ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #91
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
El Salvador

Border crossings - the travelers nightmare! Really when it comes down to it, it is a really a very simple process made very complicated by a wonderful latin bureaucratic process. There are two things you need to do, the first is enter the country as a person and then process your moto and get a Temporary Import Permit (PIT). Unfortunately you can never do this in one single step and it seems that every country does their best to add their own special twist to the series of events that lead to these two simple requirements . First of all, the offices are not clearly marked, nor are the officials clearly identified – offices may appear closed, when in fact they are open, they may not be plainly labeled or visible. Requirements always include photo copies of all document in duplicate, and that also includes documents produced by customs or immigration at the time of entry. All this leads to confusion and opportunity. “Opportunity” comes in the form of “handlers” – a group of self-appointed individuals (sometimes in the dozens) vying for the opportunity to process your paperwork and guide you throughout the process for a fee. As an experienced traveler and speaking the language they usually leave me alone after the first 10 minutes. But they are very frustrating and annoying as they generally will never take “no” as an answer.



Crossed the border in good time, with a short side trip back Guatemala (event the most experienced can be humbled by the process) for some forgotten paperwork. Once done, it was smooth sailing into the country and a lovely nighttime ride of twisties to EL Zonte – Surfers Paradise where we pulled our bikes up onto the sandy beach side Palapa for a well deserved beverage, with the waves crashing behind us. We were fortunate to have stumbled into a lovely bungalow styled hotel surrounded by thatched buildings culled together with timbers to make a thoroughly unique surf village.



in preparation of an inland stretch where temperatures where we expect temperatures to rise to close to 40 degrees celsius we drench ourselves in water – Lee actually just walked into the outdoor shower and claims he will have his own air conditioning for 45 minutes – the time it will take to dry in these conditions. After several frustrating attempts at finding accommodation on the beach, we stumble upon Tortuga Verde and Tom the owner, who took very good care of us, on one of the most pristine beaches we have seen so far.













__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #92
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Honduras

In this trip around the world I have crossed many countries so I don’t worry too much about the bureaucracy involved. Let’s not forget that Italians invented such a thing and in a way I feel very much at home. Before crossing into Honduras, all the people I have asked information about the country told me to keep our eyes open as the crime rate is higher than any other countries in Central America. After crossing the border from El Salvador, none of us felt uncomfortable in either crossing the border itself nor riding into the county. The initial plan, due to some running out of time for Mike, was to reach Nicaragua as soon as possible, but with the guys we soon decided that it would be a pity to be here and not explore Honduras countryside. Well let me tell you that it has been a great country to visit. I really wanted to explore the northern shore of Honduras but at the same time we committed that we would escort Mike at least all the way to Nicaragua so time was not on our side. I promise myself and Matteo that we will do Central America again because there is so many thing that I have missed about this part of the world. The roads are in decent shape and we opted to cross the northern border into Nicaragua called Las Mano. In order to get there we are riding though a region called El Paraiso. (The Paradise). We climbed to about 1500 meters and encounters many pine trees along the way. The temperature was also finally very pleasant. To make some extra cash it is customs for families to put a barbecue in front of their residence and cook some chorizo, chicken, or meat for whoever wants a bite to eat on the street. It is a great way to have a conversation with the locals. Usually we start talking about soccer to begin, but soon there after politics seems to be their favorite subject. Lee,Mike,Matthew and myself absolute love this way to interact with local people so choosing a destination for dinner is never a problem.

































__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2013, 08:48 PM   #93
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
BLUEFIELDS - Nicaragua

