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Old 04-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #31
Callahan
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geat trip great photos thanks
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:42 PM   #32
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Wow.
Stunning photos, and great story, muchas gracias
Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster View Post
At the time I was using a Nikon D80 with a Nikkor 18-200mm. A couple of the photos were taken with a Sigma 10-20mm but not only did I use the lens infrequently, for the first time I started having problems with dust on the sensor (from changing between lenses). As a result I sold the 10-20mm.

I spent a week with a photographer friend in LA back in October at the end of which he offered me his D300s for a price I couldn't refuse and so my Mexico, Central America and what will be the PtII of this thread were/are all taken with the D300s.

Two weeks ago I manged to drop it, smashing the filter. I don't think the lens is scratched but the autofocus is now sluggish and it won't autofocus atall at full zoom. Can't begin to tell you how pissed off I am about that.

Adam
Sorry to hear about the accident with the filter/lens.

Do you mind me asking what filters you use (or used) in this case?
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:02 AM   #33
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Filters

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Originally Posted by Flys Lo View Post
Wow.
Stunning photos, and great story, muchas gracias Sorry to hear about the accident with the filter/lens.

Do you mind me asking what filters you use (or used) in this case?

Thanks

I use a circular polarizing filter for most of my outdoor photography. I also have a UV filter but rarely use it although I'm going to play with it a bit more in Colombia to see if it will help with the haze.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:13 AM   #34
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Scallops...

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Adam - good to see you're still "around" and doing well. As mentioned, the incredible photos just keep comin'. Tommy's just about to get in a load of those hocky puck scallops....sorry ya won't be here to get some.

Safe travels.
I was only relating the tale of staying with you, Tommy's seafood and your excellent cooking two days ago!

I can taste them from here...
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:27 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Motojournalism View Post
Nice stuff here man
Keep it comin'!

Are you still on the road? I'm just thinking you might be able to get the lens repaired under warranty. I think it's five-years on Nikkor lenses...
There's always manual focus in the meantime...
Yes I'm still on the road. Just returned to Jersey and the UK for a few weeks to attend my niece's 1st birthday and my best mates wedding. I'll be back in Colombia on Wednesday.

Now then...It's always nice to have people pass favourable comments about ones photo's, but when those comments come from a pro it's just a touch more satisfying

5yr Nikkor Warranty seems to depend on where you bought it. I bought mine in Malaysia back in 2007 but finding the receipt would be a mission in itself! I've checked Nikon's website and my best bet looks like Santiago, Chile (although I'm not planning on going that far south)

I've had a quick look at your website (I'll have a longer look when I can). Funny to see Ara's bike on the homepage. I met him outside a supermarket in Moab and again by complete chance in Nevada (or was it Oregon?) a few months later...Global Village!
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:55 PM   #36
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Pt II

Trails of South America (PtII)...a photo journal STARTS HERE



I was going to start a new thread for SA part II but I think it’s better to continue with this one…

(If a MOD is reading perhaps you could remove the ‘PtI’ from the thread title?)

OK, so just a quick reminder…

I left home in March 2006 to ride around the world on my BMW F650. In September 2009 I was riding north through Bolivia when I broke the Ohlins suspension (again). Fed up with fixing it and with the total lack of customer service from Ohlins (See Chapter 19 & Maintenance for full story), I threw the BMW towel in, shipped the Beemer back to Europe, flew to the US and bought a 3 year old DR650.

Once I’d completed turning the DR (from here on known as Rosie) into a RTW bike (DR Build page) I set off around the US and Canada before heading south through Mexico and Central America.

My complete journey is documented on my website – ShortWayRound, but for ADV I created Trails of North America…a photo journal which is basically a gallery of photos taken from dirt roads between Alaska and Panama with sufficient comment to make sense of them.

That idea led to this thread. PtI (until now) covers ‘The BMW Years’ ’08-’09, when I rode Valparaiso – Buenos Aires – followed the Dakar for 4 days – Ushuaia (via Caraterra Austral) – Mendoza (via Ruta 40) – Uruguay – Rio de Janeiro – Paraguay – NW Argentina/Chilean Andes – Bolivia – Lima.

PtII (from now on) will cover ‘The Suzuki Years’. It is my intention to follow the following route: Colombia – Ecuador – Peru - northern Chile/Argentina – Bolivia – Amazon (via Porto Velho and Santarem) – Macapa (via boat) – Guianas – Venezuela – Colombia.

