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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    I am rooting for you! Its enjoyable to hear your stories and i hope you had a great birthday. You are doing what most only dream of. Have fun!
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  2. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Summit, Cerro Kennedy
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    The heli pad
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    A hill you climb before reaching Cerro Kennedy. It has radio antennas and some hostels.
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    AKT 180 from Jungle Joe
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  3. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

    Joined:
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    its too badyou are in peak season of rain any way there is no such thing as a bad ride
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  4. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    More food

    Fish soup in Santa Marta. The fish is minced small and there are no bones.
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    Breakfast in Minca. Becoming a favorite. Scrambled eggs with tomato and onion served with patacon (fried plantain), and a big slice of local cheese.
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    Hawaiian pizza in Minca. Thinnest crust I have ever seen. Good flavor.
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    Someone told me drinking water is free in Minca. This is the spigot.
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  5. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

    Joined:
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    I am going Manaure tomorrow 650 km from home Bucaramanga
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  6. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    The paved road is the new main road past Minca, that was not paved two years ago. The dirt left fork is the way to Cerro Kennedy.
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    I wanted a photo of this tour guide’s offerings. That is a customer hamming it up for me. You can see the Cerro Kennedy option is the most expensive.
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    This moto rental place had the best map. Cerro Kennedy is the destination at the top left. Many of them are waterfalls. They have estimated hiking and moto times listed.
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  7. GringoRider

    GringoRider Adventurer

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    ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! ¡Sigan con el buen trabajo! :photog:clap
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  8. ALLMOSTHERE

    ALLMOSTHERE Make to best of everything

    Joined:
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    These rentals are all hosers ,the tourist industry was booming before covid and the numbers kept climbing Then wham not a thing happened for 9 months It is survival of the fittest and gouging is prevalent . Colombia has a long way to go before the industry will be on par with tourists for being a bargain I have noticed everything has gone up 30% post lock down I dont really like the Colombian Caribbean in the populated areas
    Aggressive vendors and merchants that are in your face any minute they can get is not my way of a relaxing time
    haven't you noticed with the issues with your moto down time and bullshit that cost you your time and money Costenos are a pain in the ass
    Imagine Venezuela when it was in its prime a down right paradise and modern thinkers
    that has all gone to hell some day I want to go there
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  9. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Venezuela is a very sad story.

    I spent 6 months on my own sailboat in the Caribbean with a major stop in Antigua for race week. There I got friendly with the captain and crew of a German race boat from Venezuela. The boat’s name was ...Tunix... german slang for...do nothing. The boat could tack without adjusting the sheets (wishbooms). The captain invited me to his home ...wanted me to meet his daughter. I would have done it except for the very long distance, and I was already far from home.

    Venezuela going from most prosperous country in South America to the crime-ridden hellhole it is now is very depressing. I think it is a big warning to us in the US but we are determined to follow their example anyway.

    Fixing Venezuela will take some time. I want to visit there too, but not under the present circumstances. And I am not particularly hopeful that it will be fixed in my lifetime.
  10. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    Very unfortunate.
  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Via Cienaga Minca

    I was up for a nice easy ride on the Duke today. And I have only been down the road from Minca to Cienaga to the point where it branches to the route up Cerro Kennedy. It used to be all dirt and mud. That and rain stopped me before. Now it is paved, but how far ? Lets find out.

    juan Valdez on the road. Rubber boots are part of the uniform. 18BDDB90-D6AC-4589-ADAD-86012A7D5629.jpeg

    Hang on baby, this is gonna be fun.

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    The center strip varied some. The first 12 km have medium size rocks sticking out a couple of inches. Makes an effective rumble strip.
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    You can go pretty fast on this road but watch out for oncoming traffic. They all think they are the only one on the road. On a super sharp downhill hairpin I encountered a horse rider cutting the corner and galloping straight at me while I was at the far right of a right hand turn. Idiot ! We barely missed each other. A few cars were reluctant to give me any room too.

