Feb. 2 - 8, Day 115 - 121, COLOMBIA SOUTH

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DAY 115-118, Feb. 2-5, 2012, Bogota, Temp 18-31C (480/14,050km)

Best of luck Dan!  Leaving my riding amigo behind I made my way over one of the surrounding mountains out of Medellin and headed towards Bogota (10 million people!).  What a trip which included all kinds of road and riding conditions.  Oh and of course due to the rainy season a ton of repair works in the mountains crossing to Bogota just after Honda.

Climbing out of Medellin the road was great and the views fantastic (2600m).  C7R7T3V8.

Riding up the pass out of Medellin

Blast off!


Great Look out from above Medellin

Just your friendly wtf???


Protection to avoid those crazy passes

Nice classic South American car

This video is good to get a feel of the road and bus driving




Road note: Try not to get lost in Rionegro!  From there to Doradal was great with the odd wash out.  C6/7R4-7T2-4V7/8.


The massive rocks don't really
show well in the photo

Maybe you can see the massive
rocks better here

Peligro (Danger), is that because of the kid in the next
photo?

Kid using the downhill on his skate









Side story: Looking for a lunch spot I stopped in at a road side cafe probably 20km before Magdalena.  They wanted $4.50 for lunch and I said in crappy spanish, "What, is this the best food in all of Colombia!"  Then I dramatically left, not really.  In the end when I ate down the road in Girardot I saved all of $.50.

In Girardot saving $.50 for lunch.

Leaving my mark



















From Girardot to La Dorada to Honda it was hot and straight.  C3R4T6V7, lots of traffic too and this super crazy driver! 

Black car with Bogota plate is actually passing 2 motos
in this photo who are already passing the truck.
He was fun to watch for the 30min I stayed with him.

Because of Black Car drivers from
Bogota!


Then there was Honda.  Nice town and I even thought of staying one night (of course I love the name), but I had to get to Bogota.  Had I known what was ahead I may have stayed ...

Spots of cobble stone in Honda

The usual tight streets

And a sweet bridge out of town
Traffic!!!  This would be the part where you would want to get a helicopter and get out of there if you were a truck driver.  The line of trucks must have been 5km or more.  After they finished the first section there was 3 or 4 more smaller blockades.  These truck drivers must be there through the night and then some!  Fortunately on a bike it's easier.  So, Honda to Guaduas C9R3T8V8 and Guaduas to Villeta C8R4T6V8.  An ugly section of HWY 50 for sure.

Motos to the front of the "long" line...

The first signs of trouble...
a truck driver in a pink shirt


I decided not to edit this video so you can see that I do have to drop the camera some times in the name of safety.  Heavy traffic on the mountain.

Great views and lots of time to
look



Major mud slides

Truckies getting crazy passing other
trucks on an uphill like this

At least a couple hours later I was out of the mess (as seen in the videos above).  Last stretch to Bogota was a good road up through the fog with a touch of rain.  C4R7T3V6/7.

Cloud ride to reach the highland prairie going in to Bogota.




Night riding in Bogota a city of 10 million people.  I couldn't believe how good the traffic was at 6:30pm.  Sam informed me this was because of "Dias sin Carros" (Days without Cars).  Lucky me.

Waiting for Sam to arrive home
I found these sharing sign makers
open across the street.  Thanks
Jose, Santiago, Diego for the smokes
and Aguardiente



Sure Bogota's a big city, but how many times do you find yourself travelling all over a city.  You just hang for the most part in your areas.  For Sam, who I was staying with, and I, we toured Chapinero, Candeleria and Norte.  These are the 3 main communities in Bogota where you will find Ex-pats and a bit more money.  Sure the weather is not amazing with the odd shower through out the day and a max temp of about 22C, but the city is alive at night, especially in "Norte" where there is at least 5 square blocks of bars and restaurants (maybe more).  Anyhow, thanks for taking me in Sam and showing me around.  Hope to see you and Dan sooner then later!!!

