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Old 03-08-2011, 04:25 AM   #46
chevaliernoir OP
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Du plus grand lac salé, au plus haut lac du monde

The great salt lake of Uyuni is a highlight of the trip is long overdue. Now here I am, unfortunately this is the rainy season and it is flooded.

The 4WD goe there anyway and give an idea of the depth of water on the crust of sand.

There are about 15 inches of water on the first half mile, and then the salt crust goes back a bit to have more than 2 inches of water.
With Francis, we hesitate a moment, we damn want to go too, but the bike still has miles to go. If you drive like that in water saturated with salt, the chain already worn rings and which are probably more tightly will not last long. The wheel bearings have to be beautiful so-called waterproof after 75,000 km I fear for their life if I use them in, especially as the dust covers are not waterproof at all either. And then there is all the electrical connections is well exposed.
In short, we consider that it would not be serious, but even when I start to turn a tiny, no stress. I vowed to ride on the Salar de Uyuni motorcycle. Done.

In Argentina, I met Pit, an American bike. He's back to Uyuni. It is a motorcycle rental for a month, and the constraints that we are not the same. It is starteddirectly, but once in the middle of the lake, the guides told him that 4x4 will turn back because the other side of the lake there are over one meter deep. We can ride on the lake but not cross it today. Every day is different. The lake dries very quickly and at lower storm is 5 to 10cm of water and more.

When we find him after his escape, we say that we did well not to start, so salt is everywhere, clogging the radiator, exhaust outlets, entering switches, etc. ...!

yes but still, it would go where it's shallow to enjoy the hudge White Lake. So here we go on foot, leaving the bike dry.

and passed the first kilometer walk, the water is almost at the level of salt.

Francis is happy and me too. This hudge white is always moving and carries an incredible energy.

Back to dry with a sunburn (at 3800m altitude, the sun is very little filtered!) To wash the bike with fresh water, and a first llama steak.

... and take the road directly to Potosi, the highest city in the world.

The first mile is a superb track altitude, pleasant in the rock that winds along the Andes, with its unique light.

Then it's tar that allows us to move faster ... but not enough to reach the city before tyhe night. I suggested we stop in a small village en route. There are always basic accommodation possible. This time, the few rooms are mainly occupied by the workmen resurfacing the road in the area. They dream to visit Europe. We are delighted to visit them is Bolivia. More rustic accommodation for a pittance, with no running water, but at least it is 100% authentic. I feel good.

Bolivians are not very expressive. Tourists are part of the entourage and not seem to generate more interest than trees. So, it is quite difficult to have rich communication with them. The bike draws some curiosity anyway.

We start early and decide tohave a breakfast by a river. By the time the water boils, a Bolivian crosses the river and came straight toward us. We were not accustomed to such direct behaviour, and we appreciate this opportunity. Arriving at us it is reaching out directly, but not to shake our hands. He has two apples in his hand for us, and we offer with pleasure tea, cheese, bread and jam from our breakfast. Just simple things, but give us good energy for the day.

We need this positive energy there when we arrived in Potosi. It is accessed by low slums, and the higher up towards the center ... do not get any more;) The interest of the city lies in its mine that killed so many thousands of workers, not because of terrible accidents, but because of the insane working conditions. And that yet the number of volunteers to come and work here always increases it seems. Ironic, no?
A few drops of rain charged dust make the air bitter, and the road slippery. A friendly drunk Potosi guy, who is asked the direction of the tourist office, explained that the mine can not be seen today because it's Sunday. It is too much. This town stinks death. I don't feel well. I want to go outof there. On one side the energy of the Uyuni Salar charges you, on theother side, I feel dull inspire tar is deposited on my mood, and the wind exhale positive energy that I could keep. Francis did not insist to stay either, so we turne back, without even getting off the bike. Oruro direction.
The road is superb and makes us forget the bad energy of Potosi.

The countryside is beautiful, but the villages empty.

The rural exodus is clearly in vogue.
Arrived late after noon to Oruro, the first impression is not great. Wecan find a room with garage in front of the bus terminal. The railway stations and bus have always in common to gather the people ... that we would not want asason inlaw. We're anyway going for a walk in the center and there, on the contrary, it is a celebration in the streets. It prepares the carnival and it's kind of great dress rehearsal. The groups of dancers and musicians come from throughout the area to travel around the streets with fanfare.

