Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oil Slick Aftermath

I leave the army checkpoint for the second time. Let's try this again. I start off slow. And go even slower when I pass the place where I went down.
I snap some pictures of the scene. Time to leave it all behind and get to a good place to spend the night. I was hoping for a major road but there are a lot of small towns and a lot of stopping and going. My neck is not loving the heavy helmet on my head. I can't wait to get off the bike and lay down. The sun quickly goes down. I should not be riding anymore, especially after the accident. I hide behind a truck for "safety". Hopefully it will guard me from animals and it will cover my headlights so any bad guys out there won't see two headlights coming that say "Big Bike on its way". The truck takes me all the way to Coro. It took forever but I am finally in the Unesco World Heritage colonial town. This should mean tourism and a good hotel. The first two places are closed but one of the owners makes a phone call to see who is open after she sees the state of my bike and myself. She directs me down the road. This place is also closed for the season and the owner of Posada La Casa Del Mono is rebuilding but he opens up the gate for the bike and quickly makes up a room for me. His two beautiful dogs give me looks as if saying "don't worry man, we'll look after the bike". I unload my stuff and go to bed. The owner has a friend over and they agree to wake me up every two hours to check on me.

[​IMG] The nice part of the Unesco World Heritage city, Coro
And this must just be outside of what Unesco deems World Heritage...

I haven't stayed in bed this long for ages. My neck feels a bit better but my body is as stiff as a plank. It takes a lot of effort to get out of bed. In the afternoon I go for a short walk through the historical center. It is beautiful but I don't really enjoy it. My head is not in the right place. I just want to get back to Colombia, store the bike and fly back to Azure in Florida. The phone call we had was very emotional and made me relive it all. I wish she had been there but then no. She would have gone down as well...

[​IMG] The owner of Posada La Casa Del Mono finishing a paint job just before we get into fixing my bike.
A pull construction to straighten out the box... did not work.

The owner offers to help me fix my bike. He is from Colombia and his brother taught him how to weld. Now that comes in handy! Aside from recovering, my body is sore and I am really tired, we spend a few hours each day bending back parts of the pannier frame and engine guards and welding where necessary. And it was necessary. The bike frame was not bent because all the connections of the pannier frame snapped off. I wonder how we are ever getting it all back into shape but the owner is full of energy and can't wait to fix up the bike! Miraculously it all starts to come back together and we even bash the Zarges case back into shape. It's not waterproof anymore but hey, not bad!

[​IMG] The 2017 Honda Scrambler. (notice how both the the front and rear tires have been marked by the dogs!)
My windscreen shattered but my "spoiler" that I was given back in Nepal survived the crash. Not a perfect fit but it will do for now. Also in this picture my homemade contraption to be able to install my Hepco & Becker Tank Bag. The magnetic Locking device works great! The handlebar is pretty straight again but I can't completely bend it back. It needs to be replaced.

[​IMG] There should be one of these on the left as well...
More welding...

Pre-accident damage got fixed as well.


[​IMG] After hours of bashing, the Zarges case has it's shape again... sort of.
After 3 nights I feel a lot better and the bike is as good as it is going to get without new parts. The throttle is still kind of stuck and everything is strapped to the bike but I can ride again and I even go reasonably straight in the direction I steer. Duct tape saves the day by holding up one of my mirrors. This was the worst part of riding after the accident. No mirrors and a sore neck and shoulders. Good luck checking your mohassive blind spots in city traffic! But I am ready to go. Fully packed I make a little test ride in the morning to the sand dunes North of town. How much fun would that have been to actually ride around on...

[​IMG] Ready to go and all packed up again. Hard to leave my guard dogs. Such sweethearts!
[​IMG] Would have been fun to play in had the bike and I been in better physical state...
[​IMG] Yep, Venezuela has it all!
It is already getting late but I want to make it to the border today. Hopefully before sunset. The land is dry and there is not much there. Before long, I ride pass the first love hotel I stayed at in Venezuela and ride over the bridge into Maracaibo. I get lost in the busy traffic and somehow end up in let's say, a poor neighborhood. I have not seen such poverty for a while. There is garbage everywhere and there are people everywhere. And that is when you find out that the road dead ends. Great! I ride back past the same people. They were already expecting me back and they wave. Although they are friendly, I feel vulnerable. I could easily disappear here and no one would ever know. 10 minutes later I find my way out of the maze and find an ongoing road that goes in the right direction. On the muddy side road a young girl and her mother push a man in a wheelchair forward. It makes me sad to see this poverty and I want to turn around and give them my remaining money. I don't do it and feel bad about it for the next hours.

[​IMG] Garbage everywhere and people lined up to get into the supermarket...
One more gas fill up for $0.001 and just after it really gets dark, I make it to the border. I can't wait to go back to the USA but leaving this amazing country with it's jaw dropping natural beauty and beautiful people is hard. I would have loved to spend more time here but it is time to go. The guard tells me the customs office is closed and that I can just slide my permit under the door and they will take care of it in the morning. Did I mention I love this country!

[​IMG] Why you don't want to ride at night.


Minutes later I check into Colombia where the music seems to come from everywhere. What a contrast but it feels like coming home in a weird way. The bike is staying in no mans land. Lady Chachi is sitting in front of her gate. She allows me to camp in the backyard while I prep my bike for storage. I ask her where I should go for a bite to eat and I walk out the gate. I am walking around in one of the most dangerous border crossings of South America but I am having a great time and the food is so good!

[​IMG] Reunited at last!
[​IMG] Let's hope this gate keeps our bikes safe for a while.
The bikes are reunited again. Covered and locked I leave them with Chachi. Her whole family was there in the morning and her son offers me a ride into town where I catch a bus to Cartagena. 12 miserable hours later, I am back in one of my favorite cities. Two days later I fly out. Back to the USA. Back to Azure. Time to recover, time to source parts for the Twin and time to prepare for the journey South. Ushuaia is waiting...


  1. .. lovely sand dune brought Sossusvlei Big Daddy to mmy mind.
    ... so wonderful to see the foto of two bikes united.
    .... glad that you're not as damaged as your bike.
    ...... have Fun in FL.

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