The Wife takes on Chlamydia. A South American Retrospective

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ChrisUK, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Huaraz to Huaraz = A loop of the Cordellierra Blanca

    Last time in Huaraz in 2001 I stayed in a hostal next to a poultry transport depot (there was no chance of sleeping in... but the people running it were cool, it had off street bike parking and was cheap). I staying in the same place again in 2016 after working out where it was on the iOverlander map. Conveniently the chicken business had moved elsewhere. In 2001 I also trekked through the Huascaran National Park. Not this time though with my totally shattered knee and more "relaxed-six-pack appearance". But I did ride clockwise around the Nevado Huascaran Sur peak via Yungay, into the next valley to the east and back over to Carhuaz and Huaraz. Some of this route was new to me and never has it been more satisfactory to end up back where I started after 2 superb riding days.


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    Navigation wasn't difficult



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    The obligatory selfie pose for Facebook. I've learnt that even the crappiest selfies capture more attention in terms of likes than well composed landscape or bike pictures... Maybe I should have taken a couple of inflatable kittens with me so the selfie would be even more popular?



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    In 2001 I rode with Richard and Christine who were on their own RTW trip. on a BMW R75/5



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    A posed hardcore - adventure - ultra - extreme - action - puddle - shot? Of course not! :-)



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    That's what I've just ridden



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    A 2001 image take on the same road



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    And in 2016 I have the track log as a souvenir too



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    Breathtaking (I recall the pass went close to 5000m) with breathtaking views



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    What a feat of civil engineering



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    More self indulgence



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    Myself with Richard on the pass



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    Down the other side: What a surprise. Lush cultivatable land and a footy game to spectate



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    I think the sheep responsible for cutting the grass missed a couple of bits... I tried name dropping that my favourite Peruvian player was Nobby Solano, but nobody appeared interested.



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    Peruvian lady explaining the offside rule?



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    2001: Not sure how this image fits in with this story, but had to shoehorn it in somewhere!



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    2001: Man weaving



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    The view from hostal balcony. Not bad for 4 bucks a night. Clean, warm water, parking. What else do you want? The place around the corner wanted 25. Up Yours Delors



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    Setting off the next morning



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    On their merry way



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    Tunel Punta Olimpica



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    At the pass back into the Huaraz valley I met this friendly Argentine couple driving their small Renault car from Argentina to Alaska. Who really needs a winabagel?

    Following their blog at https://www.facebook.com/Pateandoamerica/ they have made it to the United States.



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    What a view!



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    An alpinist's paradise. And a biker's too



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    Paved twisties rather than bumpy gravel on the way back down



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    Daylight navigation straightforward
  2. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Through the Cañón del Pato to the coast to Chiclayo


    In preparation to writing this chapter of my ride report, I Googled the name Canon del Pato in order to check the correct spelling. The 3rd hit, below 2 Wikipedia entries is in German (I'm writing this in Germany...) and claims this route to be "the most adventurous in the mountains of Peru". Clearly the author thinks that hyperbole is important and hasn't actually driven or ridden far in Peru. It was fun and worth the trip, but since it has been paved (as virtually everywhere in Peru) it is a great deal tamer than it was. It follows the river valley and passes through multiple tunnels that were original intended to have a railway running though them. Whether 2001, 2016 or today, it's a great route to take to/from the coast.

    After leaving Huaraz, I continued north to Caraz where I had spent New Year 2000 with Richard and Christine


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    The view from the hotel window. Here's the startline to the 2016 Peruvian F1 Grand Prix at Caraz. Front row is Hamilton and Vettel, second row is Dick Dastardly and Muttley. It certainly sounded like it with these unsilenced 2 stroke tuk tuks took off from the lights. Thankfully I had ear plugs to aid night time sleeping.


    A 2000 New Year's memory: kids transporting a stuffed effigy to where it was going to be burnt as part of the celebrations. I recall we spent the time drink red wine and eating soft sweet cake.


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    The view on the ride into the Cañón del Pato



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    One of many tunnels in 2016, paved


    And in 2001, unpaved. Here Richard and Christine on their R75/5

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    I recall we stopped somewhere near here for lunch in '01. The bloke waving in the background clearly remembers us :-)


    2001: Not quite the identical place....


