather that is “permanent spring”, a very welcome change from the roasting Cartagena and Monteria. Medellin has all the big city services (and motorcycle shops!) without really having a big city feel. There's plenty of ultimate frisbee, history (Pablo Escobar anyone?), cute shops (important to Kelly) and beer dispensaries (important to everyone). We spent our first night in “Casa Kiwi”, a hostel located in the more happening “Poblado” area that has a garage and preferential rates to moto travelers. Win win! Getting there wasn't without some snags though, more on that below in the Motorcycle Minute.
    Nice as it was, Jayne, Kelly and I left Casa Kiwi after one night. We would return often though to hang out with Rusty and Tom (who rolled in a day later). From Casa Kiwi we moved in to a couch surf hosted by Michael and his Daughter. “Stay as long as you like” he said. Ok. We stayed a week!

    <dl id="attachment_5670" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">We got to share in Luna's 4th birthday festivities!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5671" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Across the street and up two floors, a 21 year old girl drinks juice from a baby bottle. Alrighty.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5663" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Great neighborhood. Great neighbors. Including the one who helped us break in our first night when we were accidently locked out... with all eyes watching from nearby balconies.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5667" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">... and house cages.</dd></dl>

    Medellin is a hotbed of Ultimate frisbee, giving us the chance to get our fix. Thanks to all the players who let us join in.
    <dl id="attachment_5675" 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 rogue Blackfish jersey made it's way to Colombia. Makes me feel right at home! Amazing scenes!</dd></dl>
    When not frisbee-ing, we explored the town. One afternoon making a stop in at the Botanical gardens and seeing the fat statues. Apparently there is an amazing butterfly house at the botanical gardens, but they get tucked in to bed at 4pm, so we just missed them.
    <dl id="attachment_5679" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">In our defense, the tire bush was quite captivating. Likely better than any butterflies anyways.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5680" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Five Jayne's and a Kelly. We did look at plants in the gardens as well, I swear.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5681" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">We sat in the train for a break from all the plants. This got the kids hopes up that it might be about to drive away. We entertained them with our quality Spanish to make up for it.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5682" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Unfinished sculpture by lazy sculptor Botero</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5596" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Botero Surfing</dd></dl>

    Downtown Medellin had many similarities to my last home, downtown Vancouver. Many highrises, art works here and there, many folks out and about, and drug addicts openly engaging in their trade sitting on the sidewalks. All big cities are the same. They really are.
    Our next excursion involved public transit. We took the metro train to the metro ski gondola, minus the skiing. There was some mountain biking though.
    <dl id="attachment_5704" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">It's a long way to the top, when you're on the metroooooo</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5703" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Great view of the whole city, including the slums, from the metrocable gondola ride.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5601" 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 the metrocable ride is pretty long ok?</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5668" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">At the top of the Metrocable: "Parque Arví" with FREE mountain bike rental to go explore!</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5669" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">They were a little upset with us for riding off the "approved paved routes"</dd></dl>

    Back at home, Jayne has been doing much emailing back and forwards working on a project with Martin from Shelter Bay, Panama. Unreliable internet sent her into a tizzy when an important skype meeting that had been set up for days went awry. Minutes before the meeting, the internet cut out, forcing Jayne to run around to buy cell phone internet at the last minute. It's incredible how good wifi has become a “need” these days. Without it, we've fallen well behind on this blog. (Well in part, we've been having lots of fun too).
    Without internet access and with things she still needed to do, Jayne was motivated to leave Medellin. It had been a week, she had itchy feet. For me however, I wanted to do a day ride and check out the nearby Guatape rock. I wasn't packed either, and had just hung up wet laundry. Jayne just wanted to leave. I did not. We had been here before.
    This time Jayne took the option to head out on her own, in part I feel as a statement of point after not leaving on her own from Monteria. This was annoying for me, as I now found myself having to pack up anyways in order to give Jayne a bag to carry, but not with things I would need. With Kelly on board I didn't quite have enough space on the bike for all of my belongings and hers too.
    Frustration in the air, tears were shed, Kelly and I set off one way to a rock and Jayne set off the other towards Manizales. Our first split of the trip.
    Guatape is cottage country, with a big rock. A really big rock. ”Peñón de Guatapé” or "La piedra". A “monolith”, the 3<sup>rd</sup> largest in the world.
    <dl id="attachment_5689" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">You might expect a fight over a covet-able rock such as this...</dd></dl>
    ...and you would have your expectations met. The rock being near the border of two towns created dispute over who owned it: Guatepe or El Peñol. Guatape-ians decided to "settle" the matter once and for all using kindergarten logic: they would write their name on the rock. In 20 metre high letters. In white.
    You might expect this would irritate the neighboring folks from El Peñol. You would have your expectations met once more. They watched in horror as a giant letter “G” was painted, then ran as a mob to put a stop to the madness. The towns people were successful in stopping the graffiti, but not before the “G” and down stroke of “U” were completed. That was 30 years ago. And that is how the rock still stands today.
    <dl id="attachment_5656" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Gee, I wonder who thought that was a good idea?</dd></dl>