    Attached Files:

  12. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Road hazard

    Yesterday I was snagged by one of these road hazards and amost crashed. Can you spot it ?
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    If you have a good eye you will see two vines hanging in the middle of the road. Something like that caught my right handlbar yesterday and steered me right. It would have taken me down but I was going slow enough to stop and untangle.

    I was safe probably because little jesus was watching over me.

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    There were a lot of water crossings. This is one of the wider ones but not the deepest. On foot, this would be bad.
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    Or maybe not. Here is a little pedestrian toll bridge you can take to avoid it.
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  13. Balanda

    Balanda Been here awhile

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    I stayed at the Coco Bongo Hostel in Minca. The lady that owned it, Luz, was very welcoming and helpful. Also found a great burger restaurant at the Casa Christi. The excellent Mr Gerard, who waits there, is a real character
    Champe likes this.
  14. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    4911FD34-1445-45F3-9B3B-353141C2A730.jpeg 83D5DC4A-27F6-4A06-801A-0CC6A91DF33F.jpeg Typical landscape,scenes from “ Via Cienaga Minca”

    Attached Files:

  15. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I just love the lush green landscape.
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  16. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    End of the road…Tagua.

    Attempting the backcountry mountain loop from Minca to Cienaga on pavement only gets you so far. Just about 22 km, which is a little past the village of Tagua. The road did continue but it was dirt and the start was already down to careful line selection. I could have continued, but I had a feeling that what I was seeing could deteriorate further and I could possibly have to come back uphill in rain and mud. It was 10:30 AM already so I headed back. Super nice ride on the Duke.

    end of the pavement …Tagua
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    Heading home. Rest stop about 11:30. The clouds are getting lower. Some are even lower than me. I am thinking rain.
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    Home a short time later. Actual rain started today at 12:30. Another good call.

    I still had a plastic bag that came with the bike that I needed to return. Luis was not there. His brother was. The actual Jungle Joe. He knew all about me. I asked him what the deal was with Tagua to Cienaga. He said it was “only for mules”. I know Luis wants to rent me the bike again. Maybe I will ask him what he thinks.

    After all, I know someone who did it on a BMW 700.
  17. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This is the very beginning of the dirt road from La Tagua to Cienaga. Totally doable here. It is downhill though and mostly dirt. It could turn into a nightmare for the Duke, especially if it rains. Give me my 690 (or any KTM two stroke) and I will do it at speed, standing up, and doing jumps off the hard parts.
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  18. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Settling in...time to move on.

    It is kind of nice here. The hostess is very nice. She usually charges for coffee so I make my own. But she refreshes my cup for free. I watch hummingbirds feeding on the porch every morning. There was no rain at all yesterday and today is looking good.

    I have a new girlfriend, but she is a dog. Her name is Jackie and she is a multicolor type of mini pinscher. Most active little dog I have ever known. Would give a Jack Russel a run for his money. Jackie likes to play rough but has a great sense of how much is too much.

    Yesterday I explored the Cienaga-Minca road some more, looking for good dirt offshoots. Found some good ones but played it safe and hiked instead of riding them.

    I have had to relearn dealing with mosquitos. They are a very small type and usually do not buzz. Kind of like the no-see-ums back home. They like my lower legs best. Usually I am not aware of them until my legs start to itch. Then I apply some repellant but it is always a little late.

    I have always thought Minca was a hippie hangout. And judging from the granny dresses and smoking supplies for sale, it is. But the hostels I have seen all prohibit the smoking of marihuana.
  19. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    thx for posting.
    any hippie pics?
    :D
  20. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    This hostel is across the street from mine…a reader here mentions that he stayed there. Looks nice. 6EBD4613-DE12-4BA6-A188-922D766C1551.jpeg

    This is my first hostel (hotel, really) in Minca, where I bargained with the owner successfully . Rooms and the owner’s residence are on the second floor. He also runs the restaurant downstairs. I greatly preferred eating elsewhere.
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    My favorite birthday present. I thought it was smoother and better than the Bacardi I used to drink. Sara (not sailing Sara), owner of the Casa Blanca hostel in Minca, owns it now. We only dented it on birthday eve.
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    This is a typical private street worker. The bike is a Chinese AKT. Do you think the steering would be heavy ?
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