Again the border crossing with Nicaragua is complicated but pretty normal and straightforward. As it is late afternoon we decide to stop for the night in a little town just after the border called Ocotan.Some people at the hotel Frontera where we reside advise us to go for dinner at the Vieja Casa Restaurant. The food is OK but nothing special. The morning after Matthew needs to go to the police station to file a report because he lost his top case and needs it in order to claim it for insurance purposes. The plan for today is to reach Bluefield. Bluefield is a very small town on Mosquito Coast. Mosquito Coast was famous at the time for being full of pirates. Because of its location It is today an arrival point for illegal drugs that make their way to the north. The only way to get there is by boat or barge along the river Escondido. At around noon I stop for a break and when I try to restart my bike I experience a total loss of power. It is an electrical problem. I manage to fixed with the help of Henry, the owner of a hardware store. unfortunately time is still not on our side therefore the is no chance for us to make to Bluefield. Plan B will take us to the beautiful city of Granada. Granada is a typical colonial town developed by the Spanish in the 16th century. It is reputed to be one of the best example of spanish colonial architectural in central america. We stay at the Hotel Colonial and enjoyed a great dinner close to the main square. The idea is to wake up early in the morning and attempt to reach Bluefield by the end of the day. The ride to Bluefield in the morning is beautiful. We drive trough lush green tropical vegetation. The humidity is getting seriously high, which seems to affect me more than Lee and Matthew. We reach El Rama at 4PM and apparently we are late to catch the boat that will take us to the atlantic coast of Nicaragua. With my broken spanish I try to rent a private boat to take us there but because we need a special permit from the military to cruise on the river we are not able to do so. After some negotiation the only possibility to get to Bluefield that night is by traveling by barge. The ride on the river will take 9 hours. Lee and Matthew decide to sleep with their sleeping bag on the barge while i decide to jump on the boat that will pull the barge because the boat is carrying some passenger as well. Every occasion i have to stay with locals I take. We are all resting on hamakas on the rear bridge of this old boat. It really feels like we are cruising on the Amazon River. The true adventure for all of us. People carrying vegetables, chickens and all sort of different goods. All squeezed in a maze of Hamakas. We all loved it.





























The captain of the boat suggest us to stay at the Oasis Hotel and casino. Driving trough the town of Bluefield we feel that everyone is starring at us with couriosity expression in their faces. I have experienced this feeling of being a movie star in some countries I visited but this one was somehow special. As soon as we arrive the hotel we soon understand why people were so intrigued about our presence in town. It turnes out that we are the first people on motorcycle that ever shwed up to Bluefield. I dont know if this is true but doing something for the first time that no one has done before in 2013 is very special. We feel a bit like the first settlers. An amazing feeling. Bluefield is certantly not a Central American town. This is because it is inaccessible by land.The people of Bluefield are mainly black and speek a sort of dialect. A mixture of Spanish and English. Many rastas on the street and reaggie is the music of choice.



















__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 01:20 PM   #94
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Nicaraguan Road of Terror. From Bluefields to New Guinea.



After a brief visit in Bluefield we attempted to get a boat back to El Rama only to find out that there would not be a boat until monday. Today is saturday so we decided to ride our motorcycles through the jungle on a sketchy road at best called La Trocia. After asking many locals about the road condition which none of them had actually been on, we decided to give it a try as time was running out. We were pleasantly surprised for the first 10 kM. The road was a typical rocky bumpy gravel road that was easy to navigate on our bikes. Then we hit the mountains with slimy red clay more slippery sections than black ice with inclines and decents that certainly are not legal for road construction. Having said that there were a few 4×4′s with horseback being the main mode of transportation on this lets call it a path. We figure we happened upon between 50 to 75 locals on horseback and donkey ( cowboys armed with guns and machetes ) certainly the prefered way of transportation .Every time we asked how much further we had to go the answer was about an hour. It took several hours to cover 100k the intense jungle heat had us feeling like we may not make it. Luckly we had ice in the cooler to cool us down after we helped each other pick up our motorcycles after they would slide out from underneath us. Lee dumped his bike in the middle of a river and we thought oh no the bike would never start after that. But the KTM did not let us down.

















Matthew’s heavy BMW struggle up the steep ascents with tires spinning and smoking clutch. Unfortunately after hitting the crest of the mountain we realized we were in the middle of the mountain range. At one point the BMW refused to go up any more steep inclines and some locals came upon us and 5 men helped push the bike the last 50 feet of a long steep incline. later and many crashes and many river/stream crossings we high-fived each other and were happy to arrive in New Guinea for a well deserved rest. We covered 100 KM in 8 HOURS. Ouch !!!!