    It's not the only changes the people of Guatepe made to the rock, but it is the only really negative one. They also built a staircase up a large crack in the side to allow tourists to walk up to the top.
    <dl id="attachment_5687" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">740 stairs to be exact</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5688" 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 many stairs can be tiring...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5685" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">...and/or require you to adjust your granny-knee-braces</dd></dl>

    But once you are at the top, you are treated to the claimed "greatest view in the world".
    <dl id="attachment_5684" 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 guess it´s pretty good.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5686" 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´re happy with the view</dd></dl>
    The ride out to Guatape is quite nice, as was the ride home. Kelly and I stayed one more night at Mike and Luna´s before heading off the next morning to catch Jayne in Manizales, the beginning of coffee country. Rusty got sick and stayed behind, sure that we would meet again somewhere down the road.

    Motorcycle Minute (or two, or three...)
    Busy times for Jugs and Cricket here in Medellin.
    I've noticed that I had been getting worse gas mileage over the last while. On arriving to Medellin, I found out why... when I "ran out of gas" just blocks before arriving at the hostel.
    <dl id="attachment_5662" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Colombian gas is too expensive to have leak all over the place!</dd></dl>
    Leaking gas from your petcock will tend to hurt you fuel efficiency.
    In fact I hadn't run out of gas, I think gas running up the vacuum tube caused an inability to start up. Regardless I was able to get jugs running again and ride the 4 blocks further to the hostel. As luck would have it there was a Kawasaki dealer right down the street, and they could get me a new petcock “mañana”. I've been in latin America long enough to know that I was in for a solid few days of waiting. You can imagine my surprise of course when I showed up at Kawasaki the next day to find my brand new petcock waiting for me, and for just 65$; less than it would have cost me in Canada!
    <dl id="attachment_5666" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Holy petcock diaphragm batman!</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5665" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Out with the old.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5664" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">also used the disassembly to take the time to check my valves, thanks Rusty for the feeler gauge!</dd></dl>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0fji1XEZJTQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Next we would explore motorcycle paradise: 5-6 blocks of exclusively motorcycle shops and mechanics. If it's broken, someone here can fix it, find a new part, or build you one. Jayne changed her bald Avon Gripster to a new Metzler, while I scoped out new seat foam.
    <dl id="attachment_5674" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cricket gets a new shoe</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5678" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Seat magic at K-Lond</dd></dl>
    My seat was killing me. In the end I had my seat completely redone. New foam with a gel insert and new vinyl cover, and Jayne just went with the Gel insert. 160 000 pesos total for both, about 80$!
    I would also get the divots in my worn rear brake pins welded full and lathed smooth on the spot for just 15$. Beats a couple hundred for a new brake assembly, never mind the shipping costs or the wait!

    <dl id="attachment_5677" 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 previous "fix" with JB weld had failed, go figure.</dd></dl>


    <dl id="attachment_5600" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Back in "el poblado" area, we stopped in at KTM for a gander. Some gander we got.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5672" 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´ll leave you with Jayne and Kelly at our favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Sure it´s not moto related, but it was nice.</dd></dl>
  3. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,928
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    hope you're able to breathe better after some healing time.

    did you guys feel pretty safe in Medellin? i know you dont seem to find too much trouble, which is good, but i've read many stories of danger in that city.
  4. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    I never once felt unsafe in Medellin, not that I've felt very unsafe at all this trip really, but Medellin did not give me an uneasy vibe at all.
    With every city, the locals know where it is potentially dangerous. Talk the the locals, and if they say not to go to a particular area at night we don't go there. That's it. That's all we do to keep safe. Talk to the locals.


    Breathing well thanks! Just if I happen to sneeze that still makes me cringe a bit.
  5. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Deciding to split up from Phil and Kelly happened very quickly, but it had been building up for a while.


    On my last morning in Medellin (2nd October 2013) the three of us were planning to go climb a big rock in a town outside of Medellin. Because it was out of town, and we'd been in Medellin for over a week, I thought it made sense to pack up, and head south after climbing the rock. I suggested this to Phil and his response was "I don't feel like packing my bike, let's just come back here and leave Medellin tomorrow".


    I don't consider packing our sparse belongings any great ordeal, and after our time in Monteria, I was fed up of Phil's desires dictating everything we did and when we did it. Something inside me snapped, and I told him he could do whatever he wanted, I was going to head down into Colombia's famous coffee region.


