Gringo in Paradox - Travels in Colombia

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

  1. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Chicamocha Canyon.

    I have been through part of Chicamocha Canyon on my first trip to Colombia, bu
    t it rained on me then, and apparently I just clipped a corner of the canyon. This trip went right through the good part. I certainly wouldn’t mind spending some time on the dirt roads in the area.
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  2. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The route first goes through a lot of mountains with lots of switchbacks and some high passes. Then it drops into the valley between mountain ranges and runs flat and straight. And the temperature skyrockets. Don’t even think about full throttle blasting though. There are massive potholes that could easily cause a crash. This is Route 45 for 300 km North of Honda. It does have good stretches, but you have to keep a careful eye out, because a pothole, or string of them, will appear suddenly.

    I was personally in need of cooling down and getting off the bike when I stopped at a roadside restaurant and ordered a large cold mora juice with milk.
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    While forcing this down…not too hard… I saw some big parrots out back on a fake tree. They all got excited at one point and flew away. I got my camera ready in case they returned ..and they did.
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  3. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Out of sequence… this is the shop that fixed my skid plate the first time. Yes… the name is MOTOCRASH. They did the job I asked them to do, better than I expected, CC262978-A515-4247-9C37-AAFFD226B7E1.jpeg
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  4. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Interesting flower at Motocrash
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    Quick breakfast on the road
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    Dinner at a restaurant next to Hotel Ocala in Purnio. This is the cheese/fish soup with the pechuga…chicken breast. Good meal. First beer of the trip. 12,000 pesos… under $4.
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  5. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    On the way to Manizales, I took a rest stop at a logging operation. This is part of a cable setup to move the logs out of a ravine.
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    Lunch on the road. The red vegetable is beets. I had two of the mora drinks and took a bottle of juice to go. 10,000 pesos.. under $3.
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    Attached Files:

  6. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The truck shop near Manizales where the skid plate was welded. The actual shop is the shack in the back. Most of the work is done in the yard. The mechanic had to lie in the dirt to remove and reinstall the skid plate.
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    My mechanic clamping a part in the vise. Everybody else is just goofing off. There are 4 guys playing cards behind him.
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    The skid plate, finished, ready to install. Maybe you can see that the skid plate gives too much consideration to air flow and not enough to brute strength.
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    A turkey running around the yard
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  7. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    On the road to Manizales I had to stop a few times to add more clothes. It was cold and started to rain a few times. I thought about taking a walk around this abandoned house, but would have had to jump a barbed wire fence. Not worth the risk.
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    My new favorite fresh squeezed orange juice stand. The oranges here were actually orange instead of mostly green. Orange oranges are sweeter. This may not apply in the US, where oranges are spray painted. This is near Manizales where I had to decide whether to make another run on Mt. Ruiz. The sky says… don’t do it.
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  8. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This is a footbridge I encountered earlier on the dirt road to El Cocuy. It is suspended by cables. Looked old and scary but it was solid.
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    Detail close up of construction
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  9. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Someone took a horse across the bridge. The horse took a s**t halfway across.
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    Spare parts for the bridge
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  10. Tomaso

    Tomaso Been here awhile

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    Pretty sure that red flower is a mimosa. We have a few mimosa trees in our neighborhood, so it must have quite a wide range. In Chinese medicine it's called the happiness tree because it's used as a nervine relaxant and mood enhancer. In Japan, it's the sleeping tree because the leaves fold up at night. On Long Island, it's a weed because if left unattended it'll crowd out other plants.
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  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Salento

    The heart of the coffee region is my new base. The Viajero hostel is where I’m at because it was good last time. I definitely did not see enough of the area last time, especially the neighboring village of Cócora.

    The stupid vandalism in Bogota did not reach here. Here is the statue of Simon Bolivar in the main square in front of the church.
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    Weird how one group is calling him a liberator and another group “opresor”.
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  12. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Typical Salento street. Lots of steep hills.
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    Lots of hostels here. Most are very nice looking.
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  13. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    37022DF9-E088-4B2C-9323-C74438B88FD8.jpeg Cócora

    The little offshoot village of Cócora is famous for the world’s tallest palm tree…the wax palm. The tallest can grow to around 200 feet tall. It is also the “national tree”. Last trip I got rained out riding there from Salento. Today I tried it again, even prepped for some rain. Here are some results.

    “No camping” signs at several places along the road going in.
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    The trees in all their glory.
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  14. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The area is nicely kept and there are a lot of flowers along the road.
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  15. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    A nest of calves
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  16. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    At the end of the road there is a parking lot where you can rent a horse. The uniformed lady there said I could not continue on the dirt road with my bike but I could walk. Lots of people rented horses.
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  17. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    I have never lived near a desert, so this really healthy looking desert plant caught my eye.
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    There was a sign for “Cascada Cócora” that pointed down a dirt road. Cascada is …waterfall… so I figured I would check it out. Went to the end, but no waterfall. On the way back a guy stopped me and asked if he could help me. So I told him what I was after, and he said you have to walk after the road ends. It is another half hour walk. Maybe another time. I should really do this to test my leg. It is still giving me pain, but I think it has improved since I have been doing the stretches that Wiley suggested.

    This dirt road is getting some improvement. The soil here is a dark clay that gets really slippery in the wet. So they have scooped off the top few inches and replaced it with gravel.
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    The main road to Cocora is nicely paved and is a good ride all by itself. You can see here that the clouds are awfully low so I was lucky to get this ride in without getting wet.
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  18. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Along the road to Cócora there was this lumber mill. I think they are trying to hide the operation from the tree huggers with the sheet plastic fence. The wood they are harvesting looks like pine to me.
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    Cool camping trailer built from a mini bus. E3642FD8-1C40-4933-8394-068F384CAA98.jpeg
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  19. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    A signed mural at the Salento end of the road to Cócora.
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    This municipality has been declared free of wild fauna in captivity.
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  20. GenXrider

    GenXrider Been here awhile

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    The plane on the outskirts of San Gil is a hotel. Has a room in the plane with a jacuzzi etc.
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