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Old 12-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #76
Flys Lo OP
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Venezuela Pt. 2

On our return from Angel Falls, we were struck with the landscape here, we had to do more. Mount Roraima. A 2800m high mountain, or tepui, that inspired the book, “The Lost World”, and is the corner of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela was not too far away. Lets climb it!

It commenced… with a day wait… I understood the Venezuelan national sport to be baseball, but my experience suggests that strikes is of higher importance… a 4 day mining strike that blocked the only road from Venezuela to Brazil, and our only way to the mountain.
The road opened, and a 9hr ride in a Landcruiser, our driver doing around 90mph (145kph) through villages at 2am…



We finally got within eyesight of the mountain, and began our 5 day trek.



Lunch was BBQ Chicken, local Indian bread and chilli… made from termites. Was delicious.




Off we went…



The Flora on the way was particularly nice.
















And our trail up became more and more ¨adventurous¨





And once we made it to the top, the mystical scenery unfolded.




And the amazing Flora kept up…















With incredible landscape












Cool frogs too.



Pity the views were terrible…











On the hike we also met 3 crazy Brazillian guys, circumnavigating the globe… on bicycles. Cool dudes, hope to see them in Aus in the future!



Local police were hard at it.




We went to the import office as we had 3 days to get our motorbikes out of the country… and discovered that extensions for our permit were not feasible, and if we were caught over-staying them, our bikes would be repossessed! We left Bolivar immediately; with around 1500km´s ahead of us… it was good to be back on the bikes after 10 days off them however…




And we headed through my kind of places, farming areas… you don´t need to be too worried about being shot, kidnapped or having your camera stolen when everyone is bum-up in the fields digging potatoes. The reactions too from the people we spoke to changed, instead of the general look of äwe¨ you frequently get when you are explaining your travels, it is replaced by a general look of confusion, as they are perplexed as to how you spend your time on a motorcycle, and make it back home to shear the sheep for summer.



Roads also progressed to be more enjoyable.



We swung through Merida, a really nice town, as we also discovered that we were crossing the border on Sunday, which apparently is when the office that stamps out our bikes was closed. We didn´t like our chances of staying another day and overstaying our limit just to get our bikes stamped out when the possibility of repossession loomed over our heads… so we didn´t stop at the Venezuelan border post, and just left… not sure I will be allowed back soon. Pity, I really liked the place.
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Flys Lo screwed with this post 12-22-2011 at 11:51 AM
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #77
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excelent ride!!! i am so inspired!

Keep it coming!!!

damasovi

damasovi screwed with this post 12-20-2011 at 02:50 PM
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:31 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by damasovi View Post
excelent ride!!! i am so inspired!

Keep it coming!!!
+1 I've read lots about those table tops, was so great to see the pictures, where's those hotels they talk about on top? Looks like it is worth the effort, might have to pull over and find a trip on the way to Brazil, you guys should have just kept going East or South and make a loop around.

Keep up the great work!
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:44 AM   #79
Flys Lo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damasovi View Post
excelent ride!!! i am so inspire!

Keep it coming!!!

damasovi
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
+1 I've read lots about those table tops, was so great to see the pictures, where's those hotels they talk about on top? Looks like it is worth the effort, might have to pull over and find a trip on the way to Brazil, you guys should have just kept going East or South and make a loop around.

Keep up the great work!
Here is one of the Hotels we hung out in. Not quite 5 star

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Old 12-18-2011, 06:15 AM   #80
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I'll be in Colombia in January. From there, I had planned to go to Ecuador, but I based on your RR I think I'll include Venezuela as well. Thanks for the excellent report!
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #81
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I'll be in Colombia in January. From there, I had planned to go to Ecuador, but I based on your RR I think I'll include Venezuela as well. Thanks for the excellent report!
Do it! Make sure your carry lots of US$ though so you can change money... ATM´s will give you half the price...
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:00 AM   #82
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Thanks for the great ride report. I'm really enjoying it. Stay safe.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #83
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Thanks!

Really enjoying this! Thanks for taking us along on the ride!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:23 AM   #84
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This is incredible! I don't believe I would subject myself to all this "stuff" but it sure is entertaining.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:09 AM   #85
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A short update to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Am in Quito at the moment, and crossed the equator yesterday. Found a good shope to get motorcycle repairs done here... and unfortunatley my laptop has come down with a bad case of death from all my top box excursions to the ground, so updates might be a little slower, but will do my best
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:49 AM   #86
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Venezuela – the bonus edition


Due to aforementioned laptop malfunctions here are some photos I couldn´t upload last time.


A coffee truck turns over on the road... what do you do to clear it?



Thats right, burn it.



And cause traffic to back up...



For 10 miles.



Henry doing some weight testing on his motorcycle with his standard kit.




Crossing the Orinoco River was a particular highlight. It is the second largest delta in all of the Americas (behind the Amazon)




With Henry




And some other new friends




We were treated to quite the spectacular sunset







We arrived after an hour and forty five minute trip across the river (yes, its big!) to the other side in darkness. We asked the local military where we could camp. Right here you say?

Sure!







Other campsites consisted of people who offered their farms:




Roadside spots




Beaches with coconut palms




And herds of cows



The price of fuel never got old.


(A little under 10c for almost 10l)



Venezuela, it was pretty nice.

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:44 PM   #87
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Columbia. Again.



We were back in Columbia, we couldn´t import our bikes on a Sunday, so we stayed on the border in Cucuta with plans of doing it tomorrow. It was described in our guide book ¨surprisingly nice for a border town¨, I would concur.