The carnival is it seems great, but with a lot of people. We are happy to simply enjoy the good mood.

Good night and continue our express journey in Bolivia. I was already there 7 years ago, it is the rainy season, and in theory, I return to work within a month. Francis also has an important appointment with her son in the United States, and should not drag either. We go straight to west, to La Paz, the highest capital of the world.

The outskirts of capital cities are generally uninviting. La Paz is no exception. Congestion, dust ... Time to refuel and it roars to Copacabana, a small tourist village that gave its name to the Brazilian beach.
Along the way, a little hollow, and it stops at random at the first village to come.

Luckily, the village is home to the largest Inca ruins in Bolivia.

A visit is necessary.

It seems that this is the gate of the sun at this site that inspired Hergé Tintin.

Finally, at night, we reach Copacabana. The route proposed by the GPS through a few kilometers in Peru. Francis passport is almost full, and as he still has many countroes to cross, he isforced to make a detour of 200 km to avoid the stamps and keep buffer blank pages. It seems that travelers have made back at the border because it was not enough room on their passports. It's a hard life of a great traveler!
Copacabana is hyper tourism. But at the edge of Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world (3800 meters), I feel good. In high season it might be different. Quiet here for two days to update the blog very late, and start looking for accommodation for my return to France ...

Tomorrow Peruis waitingfor us. Us? Yes, well, I realize that with Francis, we preferred to go to Uyuni together, and I see that across the country we are still together. It is obvious bedfellows.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #47
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Peru now!
The peruvian custom officers expected some money to get a cofee, using as argument my absence of insurance...... So, we spent time at the border... I'm used also as a translator for a german couple on motorcycle too, and then comes a twin Africa, whose driver comes right up to me saying: "Hi, you are Loic, right? I'm Steph from Britany". We had exchanged a few emails in the past week and Steph was just this last month in Bolivia, but we didn t expected to meet like this by chance. In short, a border full of bikes, new friends and no a car. Paradise.
With Francis, we thought to go to Arequipa, but it is the rainy season, so finally we decided to spin directly, in two short days, to Cuzco. Steph hesitates a moment and decides to join us to chart the road together. So here we are at this time for three cross roads in Peru.

On the road, we stop in small villages as and when the festivities as distinguished. It's very local color, and it looks like not a priori wrong with Bolivia.

Finally, after 2 days on the road, we arrived in Cuzco. He just had a big storm. I know the city is full of tourist hyper mud puddles and cars honking ... the first impression is not appealing. Finally, once we found a hostel with a small courtyard to house our bikes, the small city tour with a beautiful light of altitude and clouds full of rain was excited!
point of having this little tune in my head:

Sure, it's super touristy, but it's big, airy and ... I feel good, period. I understand now that we can stay here a long time, even independently of the Inca ruins in the region.

Well, the interest of Cuzco, that is the basis for the famous Machu Picchu (the kingdom of Pikatchu?). Normally you have to go by train. Yes, but we are dreaming to go on a motorcycle while it looks impossible ....

You know everything about the MatchuPichu target in the next episode.
In any case, it did not take the train!
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:50 AM   #48
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Loic what's up man! It's Pete from the Salar. Howzit? Great post. I've been checking out your blog too. Keep em coming. I've got a trip going on here too called "The Andean Northwest and Socompa Pass" and there'll be a few pics of you and Francis on there. Still sorting through all my pics and videos. Good times! Hope you make it over to the states one of these days. Travel safe. Keep the posts & pics coming!
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:16 PM   #49
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There is a way going biking close to Machipicchu. Take the road to Ollantaytambo, form there follow the road to Sta .Teresa, through el paso Malaga. There is a section of dirt road to Sta. Teresa, try to live the bike there in a house and take the 15 min. train form the Hydroelectric to Machupicchu. Usually leave at 4pm . It is cheap.

This road is fantastic, recommended, I did it.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #50
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Great pictures with the stormy sky.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by GastonUSAChile View Post
There is a way going biking close to Machipicchu. Take the road to Ollantaytambo, form there follow the road to Sta .Teresa, through el paso Malaga. There is a section of dirt road to Sta. Teresa, try to live the bike there in a house and take the 15 min. train form the Hydroelectric to Machupicchu. Usually leave at 4pm . It is cheap.

