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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by luciosiq, Mar 29, 2009.
Am I the only one that noticed that the dirt in this pic looks EXACTLY like Italy?
Hi Lucio and Paula
Great meeting you guys. Please do come back to Colombia for the Colombia Libre 2009 event October 30 to November 2nd. Would love to have you here among the other international ADV riders showing up.
More pictures of you guys here
So, after more than a week travelling through Colombia (from North to South), I must say that this is a fantastic country.
I don't believe any Rider can be sorry for coming to this beautiful country.
From Cartagena we rode south to Medellin. The first 100 miles is reasonably straight forward (literally). Then, it turns into a very windy road. Beautiful country side but your average speed drops drastically. So, the best you can do is enjoy your time and don't try to make to Medellin in one day.
So we stopped in Valdivia for the night. There's a nice hotel on the road near Valdivia for US$ 30 (for a couple) with A/C, private bathroom and WI-FI Internet. It's called "El Horizonte" Hotel.
Next morning, we got up early for our ride "UP" to Medellin.
So, that's what happened. From sea level you go up to 6000 ft. We felt a bit of a headache and sleepy. But, not a big problem.
Medellin is located in a valley. So, you actually ride down a bit (4500 ft) to reach this beautiful city.
In Medellin, we stayed at Provenza Hostel, which we recommend. Not the cheapest, but the other ones we had selected were full. They are all pretty close to each other, located around El Poblado Area (Zona Rosa). For US$ 50 (double) we had a private room. A very nice and clean hostel.
Also, in Medellin we left the moto at Suzuki Super Servicios for service and new tires. They do a pretty good job over there and also treated us very well. In 24 hours, we had the moto ready to leave for Cali.
The road to Cali is another windy/curvy one through beautiful mountains.
We preferred to take smaller roads through Zona Cafetera (Coffee Route) which was worth it, instead of Panamericana (Route 25). The trip took a lot longer but it was really beautiful all the Coffee Plantations high up in the mountains.
So, around 7 pm (11 hours ride - long day) we were arriving at CasaBlanca Hostel in Cali.
This is the best hostel we stayed in Colombia. Mike, Diana, Laura and the CasaBlanca Team set up a great place. It is very well organized, really clean, with private rooms (if you want), WI-FI, Laundry service, TV Room, Parking etc. etc., plus lots of info on what to do in Cali.
AND, Mike is an experienced biker. So, whatever you need for your moto, you just have to ask him. He is ready to help you in whatever he can.
So, one interesting idea is to have your moto serviced in Cali while staying at CasaBlanca. Excellent Option !!!!
From Cali, we rode down to Pasto, stopping in Popayan (a very nice Colonial City).
The ride to pasto was another windy one. From Cali to Popayan, it is pretty much flat, then from Popayan you start your "up and down" routine through beautiful mountains and valleys.
Next morning, our ride was focused in crossing into Ecuador.
The border crossing here is very easy.
Only a couple of Helpers who will need to go on a Training Period in Honduras if they really want to learn how to put pressure and take money from tourists. No issues here.
So, around 1:00pm we were riding in Ecuador on our way to Quito.
Gustavo and Mario at Suzuki Super Servicios - Medellin
Thanks a lot for taking care of us !!!
You guys are doing a fantastic job at CasaBlanca.
I just noticed that now.
Maybe it is a message from the Gods.
We must organize a ride through Europe, including Italy
Glad to see you guys still doing great and enjoy every minute of this trip, que dios los siga acompanando.
So, we spent only 4 days in Ecuador.
First, we rode directly to Quito.
On our way, in Ibarra, we met 4 bikers from Ecuador, returning to Quito after a quick ride to the border of Ecuador and Colombia (they went shopping at the Border Duty Free Shop). Apparently, the prices are worth the trip. Plus, it is always a good excuse for a weekend ride.
So, we rode together to Quito. They stopped with us at the Equator for photos and for a coffee at a nice Coffee Shop on the road.
Quito is a nice city, with a great Historical Area.
From Quito, we rode down to Cuenca.
The Panamericana south is a bit strange. I still don't know exactly what we did.
Apparently, there are 2 roads called Panamericana in Ecuador. I really believe we took the wrong one. As for about 40 miles we were riding on gravel (very bad), up and down mountains. I don't think that road could be called "panamericana". The views were great (mountains and valleys) but we were worried about the time.
Finally, after about 2 hours on this road, we found what we believe is really Carretera Panamericana.
So, it was getting late and we decided to stop in this small and not so nice town called "La Troncal". We found a "Love Motel" on the road and that was the best option in town. The hotels that we saw were terrible.
Next morning we went to Cuenca. The road was good enough to ride at a reasonable speed.
Quenca is UNESCO World Heritage and is worth visiting.
Next morning, we went to the pacific coast to Huaquillas and crossed the border to Peru.
Huaquillas is a dirty border city. It is crowded and very messy.
You have to watch your belongings all the time.
Crossing into Peru was not a big problem.
The gentleman at Aduana was very slow. I don't really think he knew very well what to do.
I basically told him what to write on the forms. He just accepted it.
The process is 100% manual: forms, books, stickers.
Anyway, in about 1 hour, we were free, riding in Peru and watching for the cops on the road........
Awesome adventure you guys are on, thanks for sharing. Very cool that the Zook made it through all that. And even more impressive to have your wife with you still smiling in all the photos!
When are you guys going to arrive in Brazil? I will be there in August and have actually looked into renting a bike from Motoasa in Ribeirão Preto. Should be right around the corner from your end destination!
Got more pixels on those two?
The location of the shot with the bike in the small boat is about 5 miles due East of where I had to turn around on my way to Cocuy (where I was pushing through mud up a hill until I couldn't anymore). Mr. and Mrs. Lucio are the only people I have ever heard of who have ridden two-up on this road. If you ask the Kuna Yala indians, "Does anyone ever come by motorcycle?" they'll say, "No."
A no-tell-mo'tel. BTDT
Brazil - in exactly three weeks for us.
Some Bikers from Ecuador we met on our way to Quito
Yes. We have all pictures in RAW Format and can process them up to 22 MPixel.
The ones I post here are compacted so that they don't take too much space and are quickly displayed.
Not sure if I understood. Would you like them in full format ???
Dear Lucio and Paula,
Great report and trip! Thanks for all the info!
I am not sure if you mentioned it before but where do you plan to go now?
Are you doing a long way down/round?
Hmmm....hope you have some pics of Ecuador. Sure rushed thru it. Colonial Quito is fantastic since the renovation a couple of years ago, Cotopaxi mountain is 19000 feet of beauty, Banos on the way south is a great place for a couple of days of adventure sports, Cuenca and Ingapirca ruins can take a week to explore, thats with out even covering the beach areas. Alandaluz, Montanita, Salinas. Thats just of the top of my head.
Enjoy your trip, you might pass thru this areas just once. Wish you a very safe trip.
or at least bigger then the posted version. I bet baldy is wanting it for the front page rotation.
Last I heard, you guys were north of Lima, Peru, about to run the crooked-cop gauntlet. :eek1
Did you make it through? Did the "I'm a journalist" trick work? Did you have to pay $200 to pass? Did they arrest you? Did you make it without even getting stopped? (This is where I'd post a super-nervous man shoveling popcorn into his face, mostly missing his face.)
I hope you make it through here easily. It's a lot easier once you pass Lima. Except for the cold and snow and cazy guanacos and nandu-bird-ostrich things.