GoMotor Goes South

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GoMotor, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    We are not camping and not cooking. We do have a tent for emergencies, but hope not to use it.
    #81
  2. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I've never cooked camping and I no longer tent. I'm too old and tired to crawl on my hands and knees into a tent and lay on the ground. If I were doing any of that I'd get a Miata or a Fiat Spider instead. I admire those who carry the gear and get coffee going at camp but I can't do it.
    #82
  3. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    I have noticed that my phone slowly looses battery charge while plugged into a 12 Volt to 5 Volt two outlet USB charger and using Google Maps and navigating. The charger says it is good for 2.4 amps, but I don't know if that is 1.2 amps max for each outlet or 2.4 amps max through one or both outlets. I am thinking of looking for a single outlet charger good for 2.4 amps. Anyone have any ideas???

    This morning we rode out of Santa Marta through very heavy traffic with little 125 cc bikes whizzing around us like flies on a dead frog. Our plan was to ride south up into the mountains on a very curvy road to the little town of Minca and continue on south on a curvy dirt road from there to hit HWY 45 south toward Bucarramanga. But, three very friendly traffic cops in Minca told us the road was not passable beyond the town. So, we took a room in a nice little hostel in Minca with Luca one of the Stahlratte riders from Italy. The people in the little town are very friendly and eager to help when they can.

    The hostess just brought me some cold fruit punch and pop corn and a girl here just spotted an Iguana in a tree over the stream out back.
    #83
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  4. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    We decided to stay another day in this little town of Minca, Colombia up in the mountains. Today is a holiday here and the town was jumping. This evening the main street was lined with candles burning in paper bags and 50 little kids were racing through the streets with motorcycle police leading them with lights and sirens going full blast. Families were out chatting and eating food from street side stalls.

    Fran (one of the lady riders from the Stahlratte) joined us for dinner and a walk through the town. We had dinner at a Syrian restaurant and my bill was around 15,000 pesos (about $5). All I had was some 50,000 peso bills and the owner couldn't make change for 3 times my small bill.
    #84
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  5. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    We got a very late start today due to some laundry and some repacking, some chain adjustment and some goofing off. It was 11:00 AM when we left the Hostel in Minca headed for the Bogota area. By 3:30 were ridding through the town of Bosconia, a fairly ratty town stretched out along the highway with very loud music from almost every road side business. The next town of any size appeared to be about three hours down the road, which would put us in way after dark. We don't like to ride after dark.

    Luckily about five miles out of town we came upon a brand new large filling station with an attached hotel and cafeteria and guards in the parking lot. We got a very nice air conditioned room with WiFi but no hot water for $15 each.

    I raised my homemade windshield adjustment up about 4 inches to cut down on the hot wind in my face. Tomorrow we will try to get an earlier start and get down bast
    bucaramanga.
    #85
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  6. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

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    Charging the phone...try a different cable before changing the plugs out. If it worked before, there's a chance the cord is giving up. Also a bit cheaper and easier to replace.
    Fantastic ride so far! Keep it coming!
    #86
  7. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the ride report. Following along, and looking forward to the slowing down part!
    #87
  8. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    You guys are zooming right along. You mentioned heading for Bucaramanga - just south of that is the largest canyon in Colombia - Chicamocha Canyon. Second longest in the world. I was there a few weeks ago but it was raining then. Maybe you can get us some good pictures of it. I hear there is some hangliding sport in the area too.
    #88
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  9. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    Yesterday we got a late start from our hostel at Minca after doing some bike maintenance and saying goodby to our friends from the Stahlratte Fran and Luca who were both going their separate ways.

    We spent last night in a nice little hotel in Bucarramanga. A large city. We ate supper in their dining room for $3.50. The meat was tough as leather. The showers in our hotels are always fun. You can't tell which knob is hot and which is cold or which way to turn the knobs. Often even though there are two knobs there is no hot water. Last night there thankfully was hot water in the shower, but it only lasted for about two minutes and then turned cold. Such is life on the road.

    Leaving from a cold drink stop I was run completely off the road at a low speed by a collectivo van local bus/van. I may have yelled at him.

    I still can't figure why my Samsung phone battery runs out after about 4 hours of use on Google maps even when plugged into a 5 Volt charger I installed on the bike. Yesterday I connected it to the 5 Volt 2.1 amp outlet on my jump start battery with the same results.

    In anticipation that it may be difficult to make reservations at the last minute at Christmas time, we have made reservations at the
    Steel Horse Colombia (Google it). It seems to have been greatly enjoyed by many bikers reporting on ADVrider.

    Today we are head to the small town of Barichara on a beautiful 72 degree morning with a clear sky.
    #89
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  10. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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    in Settings under Biometrics and security, you can toggle off the high accuracy option down under the Location section. This turns off wi-fi and Bluetooth constant use and will save some power. Might help somewhat, I'm not sure, though. GPS is a power hog.
    #90
  11. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    Champe mentioned Chicamocha Canyon above. We rode about 17 km down from the main highway in the Piedecuesta area to the quaint little town of Cepita on the river at the bottom of the canyon. The road down was two three feet wide concrete strips with cobble stones between them. Passing an oncoming vehicle was interesting. The cobblestone streets in the town made riding a little rough. There were very few people out at midday. On the town square we asked two different t locals if there was a place to eat. They weren't sure. Twenty feet away was a small door with no sign that lead into a three table open air place in someone's home. We sat under an open air grapevine arbor and had a meal with a pitcher full of juice and a pitcher full of ice water. We could reach up and pick grapes from overhead. They weren't all that tasty.