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    Upon reaching the coast, the bits of the Peruvian section of the Panamerican Highway that I rode were the dirtiest, smelliest, most pointless and boring road in the whole of South America. Who says I don't like using hyperbole myself? ;) However the pleasant hotel in Chiclayo and the sunset at this surfer's hangout were worth it. Although I didn't see many surfers...



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    Straw fishing paddle boards in 2016


    And the same in 2001:

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    One old (ex-surf?) gringo queen did make it to Chiclayo...



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    Virtually no gringos (good), but plenty of locals enjoying themselves (good)



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    Catching supper?



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    Fishing, selling lottery tickets and heading for a swim



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    As it's Christmas 2017 when I write this and you should really be celebrating with your people (like me....), Cheers and all the best for 2018!
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  3. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Chiclayo to Cajamarca to Kuelap Ruins

    The north east of Peru from Chiclayo to Cajarmarca to the Kuelap Ruins and the border with Ecuador is most definitely not on the Gringo trail. I was pleased to see virtually no Europeans, nor North Americans. A great chance to only speak Spanish and ride more superb twisty roads and a detour over the mountains around a landslide. The weather was changeable. From dry and arid to lush and green with blue skies to wet and misty.



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    Interesting looking cactus growing out of a rock face



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    About 30 miles before Cajamarca, there was a big landslide across the road that was being cleared by proper earth moving equipment, but not any time soon. There was a paved 100 mile detour, but I reconed there might be a shorter alternative route over the mountains and as it hadn't rained for a while, probably not too technical on the old Chlym with road biased tyres. Navigation was interesting: Just with the GPS giving me a as the crow flies direction indicator. I came upon this young girl carrying her sister and what's probably the grocery shopping. I'm not sure she had seen a European before. Certainly not one on a motorcycle.




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    Her way home. My route.



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    Eventually back on the main road



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    I think this lady thinks I can't see her!



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    Pleasant rural views



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    Getting more and more hilly, with more curvy roads



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    Occasionally following a river. Weird mossy stuff hanging off the trees



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    Happy locals on the way to the Kuelap Ruins



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    Kuelap Ruins on the ridge top right, I rode up those serpentines on the far left. And a farmer looking at me, centre right



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    The ruins in 2016. Virtually nobody else there. Hard to walk up there with a totally Donald ducked knee. If you're interested in reading more, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuélap



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    Llama in the mist at the ruins in 2016


    Kuelap in 2001

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    Interesting rock carvings



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    I think I can guess why it's called the Ancient Fortress of the Cloud Warriors...
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  4. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Towards the border to Ecuador: A funny encounter



    On the last trip in 2001 I headed more north-eastwards towards Yurimaguas in order to board the first of 3 boats to float down the mighty Amazon from Iquitos to Belen at the Atlantic Ocean. This wasn’t on the cards this time as I had my heart set on visiting Colombia, that I had only briefly touched last time.

    The Amazon story is at http://www.thebrightstuff.com/ch25.htm including a picture gallery.

    2001 Hammock dwelling on the boats

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    The ride from Kuelap to the border with Ecuador at La Balza via Jaen was fun: lovely windy road and very few gringos in sight. The funniest thing was encountering security guards on the road: Brown uniforms with big “Seguridad” written in yellow on the front and back of their uniforms. At the first post (sandbag emplacements, machine guns, shot guns etc) I didn’t see the guy trying to flag me down. 10km later another guard wants me to do a wheelie. 10km later at the third checkpost I stop.


    The actors are matey A, matey B and me. A emerges from the sandbag protected hut to my left, without a gun. B to my right stands with a pump action shotgun at rest. I turn the motor off, shake their hands and exchange pleasantries but keep my helmet on. A starts to explain how he is hungry and has no money. I don’t understand. He continues trying his hardest to explain his plight and that I should donate some money to his lunch fund. Still no entiendo nada. He explains he is security, showing me the writing on his shirt. Sorry mate, I’m just a dumb as fcuk gringo who is totally naïve and knows nothing about anything. I really just don’t understand, sorry. He gets his wallet out and proceeds to demonstrate the lack of anything in it.