While in Bogs I needed a new rear tire and to meet with
 a reporter from a Colombian Moto Mag (Luis).  We met
at Las 2 Motos owned by Hernando.

Me taking a photo of Luis taking a
photo of me...
  
Will my bike live?  The tire still had
tread, but 3 holes and a leaking
plug called for a change ($180).




Tire changing machine.  Too bad you can't carry one of these with you on the road.

Tire team
 
At Sam's buddy David's house
were his parents wanted to see if
their daughter had really learnt
English while studying aboard. 



Styling Sammy on his way to Soccer always ready to party.
Look at this guy.  Smooth talking.

What are we drinking???

Not my fault I forgot my travel cards

Sammy, Me and David dancing it up with Colombia girls

Cool MoFos!

A little dude trying to sell us girls I think?

Good fun

Meat on a stick, why not in Canada

Next door restaurant delivery = no charge!
  
Sam's B-ball court in his house!

Super bowl party in Colombia?
Needless to say the Madona half
time show was most important 


DAY 113-114, Feb. 7-8, 2012, Santiago de Cali, Temp 11-25C, (500/14,550km)

Thanks Sam for taking me in and showing me around Bogota.  Good times!

Back on the steel horse after 4 days and heading south to Cali for a couple days.  A bit stuck getting out of Bogota with traffic a little tighter than my arrival as all the cars were back on the road.  Got out finally after finding my way and started up in to the mountains, rain and fog.  

Of course there is traffic.  There's a fork lift on the main rd.

Probably more like the Bogota
traffic expected.  Nice to have a bike.

Or may be it's not nice... to have a
bike in the wet that is
Riding in the fog and rain, yeah.  Just out of Bogota to start the day C7R4-6T4V0-7 depending on fog.
Not fun, lift visor and drop shades
looking through the crack
between them while spits of rain
spike your cheeks





Ended up following these bike cops for 40km or so.  No
one was passing them so I just sat back as well.

After passing the bike cops I came
to this riot prevention set up. wtf?

In the end the bike cops passed
through town and I didn't figure
out what was going on.  Random,
and bad reporting on my part.
In Ibague this gas attendant was kind enough to fill my
tank before making his daily raw chicken purchase. 
Typical lunch.  Tasty.  In Ibague.
At least I had a last meal.  Up into the Mountains again

that's cheating dude

begin the curves, not much rain at this point.



Muy Peligrosa

Views from a high bridge.  Lots of curves Ibague to Armenia with the pass at 3300m.  C8R5T6V8.  Lots of towns and construction with a nice valley view.




Peaje on top of the mountain, bastards.  Paying for rain
and construction.  Not bikes though.

F^$K!

F$#K, did I say that already...

The day was long, cold and hard, but once I got out of the second set of mountains heading down to a reasonable elevation (3300m to 500m) and warmth I relaxed.  Getting closer to Cali I had good distant views of rolling mountains with a foreground of prairie.

Once in Cali I really didn't accomplish much in my 2 days and didn't even go for a night of Sala dancing in the self proclaimed capital.  A city of 2.5 million means traffic to me and the centre did not disappoint.  NOT RECOMMENDED - Driving anywhere near the centre of Cali! 

Stayed at Casablanca owned by Danish bike dude Mike.  Good guy with some good answers.  Seems like he owns the whole block.  RECOMMEND Casablanca for motorbiker's, but bring your bug spray for the mossies outside.  Very nice bathrooms and beds.  





Wow, that's a load



Is that sun and dry pavement, YES! C4R6T3V7



Prairie, Mountains closing on Cali  C3R7T3V7

Cold and wet hands
Good and creative food at this bakery in Cali, "Zona Rosa."

But wtf are these?

American rider all the way from US with  barely any riding
gear. No gloves, pants and I'm not sure if he had a jacket.
Check the shoes!  Fun dude, but sensible?  Helmet reads
"Where am I"

That just looks like a good workout.
Everyday!