The plan for the next day is to head down to Costa Rica where we will store the bikes at a Government bonded storage. Costa Rica will be the last leg of this segment of the trip around the world on Motorcycle. Next will be from Costa Rica to somewhere in South America. More information on future plans to come soon.
__________________
www.mototravellers.com

romafras screwed with this post 05-28-2013 at 01:29 PM
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 05:37 PM   #95
far
ADVreader
 
far's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Los Andes,Venezuela
Oddometer: 135
Nice ride report

I have been following since some time ago your RR, hope you can make the other leg soon
far is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #96
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by far View Post
I have been following since some time ago your RR, hope you can make the other leg soon
I booked my flight to Costa Rica in August. I will pick up my bike and ride all the way to Argentina. On my way there I will stop in Bolivia to support the children of "Virgen de Fatima", a local orphanage. Once done with South America off to my dream. Riding the all African continent back to Italy where I started my trip around the world in 2011.
__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #97
SLACKER
Adventurer
 
SLACKER's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Baltimore and Socal.and elsewhere???
Oddometer: 65
belissimo!!!!

SLACKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2013, 10:37 AM   #98
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Costa Rica



Woke up early this morning as our goal is to make it to Costa Rica. Looking at our GPS and maps we decide to try a different border crossing. We decide to head to San Carlos and take a small boat that will take us to Los Chiles in Costa Rica. This border crossing is not used for vehicles but our determination after the road of terror in Nicaragua is pretty high. Off at around 9 AM we travels on a beautiful paved road all the way to San Carlos. Close to the town a big bridge is under construction and we are told that it will serve as a main border to Costa Rica. It will take another year to be built and I am sure that the experience we are about to live will not be possible anymore with the main border in operation.



As soon as we arrive in San Carlos we head to the river where a small immigration office is located to do the bureaucratic paper to leave Nicaragua. We ask about our options for Costa Rica and we are told that there is a boat at 4 PM that might be able to take us. It is only noon therefore I try to arrange with some locals the possibility to hire a boat to take us to Los Chiles. Of course it is possible but the price is too high and on top of it, the military will not allow it because the guy that would have taken us does not hold a license to carry goods but only people. The only possibility for us is to wait for the bigger boat at 4 PM. The boat that is supposed to take us across the border along the “Rio Frio” is everything but a big boat and the place we are supposed to load our bikes is designed for loading passengers only and not bikes.











We have soon a big crowd of people watching us trying to put our heavy bikes onto this small little catamaran. The river is magical. Very mystical. Along the river there are still some people who live with very little exchange with the outside world. I start talking to the captain and he tells me that on that river there are lots of crocodile, snakes and all the other beautiful creature that I absolutely detest . My head starts to play funny games so I quickly drink a couple of beers to relax and admire the scenery in front of my eyes. Due to the difficulty on loading our bikes, we leave Nicaragua late in the afternoon and we know that the little border crossing will be close upon our arrival. After 1 1/2 hours of cruising we arrive to the place where we are supposed to disembark but unloading the bikes is a hard task. It takes us another 45 minutes to do it. The vegetation in Costa Rica is magnificent. On the trees we start seeing many monkeys of different species. Matthew Lee and myself included.









__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #99
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Beginning of South America

I can’t believe summer is here already. We are now ready for the next segment of our journey. This segment will take us through South America along the Andes. You can see a rough plan of our route below.



We will be riding across Colombia, Ecuador,Peru’,Bolivia,Chile and Argentina. My wish, depending on time, would be to go and have a look at Venezuela as well. It’s a big planet and we can’t do it all but Venezuela sounds like a very interesting place to visit, especially after the death of Chavez. The biggest news is that Matteo is back on the trip. The original team of the mototravellers will try to document as much as possible the adventures that will unfold during the summer. Matteo will ship his old beautiful 1985 Honda Dominator to Colombia while I will make my way down from Costa Rica alone. Once reunited in Colombia, we will ride south together towards the new project we decided to support in Bolivia.


This time, with your help, we will participate with “AiBi Amici dei bambini“ to care for the children that live in the ” Virgen de Fatima” orphanage.

Your help in Mongolia has made a significant difference so let’s try to replicate the success in Bolivia.

BOLIVIA

Context


The poorest state in Latin America

Bolivia has a surface area of 1,098,581 square kilometres, with a population of roughly 9 million people.

