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Old 02-05-2014, 05:47 AM   #1561
Trane Francks
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Glad to see that all is well. It's great to hear from you again!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:43 AM   #1562
dryden_rider_54
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The original goal from page 1
Quote:
So the solution seemed logical to us: quit the jobs, sell our home and everything in it, and set out on THE motorcycle journey with no route planned, no end in sight and no return date in mind.
Seems you are achieving it.Enjoy, hope you get a new weatherproof camera.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:11 AM   #1563
JDowns
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Taganga. Drop in for the night. Stay a month. I got out after a week, but it took some resolve. It's a great place to hang out and do nothing. The rest of the world isn't going anywhere. No need to rush. Hope to see you down the road someday,

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:12 PM   #1564
mint julep
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Hey guys, glad your chilling out and getting to enjoy the beauty of that area.
I loved Taganga. Many travellers call it Ta-ganja. ;)
I learned to Scuba dive there at Poseidon Dive Center. Great instructors and dive masters. s
Its real easy to get stuck there and chill in the simple & quaint lifestyle there.
Looking forward to your continuing adventure when you guys are ready.

cheers.
Dave
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:27 AM   #1565
lightcycle OP
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Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
it takes great discipline to goof off and have fun in Colombia.
It would seem that I am a highly disciplined individual, then...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dryden_rider_54 View Post
hope you get a new weatherproof camera.
Yeah, at least it was the old Fuji camera that I was never happy with. I think what was happening was that these cameras - even though they're sealed tight against water - aren't designed to withstand the pressure once you dive down to any great depth. The water eventually squeezes its way past any seal.

I have a replacement Nikon AW110 that I'm going to have to baby from hereon in. Very hi-tech, it has a wi-fi access point built in that your computer or smartphone can connect to! Not sure how I feel about holding a transmitting radio to my head every time I take pictures...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mint julep View Post
Hey guys, glad your chilling out and getting to enjoy the beauty of that area.
I loved Taganga. Many travellers call it Ta-ganja. ;)
LOL! Having been there a month, we know who all the local GanjaMahn are when we pass them on the street!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:44 AM   #1566
lakota
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glad you are back on page 1. was having minor withdrawal not finding new stuff to read
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #1567
Spirit_Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes!


I have a replacement Nikon AW110 that I'm going to have to baby from hereon in. Very hi-tech, it has a wi-fi access point built in that your computer or smartphone can connect to! Not sure how I feel about holding a transmitting radio to my head every time I take pictures...



LOL! Having been there a month, we know who all the local GanjaMahn are when we pass them on the street!
I can assure you it is good for repeated dives to ~50ft.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #1568
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Quote:
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Having been there a month, we know who all the local GanjaMahn are when we pass them on the street!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit_Rider View Post
I can assure you it is good for repeated dives to ~50ft.
The camera or the ganja...?
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:31 PM   #1569
MrGoldfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
The camera or the ganja...?
Both
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 PM   #1570
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/128.html



It's with great reluctance that I'm leaving the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The weather was perfect - hot, no humidity and no mosquitoes. I have a fear that where we're going may not be as nice a place to relax as where we're coming from.

With our bikes heavily-laden with all our worldly possessions once again piled on top (and the sides, and the back), we left the beaches of Taganga in our mirrors. The plan is to head further south into the Cordillera Oriental, otherwise known as the East Andes mountain range of Colombia.


On the road again! Neda is a happy traveler.


Terrain turns mountainous, weather gets cooler and wetter

As if to confirm my dread of leaving, we encounter early afternoon showers - something that we had escaped on the northern coast. It reminded us that rainy season was not over in this part of the world. I miss Taganga already...


Bikes are relaxing in Aguachica

We took a very leisurely ride south, stopping overnight in the small towns of Aguachica and Bucaramanga on the way. After a month in Taganga, we wanted to ease back into riding again.


Neda is relaxing as well


And then back on the road again!


We're deep in the mountainous Cordillera range and the roads get super-twisty. Me gusta!

Neda planned an amazing route that turned twisty as we got closer to Bucaramanga. We were now deep in the heart of the mountains of the eastern Andes. It was a great way to get back into riding again, and as long as we got our riding done before the early afternoon, the weather held up perfectly!


Smooth pavement and twists and turns that don't end! We can't stop grinning under our helmets

One of the things we wanted to see along this route was the Parque Nacional del Chicamocha. It's located at the steep canyon carved by the Chicamocha River, 6500 feet from peak to valley. The government has built a cablecar that travels over the canyon, as well as a huge tourist attraction complex that offers rides, concession stands and adventure sports like kayaking, mountain climbing, etc.


We get to Chicamocha Park and we are the only vehicles in the parking lot...

So we arrived here on a Monday, which turns out to be the only day of the week that it's closed. Fahhhhh....! We had a mini-huddle: do we want to go on further to the next town, stay the night and then backtrack to take the cablecar the day after? We're not really going to raft, or kayak or mountain climb, so it's only the view that we'd be coming back for.