This road is fantastic, recommended, I did it.
we did it!
It's in the next article
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:01 PM   #52
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All tourists go through Machu Picchu, but to find the right way to go is not so simple. After long discussions with many people, it now has a good idea of ​​the different options that I will describe to you quickly so that it may be useful to other travelers.
Option 1: Classic: Take the train from Cuzco up Agua Caliente. This city is accessible only by train.
Then take the bus, or climb over an hour a steep hill in the dusty bus to the site entrance.
This is the most classic, proposed in Cuzco, and complete loop can be done in a day starting early and returning late. The proposed rates are 150 USD. One can also spend the night in Agua Caliente, which offers full accommodation not necessarily very expensive in low season.
Option 2: Sporty: follow the path of the Incas. It is a multi-day hiking trip through the mountains, passing near Inca sites to visit, with people for carrying food. The very limited number of visitors per day, need to book well in advance and have a large budget. Probably a nice option.
Yes, but we are willing to go as close as possible with the bike.

The village accessible by road nearest to Agua Caliente is Santa Teresa, has more than 200km from Cusco. So we'll do it step to show the locals how to enter the magical site.

So here we are on a super highway that winds through the Andes and rising, and rising ....

At 4130m the temperature is very low ... and especially the rain starts an hour earlier we were in the furnace bottom.

The last 50 kilometers are dirt but passable even when wet.

The road is in perpetual reconstruction because of rockfalls from the night following the storms of the season ....

Even with bad weather condition I'm having like crazy on this track. I realize how nice it is to ride with two friends, and how alone, due to endeavor to prevent the fall that would end the trip, it is forbidden to ride "fun." At one point, I realizesuddenly that off the road COULD mean one-way to the precipice, and I calm my passions ...
At nightfall, we arrive in Santa Teresa, and we will put in a small hostel which proposes to put the bikes ... in the dining room. Here is a commercial gesture that is appreciated. Especially since that one is in Peru, people always insist to not let the bikes outside for the night...

From Santa Teresa we now try to find a way to reach the Machu Picchu. In any case we have to reach Agua Caliente, and for this go first to a power plant "Energia". The problem is that to reach Energia, we must pass through a road that is cut from a landslide that took place some years ago, and reconstruction work endless. We must take a taxi or motorcycle to the landslide and continue on foot. The taxi is inexpensive and as there is nothing to secure the bikes on site, it is therefore lead early in the morning as close to "Energia". And it's raining.

The river is a strength and incredible violence. The taxi was far ahead or the road collapsed. Indeed, even more, we would not have to put the bikes in the rubble. On the next photo, we walk past the rubble, then, and we see the road cut on the other side:

45 minute walk later, we reach the powerplant. There is also a small station for the train, but the line is being repaired today. Anyway, we decided to walk up, so just follow the railroad track for 2 ½ hours walking at a brisk pace to rally Agua Caliente.
Almost there! For the last few miles, we are invited to fill up a bus of Japanese

and finally we come to discover one of the 7 wonders of the world (according to a recent trade classification)

The site is magnificent and it is instantly clear to spend time to get there. Even with lots of tourists walking around, it does not feel cramped, and it is not embarrassed at all.
Yet it gives me the impression that most walls are rebuilt. I may be wrong, and I want to believe that all stones have been found the well, but the real Inca walls are ultimately limited.

Whatever, it gives good dimension of the site, in default of the athmosphere.
Descent by bus, then walk three hours to get a new al scree blocking the road after dark. Suffice to say we slept well that night! To do it again, , we would plan to spend a night at Agua Caliente.
The next day we resumed the beautiful track in the opposite direction. And we enjoy.

But the rains of the night and disturb the river level rose. We must find the right place to go ...

Francis passes without problem

Stephane, who felt here 2 days before is carefull, but reach the other side this time with both feet (almost) dry.

I take the option to ride (maybe a bit too) quickly, saying that less time is remaining in the water, the less likely it is to pay ... and I passe.

The road is muddy sometimes to the point that trucks have to pull each other to pass

Us, we enjoy on the runway, and then the road starts winding up in the Andes, with a mixture of fog and rain. It's a little bit as if it was raining, but the drops of water remains the suspended in the air, right on our path, seeking a place to jump. If possible, a zipper, the entrance to a handle, a helmet opening, a hole in the boot ... because the Peruvian water dropis disingenuous. It choses these places to enter until the skin withered the brave biker, the freezing to the bone until the evening.

A collar is over 4300m of altutude in the cold and Rainy. Just a dirty little church open to the wind and a cabin with the surviving family. The misery does not shock me specially in Bolivia, but more in Peru.

