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Old 02-25-2014, 06:04 AM   #1636
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Thanks for all the kind comments and encouragement, guys!

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Originally Posted by KipperMatic View Post
Any problems with the expired plates while traveling?
Not at all. There seem to be two things the locals care about re: bike identification - 1) VIN, so they can keep track of the import status and ensure that you're not going to resell it in their country and 2) license plate number so they can identify you easily on the road.

Like the rest of the other provinces in Canada, they don't care if the plate is still valid in Ontario. I have been meaning to scrape those expired stickers off the plate. Serves no purpose and could possibly lead to a line of questioning that doesn't benefit us at all.

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Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
GI!!
LOL! Oddly enough, although we saw the GI, we have no pictures of it! Just didn't get it from that angle...

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Originally Posted by mikecbrxx View Post
Cracked me up. I don't think there is a married man out there who hasn't been abused in this way by their spouse!
In her defense, Neda said she was too busy focusing on traffic to talk over the communicator... I don't believe her though, normally she swears at traffic - sometimes in Croatian, that's when I know she's really pissed!

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Originally Posted by Turbo Ghost View Post
I'm glad I read the text! I thought it was Kate Upton taking a nap in the distance!
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Originally Posted by KipperMatic View Post
The bush is a little to far up
LOL! I'm never going to look at Kate Upton again in the same way. Not that I look at Kate Upton a lot... honey...

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Originally Posted by jammerx View Post
Hey any idea what helmet-helmet communication device they are using?
As Jibby pointed out, we are using Sena SMH10s with the earbud clamp kit. We use Etymotic noise-isolating earbuds, which we really like because they block out a lot of road noise. It's a good setup with only a couple of minor niggles.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:06 AM   #1637
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The bush is a little to far up
Belly-Button lint!
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #1638
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I am new to this. So, someone, please send me info or link to the "Sherpa Juanito" thread or whatever it is. Thanks.
click Here
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:15 PM   #1639
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/135.html



Today, we're going to investigate that huge rock in the distance. The owners of our hostel say it's only a couple of kms away if we ride through Guatape. Or... we could take a 10km dirt road that travels all the way around the valley, cutting through lush farmland and the scenic coniferous forest... So we opt to take the Long Way R[rest of comment deleted pending either trademark lawsuit or gross overuse by the motorcycle travel community]




Very pretty-looking farms along the way


As we make our way around the bend, La Piedra looms up ahead

La Piedra del Penol y Guatape (The Stone of Penol and Guatape) is this lone monolithic rock that rises 220m (650ft) from the ground. It's a landmark that can be seen from miles away in all directions because it's the only object of that size and shape in the area. This has led to speculation and legends from locals that La Piedra is a huge meteorite that fell to earth. The scientist in me looks at how intact the rock is as well as the lack of a surrounding crater, and I've come to the conclusion that it is indeed a meteorite... especially when I can tell friends and family back home about the time we climbed a huge rock from outer space that landed in the middle of Colombia...


Cue the 5-note theme from Close Encounters

In our hikes around the area, we've seen La Piedra from all angles. Behind this view, there's a giant "GI" painted on the back. Strangely enough, I don't have a picture of the "GI". (Edit: Neda says, "But you take pictures of EVERYTHING!) The "GI" was a remnant of the time the town of Guatape tried to paint its name on the side of La Piedra and but were stopped half-way through the "U" when the neighbouring town, El Penol, claimed that La Piedra belonged to their town.

You'd think they'd have washed it off by now... but then again, you'd lose a pretty funny story!


There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold...


About half-way up, they've put a Virgin Mary up here so people can pray for strength...
to make it up the rest of the way...



Along the way, you can catch both your breath and a nice view at the same time


There are 659 steps on the way up La Piedra. They are labeled in increments of 25,
should you want to keep track of your progress or measure just how out of shape you are...


When I was a kid I used to listen to radio programs late at night in my bed under the covers while my parents thought I was sleeping. I used to listen to shows like "The Shadow" and a Twilight Zone-like program, can't recall the name. On one of the shows, the hero was climbing up a spiral staircase in a tall, dark tower. He was claustrophobic, so to calm his anxiety he counted the number of stairs till he reached the top. As he made his way down, he counted the stairs again and was horrified when the number exceeded the count on the way up...