Lots of bikes in Cali

Some good road with out traffic

Oh the fun of a dog's life

This was crazy.  The motorbikes on the left would make
a barricade against the oncoming traffic when the school
buses needed to get on to the motorway, WOW!
Happened a bunch of times.

I told you the centre was not
recommended

Nice park, but this shot cost me 2hrs
DAY 121, Feb. 8, 2012, Pasto, Temp 24-12-30-20C (420/14,970km)

Began the day in Cali with a bit of rain.  It was reassuring to see that the Colombians actually slowed down and drove overly caution in the rain.  Different.  Took about 30 min or so to clear the city going south which is more than coming in from the north, but at least the rain stopped.  Cali to Popayan was full of green and sweeping curves.  Very nice C6R7T4V7/8.  Had a big feed in Timbio for $4 and then into an assortment of roads.  Timbio to Rosas C8R4T6V7 Construction!  Rosas to Mercaderas C6R6T2V7.  Mercaderas to Taminango C7R5T3V7.  Mountains and valley.  Taminango to Chachagui C3/4R7T3V7.  And finally Chachagui to Pasto C7R7T3V8 which was fantastic.

Motor bike Wall of Fame at Casablanca Hostel

Getting my photo in the rain for the
wall of fame, yeah baby!

Rain leaving Cali and surprisingly cautious drivers

Love the horse drawn wagon on
the hwy out of town.
Farmland outside of Cali

Closing on Popayan




Awwh...

Nice to have a by-pass around Popayan, but to be fair the
projects in Latin America are usually on the outskirts so
I can't be sure that the town looks like this.

Nice fill before I headed in to the rain

I want one!

No smile, It's not the food, it's the rain

Check out the tire change next door
A familiar view on my GPS in the mountains

Rain gear for the family

Urgh.  More land slides

For all those that couldn't go to work
today due to a small ache or pain.
One leg is enough for this guy.

In to the sun and lush green hills

Glad it's not me
Fast ride through a valley in the middle of the day



Check out this packed bus

Cloud topped mountains


Rough road about halfway to Pasto.  Rosas to Mercaderas C6R6T2V7



Backhoe on the hill adding big rocks to the road, what?  I guess better to pull them down in a controlled environment then having them rolling down when ever.

Big valleys ahead


Riding between to valleys, view from a bridge.


High riding in the curvy stuff

Damn chain guard.
 How did that break?



Colombian tunnel and a view of huge valley.  Nice!

View from where I had to zip tie
the chain guard.

In to the quiet town of Pasto after a full day which included a chain guard snapping off (how? I have no idea?) with a zip tie road side repair while in search of my selected accommodation I was followed and bugged by this guy on a 180cc bike.  "Where you going?  you alone? I show you a nice hotel, you alone?"  Of course all in spanish so my understanding was lost on what exactly he was trying to do with the "Are you alone?"  We stopped at this more expensive hotel and had a little chat.  Once he said the magic words "I'm an Engineer" I was happy to hear anything he had to say.  It turned out he wanted to know if I was by myself in order to be able to offer me a bed at his house.  Cool!  I'll take it.  Having only one free bed was why he kept asking if I was alone.  Too funny.  Thanks for the hospitality Andres and of course if there is anything I can do for you or your family down the road let me know!

Pasto!
Great night shot here in Pasto of
Iglesia de Santiago

Catedral of Pasto


Andres and I out for a drink

Hervido de Maracuya, warm drink
with rum or something equivalent

The kindness of strangers.  Friendly Andres putting me up for the night.  Always good to hang with locals and a bonus to save accommodation costs too.




Other Stuff

I believe this is the confirmation odometer counter




There's no way, not even with a
Ferrari can you get to 60!
The classic and regular thumbs up from Military and Police
Karaoke, Food and Bar

You know how I know your gay?
"You know how I know you're gay" Si Eres Gay?  Pitame
If You're Gay? Honk 


Nice
Like it was meant to sit there...
This doesn't look comfortable or natural.  Dog Rape?



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