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A Month on a Bike in Colombia - 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Champe, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Wow that is crazy....much better than I was expecting, Colombia has been on the list of places to settle down in. Appreciate the info as always.
  2. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    roadcapDen likes this.
  3. -Z-

    -Z- Adventurer

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    Hey!
    wow that's quit surprising for the pricing.. But how does it work, are you owner of the walls & business ? I know that every country are quite specific

    That would be good fun to run a hostel there, and rent some little adv bikes, offer tours...

    anyway, good luck with that shitty virus, hope we won't gonna get stranded for too long..
  4. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    The walls belong to the building owner. You would pay rent. You would own the business. Furniture and appliances I am not sure - may belong to the landlord.

    He is making money year-round without full occupancy. Maybe half full when I was there. Lots of room for improvement, including better advertising and bike rental, as you suggest.
    roadcapDen and -Z- like this.
  5. Balanda

    Balanda Been here awhile

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    Really enjoyed your write up and looking forward to your return to Colombia. I hope you can write about your stay near Nevado del Ruiz.
    Champe likes this.
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    @Champe - kinda off topic from your thread, but I'm wondering if you've heard from @Quindio? He hasn't posted to his thread in some time, at least not that I've seen; wondering if he's ok.

    I hope everything is ok, given the current world we're living in, makes me wonder. I hadn't seen a post from him since long before the covid outbreak...
  7. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Balanda - Yes, Ruiz is near the top of my list. From what i have heard and read, i think it will be one of my favorite places and i expect to spend a good deal of time there. Hopefully will get some really good photos to show off here.

    liv2day - I sent a PM to Quindio a few days ago. Told him we miss his reporting. No answer. I hope he is just busy having a good time. But he is due back home soon and the lack of reports is not a good sign.
    Balanda likes this.
  8. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Loved that area around Nevado del Ruiz, found it while impatiently waiting in traffic, jumped on a side road and spend a few days exploring, had no idea where I was going, but it was great.
    Balanda likes this.
  9. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Wiley did a short write-up of the Nevado del Ruiz area which i enjoyed and is one of my inspirations for going there. It is also close to the most major coffee growing area and famous super tall wax palm trees near Salento. I discussed a route along the East side of the national park that passes closest to the summit of Mt. Ruiz with Quindio. He said it was doable, but mostly dirt . I am sure it will be fabulous. I (and you guys) will find out for sure.
    Balanda and ScotsFire like this.
  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    These pics are of the area we are discussing by Nevado del Ruiz. I had the van rather than my moto, but it was the best couple days of overlanding I had the entire trip from Mex-Colombia. I don't know the exact roads I was on as I was only using GPS to look at the screen to see what direction I was headed, I used the free OSM maps so often there was no road/info down there. One of the roads did show up though, which I believe was the road that you mention on the east side of the mountain which runs along the park. The roads were generally in good condition as shown in the pics, I am sure rain dictates that, but overall they were great. I had no problems in the AWD van, so a moto would be a blast.

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    td63, Balanda, liv2day and 3 others like this.
  11. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Awesome photos Wiley. Keep-em coming. Looks like you encountered a little rain and fog - just like I did at Chicamocha Canyon. Do chocolate/coffee girls have anything to do with that name ?

    Unfortunately I am out of Colombia photos until I get back there. So anyone who can shed some light on what it's like there is welcome to post here. Every scrap of info contributes to my next trip and those of others who read this.