Once again I’ll be posting photos from dirt roads with sufficient comment to make sense of them. The full story will be on my website – ShortWayRound

I tend to write long but infrequent updates there so you’ll find more up-to-date comments at facebook.com/shortwayround


All clear? Good, Colombia’s up next…
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #37
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Colombia

I sailed from Panama to Colombia on the Stahlratte with nine other motorcyclists including ADV's Throttlemeister - 33 1/3 N C S

Once we eventually got our bikes custom cleared most set off south but a few of us hung around in the north. A day after leaving Cartagena I bumped into Sharna, an Australian girl riding a Guatemalan registered Yamaha YBR125. The following day Josh (Georgia, DR650) arrived with his Danish mat Patrick (Wee-Strom). Josh had sailed from Panama on the same boat as Sharna and we'd all previously met at customs.

Together we set off to ride to Punta Gallinas, the most northerly point in South America.

The gang head north...






It was slow going with the gang but they all rode well for different reasons. Josh had passed his test just prior to the trip and was riding an overloaded bike. Patricks Wee-Strom had road tyres and lacked ground clearance but he made up for its shortcomings with long legs and his trials riding experience. Sharna had a small bike that she struggled to stand-up on.

Combined with a multitude of tracks to choose from and no sign posts we ended up riding for 3hrs in the dark.
Eventually we rode into Luther's garden in Taroa. When we asked for directions he got out his bike and led the way!



Once on the right track he phoned ahead to the only accomodation in Punta Gallinas to tell them we were coming.

We were pleased enough to have arrived but doubly pleased to discover a lobster dinner and 50c beers!





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Old 05-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #38
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Punta Gallinas

The following day we set about finding the most northerly point of South America. It turns out there isn't even a sign. Just a ramshackle concrete hut adorned with graffiti and an electronic 'lighthouse' tower.





We got a warm welcome from the school kids in one of the settlements on the way back



Before filling up with lovely cheap gas smuggled in from Venezuela on the outskirts of Uribia



A few more pics from the ride...

This little tienda was blasting 70's disco and Queen from a huge speaker...random.



A local goes for gas



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Old 05-29-2011, 05:59 AM   #39
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Into the hills

I left Josh, Patrick and Sharna in Santa Marta, rode south to Bucaramanga and after buying new tyres headed for the hills.

Colombia took an absolute hammering from 'La Nina' earlier this year and at the end of last year. Hundreds died in flooding and landslides and thousands remain homeless. On occasion Medellin, the country's second city, was cut-off from the rest of the country by landslides.
I came across the first of many clean-up operations south of Pamplona on the road to Malaga.



Colombians are devout Catholics and I encountered many roadside shrines to the Virgin Mary that had been adorned with car headlights.




Pamplona - Malaga road

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:25 PM   #40
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Sunshine!!!

After a night in the rather pleasant town of Malaga I continued south - destination Sierra Nevada El Cocuy.
With 21 peaks most of which are above 5000m, the National Park of Sierra Nevada del Cocuy Chita offers some spectacular hiking and I was in need of some exercise.

At first I missed the turn-off in the town of Capitanelo as I wasn't expecting a small dirt road but I was delighted when I did find it...





With absolutely no traffic it was my favourite kind of dirt road...





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JediMaster screwed with this post 06-02-2011 at 02:45 PM Reason: Named the wrong town
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:42 PM   #41
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Lone visitor

I made some inquiries at the NP office and learnt about a dirt road through the NP that links El Cocuy to Guiacan. I also decided to camp at Hacienda 'La Esperanza' on the way round and spend a day walking to La Laguna Grande.

Right on queue it started raining just as I set off up the track but in between the showers I got a few pics...

The view into the valley from the El Cocu - Guican trail...



Arriving at Hacienda La Esperanza...





Inside the courtyard of the 200yr old Hacienda...

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #42
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Where did everything go..?

I awoke as arranged at 0545 for an 0600 breakfast only to find that thanks to the low cloud I couldn't even see the garden fence. Marco, the owner, gave me a coffee and suggested I return to bed and try again at 0700. I did, only for a repeat performance and a return to bed until 0800.
At 0800 the same again happened and so being unable to see either up or down the mountain I spent the day on in hacienda. Marco brought me a poncho and a hot waterbottle to fend off the cold and damp. Nice one!

During the morning dinner arrived...



Afterwhich I spent some time chatting with Marco, the fourth generation owner. His great grandfather had erected the original building 200yrs ago during a time when it was a two day ride on horseback through the gorge I'd passed through the previous day. It was another 150yrs before the track from El Cocuy to Guican was built and another 20yrs before electricity arrived. They're hard up here!