    We continued on to the town of Barichara up a very nice really curvy road to spend the night. It has a nice central plaza with lots of tr and the trees, but very few people were out in the evening. Our hostel had no double rooms and were relatively expensive at $50 each with hot water but no air conditioning. We will check out the plaza again this morning and move on.
    #91
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  12. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    I looked up your hostel in Barichara. It's the one that offers horseback riding , right ? I noticed a reasonable 35,000 peso dorm room rate. But they want another 10,000 for an electric outlet to charge your devices. Odd. I never saw that policy anywhere else. All the hostels I stayed at had an outlet at every bed, often a combination unit with a lamp.

    My trip through Chicamocha Canyon was rainy. I got some photos anyway. They are coming up next in my ride report.
    This canyon does not have the steep sides like the Grand Canyon in the states - an least not where I was. I think it deserves more attention than I was able to give it when I was there though. Next time maybe.
    #92
  13. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    We made it up to Villa de Leyva on a very curvy road. It is known for it's huge central plaza paved with cobble stones. Many of the streets leading into the plaza are also paved with very large cobble stones. This makes ridding in the area very unpleasant.

    On our first night there we were awakened by masked men pounding on our door. It turned out that they were evacuating the hotel due to a large container of insect spray emptying itself on our floor. We were moved to a different hotel and were unable to get any of our luggage for two days. I have seen enough of Villa de Leyva and we will move on tomorrow.
    #93
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  14. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    once I left town I turn the GPS-phone screen off, makes it good for the rest of the day, just ramp it back up before the destination to lead us to our nights stay. usually foun during lunch if not the previous night. set the ODO on the bikes guage for the daily gas estamates anyway.
    #94
  15. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    20191213_150812.jpg 20191213_154740.jpg Villa de Leyva headed for Zipaquira to visit the Catedral De Sal. It is an old salt mine converted into artistic religious monument. The walk through the mine and back is a little over 2 km. There are about 17 representing events in the life of Jesus. Many are just a large cross carved from the rock on a short side shaft and a plaque stating it represents something about Jesus . I enjoyed the walk through a salt mine, but the artistic religious references seemed a little forced.

    We found a nice little hotel in Zipaquira for 70,000 pesos or about $24. It has no heat or air conditioning, but in this weather we need neither. It does have secure indoor parking and hot water which is a plus since about half of our hotels have had none. We will look around town tomorrow top see if there is anything interesting. View attachment 2035726
    #95
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  16. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    Yesterday, Diego and Ibeth our fine hosts, who had flagged us down and forced us to spend a day and a night at their home, took us all around the town and out to some land they have outside of town. They fed us and helped us find several things we needed but had not found - some gloves, a small bottle of SAE 5 brake fluid, a smart phone battery and other things.

    So, we took them to breakfast a a nice local restaurant, but they grabbed the bill and would not let us pay it. These are the kind of people you find in South America.

    Today we rode into Bogota. It was a nightmare, three and four lanes of traffic going bumper to bumper both ways. It got dark before we could find the hotel we had selected. So we took the first one we saw after we got out of an undesirable area we had wondered into. It was more expensive than we were used to ($103) but we took it on the spot.

    Tomorrow, we are going to look for the Gold Museum.

    Good night all.
    #96
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  17. GoMotor

    GoMotor Been here awhile

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    Having experienced Bogota traffic, this morning we took a cab to the Gold Museum in Bogota. The main entrance to the building was for some sort of immigration services and the museum entrance was marked with a tiny little sign. After circling the building twice we found the right entrance and visited three floors of mostly gold artifacts from thousands of years ago up to the Spanish conquest.

    We returned to the hotel to retrieve our bikes and headed for Medellin in the same terrible traffic as yesterday. It was stop and go every 50 feet for an hour. About four o'clock we started to look for a place for the night, but got hit by a hard fast rain a few miles before a small hotel. We suited up, but still got a bit wet and my phone got wet and quit. When my phone drys out I will post some photos from the gold museum.
    #97
  18. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Ouch. $103 for a room. I hope it was really nice.

    I was at Hostel 82 a few weeks ago for $10 a night. They have hot showers and private rooms for $25. And they are near the intersection of Calle 80 and Autopista Norte. If you came from Zipaquiera you probably came in on Autopista Norte. and Calle 80 is the main road to Medellin.

    You might try Hostelworld to see a selection of hostels, a rating, and prices. I usually picked the top rated one for the area and usually paid around $10 for a bunk in a dorm.

    The Metro goes to the Museo de Oro for 60 cents. But certainly not as convenient as a cab - and you can split the cost of that.

    Looking forward to your impression of the museum of gold.
    #98
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  19. z1rider

    z1rider Adventurer

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    The hotel we stayed in for $103 was VERY nice and included a really great breakfast. It is in the financial district and so has lots of cool restaurants and shops nearby. It was a welcome break from truck stop food and minimalist hotel accommodations.

    The gold museum was interesting and I was particularly impressed with how finely detailed many of the pieces were. I'm using my iPad for this posting but the pics are on my phone so I will have to attach those later.
    #99
  20. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Right beside the gold museum is a gemstone store which I visited and bought Emeralds for my daughter and wife, this was in 1999. I often wonder if the pieces have appreciated over time.