Around South America accidentally on a blue 150cc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EvergreenE, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. EvergreenE

    EvergreenE Adventurer

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    Thanks so much, everyone! :raabia:raabia:raabia

    Looks like this will be the last installment on South America, so I need your help. Should I continue this RR, even though much of the rest of the story is already documented in Paul's thread, or is it time to wrap it up?:) Cast your vote! (since there is no option to create a poll, just click "like" on this post if you want this RR to continue).

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    For a brief moment, I lay very still. The popping sound was definitely gunfire; for a second, I hoped it was just fireworks, this was Colombia after all, why wouldn't there be fireworks at five AM - but then I remembered what I kept seeing on the roads in Putumayo.

    [​IMG]

    Not exactly party supplies.

    Eventually, I decided to go find out what was going on. A tent isn't much of a fortress, anyway, so I crawled out, blinking at the bright morning sun. Other campers, equally bewildered, congregated at the campsite office, unsure of what to do. Who's shooting? At what? Why? Lush green tree leaves were dripping with dew, the rising sun heating up the earth, and everything felt so bright and so painfully alive.

    "It's a robbery gone wrong", - the campsite owner, a tall, lanky blonde Dutch, finally announced. "I just got off the phone with the local police. Apparently, some armed people tried to hijack a taxi, but a police patrol happened to be driving by and there was a shoot out. The taxi driver is OK, so are the police officers. The bad guys... not so much", - he explained nervously.

    Relieved but still a little on edge, we all went back to our business. There was no point in trying to sleep now - the heat was rising, so I located some coffee, packed up, and left.

    [​IMG]

    Heading north, Colombia felt like a green, hot and humid blur. Vivid green mountain slopes and pastures, green coffee farms, muddy rivers and more shades of green across the rolling hills; and it rained most of the time: large drops, sheets of water, slow but unrelenting drizzle - Colombia was drenched in water, and I felt like I was traveling a strange, melancholy planet from one of Ray Bradbury's stories, "The Long Rain".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sid was still going strong, but everything else was in tatters. My construction boots had given out, so I purchased a pair of hideous rubber boots to keep my feet dry, following the lead of local farmers. Everything was constantly damp, nothing ever dried, my saddlebags were barely holding together, my tent kept falling off, and my bank account was looking sadder and sadder each day. I knew this was the end; last few hundred miles, last mad gallop towards the Caribbean, and then what?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I rode on slowly, and my face was always wet, from the rain, most of the time, and sometimes from tears, and there was nothing I could do. I should have gone straight to Bogota, but in my feverish mind, I wanted to reach the Northernmost point of South America, to see the Caribbean, to put the last dot on the last i, and then come what may.

    [​IMG]

    But Taganga Bay, a small fishing town on the coast of the Caribbean sea, didn't feel Hemingwayan at all. Packed with young backpackers, drug dealers, beach bamboo bars and sleazy night clubs, Taganga Bay felt more like a gap year refuge than a quiet native village. The fishermen were still there, the boats and the turquoise blue water were still there, but the spirit had gone.

    [​IMG]

    There was nowhere else to go. I couldn't afford to keep going, the Darien was impassable, and I finally ran out of everything - road, resources, and will. I knew I had to go back to Europe, probably get my old job back, probably save up and then hit the road again. Africa, perhaps? Asia? It all felt surreal.

    I couldn't quite wrap my head around the fact that this was now over. Rolling slowly towards Bogota, I bargained with the universe. A few more days, one more week... Bogota welcomed me with endless rain again. It rained, and it rained, and it rained.

    I booked a one way flight home. Sid stood on the curb in front of the hotel, suddenly so small and lonely. I had to do something about it. Sergio, a Colombian rider I'd met previously in Peru, invited me for aguardiente and offered help. We visited motorcycle dealers and sellers in Bogota; nobody wanted Sid because of its Peruvian registration. For parts, then.

    [​IMG]

    Reluctantly, I handed the keys over to one of the dealers. There was nothing else to say.

    Sergio shook my hand and wished me luck. See ya. Yeah, some day. I got into a cab.

    Twelve hours later, I walked out into a cold, starry Vilnius night. I stood there for a moment, on the steps of the Vilnius airport, my tattered backpack by my feet, Sid's Peruvian license plate, still covered in road dust, tucked safely among my sparse belongings.

    My dad came to pick me up. It was almost midnight.

    "Hi, dad", - I sad, not quite knowing what to do with my hands.

    "Hi", - dad said. "October is unusually cold this year".
  2. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    That's a helluva way to leave us hanging!
  3. The StrayDog

    The StrayDog n00b

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    Thank you so much!
    I had an adventure planned in 2014 and went down a few months before departure & broke a leg!

    But I'm all healed up & newly inspired thanks to you!
    EvergreenE likes this.
  4. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Long timer Super Supporter

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    Thanks, this has been a fabulous ride report to follow along on.

    I follow Paul's ride report so I know your more recent trip activities. Thanks for effort you have given to write this RR.