Chicamocha Canyon

After walking around the area and seeing where the cablecar went to, we decided we didn't have to revisit the park again. All the amusement park stuff was closed, but we hopped the fence and walked around anyway. There was a huge Christmas tree that we spent some time fooling around with the camera:


We're having a ball!


Viewpoint from the Chicamocha amusement park. Shortly after this picture was taken, a security guard kicked us out for hopping the fence... :(


Some of the Chicamocha activities were still open


Because everything was closed, we became the new attraction

We don't feel too bad about mistiming our visit. This family also showed up and was similarly disappointed. They were very curious about us and wanted to know everything about our trip. I got the sense they were more interested in me, but because I can't communicate very well, they had to talk to Neda, "Where is he from?", "Does he understand any Spanish?", "Why is his bike bigger than yours when he is shorter...?"

There was a little boy that couldn't stop staring at me! :)


Everyone wanted a picture of us!
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lightcycle screwed with this post 02-06-2014 at 09:53 PM
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:36 PM   #1571
Shomani
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"Why is his bike bigger than yours when he is shorter...?"

MOUHAHAHA!!! How do you say it's a ''man thing'' in Spanish??
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:09 PM   #1572
lightcycle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mint julep View Post
Watch out for the aquardiente, it packs a punch.
We just tried this tonight:



Whoo-weeeee!

Now we're seeing it in all the grocery stores, it comes in large glass bottles, small plastic bottles and even smaller cardboard boxes like those juiceboxes!
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:49 PM   #1573
Phrog
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
We just tried this tonight:



Whoo-weeeee!
Looking at your eyes it looks like you tried it more than once
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:53 AM   #1574
Firenailer
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Good to see you guys riding and reporting again, enjoy!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:47 PM   #1575
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Just 50 kms south of the Chicamocha Park is the town of San Gil where we've booked a casa for a few nights. It's advertised as the adventure capital of Colombia because of all the natural structures - rivers for kayaking, caves for exploring, and lots of trails for hiking.


Catedral de la Santa Cruz is the most famous structure in San Gil. It's even on the back of the bus in this picture!


Ridley Scott commissioned this statue in the main square to commemorate his movie, Alien


Neda does some grocery shopping in the marketplace


This is the neighbourhood where our cozy casa was located

San Gil is a nice town, but nothing too special about it. Most people use it as a base to go on to do other activities in the area. We're here primarily for the hiking. Actually, Neda is here primarily for the hiking. I'm here because I followed her motorcycle...


Pretty town of Barichara

We took a bus 45 minutes out of town to Barichara, which is called "the most beautiful town in Colombia". Funny how every town or city has to have some kind of distinction around here, but in this case, it is definitely the most prettiest town we've visited in the country so far.


Church of the Inmaculada Concepcion, Barichara


Smooth cobblestone streets and a tranquil approach to life


Churches are made of stone, but the rest of the houses are traditional whitewashed walls made of bahareque (compressed mud)


Hangin' out by a door, waiting for it to open


Walking around the picturesque town


The Camino Real between Barichara and Guane is a very popular trail for hikers

The Camino Real trail is a 9-km hike that typically takes a couple of hours, and follows a rough stone path originally laid down by the indigenous Guane people, and then later used by the early Spanish colonizers. Unfortunately, very few of the Guane people are around as the conquistadors wiped the civilization out.


Spectacular views along the Camino Real


Normally, I'm the one that has a short attention span, but Neda: "oh look, a bird..."


We encountered a small shrine along the way. It's kind of pretty and creepy at the same time...


Camera is surgically implanted in my hands


Trail ends in the small village of Guane

Guane is a tiny pueblito, the same kind of architecture as Barichara but on a smaller scale. There was a mass organized for the day. Later in the afternoon, a priest gave out a sermon while we sat in the shade people-watching and enjoying being in tranquil surroundings on such a nice sunny day.


Stage being set up in front of the Santa Lucia church in Guane


"The first rule of Fight Club is..."


A marching band helped further the day's festivities


Flagbearer (Flagbear?)


The town square in Guane was filled with vendors selling local crafts


Hanging out with the locals


Plenty of people had their eyes turned to the sermon at the church

We had planned on riding out of town shortly after returning to San Gil, but I developed a pretty bad flu. There was a pregnant woman who was in the room next to ours in the casa. She was there on vacation, but was bedridden because of a condition with her uterus. On occasion she would leave the room to walk around a bit and we would nod at each other in the hallway, two infirmed patients in the Casa Medico.

When my symptoms persisted for four days, Neda got a bit worried and insisted that we call in a doctor, especially after what happened to Simon in Santa Marta. Despite my stereotypical male-aversion to medical care, I relented, and the local doctor was dispatched to our casa to determine whether I had the Dengue...
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