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Old 03-07-2008, 07:19 AM   #46
Northstar Beemer
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Great adventure -



Keep it coming - ' enjoy all the pictures!

MORE snow coming this weekend to the frozen prairies. This the winter of my discontent.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:14 AM   #47
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Very nicely done
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:20 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calrider
So, finally, here’s the machine…


Looks like fun! Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:04 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_in_miami
Keep it coming...

I went down the same road to Honda about 4 years ago when I went to visit my family.
We stayed at a town by the Name of "Mariquita" (ladybug) for a few days, about 45 minutes from Honda, and then headed South towards Neiva.

Absolutely awesome trip... I was driving, but longing for a motorcyle...

I envy you greatly, and hope to get more updates!!
Thanks Ed... We went through Mariquita right at the end of the trip heading back to Villeta. Went from -2C (28F) up on Nevado del Ruiz in the morning down to 37C (97F) in Mariquita in the afternoon. Colombia has amazing contrasts!
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:40 PM   #50
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Wow...the scenery is beautiful!
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:48 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calrider
Thanks Ed... We went through Mariquita right at the end of the trip heading back to Villeta. Went from -2C (28F) up on Nevado del Ruiz in the morning down to 37C (97F) in Mariquita in the afternoon. Colombia has amazing contrasts!
Keep the pics coming!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:51 AM   #52
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Great report so far - thanks for sharing.

Now - - on with it!
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:51 PM   #53
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Excellent! My brother is living in Medellin currently, I can't wait to visit him this summer! It's great that you are exposing the beautiful/friendly side of Colombia, too many people think that it is a dangerous place filled with dangerous people. Keep it up!

Colombia es una chimba!
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:26 AM   #54
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Amiga had a drink of their funny-tasting water, and it was time to hit the road again. Today we had to make it to Valledupar to hook up with our friend Cesar. Because the bike was new, we were breaking it in and couldn’t go faster than 80km/h. It seemed like it was taking forever to cover any distance. A quick check with the GPS confirmed that the speedo was 10km/h optimistic. We’d been tooling along at 70km/h the whole time! Shyte! We decided to take a shortcut to Valledupar on a secondary road so going fast was not really an option.



But they were working on improving the roads.


Remember the funny tasting water?? Well it turned out that it was more that just funny tasting. Soon Amiga as throwing up and feeling like crap. Somehow she pulled it together because she wanted to make it to Valledupar. When she couldn’t stand it anymore, we would stop for a break so she could throw up. Sometimes a sprinkle of cold bottled water would help.

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Old 03-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #55
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One thing that quickly becomes evident is the military presence along the roads. Every 10-40 km there is a military checkpoint. Most of the time they waved us through, but once in a while they stopped us. This is an effort to make the roads safe and put pressure on the guerrillas. And it seems to be working.



This was our first encounter with the military and it was just one of many positive experiences we had with them. This guy was totally pumped about having his picture taken. And once he found out I was Canadian, he peppered me with questions about how I was enjoying Colombia. As we left, he called out “You can count on us!”.

As we stopped in one town so Amiga could , she managed to snap this one even though she was so sick she could barely stand.

Should I be worried? They were breaking a concrete sidewalk with sledgehammers in 38C heat. Sometimes a desk job has its benefits.

A while later, another stop at a roadside kiosk for a snack and something cold to drink while Amiga got sick out back.

By this point I was feeling pretty helpless at not being able to do much to help. She just sucked it up and soldiered on. I would have been curled up in the ditch begging the soldier to put me out of my misery.

We finally arrived in Valledupar and got in touch with Cesar.


Soon we hooked up with Cesar and he led us to a cheap place to stay.

Not the best place. I suggested we go somewhere else so Amiga could be more comfortable, but by this point she wasn’t going anywhere.

The next day was a rest day as Amiga slowly recovered. She decided some solid food might be just the ticket and we grabbed a bite (I know how much you inmates enjoy food pics)`


That day I stored the bike in a parkade. paid a dog a little extra to keep an eye on it.

We were going to be gone a few days so I made sure it was locked up well.

calrider screwed with this post 03-12-2008 at 05:25 PM
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:31 AM   #56
Northstar Beemer
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Love the canine alarm system

I have one sleeping on the job too!
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:09 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor5x
Excellent! My brother is living in Medellin currently, I can't wait to visit him this summer! It's great that you are exposing the beautiful/friendly side of Colombia, too many people think that it is a dangerous place filled with dangerous people. Keep it up!