    I was furious, and very sad, as I packed my bags. I had always hoped it wouldn't come to us wanting to split up, but I had also promised myself not to stay with Phil just to keep the peace when I wasn't enjoying myself. He had Kelly with him therefore I didn't feel any guilt about heading a different direction. It's strange how I have no problem travelling on my own, but I don't like to leave Phil travelling by himself. Maybe because I'm his older sister and feel quite protective of him.


    As I packed I decided that not only was I going to leave Medellin that morning, but I was going to choose a route through Colombia that I would enjoy, and Phil could come meet up with me whenever he was ready. He wanted to go to Bogota to meet some frisbee playing friends of friends, and everyone I had spoken to had only negative things to say about Bogota, so I decided to skip Bogota and the long ride there and back. Everyone I had spoken to had highly recommended the “Eje Cafetero”, the coffee region, which was on the way to Ecuador, and that is where I decided to spend my time.


    I tearfully told Phil this, crying being an embarrassing side effect of being angry. I was so upset that I decided to skip the big rock and just head straight to Manizales. I didn't feel like hanging out with Phil that day.


    The ride to Manizales was beautiful. Once I was on the road I started calming down and really enjoyed going at my own pace, with music playing through my Sena headset.


    I found the Mountain House hostel, and they let me park in their garage/restaurant. I had an eight bed dorm to myself. (A nice change to the thin mattress on the floor I'd been sleeping on for the past week!) I spent the evening doing sink laundry and chatting with other guests in the hostel. We haven't stayed in many hostels, but I always enjoy meeting other travellers and hearing about their journeys.


    The next morning I woke up to rain. I booked a coffee tour for the next day when Phil and Kelly would join me and I settled into the lounge area, enjoying the unlimited free coffee and good wifi connection.
    <dl id="attachment_5627" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">This man had some kittens, in a bag. He tried to sell us one.</dd></dl>
    Kelly and Phil arrived late in the afternoon, and we headed out into town for dinner. Since Kelly joined us there there has often been some amount of conflict at meal time. Phil is looking for a large amount of food at the lowest possible price. Kelly wants nice, good quality food, served in a pleasant environment, and is willing to pay more for it. I fit somewhere in the middle.
    I don't mind eating cheap set menus, they are usually quite edible, and sometimes even very good. But I also enjoy eating more “gourmet” food, and I do not have a requirement for a huge plate of food like Phil does. That evening Phil “lost” the argument, and we went to a nice Italian restaurant. We stopped at a grocery store and Phil cooked himself a second dinner when we got back to the hostel.
    <dl id="attachment_5605" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Not shown, the unpleasant smell of 3 damp motorcycle travellers</dd></dl>
    The next day we were up early for the coffee tour at Hacienda Venecia. They picked us up from the hostel and drove us to the plantation, where we were given a full history of coffee, and sorted, peeled, then roasted our own little piles of coffee beans. The man running the tour gave me a look of death when I asked for sugar. Oops.
    <dl id="attachment_5607" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Learning where different coffee comes from</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5606" 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 finds a new place to tie his wristband</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5628" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">All the possible flavours in your coffee</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5609" 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 sorts her beans</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5622" 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 sampling our freshly sorted and roasted coffee</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5620" 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 red bean is how it grows, we sucked the sweet pulp off the bean, which is then dried, once dried one peels the shell off, and then it is roasted.</dd></dl>
    The talk was nearly finished when an English-speaking guy and his Colombian girlfriend showed up. The leader asked Phil to explain what they'd missed. Phil rose to the challenge, and did a better job at explaining it all than the “professional”.
    <dl id="attachment_5611" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Coffee Guide Phil</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5612" 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 enjoys the roasting aromas</dd></dl>
    After another cup of coffee, our guide took us on a tour of the plantation. The tour up to this point had been very interesting and well structured. All that ended when we left our classroom. We followed the guide in silence as he walked us up to the processing plant.
    <dl id="attachment_5613" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Coffee beans growing</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5623" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Watching the coffee beans dry</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5617" 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 feels the heat of the coffee bean driers.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5619" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Our guide filling a bag of coffee beans for export</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5618" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ready to be sealed and shipped</dd></dl>
    He didn't explain much about the fields or the plants. In the coffee bean washing, drying and bagging area he was only slightly more talkative, and then led us to the hacienda itself.
    <dl id="attachment_5616" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">In case we forgot where we were...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5621" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Apparently they grow coffee and keep peacocks at the plantation</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5633" 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 Hacienda, or main plantation house</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5604" 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 chills in a hammock on the hacienda balcony</dd></dl>
    At this point we were left to wander around the old house, and enjoy the hummingbirds and oranges.
    <dl id="attachment_5625" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Flying in for a drink</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5624" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Spot the hummingbird</dd></dl>
    We were very hungry as it was lunchtime, and had been told lunch would be available, but there was no sign of anywhere to procure this lunch.