More than half its population lives on less than one dollar a day. The child death rate is extremely high, because of malnutrition and of difficult health and hygienic conditions.

Poverty and a scarce availability of resources to be assigned to the welfare state compel thousands of families to abandon their children.

Child abandonment in this country has dramatic facets: every year, thousands of children are left in institutes: these are dilapidated and overcrowded structures, in which living conditions are only just above the threshold of survival.



Virgen de Fatima




The “Virgen de Fatima” reception centre welcomes male and female children between 0 and 6 years of age. This institute is a temporary care centre, even though some children do remain there for over 6 years before being transferred to another structure.



The centre employs a psychologist and two social workers. It also hosts a family clinic, managed by one doctor and six nurses.Ai.Bi.’s multidisciplinary team , together with the centre’s staff, checks the social and family status of the children, as well as their medical, psychological, educational and legal needs, providing food, water, health care and study support. Moreover, we check the children’s legal status, to facilitate the start of the necessary registration procedures in preparation for the issuing of identity documents.



__________________
www.mototravellers.com

romafras screwed with this post 07-26-2013 at 10:16 AM
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2013, 05:55 PM   #100
far
ADVreader
 
far's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Los Andes,Venezuela
Oddometer: 135
Thumb Great

I will be looking forward for your ride report and if you ever come close to here just let me know and we can setup a ride or a visit to some place you want to help.
Luck on your journey.
far is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #101
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Venezuela.

Quote:
Originally Posted by far View Post
I will be looking forward for your ride report and if you ever come close to here just let me know and we can setup a ride or a visit to some place you want to help.
Luck on your journey.
Thank you FAR. How is Venezuela for a visit right now??? I know its a fantastic country. Any advises ?
Cheers.
__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #102
far
ADVreader
 
far's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Los Andes,Venezuela
Oddometer: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by romafras View Post
Thank you FAR. How is Venezuela for a visit right now??? I know its a fantastic country. Any advises ?
Cheers.
Its a huge country and you can found great places to go mostly natural, there are a lot of beaches to go, cold mountains in the andes, huge savannas and the best is "la gran sabana" Canaima National Park this link could show you better Canaima
http://youtu.be/xbsQWq8nSUg

The security in the big cities is really bad especially at the wrong places in the night is even worse.
far is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 10:56 AM   #103
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
On the Road Again!!!

Arrived in San Jose Costa Rica to pick up my bike at 4.30 AM. I knew i had a busy day full of bureaucracy ahead of me to release my motorcycle from the almacen fiscal where I left it in March. With a good Costa Rican cup of coffee in my hand I seat on the street and i regroup my energy for the day. At 6.00AM i arrive in front of the custom office but the office does not open until 8.00AM. When finally at 9.00 I am able to speak with someone the customs official start saying that I will not able to pick up my bike without paying a huge fine of $1,000 because I should have terminated my temporary permit of transit back in March. This is a wake up call for me. It reminds me that for the next month or so I am not in Canada nor in Italy and my mind-set has to change right away. Having some experience in this kind of matters I keep calm and starting to explain that at the custom depot, where I left my bike back in the month of March, I was told that by storing the bike with them I did not need to terminate my permit because it was done automatically by their software system. No chance. The custom official did not want to hear any of that and started calling her superior. I knew I just had to stay calm and I apology for the inconvenience. Of course inside of me I was mad and I really wanted to jump across the desk and bite her hear off. In any case to make a long story short, I was able to release my baby only at 3.00 PM. Of course i did not have to pay any fine whatsoever. My good friend Andres from the Almacen Fiscales ” El Coco” gave me a great hand.



The following day I bring my motorcycle for a full tune up and plan my route to reach Panama. I decide not to cross into Panama from the main border crossing of Paso Canoas but to take the northern, smaller entry of Rio Sereno.

The road is stunning. I reach 10,000 feet of altitude and the temperature is freezing. What will it be when i will be riding at 15,000 feet in Bolivia and Peru’ I ask myself ? I definitely misjudge my clothing equipment once again.



The mood is high and in just one day I had the chance to remind myself that I am not doing just a sunday ride but something a bit more complicated. I am very exited and ready. Let the adventure continue. The kids of ” Virgen de Fatima” are waiting.