Colombia es una chimba!
Yeah, Trevor5x, you're so right. According to Lonely Planet, Medellin is currently one of the safest cities in South America. No denying that there are dangerous places in Colombia, but that's true of most places in the world.

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Old 03-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #58
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Lovin the RR, keep it coming!

Colombians are great people, I've met heaps of Colombian friends here in Montreal. They all say the same thing "You HAVE TO visit Colombia!"
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:52 PM   #59
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The plan was to go with Cesar to an Arhuaco village. He and Amiga had been discussing how their communities have been forced higher into the mountains as campesinos and displaced people from other parts of the country have been moving into their traditional lands. As well, there are plans to build a dam that would flood some of their most sacred sites. Up until recently, the Arhuaco have isolated themselves from outsiders in order to maintain their culture. They’ve now decided to open themselves up to the outside world a little more in order to get help in their mission to support harmony and balance in the world. Cesar thought this might be an opportune time for Amiga and I to visit and video/interview/photograph the people and their communities in order to help get their message out. In the past they disallowed photos and videos, but Cesar thought that the political and spiritual leaders might now allow it. We didn’t take the motorbike because Cesar thought the road might be too rough. He also thought that it might not be too safe to go on our own. So off we went with Cesar in an old Dacia 4x4 pickup.

This was the road as we approached the village.


At this point, we could only photo from a distance. This is the village.


The first thing we needed to do was walk up to the home of one of the spiritual leaders so that we could present ourselves and begin the process of getting permission.


Cesar decided to get a pic of Amiga and I:


After about a 20 min walk we arrived at Mamo Franciso’s home. (Mamo is their name for a spiritual leader.) We sat and waited while Cesar explained the situation to the Mamo.
Waiting was to become the norm during our visit to the Arhuacos. Life is lived by a completely different schedule here and it feels quite alien at first. Most of the people are somewhat shy and reticent, so it’s not easy to strike up conversations. When we arrived at the village, people looked at us with some mild curiosity to begin with, but they mostly tended to ignore us unless we approached them first. This was in stark contrast with the exuberance and hospitality of the people we met on the trip so far. Once we got over the initial strangeness, it felt somewhat comfortable. We were welcome to go where we pleased there was no expectation of us to be anywhere or do anything in particular. There was no schedule and if we happened to be around at dinner time, we could eat and if we weren’t there, well, then we wouldn’t eat. We were basically expected to figure it out ourselves.

After a while, Mamo Francisco led us to a spot in the woods and we sat on some rocks with him and Cesar. They proceeded to have a conversation in Arhuaco for about an hour while Amiga and I sat and tried not to doze off. I later figured out that it probably wouldn’t have mattered. People seemed pretty much OK with us doing whatever and they didn’t take offense. I’m sure that there was a lot of social etiquette that we trampled across, but the rules seemed different enough that some of our version of politeness was somewhat meaningless.

Finally, Cesar turns to us and says that the Mamo is ready to speak to us.

All this time, the Mamo had been looking into the forest. Now that it was time to address us, he just kept on looking into the forest! He asked us to recount all the events that led up to us arriving here. Then he asked us what our purpose was in being here and why we thought we should be here and what we wanted to do while we were here. It took quite some time. The he and Cesar talked a while longer. Suddenly, Cesar stood up and told us it was over. We shuffled in the heat back down to the village. Cesar said that in the evening, Mamo Francisco would consult with other Mamos and seek guidance from mother Earth. We did, however, have initial permission to take some photographs.

We arrived back in the village as evening approached.

We had a simple meal of plantains and rice with all the rest of the folks. (We’d brought a sack of rice as an offering). We got to chatting with one of the guys that was there to help in the building of some new houses. I asked him where he slept. He pointed to a pile of ˝" to 1" rocks and said, “There, on my mattress of stones”. I laughed since he was obviously pulling my leg. Later, we joined the others around a campfire and enjoyed the quiet rhythm of Arhuaco language well into the evening.


Soon it was time to hit the hay. We asked where we should sleep. The reply was “anywhere you feel like”. We weren’t quite sure what this meant until we noticed people lying down wherever they were and falling asleep on the ground. Some had he luxury of a hard cowhide:


As we stumbled around in the dark, looking for an appropriate place, we almost stumbled over a figure snoring on a pile of rocks. Sure enough, there was my new friend, sleeping on his mattress of stones.

We finally found a spot relatively free of stones and put down our thermarests and sleeping sheets and crawled into bed. We didn't realize how short our night would actually be...

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Old 03-18-2008, 07:31 AM   #60
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This is great stuff!!!

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