    There was a cooking class taking place in a kitchen, but it was not for us. It was disappointing to end what had started out as a good tour on a bit of a low note.
    <dl id="attachment_5614" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">This butterfly loved the colour blue, and had a racing number on its wings!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5615" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Did I mention we were hungry?</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5626" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">In the jeep leaving the coffee plantation</dd></dl>
    We ate lunch as soon as we were dropped back at our hostel. That afternoon we were chatting on facebook to our Australian motorcycling friend Tom who we had met in Cartagena. He was nearby and he and I arranged to meet at the Santa Rosa hot springs the next day, while Phil and Kelly headed towards Bogota.


    After a day of being reunited, the Ultimate Ride team split up again, this time for much longer.
  6. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,928
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    i've never done a ride as long as yours, but a couple short ones. on both rides there were days where me and my riding partner didn't "click" or mesh as we should have. last year my brother and i rode for 3 weeks and only had one argument the whole time and the same happened again this year with my riding buddy and i.

    i've come to the understanding that on both trips the arguments were caused by me and my frustration over something trivial. on the next trip i will be more aware of this and try to calm those feelings or talk more about them with my riding partner before the tension builds to a boiling point.

    can't wait for the next installment! you guys write a wonderful report and i appreciate your openness and awesome pictures.
  7. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,439
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I stayed in that room few weeks later (Nov) and they shifted the furniture.. side of bed was against the window and bunk against the wall where door is. It was a nice place and I parked the motorcycle inside the restaurant too.

    Interesting that I started reading your RR few months ago and find myself sleeping in similar room you slept in. :lol3
  8. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,469
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    i have been reading and enjoying your rr since the beginning. time to admit it and say yours is one great adventure.

    thanks jayne and phil.

    phil, hope to see your full recovery soon.
  9. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Maybe you'll catch up to us! We're still stuck in Cusco!
  10. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    As the road leading to the hot springs in Santa Rosa de Cabal turned to kilometers of dirt, I assured myself that it would be okay. I don't usually enjoy riding offroad, but this few kilometres of dirt was actually quite enjoyable, and I was all by myself.


    Maybe I'm actually getting more confident??


    I pulled down into the parking lot, and the attendants told me that my friend had been there a few minutes ago and then continued up the road. How did they know I was the friend? Guess there aren't too many gringas on motorcycles around there.



    Apparently there were more than one set of hot springs along that road, and Tom had thought I may have continued to the second set. As I pulled out of the parking lot, he appeared on his Suzuki DR650. He reported that the other hot springs looked fancier (ie more expensive), so we decided to stay at these ones.
    <dl id="attachment_5695" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Me posing at the entrance to the hot springs</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5646" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Tom on the path to the resort</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5647" 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 approach to the hot springs was much more beautiful than the resort itself (Apologies, I didn't take any pictures at the pools themselves)</dd></dl>
    I had been expecting something more natural than the 1970s style resort that we entered. It was about $15 each to enter, and several times we were approached by women selling mud masks, hikes to the source of the hot springs etc. The hot springs were a series of swimming pools filled with hot, yellow tinted water set in a beautiful location, with waterfalls and mountains all around. A holiday destination for middle class Colombians, we were the only white people there.


    It wasn't a long ride to Salento, where I checked in to one of the most beautiful hostels I have ever stayed at. La Serrana was about a 15 minute walk outside of town, along a road that looks out over pastures filled with cows, horses and sheep, and green valleys. The hostel itself is like an old farm house, with an area for camping, and an organic garden. Every evening they cook a delicious, reasonably priced meal that is eaten in a separate kitchen/dining room building.
    <dl id="attachment_5648" 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 stunning view from the road between town and the hostel</dd></dl>
    Tom had already been staying there for a couple of nights, and so was able to show me around.


    That evening we went into town for dinner, and randomly wandered into a restaurant advertising the local speciality, trout. The food was delicious, one of the best meals I ate in Colombia. I hadn't really spoken much to Tom when we met him in Cartagena and Medellin, so it was fun learning about his family and life over the past six years he's been away from Australia. He met a girl while travelling in Asia, and eventually moved to Seattle to be with her. He spent four years in Seattle before buying a motorcycle and heading South in March 2013. He's also planning on visiting Ushuaia before he finally returns home to Australia.