    By now I’m losing the will to live (and trying not to laugh out loud), so with a cheerful “Hasta luego” and in one smooth movement I turn on the ignition, kick the bike into gear, twist the throttle and let the clutch out.

    I’m looking very carefully in my mirrors as I ride away, especially to see if B should raise his shotgun in my direction. What I see is A slam his wallet onto the road in mock disgust while B is in hysterics. The encounter made my day!

    The pictures are a bit patchy for this stretch. I was hungry and had miles to do.


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    Not only were they putting a gondola system up to Kuelap, but the comms infrastructure was receiving a major boost.



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    My Open Street Map mapping software on the Garmin 60csx was playing silly buggers, so I had to look at my paper map and follow road signs. Quelle horreur!



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    Hope her rug doesn't tear, otherwise there would be a long roll down the hill




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    Drying crops on the road



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    Not blessed with the best chances in life



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    Intrigued locals en route
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  5. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    306
    Location:
    Calgary
    That story of your experience with the Security guards is pure gold!
    “No fumar Espanol” comes to mind. Lol
    Carry on.
  6. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    God's Own County
    I have tried the no fumar Espanol interaction strategy towards uniformed types in Peru too, but it requires ultimate concentration to keep a straight face for even a short period of time... :rofl
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  7. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    God's Own County

    I'm now into quoting myself....

    As we know the 2018 Dakar finished a couple of days ago. My Dakar pictures are from 2016 when I watched the second half of the race live in Bolivia and Argentina. While browsing YouTube recently I came across this video about Toby Price who won in '16 and came third this year. Well worth 38 minutes of your life. He seems to be a solid and sound guy.

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  8. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Here's a map of my route through Ecuador. It's a bit straight on-ish but I was in a hurry to reach Colombia and Ecuador has probably had the most "development" of all South American countries in the past 15 years, so was least interesting for me. Also the bag of sh!t now 4 or 5 month old Progressive shock required yet more attention, which combined with their even more useless customer "service" :rofl meant I was focused on workshops rather than local people, roads and landscapes.


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  9. hondated

    hondated Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Hi Chris I have got to admit that I was relieved to find that Chlym is the name of your bike but seeing it in the title I just had to investigate. And I am glad that I did as its an enjoyable to read RR. Having been to one of your presentations at HU meet in Ripley once I realised it you who was the author I felt quite confident it would be a good read and I am sorry to learn of your accident and how it curtailed your travels in 2017. Hopefully 2018 will be a better year.
    Over the years I have tried to each year at least get a week over in France or Germany but always on paved roads so its even more interesting to see all the off roading you did and the difficulties you had to overcome. I am guessing that you don't possess a bottomless pit of money so it tells me that if I even want to emulate you I do really need to get in the saving mode to accumulate enough money from my pension to finally get out on that big adventure.
    Given its a pension best I do it soon then !. Best wishes for 2018 Ted
  10. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County

    Many thanks for the kind words, Ted.

    You remember me from HU Ripley. Wow! That was a long time ago. I've pretty much exited myself from the HU scene. I'm no longer their target audience.

    You've got to do your trips now, not tomorrow when you retire and draw your pension. I just read that Hubert Kriegel has passed away.

    Living frugally and not buying a shiney new faux adventure heavy bomber plus the TT catalogue every 2 years is the best way to save. When travelling, accommodation is your biggest outgoing: cheap backpackers and camping is the way to go.

    I'm looking forward to riding again in 2018. I'm going to give my DRZ a go first as it's a lot lighter than my shed of an Africa Twin.

    All the best!
  11. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Southern Ecuador

    The border crossing was pretty painless, especially the formalities leaving Peru. A bridge across the river helped. in 2001 I was told there wasn't one. Just a canoe. Entering Ecuador was a bit long winded, particularly because the Ecuadorian customs chappie had to dictate my vehicle details over the cell phone to the next (main) border crossing along. And the cell phone signal was tending towards utter useless. That was when they actually answered the phone. But I had time and not far to ride.



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    Nice dirt road towards Vilcabamba. Wouldn't have been fun in the wet. Some of the inclines very steep. There are advantages of travelling in the dry season...



