Gringo in Paradox - Travels in Colombia

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

  1. JuddS

    JuddS Been here awhile Supporter

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    And yes, ill cross at Ipales and keep heading south for a few weeks.
  2. CaneloBama

    CaneloBama n00b

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    Check out Jardín on your way down. Ive heard many good things. Similar charm as Salento but without all of the tourism, and is closer to Medellín. Apparently Salento is the most popular destination for Colombians in the eje cafetero.
  3. GenXrider

    GenXrider Been here awhile

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    Jardin gets busy on the weekends. Nice to visit for a day at most. The ride is very nice from Medellin, all paved.
    If you are coming from Medellin, stop at La Mayoria (near Bolomboló), one of the best breakfast and lunch stops in Colombia in my opinion.
    The ride across the mountains the other way from Rio Sucio is nice, but mostly dirt.

    If you are going south of Medellin towards Cali, I recommend you ride around the mountains close to Toro, Dovio, and La Union.
    Fantastic riding and breaks up the journey. This is also the wine district of Colombia if you are into wine.
  4. JuddS

    JuddS Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank you both for the rec's. I dont really understand the etiquette on the form of asking questions on other peoples threads. Some people say its rude and I dont want to be rude, so please tell me if I should move my questions to another page, but I have another one. How about a decent mechanic in Medellin who can do some very easy repair work on my bike? I just need some plastic bits installed and I dont want to do it myself. I'll be in Poblado.
  5. GenXrider

    GenXrider Been here awhile

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    Ride around at the back of Av 33 or Calle 38 # 52, many places. Africa Motos is decent. Also in Poblado between Calle 10 and 10A you have many options.
  6. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    I think using this forum for advice is a good idea.

    GenX lives in Medellin and knows the country well. You should take his suggestions seriously.

    I love the rough roads in the mountains but there is also rain at the higher elevations, which I do not like at all. The Tatacoa desert was a pleasant relief from some tough riding. It is very scenic...not barren..with warm, clear weather and an excellent road. Bogatanos like to go there just to sleep in the desert. I enjoyed the pool at piscina mineral a lot too.

    You should stay current on the border situation with Ecuador. I believe it is still closed now, with some hope that it will open in another month. Ipiales is the main crossing point but it will likely follow all the protocols. There is another entry point to the East that may be more flexible. I want to give Ecuador another shot, but it is a long trip and I want to be sure it will work before I go again.
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  7. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    Colombia is beautiful and the people are very welcoming. It is perhaps my most favorite country in the Western hemisphere. That being said when you cross into Ecuador the mountain scenery goes to spectacular.
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  8. CaneloBama

    CaneloBama n00b

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    thanks for the good info @GenXrider I'll be saving those suggestions for when I make my way down to Colombia next summer.
  9. JuddS

    JuddS Been here awhile Supporter

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    WTF. Why do you say the Boarder in Ipales is closed? I've seen that its back open. But now I'm reading spanish language articles and it is talking about a lot of violence at the boarder because its closed and the gangs are fighting for control of the illegal crossings.

    Ive been reading about the Ecuador entry requirements and it says that as long as you are vaccinated and have proof, then you are ok, but it doesnt specifically talk about the Puente in Ipales. Does anyone have concrete specific knowledge of the boarder situation as of today???
  10. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Good stuff, thanks!

    Are Kia's popular there too, l noticed some in your pics.
    How are the temps, humidity and sea temp?
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  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    There is a difference between land crossing and airport entry to Ecuador.

    Last time I looked, which was recently, you could fly in with proof of a COVID test. But you could not cross a land border, especially with a motorcycle. My information came from the landlady in Pasto, who was only hours after returning from Ipiales. The internet confirmed it.

    Later someone told me that the border would reopen in two months. That would be about a month from now. I have no confirmation on the reported reopening so if you see something, please post it here.

    I am also aware of unofficial border crossing. For me, that is not an option, since one reason for going is to renew my Colombian entry stamp.

    On my recent southern loop, I also enjoyed Cali, even though I am not much of a city guy. The weather there was perfect and the city was pleasant with tons of options.

    There are two main Colombian highways that run north-south in the southern half of the country. Each has its own entry point to Ecuador. Connecting the two, near Ecuador, is Colombia’s “death road”...San Francisco to Mocoa.. Super scenery and doable on any motorcycle. But not for sissies. And try to pick some dry weather.