    The general concensus about Tom is that he is a real gentleman. His mother did something right. He is always concerned about the other people he is with, and puts their happiness ahead of his own. A trait rarely found in people these days.
    <dl id="attachment_5696" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Note the stairs going up the hill in the distance</dd></dl>
    We spent four nights in Salento. We met up with some of Tom's friends from Medellin, Lacey (Canada), Eliza (Aus) and Nick (NZ) and the five of us formed a stellar team. We climbed the big staircase in town (Lacey ran up and down it FIVE times while waiting for us, walking up once was enough for me!) to have a beer while watching the sunset from the top of the hill.
    <dl id="attachment_5700" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sunset from the top of the stairs</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5690" 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 beautiful Solento sky</dd></dl>
    Later we learned how to play Tejo, a popular bar game that involves throwing heavy metal pucks at small paper envelopes full of gunpowder. Only in Colombia could this be considered a good idea. We had a great time!
    <dl id="attachment_5697" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Each folded triangle is explosive (and LOUD) when hit by a metal puck...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5699" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Tom with a Tejo puck and a beer (mandatory to buy beer to be allowed to play)</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5691" 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 showing my expert, gunpowder exploding, form.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5698" 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 gunpowder field of dreams - it's a long way to that target!</dd></dl>
    The next day we climbed into one of the ubiquitous Jeep taxis (referred to as Willies) and went to hike the Valle de Cocora. It was a beautiful hike, but much more strenuous than I had been expecting. I was suffering the tail end of a cold, and annoyingly could hear myself breathing because of clogged sinuses, but I pushed through and it was worth it in the end.
    <dl id="attachment_5693" 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 jeeps have set times they go to and from the Valle de Cocora</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5692" 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 Willy taxi</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5694" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Lacey and Eliza ready to hike</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5641" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">They still use pack horses in Colombia, This guy greeted us at the start of the trail</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5643" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Along the hike there were many streams to cross</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5642" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Crossing one of the more stable bridges</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5655" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Just one at a time on this bridge</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5650" 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 at a time for a reason!!</dd></dl>
    When we made it to the top, there were many beautiful hummingbirds buzzing around. The hot chocolate the park rangers gave me was very delicious!
    <dl id="attachment_5651" 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 favourite of the many hummingbirds at the ranger station at the top of the hike</dd></dl>
    It wasn't the end of the strenuous part however, there was a choice of ways back down, the way we came, or a steep climb up to a peak, and then down through a valley filled with Colombia's national tree, the tall and skinny wax palm. We chose the palms.
    <dl id="attachment_5652" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Nick (showing how we all felt), Tom, me, Lacey and Eliza (random German guy who joined us in the back too).</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5644" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Valle de Cocora: Wax palms are Colombia's national tree, and grow VERY tall</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5653" 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 the Valley of Cocora</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5645" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">On our way home, the back of those willies are not made for tall people</dd></dl>
    Back in town, we returned to a brilliant cafe called “Brunch” which serves delicious American style food and has a cinema room where you can chill and watch movies while you eat and drink. We went there several times, and one time we met Adrian and Lauren – an Australian couple riding two-up on a BMW GS1200. They are riding Alaska to Ushuaia in just five months. Quite a difference from the 14 months I had been on the road just to get to Colombia!


    Tom and the gang toured a coffee plantation the next morning. As I had only recently been to the one with Phil and Kelly in Manizales, I used the time to sleep in and catch up on some blogging instead. I met everyone for lunch, after which we had been planning to ride horses up to a waterfall. However it started to rain and so we opted to change our plans. Tom and the girls hadn't had enough coffee, so did a coffee preparation course.



    I was planning to go back to the hostel, but started talking to a man in the restaurant called Alan and his lady friend Martha. They bought me a glass of wine, and we eventually parted ways 3 or 4 hours later. I love randomly meeting new friends!


    Nick was trying to convince us all to join him visiting the Galapagos islands in Ecuador. It's very expensive to go there, and so there was much debate about whether it was worth it or not. I was swayed by everyone's enthusiasm, and so emailed my friend Marty from Panama to ask what he thought about it, as I knew he had been to the Galapagos before. His reply?


    “Come sailing with me there or fly there once I am there, as will need crew at stages and will be fun. Much cheaper.”
    Wow – it turns out that he's taking Sabatayn, the sailboat we stayed on with him in Panama, to the Galapagos in February, and I'm invited. Awesome.


    With that offer on the table, I decided not to spend $1000+ to go with the gang

    <dl id="attachment_5649" 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 gang hanging out in the hammocks at our hostel</dd></dl>
    Salento was a very relaxing change from the big cities of Cartagena and Medellin. Lots to do, all in an extremely beautiful setting.