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    The obligatory selfie heading from the Peru/Ecuador border towards Vilcabamba



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    An interesting way to keep a shop mannequin vertical...



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    My favourite restaurant in 2001, but now in 2016, outside my budget. Vilcabamba is now tourism central and the currency of the country is the US$. In 2001 I spent a month here recovering from my accident and infected burn on my leg from a r100gs exhaust header pipe. I was operated on in Loja, just up the road.

    Memories from 2001: Poking a snake with a stick. Was it really such a good idea?

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    2001: super views

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    Vilcabamba central square fountain in 2016

    And in 2001, ditto, but it must have been rebuilt in the intervening years

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    2016 Great views between Vilcabamba and Cuenca. But a good idea to stop to take pictures...

    2001: Because if you don't you fall on your ar$e... And it hurts like hell!

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    Old, new and hippy



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    Dapper shorts



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    Tradition clothes still worn as a matter of course



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    Counting the takings from a hard day's work. No glasses needed



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    Above: Cuenca cathedral in 2016

    Below: Cuenca Cathedral in 2001

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    The German Honorary Consul's offices in Cuenca



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    The Consul has a good taste in what he sells...



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    I liked the lighting for this picture. Aparently Benigno Malo was an Ecuadorian lawyer who died in Cuenca in 1870



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    Sleepy downtown central park Cuenca. Including free wifi. Welcome to the 21st Century



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    What must these 3 senior gentlemen have seen across their lives?
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  12. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    North Ecuador: Banos, Quito, Otalvalo and the Equator

    My memory Ecuador was of fooling around trying to get my nearly new Progressive shock fixed yet again. Hence my mood wasn't as good as it could be = less picture taking. I had help from a bike shop owner in Cuenca who lent me the shock off his KLR so I could ride to Quito for Diego Salvador at Race Tech Ecuador to try his best. Catching up with old friend Ricardo Rocco was a highlight.

    I had intended on visiting the Galapagos Islands, but budgetary constraints put paid to that. While waiting for shock parts I visited the pleasant town of Banos, but another trip into the Amazon didn't float my budget either. Looking back at some of my 2001 pictures, below, I should have done...



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    Chlym and church



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    Pretty scenery



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    Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, and souvenir stalls, Banos



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    Same as above



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    Great views around Banos. Shame my left knee was so totally damaged I wasn't walking anywhere far, especially not over undulating terrain


    2001 Banos baker kneading dough

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    An equator line, although not the main place where I went last time. There was a sign about paying an entry fee and a hut with a man off to the side. But said matie didn't want to come to collect any fee, so I didn't bother to walk over to him to swap dinero for a ticket



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    Rubbish selfie



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    Otavalo market in 2016, waiting for the gringo tour buses


    Otavalo in 2001: Locals only far and wide

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    Sorry about this picture...

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    2001 cute kid

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    2001 Piggy went to market

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    2001 soldiers

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    2001 ringing the bells to attract customers

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    2001 Zen Buddhism?

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    2001 Python in an Amazonian tree trunk

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    2001 Scorpion reading Bob Geldof's autobiography

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    2001 Amazonian alphabet

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    2001 Amazonian shamen with interesting backdrop...

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  13. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Colombia route map

    Here's couple of maps of my route through Colombia. Even the main Panamerica is well worth the ride


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  14. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Colombia, From border with Ecuador to Cali, shock and campesino problems around my 50th birthday


    I think I mentioned previously that during my 2001 South American trip on the Wife I only briefly touched down in Cartagena and Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast while my bike was in transit from Panama to the Guayaquil dockyard in Ecuador. Hence I didn't really visit Colombia at all. Then there were alleged problems involving FARC and ELN "rebels", supported by the indigenous farmers, in Spanish "campesinos". In mid 2016 things were safer, but the inbred and alcohol fueled campesinos are still alive, well and causing havoc. I had the displeasure of meeting some.

    I also crossed the Ecuador/Colombia border twice as my useless "Progressive: The only thing more inept than the product is their customer service" shock needed another rebuild in Quito at Diego Salvador's of Racetech Ecuador.

