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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Apr 26, 2019.
Well done and all the best. Let us know how it ends.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to you finishing the writing when you have time. I am very sorry about your grandmother but I am sure she was proud of what you were doing.
My son turns 18 in a few day. A friend recommended this would be a good report for him to read to inspire him to take some time off before going to college. I agree completely and am sending it to him.
He complains about having to ride his '93 Suzuki DR250 around but I think that after reading this, he might think better of her.
Mine is a '93 too! I would think that a little DR250 would have a lot of adventures left in it. Maybe ride it down the Continental Divide into Baja. Get some saddlebags and a dry bag for the top and off you go!
It’s a bit of an irony that right at the end you had to tow a modern bike. After all the journey, it is a credit to you and your perseverance to get all that way. Riding small bikes on long journeys is very inspiring...hats off to you.
Thanks for taking us along and save return home
Oh Man, what a ride !
best of luck to you Joris. And congrats on making Ushuaia.
Stay safe and stay away from people!
I’m sorry to hear your grandmother passed away Joris but she will watch over you while you are trying to fly back home. Take care of yourself and I hope you will find a way to come home safe. So proud of you and greatfull that you shared this beautyfull journey with us.
Thanks all for the reactions!
And so we resume normal programming. Let me take you back to Colombia.
The 70km stretch of Ruta 10 between Mocoa and Sibundoy is known as the Trampolin de la Muerte, Trampolin del Diablo or locally as Adios mi Vida (goodbye my life). Which such names it is hard not to go there and see for yourself how bad it really is.
From San Agustin I followed the road down to Mocoa, grabbed a cheap menu del día for lunch and continued to the start of Colombias version of the Death Road. The first part was quite bumpy, lots of big gravel and potholes. Well, actually the whole road was like that and after 70km I was getting a bit tired of it. It was also never scary, or hard.. And the views weren't the greatest either because of clouds and rain. It was still a cool ride though, with numerous watercrossings and waterfalls. Narrow stretches with vegetation overhanging the road on one side and drop-offs on the other, just hoping there wasn't a car coming around the corner.
Finally pavement again and it's fresh new and smooth. Lots of rain the rest of the day so found a cheap hotel in the city of Pasto to warm up and a pizza joint to feed the appetite.
It was border crossing time again, whoohoo.. Always fun. But first get to the border, sunny day at least. The ride south from Pasto was slowed by roadworks.
At another stop I met some guys from Mexico on their way down to Ushuaia too. Normally while waiting at a roadblock I try to get to the front of the line as most traffic is slower. So together with the other bikes we raced off as soon as the light went green. I was following two local bikes both riding 2-up without much more protection than just helmets. There was some sand on the road so one of the bikes decided at the last moment to switch to the other side of the lane. Mind you this was a group of 20 small motorcycles gunning it down a hill doing more than 80km/h. He switches to the other side of his lane but forgets to look and clips the bike next to him. Handlebars intertwine and a second later there's four people and two bikes skidding across the road and of the embankment, barely missing the metal poles. Helmets flying around because they never use the strap. I stopped but saw the road working crew was quickly to assist, they had first aid kits on hand. Other than bruises and sliding wounds they all stood up and were walking around after a few minutes. So I continued, a bit slower this time.
Roadworks aside the road to the border was pretty sweet.
Before crossing into Ecuador I took a little detour to a famous church, called Las Lajas. There are a lot of tourists, especially on a Sunday morning.
Easy easy border. Out of Colombia and into Ecuador in 30 minutes. Met these two guys from India driving around the world.
THE EQUATOR!! Riding into the southern hemisphere you know you're far away from home.
Continued to Quito (in the rain) and found a hostel for two nights. Cheers to another country crossed.
In the dorm I was staying was also a French girl, she was very chatty and soon had gathered some people to go into the city the following day. Well, it was her, a guy from Ukraine volunteering in the hostel and me. The Ukrainian guy named Dima was practicing for walking tour guide so took us around and tought us some of the history of Quito. Many government buildings are open to public so we walked in and went up to the roof.
After lunch in a Panaderia we visited the Basilica del Voto Nacional.
When we got back there was an older guy staying in the dorm as well. We had spotted a brewery on the way back that we wanted to check out in the evening and invited him to come with us. Turned out Craig had some good stories to tell! Dima and Craig also celebrated their birthday that night and got a free beer. Turning seventy didn't stop him from doing some tough multi-day hikes in Ecuador. But I think the best story was when he as a young dad decided that together with his wife and young sun wanted to get away from the oil crisis in the US and hitched a ride on a sailing vessel to New Zealand. They gave their last 500 dollar to the captain to buy supplies for the 2 month sail, which he used to buy beer and some canned food. Besides the food problem the boat turned out to be in horrible condition when they set off. One night while he was on watch he got knocked overboard but managed to hang on the the railing and dragged himself back on board. By sheer luck they made it to New Zealand after two months of sailing and they started a new life.
Sunny morning, time for a ride!
Joris. Congratulation for what you accomplished, it’s big and all of us are happy for you. Tough times and your story I followed daily. It keeps the adventure spirit alive, longing this pandemic ends so we can get out, explore places and enjoy life.
Did you balance an egg on its end while at the equator?
Congratulations Joris on completing a truly epic adventure! I'm so very sorry to read about your grandmother. I hope you made it home ok. Thank you for sharing all of this!