    However the time had come to move on. I put in a couple of couchrequests, and Pipo in Buga accepted, so with Phil and Kelly still in Bogota, Buga became the next destination for Tom and I.
  11. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Jayne and I have gone surprisingly long without such a split. But when it comes down to it, we both have different interests sometimes. Fortunatley we also both have bikes so we can go off, do what we want to do, and then meet up again later.
    I think because we haven´t really split up this trip, when we finally did split it came after some building tension over time.

    But most advice I´ve heard is that when there is a disagreement over where you want to go and you can´t do both, the best solution is to split up for a bit. Otherwise there will always be a lingering resentment that someone didn´t get to do what they wanted to do, and that can again lead to a future "boiling point".
    Talking it out early is good advice.
  12. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

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

    I´ll have another update on myself and the bike (with pics) soon. Things are coming along well on both fronts.
  13. TheBlurr

    TheBlurr Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,588
    Location:
    Montana
    I did the Eurail thing with a friend in 95, we have always argued quit a bit but being stuck in close quarters in countries with unfamiliar languages became a strain.
    I would take off for a bit on my own and meet him back at the train station sometimes, it didnt help.
    When we got back to the states we did not talk to each other for months, afterwards it came to us that the miseries of the trip would define us as for a lifetime and of course we would look back on an amazing adventure the banter forgotten.

    I think motorbikes has to be a bit better as you are not stuck around someone elses time frame I.E. a train schedule which ads to the stress IMO.
  14. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    “I've got to work tonight, and I don't think my mum will be comfortable with strangers in the house.”


    This was one of the first things Pipo, the couchsurfing host who had accepted our couch request in Buga, told us shortly after Tom and I arrived at his house.


    As I have said before, I love couchsurfing. I love meeting new people, seeing how they live, and learning about new cultures. However sometimes it just doesn't work out. Tom and I arrived in Buga, which we had only gone to because we had a couch there, to find that our “host” hadn't asked his mum if we could stay.


    On the way to Buga from Salento, Tom and I switched bikes. It was interesting riding Suzi, Tom's Suzuki DR650. There are many small differences in configuration, Tom's rear shock actually absorbs shocks, unlike mine, and Tom travels light. He has probably only about a quarter of the weight on his bike compared to mine (especially while I have Phil's duffle bag as well as my own), meaning Tom has faster acceleration and easier cornering. However other than that, a motorbike is a motorbike, kick it into gear and twist the throttle.


    <dl id="attachment_5802" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 480px" data-mce-style="width: 480px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cricket, Suzi and I, in front of a giant Colombian cow.</dd></dl>
    Riding his bike did make me wonder if having soft luggage, rather than my aluminium boxes, would have been a better choice, however weeks later when he crashed on the way to Cusco, his soft luggage was shredded, whilst my Dirt Baggs have stood up over 16 months of drops, and I've only taken them to a welder once.


    Once we arrived at Pipo's house in Buga, after dropping the bombshell that his mother wasn't aware of our existence, Pipo was very nice. He walked us through town giving us a tour of the main sights. He couldn't get in touch with his mum, and so Tom and I insisted on finding a hotel where we could park the bikes instead. We really didn't want to deal with an angry mother!


    We saw the town's main attraction, a statue of a black Jesus in the main cathedral (complete with people climbing the steps up to it on their knees), which reportedly performs miracles, and visited the hostel where Pipo works the night shift (no motorbike parking unfortunately, but very good micro brewed beers, and nice food). Pipo told us the story of the black Jesus and other interesting tidbits about the town.


    Near the cathedral a young girl came running up to us and gave Pipo a hug. His niece I asked? No - his daughter. It seems every Latin American over the age of 20 has a child, even when you are least expecting it!


    We found a nearby hotel that would let us park our bikes inside, and wasn't too expensive, then returned with our bikes and parked them in the lobby beside the fish pond.
    <dl id="attachment_5794" 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 with the bikes in the lobby</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5793" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Just pull them in there beside the tables and sofas...</dd></dl>
    The whole time riding through Colombia, I felt like a minor celebrity. There are millions of motorbikes in Colombia, probably a side effect of gasoline being so expensive. At every traffic light motorcyclists would admire my bike, and ask me where I was from, where I was going etc. Whenever I was stopped and standing beside the bike, people would ask to take pictures with me and the bike, and want to talk. I gave out a lot of stickers in Colombia.


    In the hotel was no different, with all the other guests admiring the giant bikes parked in the middle of the hotel.


    The next day Tom and I parted ways. He was going to make a beeline for Ecuador to meet the others to go to the Galapagos, while I was staying around waiting for the kids (Phil and Kelly) to catch up.


