Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back on the Road in Colombia

A few doors around the courtyard of the hotel opened when we fired up the bikes. Our Maicao family saw us out as we rode through the lobby. The boy that sold us coffee in the morning waved as we rode by. Same thing when we passed the police station. What a great town, what great people. We turned left and from here we'd be heading south for many miles to come. We had already ridden through here before so we had our minds set on making some distance. The landscape was completely different from how it was back in April. Where it had been barren and dusty, it now was green and lively. We didn't even get stopped once by the many police and army check points in this supposedly dangerous region of Colombia. Just thumbs up and smiles!
[​IMG] Our local Starbucks barista makes hotel calls for us.

As we rode over a hill we saw a guy pushing his motorcycle up the next hill. I tried to get him running but ended up towing him to the next big town. Communication with the guy on the 200cc bike was difficult and he did not seem to understand what he had to do on his part to bring this scenario to a good end. I found a mechanic in the town and signaled and then pulled over. The guy was back there hanging out and relaxing and failed to brake. The rope started to drag and wound itself around his axle. With a big crash he came to stop in front of the mechanic. We felt terrible and learned a lesson about making sure someone understands how to be towed if we're ever going to do this again. Luckily he was ok and we got back on the road.

We made it to La Jagua that night and found a lovely hotel a block away from the main road. The local kids were mesmerized by the bikes and all over them. We had found a little gem of a hotel. It looked like new, was clean and our hosts were so nice. The following morning they saddled up a horse for me to ride. It was a show horse and rode a bit different from the one I had ridden in Venezuela. I was glad I happened to be wearing my Moto Skiveez as I was bouncing all over the place. When we were offered to stay another night for free we decided that it would be good to relax a bit after running around for weeks.

[​IMG] The Ultimate Moto-Skiveez product testing!
[​IMG] Relaxation in the form of cleaning the carburetor. The bike had not been running nicely. Removing old petrol deposits from the jets solved the problem.
Azure spent the day working on the next movie. Soon!!!

The ride to Bucaramanga went fast. That was until we hit traffic crawling up the mountain, into town. We shopped around for a battery without any luck and were about to get out of town when Max pulled over. He had ridden all over South America and he insisted on showing us the road to the Cañon Chica Mocha. We got stuck in traffic again and it was getting dark. It was completely dark when Max dropped us off at the edge of the canyon. He talked with the family that lived there and ran the cable car and told us we could camp on their veranda. Great!

[​IMG] Morning maintenance. In Bucharamanga we discovered Azure's left indicator wasn't working. It turned out that the bulb had rusted to the fitting... Nothing some TLC won't fix!
[​IMG] Good morning Cañon Chica Mocha.
[​IMG] Looks like a fun day ahead!
We woke up to a stunning sunrise over the canyon. What a great start of the trip! We could see the road ahead winding up the other side of the valley. We were in for a good one. Half an hour later we were riding the twisties. In the third one we found another broken down bike. The chain of Jhon's bike had come off and had gotten stuck between the sprocket and the frame. It took an hour of sweating to get it straightened out. We followed him out of the canyon to make sure he was ok and had lunch with him in San Gil. He thanked us a million times and said he would have his friends waiting for us in Bogota...

[​IMG] The chain was stuck between the frame and the sprocket. I cut a hole in the plastic cover (did not have the right tool), untangled it, put it back on the sprockets and gave it some much needed chain oil and Jhon was good to go again!
[​IMG] Jhon, happy with his hole in his sprocket guard.
San Gil is known for its Hormigas Colonas. They deep fry them and it is supposed to be a delicacy.


We rode to the colonial town of Barichara. This beautifully conserved white town was exactly what we needed. Clean air, nice people, good food and plenty to do.

[​IMG] The streets of Barichara.
[​IMG] The most colorful and beautiful graveyard we have ever seen. Celebrating life after death.
We are finally back on the road and loving life in Colombia!

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