    Cheers...
    EvergreenE likes this.
  5. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    The arc of this tale is now complete. Leave it now and start a new tale, a new story.
    Maybe just add a short coda, an afterword but for me this is perfect as it.
    Looking forward to more great writing from you.
    Thanks
  6. torch

    torch Solo Trecker

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    Followed from the first. Love your prose!
    Waiting on book.
    Torch.
    EvergreenE likes this.
  7. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

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    It’s been a treat riding along with you, Blinkin, and Sid. I’ve traveled many of the same roads in S. America. In my youth...by bus. As a young man...in a pickup truck. But now as I’m on the cusp of 50 it’s ride reports like yours that have lit a fire under me to retrace my tracks on a bike.
    I just returned from riding a loop through the Atacama, Bolivia and northern Argentina. It was brilliant.
    Thanks for writing! You have a gift.
  8. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    evergreene my command of the englsh language is not good enough to give you proper praise but as others have said thank you very much for your rr still following you and paul please keep up the great work

    john
    EvergreenE likes this.
  9. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Saw this RR and thought, hang on I have seen this unruly mane before from articles in various mags I read :-) so just had to read it, I gobbled up the RR and the first chapter of the book just finished it and now you are waving good bye to this RR. I imagined the moment in Withnail and I see the moment where he utters "We have gone on holiday by mistake"


    The RR had me in stitches, your precarious start, was very much like my first motorcycle adventure, with a new bike to me barely able to ride it , I set off on a trip and encountered a fierce crosswind on my first day it was a proper white knuckle ride so it brought back a lot of memories of nervous moments back. I wore a Stone washed Jean Jacket, jeans, 90's high top sneakers and a dodgy 60's Bell Helmet. Army Duffel Bag full of gear tied across the rear, and that is how I rolled for many years, now more educated on the gear my kit has significantly improved. Last year I came across a someone posting for advise on what to take on his first bike adventure, and by the time the list was finished he may as well have sold his kidney on the black market to afford it all.

    Most people, have the "Charlie and Ewan syndrome" you have to have all the gear, the right bike, (typically a big GS) and they get lost in the detail and scared at the cost of an adventure on a bike, your book will be a different voice saying it is OK to just tie a backpack to a blue bike you just bought at a wishy washy shop, and ride off into the sunset with little or no planning, on ""adventures of questionable success""". The book may yet turn out to be as successful as Ted Simon's book.

    I enjoyed the first chapter of the book, but you described the encounter with the old man better in the Ride report """then looked at me with a sort of fatherly ridicule"""", looking forward to the end result, you have a excellent story to share, that show that with very little money or planning you can achieve an adventure of awesome proportions. However you will encounter the "dark tarred souls" of the safety conscious trolls, that will criticise the whole experience and say how can you promote such irresponsible behaviour. But you will definitely influence a whole generation of new biker gals that will say "well if she can do it so can I"
    freebirrd44, ChadADV, mbanzi and 8 others like this.
  10. ChicoProf

    ChicoProf Been here awhile

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    Chico, CA
    Nicely done! Thanks for sharing the story with us all.

    I need to look back at the beginning of Paul’s current thread - but I don’t recall him telling the full tale of how the two of you connected.
    mtnbikeboy and EvergreenE like this.
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Now that you mention it I remember not getting full details. As memory serves they were both at some sort of event and started chatting...
    EvergreenE, MrKiwi and ChicoProf like this.
  12. Possibly Certifiable

    Possibly Certifiable Verified Bing-nut

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    I voted with my "like" already. For what it's worth, I would enjoy seeing how things look from your perspective as well as @rtwpaul perspective. Same events, same places, same people, different person doing the viewing and telling the story.
  13. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Long timer Super Supporter

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    Yes, in the UK...
  14. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    They did tell me the story sitting over beers in the shed last year but my memory is shit.:lol3
    EvergreenE and MrKiwi like this.
  15. Signalman

    Signalman n00b

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    :clap
    EvergreenE likes this.
  16. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

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    Egle, I have enjoyed this RR very much and would be happy to see it continue. However, I know it takes up a good chunk of your time in keeping it going and would understand if you call it finished. I would like to see something that ties your return home to your meeting Paul, from your point of view. Thanks again for taking us along!
    SpiritAtBay and EvergreenE like this.
  17. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Long timer Super Supporter

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    read this here
  18. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    well, well, well.....I say jump on board with Paul, his pics and narration and you adding to it more and more..... you two make a great team and compliment each other!! It is awesome you two wild and crazy adventure riders hooked up!! Carry on!! :)
    EvergreenE, Cmnthead and ADK like this.
  19. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Thank you, so very, very much.
    This report has been my favorite one ever on this site, or any other. I would read anything you wrote, even just a report about a trip across town. I feel like we are friends, after you've opened your world to so many of us on here.
    I sincerely cannot wait for our copy of your book to arrive! I am grateful for your work, and your documentation of a life well lived, even though it is only the beginning of a life full of true adventure, without sponsors or direction, but rather seeing the parts of our world through the eyes of someone for whom adventure has become a way of life, and a means of survival beyond just earning a paycheck.
    Bravo, and thank you again!
    JagLite, EvergreenE and RedHawk47 like this.
  20. brookside

    brookside n00b

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    EvergreenE, I got the email thread a few days ago and read your RR at every moment that I can spare a few minutes. As everyone else has already stated, your writing style, pictures, spirit, courage, wit, and perseverance is amazing. I look forward to opening up the first chapter link, contributing to your indiegogo and anxiously await the book and future RR's. I haven't checked out Paul's website yet but cannot wait to read about evrything else I've missed.
    Thank you!!!
    freebirrd44, JagLite and EvergreenE like this.