    In June 2016 I had my 50th birthday. It didn't end up as planned after the Cali "friends" of a biking acquaintance were unable to let me stay at their gaff: I had previously been invited and they knew of my big 5-O. The reason: If I was going to drink a beer on a working week (on a Thursday night, on my 50th birthday and I had no job!!), then I couldn't stay. Can't say I was bothered about not meeting them. I did however get to meet the bloke in the shop below their apartment: A pleasant and helpful chap who had lived for 10 years in Bath, England prior to being deported as an illegal immigrant. He allowed me to use his phone to call the grumpys as they struggled to answer my WhatsApp messages. Probably too busy working...

    This is what I wrote on my Facebook page on my 50th birthday in response to messages received. I couldn't write better myself today...

    MANY THANKS FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES! What a way to spend the day before and morning of my 50th birthday! Apologies for not being able to reply to the many and heartfelt wishes from you all. Just spent the last 24 hours: noon yesterday to noon today, negotiating burning tyres, chopped down trees and railings across the highway, so much broken glass and obnoxious, drunk, neanderthal indigenous "striking" peasants' road blocks between Popayan and Cali. Only one puncture (d!ckhead with knife slashed it) and a big stick to my head (crash helmets do have their uses!). He and his mate: Both will get what's coming to them, I'm sure! The next flood/landslide/outbreak of dysentery has their names on it. Found a hotel last night full of truckers who have been stuck there for 11 days. Managed to pass all the blockades with some luck and a lot of bullsh!t. They were so stupid they believed my fake sob stories :-) I'm most definitely not suffering from Stockholm Syndrome... Strongly believe it's now beer o'clock!



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    At the border into Colombia. DIAN is "Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales" = Colombian Customs. The Customs man explained what to do (I said I had done it one already a few days previously...) and I was sent to take an imprint of the Chlym's chassis number on the headstock using his plastic tape. A highly responsible job only entrusted to responsible, mature individuals! Appearances can be so deceptive :-)

    First I rubbed the area with duplicating paper ink and the stuck the tape on it. This was then transferred (very carefully) onto a random piece of paper (I mean "official customs document") that was soon to disappear onto a huge pile of similarly pointless reasons for the depletion of the Amazonian rain forest. So, you could say I'm in the Customs Cartel :-)



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    Taking the mick. Guilty as charged. As I was taking so long taking daft selfies, the customs ossifer came out to see what was taking so long...



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    Very little traffic. I wasn't sure why. I was to work it out later on.



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    The road got twisty and very scenic.



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    More scenic scenery on the Panamericana.



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    I took this picture from outside the panaderia where I had just bought breakfast having stayed the night in Pasto. I got fuel from the only station that was still open (rationed to 20 litres per vehicle: not a problem for a bike). The transporters weren't getting through because of the blockaded roads north of here. I attempted to head eastwards into the jungle.

    I didn't make far: The shocker cacked out after about 100 km and I was forced to return to Pasto with the bike in the back in a truck. The guys who picked me up were really cool dudes. 6 of us lifted the bike 5 feet up onto the loading bay. And they wanted no money from me for the ride...



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    Previously, I (briefly) considered changing my surname to Broaster and flogging fried chickens, but somebody else had already had the same idea! :-)



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    Colombia is very green...



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    My shocker wasn't up to easy gravel road :-(



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    Plenty of time to take pictures.



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    Now back on the main highway after re-visiting Diego in Ecuador. Getting my puncture fixed after Dicky McDickface knifed it. Penknife guy's face genuinely looked like a scrotum!



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    I had passed Popayan and had my "incident" with the effin' peasants and had also just negotiated a rainstorm. My mood wasn't good. I was my 50th tomorrow. This is in front of the hotel mentioned in the Facebook post above. Full of truckers (at least their vehicles/ produce weren't burnt or vandalised) next to an empty gas station. They hadn't had any petrol or diesel for over a week.



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    Not interested in any intellectual chit chat...



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    Fuel was available from this street-side seller. At 3 x the official price. But he did have a captive audience. Literally: the road was blocked behind me by my knife wielding mates and all sorts carnage to come ahead.



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    The glittering clear, green and brown stuff in the foreground is glass. The yellow things are roadside railing. First thing in the morning there were very few camp-p!ssed-up-inos as they were sleeping off their brave hangovers.