    I rode into Cali, and met up with Carlos, a guy I had been in touch with through one of the many excellent KLR groups on Facebook. He took me to his home, which is built on top of his ice cream cart depot. Cricket fit right in.
    <dl id="attachment_5796" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Oil change with the ice cream carts</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5797" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Trying out a different set of wheels. Decided to stick with Cricket.</dd></dl>
    He introduced me to his wife, Lady Jane, and his two children. They were very welcoming, gave me milk and cake, and soon invited me to stay the night with them too.
    <dl id="attachment_5799" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Carlos and Lady Jane (Note Carlos' sprocket necklace)</dd></dl>
    I changed Cricket's oil in amongst the ice cream carts, while Carlos made me a giant ice cream Sunday. I couldn't even finish half of it!

    <dl id="attachment_5798" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Making my sundae</dd></dl>
    I was welcomed as part of the family, met both grandmothers, and a great-grandmother. All of whom invited me to come stay with them. I was incredibly touched by how welcome I was made to feel.
    <dl id="attachment_5795" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Carlos' KLR</dd></dl>
    Lady Jane is a jeweller and has recently designed some KLR related jewelery, which I think is really special. I've asked her to make me a bracelet, and if you're interested, I can put you in touch.
    <dl id="attachment_5800" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">One of Lady Jane's KLR bracelets</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5788" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">This man made the BEST empanadas in Cali</dd></dl>

    My visit with Carlos and his family was all too short, the next day they flew to Bogota for the tournament. I debated heading further South but eventually decided to I head into town to find a hostel. The first two hostels I went to either didn't have room, or didn't have parking for the bike. I was frustrated, but a little googling and a phone call later led me around the corner to the “El Viajero” hostel with a secure courtyard to park Cricket in, along with free yoga and salsa lessons and breakfast included.

    <dl id="" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 1034px" data-mce-style="width: 1034px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cricket parked in the hostel courtyard</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5792" 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 was the first guest in the girls dorm at El Viajero</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_5780" 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 pool at the hostel</dd></dl>
    It was here that I met Erin, a cool American girl who has moved to Colombia. She was down in Cali visiting a friend of hers who she learnt to dance salsa with in the states. She was planning to head back home to Pereria but after we got talking I convinced her that we should go out dancing that evening instead.



    She called her Colombian boyfriend and explained that she wouldn't be home that day, and we were on. Cali is reputed to be the salsa capital of the world.
    <dl id="attachment_5778" 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 my awesome new friend Erin</dd></dl>
    I had the most amazing day in Cali with my new friend. I love meeting people who I instantly fall in love with. Erin and I did the free salsa class at the hostel, went for lunch, I helped her with her wordpress site where she blogs about life in Colombia, and then we went out and explored the neighbourhood, shared pizza, ate cake and generally fooled around.
    <dl id="attachment_5777" 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 Cali street</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5779" 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 fit right in with the fish in the coffee shop</dd></dl>
    That evening we went out with her friend Joe, and Kirsten, another American girl we met at the hostel. Joe had his work cut out, being the only guy, but he performed admirably, dancing to nearly every song. He and Erin danced beautifully, and he was extremely patient with me. He taught me a lot of moves!
    <dl id="attachment_5782" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Joe, Kirsten, Erin and me</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5786" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Joe and I tearing up the dancefloor</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5783" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">What a smile!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5785" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Salsa professional</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5784" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Erin and Joe show us how it's done</dd></dl>
    On the way home we found a globe to play with.
    <dl id="attachment_5787" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Superman Joe and Superwoman Erin</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_5776" 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've got the whole world in our hands.</dd></dl>
    The next day we all ate breakfast together before scattering in all directions. Erin was heading home, and I was heading South.
  15. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    When I was 19 I travelled through Europe with a friend and we also parted ways part way through the trip. I haven't kept in touch with her since.

    Traveling with someone is a true test of a friendship. Luckily Phil and I had traveled together many times before setting out on this adventure.

    I think having Kelly join the trip for two months changed the dynamic significantly. It was good for her and Phil to have some time alone, and when the three of us joined up again we were all glad to be back together.

    It certainly is nice having our own bikes. Phil often takes off on day trips without me, which is great for us both. :clap
  16. CourtRand

    CourtRand Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    Your ride report is great! Please let us know if you need any help in Ecuador - we have maps, route advice and can help you with any repairs you may need on your bikes...Just stop in the shop, we'd love to meet you...
  17. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,610
    Location:
    LEON, Gto. MEXICO
    :clap Suscribed. Awesome Journey of you two! still reading 6 pages behind!
  18. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Thanks very much! But we're in Peru now... Ride report is very far behind, but working on catching up!
  19. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I have never been so glad to see such an ugly city appear in front of me.
    The ride from Cali to Pasto (just under 400km and about 7 hours) was much longer than the rides I had grown accustomed to in the tiny Central American countries, and the rain, fog and cold did not make the trip any more enjoyable.
    <dl id="attachment_5845" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cricket looks pretty in the rain. So shiny!</dd></dl>

    I was wet, frozen and miserably counting down the kilometers on my GPS when I rounded the corner and was confronted by a conglomeration of grey, run-down buildings stretching as far as the eye could see. It wasn't pretty, but it was most welcome.


