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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by calrider, Jan 11, 2008.
How Many Miles On The China Bike?
What Repairs Have You Done?
I just found this yesterday also. You had (or are having) a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing it with us. Great pictures. I had no idea Columbia is so beautiful and friendly too.
You guys are brave. What a "great sport" Amiga is too. I also agree that her smile could make friends out of strangers easy.
Packin double on a 200 CC bike through Columbia! Amazing!
A short video clip of the road up to Nevado del Ruiz
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3500km in the end. Only minor stuff. Valve adjustment at the end.
Sold it to Amiga's brother. Still going strong.
I'll put together a more comprehensive bike evaluation at the end of the report.
Actually not that difficult at all. A real joy really. It's all about just getting your ass in the saddle and going. I think the toughest part for most people is making the decision to actually get out of the cubicle and do something. We tend make it into some sort of big adventure when really it is just throwing a couple things in a bag, strapping it to the bike and going. Simple really. Anyone can do it.
Actually taking your time with the RR has it's advantages...More/new viewers!
Glad to see more installments calrider!
Yes, it's gratifying to see comments from folks that hadn't seen it before. I'm on the home stretch now... will keep plugging along.
Are those sausages drying out there in the sun in the last picture? If they are, I'm not going to ask you what's in them! LOL.
Que bueno su viaje. Muy interesante. He pasado mucho tiempo in las montañas de Mexico y Sudamerica (Argentina). La gente son lo mejor. "Mi casa es su casa" es la realidad y no solomente un dicho.
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I'm not sure which picture you mean...
Pero sobre la hospitalidad... es la verdad.
Time for the hike back down... more goofiness:
And we're done:
The guys dropped us off a few km back down the road at a camping area:
This used to be used as a sort of mountain hut/hostel, but you can no longer sleep there. It is now used as a campground for tents and there are a couple of cold, lonely stir-crazy folks there to take care of the campground. We were the only people there and the only ones that had used it for a while. That night it got damned cold for us travelling without winter gear. I figure it was about -5C (about 24F). Really nothing if you've got the gear.
The next morning dawned clear and crisp:
Time to tear down the tent and get going:
Amiga hamming it up:
(Hey, could that be... naw... she's way too classy for that ;-)
It was time to ride back to Villeta where we started this whole adventure.
Oh, and the guy who owned the Escape and invited us to join them on the hike. He's the webmaster of the "Colombian ADVRider" equivalent at http://www.potencialimite.com
If you speak some Spanish and want to connect with the local community, this is the place to go. He's also on ADVRider, but I forget his handle there.
It was time to walk back down the road to the park entrance where we left our motorbike. We had all our clothes on as it was still about -3C:
That's where we needed to go:
Can you see Amiga hiking down the road in the distance?
I started getting artistic and decided to photo some of the alpine plants:
Here's one the looks an awful lot like our Indian Paintbrush in Canada:
Odd looking cushion plant:
Not that soft, actually.
Here's one of those frailejones up close:
That fuzz is so soft it's incredible.
Flowers of the frailejone:
Mostly finished blooming.
History of eruptions written in the road cut:
We got back to the park entrance, loaded up the motorbike and headed out:
Some more frailejones behind me.
And even more frailjones:
This dude was herding a cow with her newly born calf down the road:
We had a good chuckle about that.
We had a chat with a local guy about an alternative route down the back side of the Nevado down to the Magdalena river, but he recommended against it saying it was dangerous for tourists. So we decided to back down the way we came up and hook up with the main highway over the pass.
Here's the turnoff to the park:
We headed over the pass and started the long descent into the valley. Starting at around 5000 meters at the Nevado, we had to descend back down almost to sea level at the bottom of the valley. We went through fog, sun, rain, and finally sun in the valley floor. All caused by the difference in weather at different elevations. The road snaked itself around the green flanks of the mountains, dipping down into valleys and over ridges coming off the Nevado that themselves seemed like mountain ranges. Eventually we found ourselves in the plaza of Mariquita looking for a juice stand:
While I waited, Amiga got some fresh juice:
That church looked to be much older than other churches we had seen.
We had started the morning at -2C (28F) and by the time we got to Mariquita it was +37C (~95F). We were still wearing all our warm weather gear because of the fog and rain on the way down (and because we were just too lazy to take it off!). We were slow roasting.
We proceeded to start peeling off the layers in the plaza while we were drinking our juice. We got more than a few curious glances as I'm sure passers by were wondering how much more we would be taking off!
We crossed the Rio Magdalena at Honda and now we were back on the roads where we started this whole journey. Only one more pass to go to get back to Villeta and the house of Amiga's grandparents:
These kids were taking the easy way up the mountain!
I remember doing that as a kid. Or the Canadian version. Wearing our dress shoes (slippery soles) in the winter and hooking our hands under a car's bumper and sliding down the streets in the snow behind it, keeping our heads low so that the driver couldn't see us. And nowadays classrooms get evacuated at the mere mention of peanuts. And kids can't meet their friends unless they have a parentally supervised "play date". Geesh.
This bus was slowly passing the truck around a blind corner on an uphill grade:
My mind was going, "Tanker truck+ Bus+ Impossible passing situation+ Oncoming traffic+ little motorbike with 2 passengers + Inflexibility of the space-time continuum = General flaming mayhem."
In fact they probably didn't even notice their close brush with death ;-)
A drama that gets played out thousands of times a day on the mountain roads.
In the evening we rolled back Amiga's grandparents' house:
Amiga had already called them to let them know we would be arriving soon. Her Grandmother was waiting in the yard and literally started dancing when we pulled up. She was so happy that her daily prayers had kept us safe and the we had returned in one piece.
The next morning it was time for a little relaxing by the pool before the final run to Bogota:
I had a plane to catch the next morning and I had already rebooked the return flight twice!
Great story - great adventure.
I've been reading your RR from the first post and waiting in anticipation for each installment.
Could you give us an update on the Indians and their fight against the dam?
Excellent report, the instalment style works for me.
I am wondering if you (or I) would be able to do the same thing that you did, that is ride ride in Colombia on a China bike bought in Colombia but then ride out the border to the rest of the South American countries.
Like you I am from Canada and I do speak Spanish but I do not have any local connections anywhere in South America so starting in Colombia would work fine for me if I were able to leave. I understand that I would have to bring the bike back to Colombia eventually and could not leave it in another country but that is OK too.
If you have any suggestions on how I could accomplish this I would be very interested.
Excellent thread...keep coming back to it. My wife is Colombian and has enjoyed the pics very much.
I started reading at about 4:00AM this morning, got up early to plan for a trip to Brasil more for work than adventure. Your writing and pictures brought me back to sanity, what life is all about. As I was reading I remembered vividly first real adventure ride back in 1978 from Canada to Argentina on my trusty 1976 R90/6, still a reliable steed today. Your description about getting that feeling when things are not right is dead-on. When travelling for a while it becomes second nature. On that trip I flew over Colombia, from Panama to Quito, a promise I made to my late Dad who financed my Carnet. Now I plan to correct that and plan a trip to Colombia for this fall. Likely it will be on the KLR - the R90/6 is just too irreplaceable. Anybody know of a ferry from Miami to Cartagena? My bags are always packed.
Nope...but I'm in Dallas & wouldn't mind heading out south from here!