Marco Valderrama



By 7pm I'd used my last candle and was tucked up in bed (the storm had knocked out the electricity)
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:39 PM   #43
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Back on the bike

When I awoke on the second morning I could see a light dusting of fresh snow on the hills. I was ready to go walking but Marco said it was too dangerous as I wouldn't be able to follow the path. He was a man of the countryside so I listened and loaded my bike. (Good excuse to return in December!)

I set off down the track in a mixture of cloud and sunshine...



...and bumped into a local lady who was flabbergasted to see me!





With the percentage of blue sky steadily increasing I took a detour towards the Cabanas Kanwara...




Near the top I got a glimpse of one of the peaks...



Before turning round to head back down...

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:47 PM   #44
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On to Guican...

The great ride to Guican continued...



Along the way I passed this magnificently sited farmhouse...







From there I cruised on down into Guican where I rejoined tarmac. It wasn't to be my last dirt road in Colombia...
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:21 PM   #45
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The last of Colombia

North of the large town of Tunja lies the smaller town of Duitama where I picked up a dirt road heading north to Charalá.
It was much rougher than it looked and as I climbed into the cloud so it became a rather miserable ride. The lack of visibility continued until the track descended again but the rough ride continued.



In the middle of nowhere I rounded a corner to find a line of flagpoles stretching along the roadside and out of sight around the next bend. Strange wooden houses shaped like espresso pots in varying stages of construction were scattered amongst the trees. To my left, partially hidden behind the trees I saw the corrugated steel roof of a huge building; to my right a huge billboard painted with the image of an old, bearded man. The flag poles continued into the distance and I stopped to take a few photos. As I did, so I was approached by a guy and his girlfriend. After the usual introductory chat he explained that they were a ‘community’ made up of many nationalities that all followed the teachings of ‘old bearded dude ‘ (I didn’t catch his name). They were concerned about their security (probably because many of them were in the country illegally) and asked me to delete the photos I’d taken. I was alone and there were several hundred of them and so I obliged and went on my way. It was a curious encounter and as a result this is the only photo I have of this track, taken shortly before I encountered the ‘community’.

From Charalá it was a short ride to the main Bogota – Bucaramanga road and I turned south as far as Barbosa where I picked up my next dirt road. This time heading NW through Velez – Landázuri – Cimitarra – San Juan.
I almost had blue sky along this stretch but you can see how much rain there had been…





In Medellin I met up with Throttlemeister (aka Oklahoma/Crazy John) and we went on a three day loop ride through the surrounding countryside. John had a glancing collision with a truck on a blind bend in the hills above San Luis. Although after his hair raising adventures in Cuba (33 1/3 N C S ) it didn’t even count as a flesh wound, although it did leave him hobbling around for a few days!





Not taken on a dirt road but back in Medellin we met up with Crashmaster (No Fumar Español: South from San Diego) who, after sharing with me his knowledge of the Guiana’s, recommended we go for some fukingoodribs.







They were both good company but Crashmaster will be the first to admit that Throttlemeister is one of the funniest, most entertaining people you could possibly wish to meet.

Landslides and flooding put pay to several of my ideas for riding some dirt roads south of Medellin and it wasn’t until Popayan that I got off-road again – on the track to San Augustin. It pissed down all the way so I didn’t get my camera out and it was Mocoa in the far south before I did.
Mike at CasaBlancaHostel (LINK) had suggested I ask locally about security on the Mocoa – Pasto road so I did. The owner of my guesthouse in San Augustin said “No problema!” and when I asked at the police checkpoint on the road to Mocoa I was told the same…”Más ó ménos”!

Once again it started raining as soon as the tarmac ended. The rain had little effect on the road surface being, as it was, hewn out of the rock but it did spoil what would’ve been spectacular views into the valleys. Never before have I ridden a road along which I lost count of the number of waterfalls!





The road was all but invisible as it climbed slowly towards the pass but out of the mist appeared a sidecar outfit. Now that’s got to be a gringo I thought and so it was that I met Aussie Dean, and wrapped up in the sidecar, his Colombian(?) girlfriend. Dean arrived in Argentina feeling tired after cycling across Africa so when he met an English couple who were selling the Ural outfit they’d just ridden from Alaska, he bought it.



The weather only got worse as I climbed and so my camera stayed packed away until I lost a lot of altitude and the sun came out to play as I passed Laguna La Cocha.



Colombia had been unbelievable: surely one of the world’s finest motorcycling destinations whether you like dirt or tarmac. The adventurous will find out for themselves…Fox news viewers will stay at home.

I’ll leave you with my parting thoughts of Colombia…



VIVA COLOMBIA!!!



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