A polaroid for the girl, I share my biscuit with ithem, and I go further, especially below, to find a milder temperatures. I am not convinced that the faith will save anything.

Apart from this episode, wonderful day, so,
especially since everyone has put his two cents mechanics:

On leaving, my wheel was punctured by a nail. Small repair time to make breakfast and we are on our way.
During the day, just after crossing a small river, "teuf teuf", the 600TT Francis stops.

A force to disassemble, check, test, etc ... the bike dry and finally off again as if nothing had happened.
Stephane will not onlyrun out of fuel at 4000m of altitude in the fog ...

but will also change in emergency his rear wheel bearings at night (whew, this is a standard size that is easy)

In short, this trip to Machu Picchu will be memorable for me, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that it is more the trip with friends I will remember that Machu Picchu itself.
PD : maybe you wonder how the first pic of this article has been made as we haven't reach the Machu Picchu on the bike. Here is the answer :

And now, the adventure continues ...

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Old 03-15-2011, 12:01 AM   #53
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Amazing ride and photos mate..
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:13 AM   #54
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #55
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That's a seriously bad-ass riding pic. I'd nominate this one for the welcome page...

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Old 03-18-2011, 08:10 PM   #56
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Thanks for the RR Loic. I love the way you capture the interaction with the people, the best part about traveling IMHO.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:25 AM   #57
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That is almost 3 weeks that I am traveling with Francis. Everything happens for the best, but travel at 2, withdraw into our group and we are far from having the wealth of the meetings of a solo journey. That is why from the beginning of organizing this trip (there is more than one year already), I planned and wanted to travel alone after having crossed Africa with Aurel. Briefly, after our first night in Ecuador, I tell Francis that I want to be back on the road alone, even if our routes and our imperatives dates are compatible. Francis has the same spirit as I, and I do not need to look for justifications. Just that traveling alone is another trip, and he knows this just as much as me. Briefly, after a hug at a service station, I go on the road, still farther north, without looking at my guide for places to visit, but decided to enjoy the meetings.
So, for this article, is the portrait gallery of the meeting that the common thread running ...
I asked her her name several times, but I did not understand the answer, so I prefer not to write it rather than skinning.
Entering a village, three small signs offer coffee and a dish that I do not know. Here is a great opportunity to take my breakfast, to taste the corn dough stuffed with cheese, and get to know this smiling saleswoman. She loves her job, anyway. Her mother cooks and she sells on the roadside. The truck drivers are passing by honking, with a wink or an obscene gesture. The only thing that bothers her from all of this is that they rarely stop to buy her products. Me, I'm not staying too long too, but I leave with a belly full.
The Ramirez family is an unexpected step of the day.
Indeed, As I dont't need to save "Teuf-Teuf", the motorcycle of Francis, and having found a brand new tire cheap in Peru, I no longer need to limit the heat of the mechanics of Austria. The mountain road is therefore a good pace, with each hearty acceleration to pass over trucks, UNTIL ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BIKE MAKES A LOT OF NOISE: I'VE LOST ON THE ROAD THE OUTPUT PLATE OF THE EXHAUST, BECAUSE THE RIVETS ARE BROKEN. SO I'M RIDING WITH FREE EXHAUST, AND IT MAKES A LOT OF NOISE.
As Francis said: "Meeting problems is to meet people," and so, I've spent an hour in that family or that wheels, erupts, bends, weld and repainted all which is metallic. I've never seen a riveter gun of this type, and at first glance, this does not inspire me nothing worthwhile, but the use is incredibly effective. Far more than our conventional tweezers.
The workshop is a family affair, and that's the kid who runs the village in search of rivets while I remove the muffler, and learns the job from his father. The little sister is in cons not allowed to touch anything. Not to keep her out of the education! But on the contrary, precisely because she has her school uniform on her and she does not get dirty before running off to join her friends at school. The mother watches from afar, and I will pay $ 1 for installation of new rivets.
I also disappear, but to eat in a small corner of the restaurant they recommended me.
Jakelin received me in a nice greasy restaurant.
The first contact is difficult: we can not understand what it is for almuerzo (lunch) day, nor on what is available or not the card. Our conversation was constantly interrupted by his incessant coming round to the kitchen because she is the patron-waitress-cook, and just as she dishes on the fire. I end up saying yes to everything she offers to end, and as usual, it's a simple meal, rather rich, full and proper that I served for $ 1.5.
While cleaning the table, calm returned, she talks about her desire to travel too, but it's difficult at the moment, alone to take care of the restaurant. She is no longer married and is determined to enjoy life, but that's life who catches her and leaves her no time to live. We exchanged our e-mails without conviction that it means something, but it is a way (maybe a little loose) to say the coup "goodbye" rather than "forever".
Arrived in Quito, Andres welcomes me home for two days.
We had already exchanged a few messages by email because he also traveled 10 months in motorcycle and solo, across Latin America. It was always plenty of things in common and a shared vision of travel by motorcycle, especially enjoying travel solo. Andres has assembled an excellent bakery, with home delivery in the city but prefers his quiet outside of Quito. Her house is both super nice and very simple. The kind of place where you feel good.
We just agree to share space with two players as impressive as nice:

But Nelly's, which offers me to show me around town after work.
Nelly is 25 and recently began his real work as an architect. Her gaze is particularly sharp on construction of the city and especially the Old Quito, and nothing like a passionate look forward to the interest in stone and the history that goes with it.
A lot of churches are built on foundations of Inca building
The principals were Spanish, but the stone cutters of the natives, and suddenly we find ourselves with cultural blends surprising as this angel head Inca.

but in addition to the city itself, this was an opportunity to taste in the streets the canelazo, a kind of hot wine, but without wine. Anyway, it's good!
The streets come alive at night too, with traditional costumes Ecuadorians ...

Nelly makes me even taste the "chocolate con queso": a glass of hot chocolate with pieces of cheese inside. Finally, the cheese has little taste, so it makes more consistency than taste funny.
Nelly thank you for this tour of Quito-by-night!

Oscar is not a talker. It revolves around the motorcycle without a word, while I am at night at a service station. I take this opportunity to ask him to recommend me a home where I can put the bike safely, and I propose to spontaneously follow him on his 115cc Yam. He tries to negotiate with parking, and various hotels to find the best solution, and when I finally put my bag in the room, I proposed him to have a drink togather.
Oscar is 25, married for 2 years, with a small baby, but his wife is with her parents for a few days. It is therefore not, and therefore we take a meal together.
Throughout the evening the discussion is difficult. He asked me some questions about the journey, and briefly responded to mine. However, he said he is motorcycle mechanic, so we would have some points to be discussed together, as the comparison of the 125 Japanese (they were manufactured in China) with imported Chinese bikes in large numbers in Latin America ... But Oscar is definitely not talkative. Yet he proposes that we exchanged our phone numbers to have a city tour the next morning, before I leave the city. Certainly, there is a world between what he did for me in the acts, and verbal rather closed attitude.
The next morning I called as promised, saying that, even more than to go downtown, I need a workshop to deliver rivets to my Akrapovic exhaust. (Again? Yeah)
He knows the neighborhood and what kind of workshop by heart and here I am in a preparer race bikes (the 125 in general).

Fortunately I have rivets in advance. The boss, he has the tool that goes.
But Oscar insists that we do a short tour of the city together. his bike is being washed, mine should follow, so it takes two motorcycle taxis to visit the white city of Popayan.

Thank you Oscar for the help and the city tour!
At that moment, I'm already in Colombia.
But in one trip, there are as many separations as meetings, or as exciting as they are insignificant.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:47 AM   #58
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sorry for the poor automatic translation of this article...

Above all, do not read the recommendations from the site of Ministries of Foreign Affairs before going to a country, otherwise you end up glued to his TV at home. Goodie, who had hosted us in Kenya , and works at UN for a long time, confirmed to me reports that foreign entities are increasingly alarmist than the actual situation in order to justify their presence on site and budget. And I've been already in Colombia and I just keep a nice souvenir. There was indeed a major risk with drug traffickers, but they are in the forest, in places where tourists have anyway nothing to do. No worries, then.
Yes, but, just before returning to Colombia, I read a person living in Bogota, and urges especially not stop on the 300 km after the border, ie until Popayan. Warriors would have manifested in violent there for a few days. Okay, so I am about to follow the recommendations.
Yes but here, to arrive at the border from Quito, Ecuador, there are already almost 300km. Big day, with no picture.