    Mocoa is great for being with nature. Very remote. There are several waterfalls where you can swim. It is still mountainous though and hard to dry out there.

    San Agustin is the next worthwhile attraction from Mocoa to the north. It has ancient artifacts and statues. I missed it but would not miss it again.

    Next interesting stop to the north is the Tatacoa Desert. For when you have had enough mountains for a while.
  12. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Yes..lots of Kias. Cheap counts for a lot here. And sometimes cheap is still durable. This is a great testing ground for that.

    I just moved to the beach next to Tayrona park. So it is hot with some humidity, and a steady sea breeze. If you are not working you do not break a sweat. The pool is about 80 degrees and the ocean about 75. There is some surf right off the the hostel beach. A surf school is based here but they go around the corner where you can surf a lot without doing much paddling.
  13. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This hostel has its own swimming pool next to the beach. One end of the swimming pool is a bar. When that closes, they light the bonfire…on the right. This is a nightly ritual.
    2550C122-EF69-43D0-A350-EAB274B31614.jpeg

    Sourcing of more firewood is not a problem.
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    They can not keep up with all that is washing ashore. Most of this coast looks similar.

    The hostel has a menu…lunch and dinner are the same. Prices are around double Bogota.
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    Almost US prices
  14. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This is on a nearby beach. It is artwork that speaks to me. Probably it says different things to different people.
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    This is on the Viajero hostel beach
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    You might want to consult your Spanish dictionary before swimming here…..caution. Strong surf

    The surf school is located right here but they surf a way down the beach. Right here there is a very abrupt break with a short run to the sand. Kind of rough for swimming until you get out further.
  15. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Natural disaster

    Yesterday was looking a little funky with a solid cloud cover and threatening rain. So I planned a non riding day. Got a nice massage and ate well.

    It actually started raining around 5. Got real strong around 6; when the kitchen is supposed to open. They had to delay opening for a half hour due to rain. When I finished my meal I was surprised to see knee deep water for the 40 yards to my hut. It was flowing fast toward the ocean and rising. Coconuts and other debris floated past.

    The water came up to about two inches from the floor of the hut, and people were evacuated voluntarily. I was going to wait until it was ankle deep in the room, and moved my luggage to an upper bunk. That worked fine....and this morning the water has receded....leaving a lot of damage behind.

    The next door hostel is destroyed. The one on the other side is heavily damaged. The nearby town has several destroyed residences. Right here there are workers shoveling and hosing away the mud.

    The bike is safe. It was in a carport and under cover. The water level was not very high there and it did not fall over.
  16. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The sign in the photo above is gone and the formerly flat beach looks like this now.
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    The pool is brown
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    There is a layer of mud on top of the sand
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  17. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    First thing this morning I went for a beach walk. Nature had done some rearranging.
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    There was a river to cross. It was deep enough that this dog coming with me had to swim.
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    There was this eagle or hawk having breakfast. He was airborne by the time I had the camera ready. He had his prize though. A couple of buzzards went over to where he landed to see if they could get some. So then he took his breakfast elsewhere.
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  18. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Wow, was that from Iota?
    Glad you were ok, saw some YT flood videos...

    El Sal has mid 80's ocean temps for comparison and they also have those fish shaped garbage receptacles.
  19. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Most of the guests here have moved to Santa Marta. I am the only guest left and I do not want to leave. It is raining again and I am not riding in rain if I don’t have to.

    So now I am getting special treatment. First thing is they are moving me from a dorm to a private room up front. I think that will take me out of the mud zone. And since there are no more guests, the kitchen is closed. So I will be eating with the staff at particular times.

    like they say... life is a beach
  20. JuddS

    JuddS Been here awhile Supporter

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    What a great ride report. Just spent some time reading though it. Thanks for posting.

    I was the one asking about the border being open and I just confirmed that the land border to Ecuador is closed until further notice. No way to cross down to ecuador (legally that is) right now. So, sighhhhhhh, I just canceled my Sunday plane ticket and wont be joining the fun. Depressing. I'd prefer to be marooned on a beach in Colombia perhaps with some bored and lonely waitresses.

    Have fun!
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