Riding RTW and back - on as much dirt as possible!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rtwpaul, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. chilejack

    chilejack Been here awhile

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    I believe the first part of Egle's ride was on a blue Chinese 150. About 2/3 through (so far) she upgraded to a white Chinese 250. The DR650s came in much farther along while riding with Paul.
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  2. ChadADV

    ChadADV Adventurer

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    Right. Read Egle's report first and because of that I then read Paul's report starting at the DR650 section...
  3. chilejack

    chilejack Been here awhile

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    Ah, so!
  4. IronRider

    IronRider Let's Go!

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    Too bad you only started at DR650 section. You missed 2.5 billion inches of great riding, writing and pix. Well worth going back and reading from page 1. Just my 2 cents.:beer
  5. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Adventurer Super Supporter

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  6. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    if you are looking for more offroad than on road then have a read of my TAT RR on 3 different bikes and how it all went wrong then all went right
  7. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

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    It’s taken me a while to finally catch up....but -
    Holy Crap what a GREAT RR! I stumbled across Egle’s which sucked me in right from” I bought the blue one” LOL,
    But this continuation has been a great read, with unbelievably great pics, and Lord what a ride! Looking forward to following along! What an adventure you both are on
  8. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    I started with the TAT thread and have consequently read every other thread Paul has out there. There is a lot to learn in there.
  9. benjamin1031

    benjamin1031 Been here awhile

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    He could teach us sooooo much more if he’d stay in one spot and give classes. But, no. He wants to be selfish and travel the world for his own amusement. He probably doesn’t even run the right oil...
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  10. Cobra5150

    Cobra5150 What? Where?

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    Does he run the right tires?????
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  11. benjamin1031

    benjamin1031 Been here awhile

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    Of course not!! Good catch...
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  12. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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  13. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Is it September yet?

    :lurk
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  14. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

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    My calendar says August 31.
  15. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    1 Sept here now in NZed
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  16. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    It's September here now as well...lets roll
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  17. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    What we were waiting to be released is an article in Upshift_Online and it came out today, actually, we have two articles in there, with hi-res photos that are too big for here, do a little search and you'll find it, issue #25



    Once we were out of the predominantly flooded swamp-like areas near Mompox we started the search for Colombian dirt, at first, a few tracks seemed promising but lead nowhere so we continued down the paved roads avoiding the familiar obstacles

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    Most tracks we found ended up at someones house/ farm/ finca/ river or a gate


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    We continued looking for ways thru but the floods made finding a continuous track south impossible, as we were thinking of giving up the search for the day my bike made the decision for us. On a rare piece of smooth pavement I accelerated but didn't move forward as I should, now my clutch had started to slip.

    I had a feeling after the world's longest DR to DR tow across southern Cuba it was imminent for it to happen. This time though not an issue, the DR is built in Colombia and they are everywhere, usually bright green in livery as its the bike the Police use. Most bike shops can get parts in 2-3 days.

    I did a Formula 1 clutch change and was done start to finish in 15 minutes, including taking this photo

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    Clutch installed and working fine we headed to 'the beach' but not that kind of beach, Playa de Belen in the mountains and the point we would start exploring the northern Andes

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    the area has a similar feel to parts of Utah with red rock escarpments pushing their way out of the green hills and farmland



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    it was a town @michnus from PikiPiki had suggested and the following day as we rode out of town we see this, which in Spanish has no meaning...coincidence!


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    Increasing in elevation the roads turned from paved to dirt and the population decreased, the few tourists we had a seen days earlier were not here

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    we had the riding to ourselves and the few small fincas that dotted the hillside



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    you read a lot about Colombia and Farc, and the papers will tell you that they are done, disbanded and life has returned to normal everywhere in Colombia because of this...this is the case in most areas but their presence is still felt and in these outlying areas Farc are still very well respected and represented and we would run into more issues as we rode along. Reminders were everywhere, we would continue but keep our sixth sense sharp.

    As we are talking about this as we ride, thru Sena the intercoms, wondering how would we even know if we were riding in a Farc area if they are not in uniforms, it could be any person standing at the side of the road, we saw an easier way to know we were in Farc Territory, that was very fresh and newly painted


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  18. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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  19. elron

    elron Still Standing Supporter

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    Well I'll be farc'ed. (wink wink) Great articles and pics in Upshift...just read yesterday.
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  20. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I have good wifi right now and might not for a while so here's a little more...

    We headed deeper into ex-Farc territory...quite honestly how could you know what was going on out there in those hills, who could police that!

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    In 2010 the town of Gramalote by a landslide and 6000 people lost around 1000 homes during the deluge, the most prominent reminder of the village is the remains of Iglesia de San Rafael and a few odd walls of building as you come down the hillside

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    Riding down what was one of the main streets you pull up outside of the church, well whats left of it



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    in most cases when this happens the town is slowly rebuilt or in some cases abandoned...not here, it was both abandoned and rebuilt but on the other side of the valley, the 'new' village is nearly complete


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    Obviously, not a good area to stay yet...we moved closer to the Venezuelan border for a while and made our way to Pamplona, a busy market town that I didn't remember the name of, but stayed in after I left VZ in 2013...even stayed in the same hotel on the main square


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    Not a town to be in for a long stay, mainly because its not that interesting for what we wanted, we moved on still seeking safer areas to ride dirt, the ride out of town all paved, as we were about to get onto dirt around a corner a family was stranded four people two bikes and one going nowhere.

    They had sheared off the bolts for the rear sprocket and jammed the chain int the drive sprocket in the process, they honestly had no idea what to do, we stopped to ask if they were ok...no!

    They had minimal tools so I grabbed my kit and started pulling the bike apart

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    Ten minutes later the bike was complete and they were ready to ride to town, they wanted to pay us but had no money which of course we would never take, we laughed when they offered and explained we just like to help fellow riders, to pay it forward. Then out of nowhere they produced bags of strawberries and offered them.

    We questioned why they had so many, "to sell at the market!"

    Again we refused, the strawberries were their livelihood, it was just good to see them smile and pull away...it was a very long push in either direction.

    A few miles later we found our dirt track and the valley we planned to ride thru

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    Skirting a river for miles until it joined another we felt the day was going well, plenty of time to get where we wanted, all we were looking to do was 191km for the day. We had 40km left and 2 hours until sundown


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    The track was fast dry mud...right up until it rained, torrentially. The remaining distance took us nearly three hours and we arrived in the dark, what we saw looked very impressive, sheer drops to a fast flowing river, steep inclines up the muddy track had us rolling very slowly. We figured it would be a great place to ride the next day and get some cool photos.

    There were two options to get to the town, one partially paved and the other up a very steep muddy track with a brown river flowing down it, that was the shortest way but looked near impossible under the current conditions, we had no choice but to opt for partially paved in the pitch darkness.

    Arriving in the tiny little town of Guacamayas we were met by the military and the police who were surprised to see us especially arriving in the dark, "we really never see tourists here", claimed the police chief.

    There was one tiny little hotel for $8 for a room, we uncomfortably had to leave the bikes on the street as we carried our stuff upstairs. We planned like I said to ride locally the next day, right up to the point when the hotel owner refused to give us a key for the room. We were told everything is really safe here. We wandered into the town square to find the only place open that had hot food, it was full of military and police, there was a little tension in the air...we changed our minds and left the following morning, but vowed to return at a later date (we did) and get there in the daylight and get those shots.

    The following morning as we rode out of town and looked back, we knew it would be epic in the daylight


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