I am inquiring at the border and I see a yellow fluorescent vest is mandatory for all riders from 6PM. Insurance is also compulsory, but it can not be purchased at the border. A customs officer gives me an address where I could buy in the first city crossing. Goingonce restarted, without life jacket, without insurance, I find the point of sale, but they do not sell insurance for 1 full year. Should I go or the administration of customs and taxes from Colombia to get a waiver to have the assurance that the desired time (1 month). Well, I leave empty-handed. Ecuadorian bikers met at the border told me a mall in the city next to the famous buy insurance. When I finally found the place, it tells me it can not do the document for vehicles registered in Colombia. It smells a rat story. Jump-start to be late, I still have many miles to go, and therefore I take the road, this time with a yellow jacket in my bag in case I come late, but still without insurance. In theory, it would also have the registration number should appear beyond the back of the helmet! So I'm back on the road quite fast, to arrive before dark ... if possible.
Numerous soldiers armed to the teeth monitor the passage of vehicles, almost every 10km. They never stop me, but instead give a thumbs up when he saw me. A priori, this does not have to do with hitchhiking, so I took it as a kind of salvation which I gladly reciprocate.
At a time when even two people make me a sign to stop. They wear a green sweater / khaki with a big logo on it, but that does not seem as military. How to differentiate between the military, paramilitaries, narco-traffic and guerrioros? On the other side of the road two policemen, rifles slung, watching the scene, looking very relaxed. Those who stop me m'expiquent they work with support beyond police (hence their presence right next supposed to reassure me) and they do a collection for children with disabilities because of the mines that litter the local campaign . The discussion lasts only a moment, they do not insist and I'm back on the road. Looking back, I tell myself that I would not stop me ...

The situation has indeed changed since my first visit 13 years ago. In summary, Uribe came to power, and he fought mainly against narco-traffickers. During this period several cartels including dePablo Escobar fell, and it is thanks to this that the narco-traffickers are now invisible and virtually harmless (to the Colombian people anyway). By cons, to achieve that Uribe among others mounted a veritable army of paramilitaries. They became a kind of paramilitary mercenaries Uribe, and they have also played a role in his re-election by terrorizing the people. Today Uribe is in power, and all these paramilitaries have no real leader and make the law as they wish them, and the peace process now looks more original to settle accounts. NGOs defending human rights are for example designated targets. By creating these paramilitaries, Uribe finally armed the people, and if it was effective in the fight against narco-traffickers, weapons are turned now against the people themselves ...
Add to this the guerrieros who generally live in forests, and intimidating the villagers so that those below are deserting their villages to clump together in slums on the outskirts of large cities, and you end up with a big increase in crime at all levels in large cities.

Beautiful mountain road in very good condition. It is a pleasure to drive on Colombian roads. Perhaps the best Latin American countries (with the exception of the perfect road-Nazca Cuzco in Peru). Yes but it does not advance tournicotte and AC a lot, especially with Colombia, it is a heavy traffic surprises me, and I'm always up truck queues between two pins. With all this, night falls and I'm still not arrived
They told me for this step: Do not stop under any circumstances, do not drive without insurance, do not drive at night, do not drive alone, do not drive fast. I finally did that.
The next day I get to Cali, or an entire family decouchsurfers waiting for me. I am at the Rector of the largest university decals. I intended to spend a day with them, but they take me under their wing and I feel so good that I let myself be pampered.
Short tour of the city ... In any case, the safest neighborhoods. The vision that gives me security beyond Nubia in Cali is very terrible. I am persuaded that one side tells me that the examples are real, but the risk is not so great. On the other hand, who am I, a small European portion to judge beyond a secure unfamiliar city while they live there long ago? So I listen to their recommendations carefully.
Failing to see the city from the inside, I see it from above!
Irene is in love with the English language. She prepares a file for back to school in Paris, and I want to see it with his letter. She danced salsa "Calina", ie salsa de Cali. "Billa", his partner, passes by a small demonstration at the house and warm up my memories. The footwork is much richer than the Salsa Cuban or Puerto Rican, but after a little training, I found my bearings, so the same evening, here we are in a box to dance salsa. A few sips of Aguarediente (the local liquor, anise, based on sugar cane) and not unbind to enjoy the dance, not without a thought for my sister.
Irene and Billa:
a very back. .. cinco seis siete ...
To get home, of course we do not take public transit for security reasons. Exactly taxis waiting outside the box. Nubia explain it is important not to get into any taxi. Take a taxi would be one of the most dangerous experience of Cali. We must find a taxi, then call the taxi company corresponding to them confirming that the taxi with that number is their company and that it is he who is facing us. His paranoia makes me smile until the taxi company says they have no taxi with this issue. It's probably a fake taxi that I took bravely ...
Since the city is so dangerous, you go to the campaign much more tranquil and certainly more beautiful, or activity still revolves around sugar cane.