    I found my way through the maze of one way streets to the Koala Inn, one of the only places that comes up when you search for hostels in Pasto. It was a simple doorway, leading up a set of stairs. I parked Cricket on the sidewalk while I checked in.

    <dl id="attachment_5848" 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 entrance to the Koala Inn</dd></dl>

    The Koala Inn was once a nice hostel, but now it has been allowed to become rundown. However its Chinese owners were very accomodating, and it wasn't expensive for my own room with two double beds, and there was hot water and wifi. As I unloaded Cricket a very nice guy from South Korea called Hong helped me carry everything upstairs.
    <dl id="attachment_5846" 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 room at the Koala Inn - cheap at twice the price!</dd></dl>

    I asked where I could safely park Cricket and the lady told me there was a parking lot around the corner. What she didn't tell me was that there are no parking lots open on a Sunday evening in the grim town of Pasto. This I had to learn the hard way – by riding around the maze of one way streets, banging on closed gates and asking passers by if they knew of a parqueo that was open. At one point I thought I was in luck as an old man opened a small door beside the entrance gate when I banged on it. He was willing for me to park my bike there, except he did not have the key to open the main gate and there was no way Cricket would fit through the tiny door he had opened.


    If I wasn't wearing a helmet I would have pulled my hair out.
    After a few more tries, feeling more than a little frustrated and very hungry, I pulled up beside a policeman walking along the road. I explained my problem and asked if I could park at the police station. He seemed open to the idea, but suggested we try around the corner first. I'd already been around EVERY corner, but I smiled and agreed. He tried the parqueo he was thinking of (which had a very misleading “open 24 hours” sign on it) and it was closed. He met me back at the corner and was just explaining how to get to the police station when the gates of the parking lot opened and a car pulled out!


    My saviour the policia ran across the road and negotiated with the guy inside for me to park my bike there. He then came out and stopped traffic so I could ride the wrong way up the road into the lot.


    The very kind parking lot attendant Diego told me that there was no security in that lot because the next day was a holiday, but that I could park in his other lot across the road (an enclosed parkade). I gratefully agreed, he unlocked the other gate, and finally Cricket was safe and sound.


    All I had eaten since breakfast was a juice on the side of the road. For a few kilometers it seemed that every house had a sign outside advertising fresh orange juice. I chose one that had a covered patio so I could get out of the rain. I ordered a juice and was confounded by the number of choices I was given. Apparently one does not just get oranges in one's juice. Honey, sugar, some kind of pellet that looked like something you would feed a cat, and some kind of liquor were all possible inclusions. In the end I just asked her to put it all in.



    It resulted in a rather strange, frothy, bittersweet concoction. I drank it anyway whilst teasing the young girl who kept sticking her head out of a doorway.

    <dl id="attachment_5844" 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 juice lady prepares the special concoction</dd></dl>

    I ate dinner that evening with my new friend Hong and his German friend. I've found that when travelling on my own without Phil, I make new friends everywhere very quickly. Guess it's easier to talk to me when I'm not accompanied by a 6 foot 5 bearded Jesus.


    The next day Hong and his friend headed off to see a lake and I did very little. It was a holiday so everything was closed and it rained all day. Pasto wasn't any nicer in the light of day than it had been the previous evening.
    <dl id="attachment_5847" 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 dreary Pasto street</dd></dl>
    I was still trying to wait for Phil and Kelly to catch up, but they weren't travelling very fast. I was cold and so I decided to head to Ecuador without them, sure that they would catch up eventually.


    The next morning everything was open again. As I packed my bike (once again parked on the sidewalk in front of the hostel) every member of staff in the sportswear shop next door came out for a picture with me.


    It started by one guy coming over to check out the bike. I gave him a sticker. He got his friend to take a picture of him with me and Cricket. Then the friend wanted a picture too. Then they went inside, I assume to show the other six people in the shop their new cool pictures, because two minutes later I was surrounded paparazzi style by Colombians and camera phones. A whole photo shoot later, I finally was able to leave the ugliest city in the world (which happens to have some very friendly people in it).
  20. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,155
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    ^^This!

    I know it's nice traveling with your brother and all but this is when you will really start traveling when you are alone with just the local people:deal

    It makes all the difference in the world imho, besides you get to go when and where you want without any question:bueller