BTW.

The very first day of my departure a great article on the ” Corriere di Arezzo” written by Francesca Muzzi, was telling our story. I will not translate the all thing as we know the intent of our trip around the world. The funny part of the article described Matteo as being a slim man with a long beard while myself as a bit “chubby”. The article says that if we were to be put together we could be identified as Santa Claus bringing gifts to the children around the world.



We certainly hope that the next article will not describe us as being like Laurel and Hardy………..

__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #104
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Finally in South America. Colombia.

This next post could be written about all countries we have been so far. Prior entering Colombia, the comments we would receive from people was that we were crazy to do it. According to them traveling through Colombia is far too dangerous. We can’t deny that we had a certain discomfort before packing up our motorcycle and start crossing what we now know of being a great beautiful country. Many times, in our travels, we had people talking poorly about countries without a real knowledge about them. Such common ” wrong” perception is true for many countries we crossed until now. For example, according to people in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan was supposed to be dangerous and unfriendly to foreign people. It turned out to be one of our favorite. For this very reason is the least we can do to put the story straight. Other than some difficulties in eastern Siberia, we were always welcome in an incredible positive way from anyone we encounter in our travels with our motorcycles. This is particularly true for Colombia. After a few kilometers, we felt safe and welcome at the same time. Of course you still have to take some precautions when traveling in this country but this is true anywhere in the world. Our advice is to visit Colombia. it is a beautiful and generous country. We would like to thank our new Colombian friends Andres, Edwin,Fernando for being so hospitable to us. They accompanied us from Bogotá’ to Girardot showing us a beautiful road that was later taking us to another stretch oft road called ” La Ligna”. This is a dangerous mountain road that reaches 11,000 feet in altitude that has to be crossed in order to get to Cali. Thanks again FRIENDS. What a ride !!!!!



__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #105
romafras OP
world traveler
 
romafras's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 177
Almost Hostages. It sure felt like it.

Hola Amigos

First of all a little description on the Colombian guerrilla. FARC. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army. Source from Wikipedia.

The FARC is considered a terrorist organization by the Government of Colombia. The FARC–EP claim to be a peasant army with a political platform of agrarianism and anti imperialist inspired by Bolivianism.

The FARC say they represent the poor people of rural Colombia against:

the economic depredations of the ruling bourgeoisie.
the political influence of the U.S. in the internal affairs of Colombia
neo-imperialism
the monopolization of natural resources by multinational corporations and
the repressive violence from Colombian state and paramilitary forces against the civilian population.
The operations of the FARC–EP are funded by kidnap to ransom, gold mining, and the production and distribution of illegal drugs.

The strength of the FARC–EP forces is indeterminate; in 2007, the FARC said they were an armed force of 18,000 men and women; in 2010, the Colombian military calculated that FARC forces consisted of approximately 18,000 members, 50 per cent of which were armed guerrilla combatants; and, in 2011, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said that FARC–EP forces comprised fewer than 8,000 members. According to an inform from Human Rights Watch, approximately 20-30% of the recruits are minors, most of them are forced to join the FARC. From 1999 to 2008 the guerrilla armies of the FARC and of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army of Colombia) controlled approximately 30–35 per cent of the national territory of Colombia. The greatest concentrations of FARC guerrilla forces are in the south-eastern regions of Colombia’s 500,000 square kilometers (190,000 sq mi) of jungle, and in the plains at the base of the Andean mountain chain.

In 1964, the FARC–EP were established as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Colombiano, PCC), after the Colombian military attacked rural Communist enclaves in the aftermath of The Violence(La Violencia, ca. 1948–58). The FARC are a violent non-state actor (VNSA) whose formal recognition as legitimate belligerent forces is disputed. As such, the FARC has been classified as a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, the United States, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the European Union; whereas the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Nicaragua do not classify the FARC as a terrorist organization. In 2008,Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez recognized the FARC-EP as a proper army. President Chávez also asked the Colombian government and their allies to recognize the FARC as a belligerent force, arguing that such political recognition would oblige the FARC to forgo kidnapping and terrorism as methods of civil war and to abide by the Geneva Convention. Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of Colombia, has followed a middle path by recognizing in 2011 that there is an “armed conflict” in Colombia although his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, strongly disagreed. In 2012 FARC announced they would no longer participate in kidnappings for ransom and released the last 10 soldiers and police officers they kept as prisoners but it has kept silent about the status of hundreds of civilians still reported as hostages.



