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Old 05-03-2012, 06:23 PM   #37
bush pilot OP
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Thailand
Oddometer: 2,526
Leaving Medellin I stayed with some fellow motorcyclists.
my bike got to share the garage with a nice and shinny Harley

I spent three more nights in Colombia on the way south on the Pan American hwy.
I wanted to get off the PanAm but the one road I wanted to go on had reportedly had a bridge recently blown up. That and the obvious heavy presence of police and military everywhere I'd been seeing had me spooked. In the nine days riding in Colombia I was stopped 4 times by the cops who picked through my paperwork, I just wanted out of the country! Peru I was checked once, Chile 0, Argentina 0.
Spent one night in Cali at a guesthouse that was reported to be moto friendly. They apparently converted the moto parking to an internet computer room.
As I unloaded the bike on the street I was harried by someone telling me how unsafe the street was. The guesthouse staff was unhelpful.
I had to park the bike in a lot public parking lot a block away! My room had no ventilation and was the most expensive to date. Apparently the owner is an expat from somewhere. He never did show up, even though the staff kept saying he would.
Cali felt like a dangerous place, with surly kids wandering the streets and a general tense air to it. The food also sucked at the one place I ate.
The traffic in the city was even more unpleasant than Bogota or Medellin.

The next night I found a great motel out in the countryside for half the price.
I was eager to get out of Colombia.
Some travelers report how Colombia was their favorite SA country. The opposite was my experience. I think I made the mistake by spending too much time in the big cities. That mistake wasn't repeated going south.
On the way back north I'll avoid the big cities.

So I only took a few move pics in Colombia.

typical town-countryside

It was raining and cold as I approached Ipiales(9200feet) the border with Ecuador. I pulled into the first hotel I saw asked for some food.
This is what I got!

Talk about the right thing at the right time! Man o man was that delicious!
The hotel/restaurant folks were so gracious they let me park the motorcycle inside the restaurant after they closed. I had three heavy wool blankets on my bed, I needed them all. It was cold up in them hills!
The next day was on to the border crossing into Ecuador, my first for this trip.
Got some money changer dudes to mind my bike while I got stamped out of Colombia. Once stamped I had to clear the bike out through customs. To bust my chops the customs guy wanted to see the original copy of my temporal import papers! Fortunately my spanish is good enough to out bluff scum like this and I told him this is exactly what the "aduana" in Bogota gave me, if he wanted to question them, then let's call them as I whipped out my phone.( I did have a Colombian sim and a contact#)
He didn't call my bluff and I was outa there! Scum!
USA travels 09'
Anchorage to Ushuaia
RTW...part: Europe
Iron Butt #35784
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