It even goes into the "paradise farm", or would place "Maria," a tragic love story, which led to the first novel written in South America, by Jorge Isaac.
Some say that love story is not tragic love story would be incomplete.

The atmosphere is indeed very romantic.

The last evening I took everyone to eat a pig in the neighborhood.
A big thank you to all the family for your home, your advice and your help to finally get insurance for the bike!

The next step, Medellin, Colombia's another big city, known for his former cartel with Pablo Escobar in the head. Pablo Escobar is long dead, but I still prefer to host me on the hills of Medellin, in the countryside, more precisely in Santa Ana, in a tiny little house among Yolima.
Yolima is a bit of a witch so benevolent. She speaks to nature, she listens to the spirits, it boils strange plants, it delivers around her incredible positive energy. A life in full color, alternating voluntary solitude and friendship flowing.

It will really do for the evenings, because I spend my day in town at the local KTM dealer (there are only two in Colombia) that has no IEEP for me, but that leaves me free to my Review in her studio.
And the local campaign is full of surprises!

Since the Colombian countryside as I like, instead of going on the beaches and the Atlantic side of Cartagena, I prefer to spend a few days in the area that produces coffee. Time does not spoil me, but I feel good!
First night in a hostel that offers me his last bed dormitory. The other tourists all speak English. It is an obvious difference between Colombia and other South American countries where tourists are generally placed at the Spanish. As I tend to equate English at work, I have no desire to discuss that night and I'm a little bear. One who assigns rooms has problems with speech and movement, which gives a strange atmosphere instead. A guy who does not seem to be a tourist wanders into the corner, and I sometimes surprise sitting in a dark corner, from where only his plastic boots appear to light. Is it the owner of the place? Perhaps a psychopath enjoy being in a remote corner to satisfy his urges? Especially since that night is the full moon lights up the campaign, and lightning in the distance does not bode well for the night.

At dawn, the weather is still overcast but it's beautiful.

I recrosses outside the imaginary psychopath. In the light of day, I find this both a process and an attitude more in tune with Plot location. I suggest going my walk down the road to see the animals, and to walk me. Then he added that he advises me to go barefoot for "feel the earth and enjoy the energy of the firmament" .
The farmer is not psychopath: he is a poet.
Anyway I decided to change place for the night, and I find myself in an old finca isolated, upgraded to accommodate the tourists, of whom I spoke that morning at breakfast. (It is good to make plans for the day at breakfast!). I was expecting something a little artificial and beautiful, but instead is rustic and simple. The building and rooms give the impression that you turned the boots of hay yesterday and we just had a brush stroke the day before. I feel good.

Breakfast is also unique beyond typical campaign: a bowl of chocolate pudding, but with a patty, a little cottage cheese and eggs. Simple and tasteful.

The few tourists here are Colombian families.

Well, I'd stay out a little more, but we must provide for sending the bike to return to France. I was transported to Bogota, where I arrived in traffic, refrigerated, in the rain at night. Not ideal, a priori, to enjoy a big city. The days I have time to visit a little more and finally fully appreciate the historical center. Here are some pictures of "little corners of Bogota in detail"

Despite all the problems of security, the Colombia delights me. I feel that the manual is to make sure you understand and then live without security concerns. This is one of the few places with Buenos Aires, where I see myself living happy.
The title of this article is pronounced "tchévéré Colombia". Chévere is a word that is used here to say that something is cool.

Bogota is my last American step, but I do not go to France so far!
I'll tell you this in the next article ...
Le Chevalier Noir
One thing is sure : Nothing will happen as planned
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:12 AM   #59
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achesley's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,477
Thanks so much for taking us on this trip with you. Enjoyed your great pictures and inter action with people and places.
A14 KLR 43k miles ,07 1250S Bandit 75K miles , 03 Chevy Truck 80K miles '43 model me. Simper Fi
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #60
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Los Andes,Venezuela
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Originally Posted by chevaliernoir View Post

Bogota is my last American step, but I do not go to France so far!

I'll tell you this in the next article ...

Hey chevaliernoir were are you.
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