Now our story

After our long day riding of yesterday, where Matteo puncture his rear tire on a remote gravel road, we leave toward the city of Pasto early in the morning. Pasto to the Ecuadorian border is about 200 KM so we are not in a rush. Our plan is to enter Ecuador in the evening and stay for the night at the first little Ecuadorian town. We couldn’t be more wrong about our plans.

When we reach Pasto we are blocked and surrounded by at least 200 “Campesinos” that are protesting against the national Colombian government. They are among thousands in all colombia that are part of the “National Paro”. The Paro is known as the total blockage of all main roads through Colombia. They do this to bring the government to a negotiation table and to defend what they think are their rights. In this PARO the campesinos (farmers), are asking the government to decrease substantially the price of gasoline and defend the products they are producing by stopping importation from different countries such as Ecuador where everything is drastically cheaper.Of douse we did not know about this national scale PARO. We later find out that most of the time they can be extremely dangerous as the days go by and no negotiation is found between the “Campesinos” leaders and the national government.

This first blockage is easily passed after a charming negotiation done by both of us with a local “leader”. We only had to stay with them for about half an hour and listen to their arguments. This was their request and we sure did it. After that we were allowed to pass and move forward.



As we were not informed about this national protest, we thought that our road was free until the border with Ecuador. On the other hand we encounter at least four more blocks which we easily pass without any particular problems. All is fine until the blockage of Tangua. Tangua is a small village 60 KM from the border. This blockage from the start seems to be harder than any other one we passed before. I harm myself with courage and decide to go talk to a leader and explain our situation. No chance. he actually advise me to go back a kilometer or so because staying there could turn out very dangerous for us. We totally got that when Matteo took a photo of me talking to the leader when all of a sudden, about 50 persons started yelling at me and raise their wooden pole to me menacing to bit me up. One particular protester even took out a machete and pointed it at me. I will never forget his face. I was terrified.




In a calm rush way, we backtrack about 3 kilometers and start knocking on houses to see if they would kindly help us to stay for the night. We were blocked. Could not go back nor forward. We find a beautiful family that agrees to allow us to stay in their garage. This garage will be home for us for the following 3 days. The garage was very cold at night and it stunk of cheap gasoline. We were constantly hearing the radio to see when we would have been able to continue our journey. The news was not very positive and we felt hostages of a situation that we could not control. We decided to call The Italian Embassy and let them know our location. We were stuck in what we now know to be a strong FARC region. Even the family that hosted us was a supporter of the guerrilla. According to them the guerrilla does more for them that the Colombian government.









During the third day, we received the information from a moto-taxi that there was a break of half an hour from the blockage. In a hurry we packed our belongings and started to travel toward Tunga where three days earlier we were stopped. We travel at a slow speed because the street were full of stones, broken glass, and debris. We still were very afraid about the situation we were in.






Just before reaching San Juan, a small group of people, advise us not to proceed further because the street were closed again and according to him there was another blockage ahead with many angry people. For sure they would have not let us pass. On top of it they would have burned our motorcycles he says. What to do next is “simple”. As many times before one of us goes to the people and try to plead our case, while the other watches our belongings. Being Matteo’s turn he starts walking in search of the local leader. He tell me that his main worry is that the campesinos will cut his beard off. He arrives on a bridge, where about 500 people were listening to a speech given by a delegate from the government. He patiently waits when all of a sudden the leader of the local campesinos starts explaining to the people our situation of being semi-hostages of the PARO. To Matteo’s disbelief the crowd starts yelling to the leader that they approve our passage to the border. Wow incredible. A woman on a little smokey bike escorted us safely to the border with Ecuador where even the border patrol are surprised to see us arrive. They state that no one has passed the border to Ecuador in the last three days. It really felt like in the movie “Midnight Express”. A unique experience, like unique was the ending of our Colombian adventure.

__________________
www.mototravellers.com
romafras is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014