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    Bikes were getting through and with help from some normal Colombians I got my bike through with only taking the windscreen off. Every few miles I stopped and did a full tyre inspection and used the screwdriver on my Leatherman to dig out bits of embedded glass.



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    This truck wasn't so lucky as the guys in my hotel last night. The road may be blocked, but the (American) sidewalk/ (English) pavement isn't.

    This was the end of the troubles for me and the start of the real Colombia: That is friendly people, super views and great riding.



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    Lots of bikes and non-moving south bound buses.



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    On my 50th birthday saying hello at the famous Asturias bike shop in Cali. Time to find a hotel (with AC... Things had well and truly warmed up) and buy a beer (or 5). Watching Copa America footy (English)/soccer (American) on the TV, sitting on plastic garden furniture outside an off-licences English) a.k.a liquor store (American). Eating a take away pizza from next door. Chatting to locals when not reading my guide book, trying to plan my Colombian adventure.
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  15. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Armenia and the Coffee Triangle. One of the reasons I came to Colombia

    Apologies for the lack of Wife/ BMW R100gs pictures and comparisons with 2001. As mentioned, in 2001 I only briefly touched down by air on the north coast of Colombia while the bike took the slow boat from Panama to Ecuador. So from now on it's pretty much only 2016 pictures and impressions of a scabby Gen 1 KLR called Chlamydia :D

    Having left Cali my blood pressure was allowed to return back towards normal. I was starting to like Colombia. Still loco drivers, but they're like this all over South America and during many years of travel I have more than adapted. If you can't beat them, join them! Possibly I've taught some a few new tricks?

    Armenia is in the coffee growing region of the country. I don't drink coffee, but still. Super scenery, really good riding and pleasant people. And Colombians are motorcycle mad! And chilled. My experiences with the indigenous peasants soon became distant memories and didn't cloud the enjoyment of the country.

    Outside of the towns in Colombia there is still a big army presence, especially at bridges. However I was never stopped or hassled by anyone in uniform.


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    Andres, whom I met via the HU Communities hosted me in Armenia. A thoroughly sound bloke. He rides and old Africa Twin and and a new 701 Husabang. His family owns coffee plantations and a wood export business.



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    The guys who hung out outside my room door.



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    The bike was always safe...



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    Salento is a quaint town in the Coffee region near Armenia. As we know, Colombia is notorious for one of its export crops. There is also an internal market that people aren't happy about.



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    But the women and girls still like to dress up to a demonstration and to dance



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    The scenery is wonderful



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    Meeting the locals



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    The fertile earth allows many plants and flowers to grow



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    Including the bird of paradise



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    Great hiking and biking country



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    Salento is rather pretty. And busy.



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    Nobody batted an eyelid at Chlam's presence



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    One horse power vehicles are also very popular



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    Colombian gaucho. People are also proud and litter is cleared up



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    Interesting atire



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    Had I had space in my luggage, I would have bought a souvenir



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    The world over: Fat blokes in lycra :-)



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    Stopping for breakfast en route north out of Armenia at the Bambi Pan bakery. Parked among the fruit and veg stalls in the street.
    knight, roadcapDen and powderzone like this.
  16. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Medellin: The f**king Dad of the Warriors!


    In Medellin I received a great welcome from the guys at Team Colombia ADV™ (search for them on Facebook). They picked me up from my hostal and we stopped at an excellent biker's restaurant. This is what Andres, Oscar - the head honcho - 's son (in the picture on the left) wrote about me :D

    Our dear new friend Chris (motorcycle rider round the World), the f***ing dad of the warriors, my f***ing idol! I wish you good travels and the best ADVentures in your roads, you are UNSTOPPABLE, my respect! (the f-word is obfuscated in order to get through office firewalls and the like. :clap).

    I'm not into hyperbole, but I'll make an exception in this case and say I'm honoured! I would love to have ridden more with them.


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    Enjoyed dinner



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    The steeds



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    Views en route from Armenia to Medellin



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    Road temporarily closed for construction. After spending 3/4 hour admiring the lady in orange, I gave up and set off down the closed road. I don't think anyone had programmed the temporary lights correctly as I passed several stretches of single carriageway with stationary traffic stopped on the other side. I took it easy and only had to pull over twice for a few seconds to give other vehicles their rightful right of way.



