Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Where there's a will, there's a way!

We woke up early, paid for our love hotel room and rode through the gate. We arrived back at the hotel with a courtyard in Maicao by noon and I proceeded to unpack and repack my bike, finding ways to stuff as much as possible into my Hepco & Becker dry bags (excellent travel luggage, fyi).

By 5pm, we were on our way to Chachi’s place between borders and we spend a couple of hours making a perfect space for my bike in one of Chachi’s garage units (moving random things like cartons of used oil) and disconnecting the battery, etc. I kissed my bike goodbye (really, I did, several times) and felt really good about leaving her under Chachi’s watchful eye.

Snug as a bug...
...And all tucked in.

I asked Chachi if there was anything I could bring her back from the states. I was thinking something along the line of some American novelty. So I was
shocked when she started describing Mac cosmetics and high end sunscreen. WHAT!

They could not get over the size of my bike :D

Before we left the border, we headed to the Venezuelan side so I could ask some questions for Roel since his plan was to cross the following day. When we had originally gone to check out Chachi’s place days before, a Colombian policeman asked if we were both going to go to Venezuela and when we responded that I (the American) would not, he said “Good” and then made a gesture of a knife cutting his throat… meant to convey that “they” would kill me if I crossed the border.

So when I went to the Venezuelan officials to inquire about the process for Roel’s crossing, I tried to conceal my heritage. They kept asking why only my partner was crossing and I wasn’t, and eventually I gave up the fact that I was American and hence couldn’t obtain a visa at the border. I was apprehensive for a moment, wondering what their reaction would be. Their faces fell, they lamented that I would not be able to visit their beautiful country, which they were obviously very proud of.

And then they asked: Your partner is Dutch? Do you not have another passport that you could enter Venezuela with?

HAH! Love these people!

After speaking with several people, we determined that it would not actually be possible for Roel to cross on the next day (Sunday) or Monday because the customs office would be closed. He was extremely disappointed that he would have to wait it out in Maicao, which doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. But eventually, we figured everything happens for a reason, and this would give him an opportunity to work on his Spanish now that he finally had a good reason to stop relying on me - bahahahahaha!

Early the next morning, I boarded a bus bound for Cartagena. The following 11 hours were fraught with misery I’m not looking forward to repeating on the return journey.
1. When not riding a motorcycle, I am afflicted with terrible motion-sickness.
2. They would not allow me to keep my luggage with me and agreed to lock it in a cabinet at the back of the bus.
During one of a few checkpoint stops, they made all of the passengers disembark while the police and driver went back on the bus. Never a good sign. I only found out when they threw me and a few other passengers off of the bus at what seemed to be a random intersection where we were thankfully guided to another bus to take us the rest of the way to Cartagena, that rather than coming off of the bus to ask the ONLY white girl on the bus to unlock her obviously white girl luggage, they just cut it open to remove EVERYTHING and go through it. Should have packed my remaining tampons on top. Lesson learned. The only thing that appears to be missing after all of that is my razor, which admittedly, is a nice men’s razor. Oh well.
3. Getting to the bus stop at night is a sketchy experience. Especially when all you hear about is cab scams and lone women being raped. (Mom, I hope you’re not reading this.) When I finally agreed to taking a cab, I made a big show of taking photos of the cabbie’s license plates and credentials and told him I was sending it to my boyfriend who had friends in the police. I felt moderately better. They laughed. And then when we were stopped at an intersection and another cabbie pulled up alongside ours, looked at me, pointed at the side of my cab, and wagged his finger “NO” before pulling off as the light turned green, I was again, terrified.

This experience made me realize how much I have taken for-granted the sense of security I derive from traveling independently by motorcycle (rather than public transportation). Sure, Roel's imposing 6'4" figure doesn't hurt my sense of security, but I've traveled alone in the past, albeit in a car, and it's really the dependence on public transportation that irks me.

I miss my bike, already.

I finally threw myself out of the cab as he pulled up to the hotel Roel and I stayed at (and changed my tire at) in Cartagena. They welcomed me back and helped me to my room.

It's Juan Valdez territory.
My Mom's birthday was coming up, so I FINALLY had an excuse to do a little souvenir shopping
The next morning, they called me a cab, and before I knew it, I was covering the space traversed by bike in a matter of months, in the course of a few short hours.

Landing in Miami, with it’s rosy orange tinted horizon as the sun set on perfectly  manicured lawns and neatly arranged highways was only the beginning of the reverse culture shock I was about to experience.


  1. Way to the crown at the helm open the top chest rule the shoulders back so that your shoulders are aligned directly over your hips my Lincoln the spine brief deeply mine an interlock your Cofelen Cafe Verde fingers with the left them on top pressed palms away from you and I’m in hale stretch the arms overhead pressing up arms to the sky lift the rib cage away from them.


  2. Great enjoyment great idea of enjoying holiday.
    hot tickets

  3. Yeah okay yeah oh yeah here going to jacket great sure so one more hour okay why three-and-out yeah 3 trial keep it coming okay night okay thank you go okay now I get left go to the first round exercise tax rates okay Rhonda family sports high-tech me no scales of why sleuth I you see how said okay stocks thank you everyone fact that's why i’m.


  4. I feel your pain. It’s never really easy to ride one in a location you’re not familiar with. I think taking photos of the cab and sending it to other people for security is a good idea. It is a very simple gesture, but a good way for others to keep track of things. Anyways, be safe on your next travels!

    Fredda Waugh @ Trenton Acura Taxi