Our usual parking affair of, ride the motorcycles into the hotel lobby







The next day at the import office we met a bunch of Venezuelans riding to Tierra del Fuego as well, almost all on BMW´s, nice guys.



The roads here were quite typical











But still beautiful









Columbia, it was good to be back!



We took our usual array of detours.




Some of the detours more adventurous than others...




Inquiring with the military as to camp spots, they pointed one out. Unfortunately we had to pay a lady for the right to do so, which went completely against our inner frugal principles, but we did it.


It was worth it. The military were camped in the shed in the background of the photo, and we shot the breeze with them all night, stumbled over their machine guns they had left laying on the ground while trying to go to the toilet, and in the morning their commander offered us breakfast, the most amazing arepa, eggs and hot chocolate. Unfortunately no photos, they politely declined.
Also in the morning, the husband of the lady we paid last night came for a chat, he asked what we were doing, and on explaining it he was curious what we thought of Columbia. ¨Beautiful¨was our response. He didn´t seem to care about what we thought of the scenery, and asked ¨what about the people?¨, I found it fascinating that he was interested, and gave us a look of relief when we told him with sincerity that the Columbians had been the friendliest people we had met thus far.
He demanded we accept a refund for our camp fee, and it was not the first or the last time we were taken back with their generosity.

We rode on to Guatape, where a big rock sits




We climbed it.



And took in quite the view.


Tim and I agreed that this was the first place we had been on this trip where we felt we could genuinely live on a permanent basis. It was beautiful.


We arrived in Medellin



met 2 cool dudes from Tennessee who were riding down on 1974 Honda dirt bikes. Only people I have met carrying a spare piston!


Fitted a new chain and sproket to Tim´s bike along with some accessories (Columbian Police Siren)


I really liked Medellin for a city. Reminded me a lot of Melbourne.


We also met a couple of photo journalists from the states, Nish and Todd. THEIR BLOG and rode south with them for a bit



Met a nice couple, who invited us to their farm for coffee, which ended up being an invite for lunch, dinner, a bed and breakfast the next day. We had to head south, but stayed for lunch, and Nish stayed around for the evening.



They had some nice dogs too.



Further south to Salento, where it was really beautiful



with amazing coffee



and decidedly more rural.




and found some more interesting roads




Through coffee fields












Armadillo´s for purchase on the side of the road. Photo time!





And our preferred kind of eating establishments




In Cali we caught up with Glenn, whome we had met previously in Guatemala and decided to ride south together.
Our infamous good luck brought him a flat tire in the first 10 miles



Which we then pinched the tubes when replacing them.
Later in the day, flat number 2



Then flat number 3



Roads and scenery were stunning however







In the morning as we headed for the border, flat number 4 for Glenn arrived... right next to the police.



Who promptly jumped in, picked up some tire levers and started to help.
We rewarded them by letting them go for a spin on our rigs.




Just before the border we stopped by an impressive church




In an impressive location



The usual paperwork, and lines:

brought us to the end of Columbia.
Impressive scenery, amazing roads, but that all pales into insignificance when we look back on the friendliness of the people we encountered there.
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Adrian, Central & South America, 2011/2012
02 GS & 08 WR250
I know violence isn't the answer. I got it wrong on purpose.

Flys Lo screwed with this post 12-22-2011 at 07:15 PM
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #88
Flys Lo OP
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And here are our piles in Quito getting valves re-shimmed, carbs cleaned, and Tim´s bike is getting a leaking drive seal replaced.



Imagine that, a Gas Gas and Husaberg dealer in Ecuador! Really happy with the shop (Pro Racing).
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I know violence isn't the answer. I got it wrong on purpose.

Flys Lo screwed with this post 12-24-2011 at 12:54 PM
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:05 PM   #89
Flys Lo OP
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We are here in Montanita, Ecuador for Christmas with our adopted family of a few other bikers (Mark, Andre, Glenn and James), horrible weather that is a continuous 27 deg C and sunny, too many hot women in bikini's and an overwhelming number of bars that serve cold beer. In short I suggest you stay away.

We got our bikes back from Pro Racing in Quito, honestly couldn't say enough good things about them. Sebastian who works their speaks English, and they did the following things:
  • Carb cleaned on both bikes
  • Replaced the exhaust gasket on both bikes - if I had gone at it with 10 rounds from the 12-gauge it would have looked in better shape than the one that came off both bikes, not sure if this is a standard KLR problem or not.
  • Tim's drive shaft seal
  • Replaced Tim's master-link (the one we got with the new chain was phucked)
  • Lubed all the cables
  • Re-torqued all the bolts
  • Bled the front brakes on Tim's bike

All for US$93 total.
Their workmanship and thoroughness is something I have yet to see in any other shop in any country, and did I mention it was only 93 bucks?

Great dudes, and we picked up GPS routes for the Dakar from some fellow customers that we were shooting the breeze with


Hope y'all have a safe and festive Christmas and New Years... must run, the beach is calling.
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I know violence isn't the answer. I got it wrong on purpose.

Flys Lo screwed with this post 12-26-2011 at 04:58 AM
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:15 PM   #90
VooDooDaddy
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Thanks for the great read fellas. I look forward to more of your adventure. I thought about you two today while I was out on my DR350. It was 48 degrees here in Iowa on Christmas day, which I have to admit is quite "tropical" for this time of year. Your thread makes the winter go by a little easier and again I thank you.

Be safe....

Trent
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