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    Medellin was in the news for bad things in the recent past, but today it's well worth a visit, for its architecture, culture and people



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    Alpujarra



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    Parque de las Luces. One of the many example of rejuvenating downtown Medellin



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    A healthy snack is never far away



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    Politeness is always a good idea :-)



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    Downtown Medellin is a bit gritty. A good vibe, but always prudent to have your wits about you



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    A Fernando Botero statue



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    Another...



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    An empanada for lunch is never a bad idea



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    For white: Move castle A7 to C7. For black pawn H4 to H3



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    Memorial



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    Some nice motors around town



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    Where Pablo Escobar was killed. One of many biographies is at https://www.biography.com/people/pablo-escobar-9542497


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    His gravestone



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    A view from the cemetery
    knight, roadcapDen and powderzone like this.
  17. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    This RR is slowly, very slowly running its course. I have to say it's becoming more and more of a bind, but I do want to get it to the end. The riding season here in Blighty is starting sooner than later (assuming the snow actually does stop before May!). And I'm able to partake after my little "gravity confirming" stunt last year. As you can see from the Colombian map, my route went up to the Caribbean coast at Santa Marta and then back to Bogota for the flight home to the UK. However, I'll present Bogota and a couple of other pleasant places in between before finishing at close(ish) to the most northerly part of South America.

    Here are a couple of images showing my ecstatic-ness at being back on the bike in February and March this year and the latest kit from the (top secret) 2019 Touratech catalogue....


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    Selfie, Fleetmoss, near Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales, February 2018. The first ride in many months on my DRZ (including carburetor leaking petrol all over the road!). "The Fcukin' Daddy of the Warriors!" :-)



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    With my mate Dazzer near Ribbleshead Viaduct, Yorkshire Dales, March 2018. A marginally rather modified XRV750RR and a new CRF250 Rally



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    Don Quixote, Bogota July 2016. Modelling the new TT bespoke luggage system....
    powderzone likes this.
  18. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Bogota

    The more I think about this RR, the more annoyed I get. I need to get it finished and I lack the motivation. So, fast and dirty, here are some Bogota pictures. Then in the next few days I'll hopefully be able to share Vila de Leyva, Barichara and finally Santa Marta...

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    Overview map



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    Man on bike on highway



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    Nice tash and poncho



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    Downtown Bogota, street entertainer



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    Heading for a draw?



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    Main square



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    Simon Bolivar



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    Why the Spanish Conquistadors came to South America... And for Bolivian silver...



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    Street graffiti 1



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    Street graffiti 2



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    Street graffiti 3



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    Street graffiti 4



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    Street graffiti 5



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    Colonial architecture



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    Quite accessible via cable car



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    The view from the top



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    At the top



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    Worth a visit



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    And the previously mentioned, new TT 2019 luggage system. As they're now under new ownership, it's time to get back to basics....
    knight and powderzone like this.
  19. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Bellingham, Washington
    Enjoying it all the way through, Chris. That early impulse to create a complete trip report, including a unifying principle (in this case, comparing 2001 with more recent) and inspirational title, are hard to resist. Most people flame out early, but somehow you've persisted. Thanks, and safe (or, at minimum, interesting) journeys to you!

    Mark
  20. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Many thanks for the kind words, Mark. Much appreciated. This RR started with lots of vim and gusto, but most recently, I have struggled to remain motivated. It was very therapeutic mentally to work on it during the many months in my straight-jacket and non-riding limbo after my domestic (not motorcycle related) incident last summer. It also prevented me from going totally spare, from boredom. There's only so many laps of my parents' village in Germany a man can walk.

    ...And the horrendous British winter all the Brits/Limeys/Poms have had to endure meant that trying to ride again pre-Easter wasn't happening either.

    I do like reading my stuff and to look back through my "photo essay". It brings back great memories.

    I've been out riding a fair bit in recent weeks and, touch wood, it has gone OK, so I'm looking forward to more time on 2 motorised wheels, rather than writing about it.

    Safe and interesting journeys for 2018 to you too!
    knight likes this.