    Besides, a lot of us are spending extra time at the computer these days. This is the second best thing to actually being there.
    caribryder likes this.
  12. LS650

    LS650 Been here awhile

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    I just started reading this RR, and before I get any further, I want to say THANK YOU for posting details as to how you acquired your motorcycle.
    I've often thought of flying down to Colombia or Chile and buying a small motorcycle, and to read the details as to how it is done is very informative and helpful.
    Champe and Pete_Tallahassee like this.
  13. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Lots more to come, I hope. Latest I hear is that they might reopen Colombia to international travel again in November. That is probably not even very firm. Meantime my bike is still safe in the garage in Bogota. Paying the rent became an issue when the 6 months worth that I gave the hostel owner ran out. He could not receive most common forms of payment but we finally got it done with Western Union. Then the hostel got sold and I had to restablish a connection with the new owner, who I have never met. Now I have sent him 2 months worth of rent and need to send him two more. That is working well again. The new hostel owner (Claudio) seems to speak better English and has even sent copies of parking receipts. So far so good.
  14. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Plotting my return.

    A couple of weeks ago they started allowing Americans to fly in to Bogota again. You need a recent Corona test and fill out a government form. The land border is supposed to open on Nov. 1. Airline service is kind of poor. Copa is not flying - wonder why. They were so good before. Cheapest prices from Boston to Bogota are pretty good at under $350 round trip but now have 18 hour layovers in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. Hopefull that will improve soon. Last time I only had 2 hour layovers in Panama and the whole deal still took a very long day.

    The 390 Duke in Bogota is still safe and sound but I needed a new KTM fix and bought used 2013 KTM 690 Enduro R for home. I am still adjusting it to fit my style but I will say the 390 Duke is more comfortable. Being lower to the ground has a lot to do with it. And the stock seat is good for all day. It is a good choice for what I want it to do. I now think that the 690 would be overkill in Colombia. It will extend your capabilities greatly in the dirt, and also somewhat on the street, but at the expense of comfort and maintenance. At home it is what I need to keep up with the group of 650 friends I ride with. In Colombia I ride a lower level of off-road and usually alone, so competition level performance is not needed.

    I am in occasional contact with Claudio, the Hostel 82 manager in Bogota. He says there are no recent US guests. There is one US guest, but he has been there for 6 months. Information on new regulations is sparse.

    My dentist there sent several email messages saying they look forward to reopening, but none recently. I sure hope they don't close down - I have some work that needs finishing.

    It looks like things will lighten up some more but who knows ? Colombia is still Plan A. But you can guess what Plan B is. Yup, Baja. And now I have a special bike, just for that.
  15. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Nice batch of photos Wiley. I think I know this one. I think an easy drive North of Bogota. Legend has it lots of sacrificial gold was thrown in this lake. They even drained it a couple times to get at it. See cut at top left. Every excavation lost money. Now it is not permitted to go to the edge of the water any more, let alone swim or dive. It is on my list anyway.
  16. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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    Copa Airlines are from Panama so that maybe why they are not flying there to Colombia? Spirit Air is flying to Colombia from Fort Lauderdale.
    Champe and pro69ss like this.
  17. pro69ss

    pro69ss Been here awhile Supporter

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    Quindio update your ADV Post !
    Champe and Quindio like this.
  18. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Copa has (had?) a terminal in Boston and they went all the way to Bogota. I did not know they were based in Panama, but that explains why we always stopped over in Panama City. I use Cheapoair in my searches and used to see a lot of Copa offerings, but there are none at the moment.

    Spirit and Jet Blue are covering the economy end of flying to Colombia from here right now. i greatly prefer Copa over either of them.
  19. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    I should go along with you as it was a cool looking pond, but I suspect this is not the lake you speak of...I too have read about it but no idea where it is....the pic is def from the Nevado del Ruiz set, and was a small, probably man made pond.

    I only made it as far South of Bogota as Neiva...I still want to get much deeper into Colombia, but my plan B is also Mexico, so I am of to there in 2 or 3 days.

    edit: Lake Guatavita would be the fabled lake, I was not too far depending on what route I took out of Zipaquirá. Now you tell me, 8 years too late Champe!
  20. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    You are right. Lake Guatavita is the lake famous for gold throwing ceremonies. What looks like an old drainage cut had me fooled. Here is the real Guatavita. The cut is much more dramatic. I wonder if the two lakes have similar stories ?

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    This is from post 165, where I discuss some future destinations.