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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    The Palomino River is known for tubing. From the road you float down to the ocean.
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  2. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

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    Venezuelan on the goat trail ha!
  3. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Gas line

    Riohacha had gas lines. There are two lines actually. 10 cars in one line and 15 motorcycles in the other. I did not carry any extra fuel outside of my main tank and had no issues. I do prefer to fill up before going into parts unknown though. Further into the desert, the lines were shorter, and roadside vendors were more common. The roadside gas I bought was fine and about the same price as pump gas.
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  4. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

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    A little orange under that load for a mule Did you make it to Punta Gallinas the light house
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  5. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Salt pile at Manaure. Salt has been mined here since the 1700s. Maybe longer. Salt was mined by the Wayuu before the Spanish arrrived.
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    Typical bulk salt hauler. There are lots of these trucks around. Almost all are in barely running condition.
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  6. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This is the road leading to Wayuu territory. The lady in front is carrying a load with a strap over her head, as is typical. Her (six year old) daughter follows behind, holding a younger (three year old) by the hand and carrying an infant with a head sling. The infant is sleeping. This is one hard working little girl.

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  7. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    I was not looking at the license plate when I took the picture. This area certainly has Venezuelan refugees…but does this guy look like one of them ? The plate does not look Colombian.

    That goat rack is ingenious . The goats were acting quiet and content. They did not seem uncomfortable and did not have any obvious injuries.
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  8. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    That goat rack is ingenious . The goats were acting quiet and content. They did not seem uncomfortable and did not have any obvious injuries.[/QUOTE]

    Brazil, I had him stop for a picture, he poked him, still alive!

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  9. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

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    its a VEZ plate they are more square not like reqtangular plate of many nations The Venezuelans were allowed to cross into Colombia in vehicles or bikes until covid hit. Most of them in Vez plated cars or bikes just haven't returned My plate on my bike in Canada 27B02256-B736-4A52-91C8-116139E0E26A.jpeg is probably not like any in the world
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  10. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Almosthere is right about the Venezuela plate. The word “Portuguesa” signifies a state in Venezuela. It does not border Colombia.
  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Food

    there is a roadside restaurant near here that makes breakfast to order so I specified what I want. Basically I want scrambled eggs with tomato and onion. They offered yuca with it which I declined, because it is really bland and usually just boiled. So they offered…pan…which is bread. I went with that but felt bad about their having to send someone out to get it.

    So the next day I said I want the yuca. And they asked if I want some patacón too. Well, that is a version of the cooking banana, which I like. So here is what I got.
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    There are four small “pancakes”. Two are yuca and two are patacón . The yuca is now a sort of potato pancake, with some salt on it. Not bad at all. 6000 pesos…$1.58

    Back in Riohacha I was always hot and looking for good drinks. This watermelon stand was perfect. A cup of juice was 1000 pesos…26 cents.
    Dos por favor.

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  12. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Guajiro desert.

    This is a really big desert. It is also a state. The political capitol is Riohacha but the tourist capitol is Uribia. I was in both, as well as making a run up the middle. The terrain is varied but the scenic points are scattered far and wide. The best spots require travel on gravel roads. Distances are far. The first photo is near the beginning of the dirt near Riohacha. It is more dirt than sand here. The edges and middle of the road are heavily rutted from a previous rainstorm. It has dried solid here.
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    a rare shelter
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    Vegetation
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  13. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Those little sun shelters are actually vendors stands. Most are not occupied. I probably used a half dozen of them. At one of them a lady and her child came in and sat down. I think we said buenos días but did not actually talk. She did not ask me to leave but I think the shelter was hers.

    I tried to ride to Playa Elizabeth. There were some water crossings. This one was deep and wide but that is not my issue. Soft bottoms are my issue. But this one was fine.
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    It had rained previously so there were mud sections. One particularly long and deep mud section convinced me that I was about to drop the Duke. So that run will need to be repeated on a drier day.

    Mud house construction. One of the above desert photos shows ruts on the side of the road. They are dry and solid like concrete. Using that kind of clay soil makes sense to use as chinking between wood slats.

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    This is a typical supply truck running between remote desert villages and town. The bed is full of people with empty containers hanging off the back heading in. Heading back the containers are full of water and have to be in the bed. Now people have to ride on top of the load. These big trucks are common but almost all vehicles are fully loaded.
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  14. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This is Rte 90 …the main coastline road in Northern Colombia. It is well paved and has only minimal traffic. There are signs for river crossings. 8887A168-3232-431E-988C-8923496DD527.jpeg

    Guajira desert

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    End of the road. This is the gate to the military base at Puerto Bolivar.
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  15. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Punta Gallinas is one of the several destinations my prospective guide offered.
    I was not prepared to navigate the way because Google does not work well in remote areas. So I think you might need GPS or a guide. The side roads that I saw were narrow and sandier so a knobby tire might be wise too. And the last problem is where to sleep. Uribia was the last outpost and the hotels were scarce and expensive. May be nonexistent further out, and I am not carrying camping gear.
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  16. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Back in Manaure, I was thinking of calling it a day but could not find a hotel. There was a kitesurfing school/hostel but it was closed. It was early so I had time…and ended up riding on to Uribia. But while in Manaure, I took a long ride on their beach. Here is one of my finds. Needs a little work.
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    Inboard engine and rudder are missing. Hull looks great.

    bare basic fishing boat
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    The outer beach is a sand bar with almost no connection to the mainland. But there is always an exception. This bridge goes to a private residence. Someone rode over that bridge on his motorcycle while. I was there.
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  17. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    There were a lot of goats in the Guajira and a few cattle. At one point there was a healthy looking young bull standing in the road with a bunch of these cactus parts stuck to his head and neck. I wanted to help him out but ….
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    I went for a few little walks in this desert. I was thinking of trying a little off road but when I saw how many opportunities for getting a flat are around, I decided to stay with a well travelled route.
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  18. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

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    Man its too bad you did not get to Punta Gallinas I will be there next week on my f700 I have Mitas e07 tires and I have a big ass rear sprocket 47 teeth my f700 turns into a enduro with attitude tempImagepRBlAW.jpg
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  19. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Good tool for the job at hand. I am wishing my 2013 KTM 690R Enduro was here…I would go with you. With that I could easily double my speed. Just stand up and gas it. The suspension on the Duke will allow a comfortable 30 km/hr…quite a bit faster than what we do off road in the mountains, but not fast enough to keep up with a real enduro.

    Have you done that run before ? How do you navigate ? Is there a place to stay or will you camp ?
  20. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

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    No it would be my first I have been to Cabo de Velo its a small town close to Punta Gallinas it was raining hard and the route was pure mud to get to Punta Gallinas about a 6 hr drive I decided to turn back for Riohacha
    I am traveling this time with locals on large bikes that live in Bucaramanga and they have been to the Punta
    they said there are hotels with hammocks or if you prefer an room
    There is a sand trap just before you get to the light house and my friends went through it with a little help from other riders its a community effort They did it on small bikes and from what I saw in the pictures the sand is deep so its balls to the wall for me and hope for the best
    we have decided to leave on the 27ish sept
    I pretty well know Colombia and have been lost many times and backtracked
    bringing a gas can is a must
    I use a National Geographic map of Colombia but my friends know the way