I think I've told this story before, but everytime I climb stairs, I always think of that radio program. Those numbers written on La Piedra's stairs made it even more vivid! I also have a Buried Alive Like a Mummy story, but that'll have to wait for another more appropriate blog entry...


"Ok, let's see what all the fuss was about..."


Oooh, nice. I like how La Piedra casts such a huge shadow over the land

If you look closely at all the little islands, you'll see that the greenery doesn't reach all the way to the shoreline. We found out that the artificial lake around Guatape and La Piedra has been lowered by about 7m (21 feet) recently because of the hydro-electric dam. This has exposed the brown soil previously underwater, and it looks quite picturesque when viewed from this high, but up close it's not really that pretty.

I am very impressed by how large this reservoir is, it reaches as far as the eye can see in most directions!


Front row seats to the best show in town


The Andean Condor is the national animal of Colombia

We recently saw a three-dimensional version of the Colombian coat-of-arms and wondered why they chose a vulture to sit on top of their crested shield. We later learned that it was actually a condor, but for the longest time we thought it was a turkey vulture and we snickered. Kinda absurd, like having a beaver as your national animal...

Edit: I just found out condors are vultures. Back to making fun of their national animal again! HAH-HAH!


The stairs on the way down were haphazard and made no sense at all.
They reminded me of an Escher drawing...

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Old 02-25-2014, 07:12 PM   #1640
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you got me reminiscing and created an itch. Had to search it but the I think the Radio show was called "theatre of the mind". Sunday nights at 10. Good times...
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:29 PM   #1641
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Wow!!!
You have captured the awesome part of Guatape.
Really impressed with the architecture on the rock as well as the island village. Awesome!
Thank you, thank you very much for sharing all great stuff.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:00 AM   #1642
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Phew its been some journey.

No not for you Gene & Neda I mean for me. Its taken me four evenings to catch up with your RR and its been time well spent.
Given you have both been on the road so long together its no surprise that you had a tiff finally but how wonderful it took so long to have one and that it was soon forgotten.It sounds like me and my wife and we have been married for forty three years next week so hopefully you two will also have many many more happy years together.
We did a mini tour of Canada in 2011 and took in Ontario , Toronto, Ottaway etc but sadly that was by coach rather than motorcycle and in March a month I was later informed by a Canadian later was one of the worse months to visit. So the start of your adventure prompted me to tell the wife that we need to return just to see the Rockies. Sadly if we do that will also be by coach as the wifes days of motorcycling are over.
As I progressed through your RR I began to wonder whether it was turning out to be a lot harder to do than you had envisioned that it would.

I also wondered whether it may have been preferable to have toured so far and then settled into a place for 3 - 6 months to get a real understanding of the area.It just seemed to me that you were having to take in so much in such a short time that you could end up having sight seeing fatigue.

I currently ride a Triumph Tiger 1050 which is a great bike but I have for years wanted a GS but never had enough money to buy one so I was disappointed to read the problems that you have had with yours. Perhaps it would be best that I stick with the Tiger then.When do you expect to do the European part of your tour !

Whenever you do plan to do it try and take in the Isle of Man as its a great Island and you can ride the roads that the TT riders race on.

Sadly unless you have planned it already getting a ferry ticket for when the TT is on would be really difficult if not impossible but its still worth going over there when the racing is not on.

I am sure as you continue your travels I will have further questions but for now stay safe and I look forward to reading you RR updates.

Ted UK
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:03 AM   #1643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougwi View Post
you got me reminiscing and created an itch. Had to search it but the I think the Radio show was called "theatre of the mind". Sunday nights at 10. Good times...
YES! Theatre of the Mind! On CHUM-FM, right after Sunday Night Funnies! Thank you, that was also bugging me a bit (but obviously not enough to Google..)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VietHorse View Post
You have captured the awesome part of Guatape.
Thanks, it was a very chill town, especially coming from the hustle and bustle of Medellin.

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Given you have both been on the road so long together its no surprise that you had a tiff finally but how wonderful it took so long to have one
Oh no. I hope I haven't given everyone the impression that Neda and I don't argue! OMG, if I documented every argument, disagreement, sulky mood, snide comment, etc., the blog would be 10 times longer than it is.

Over all of our travels, we've had lots of arguments, especially in the early years even before we starting motorcycling. But over time, we've minimized the "arc of the argument". Every argument has a kind of plot line: from the little things that fuel it (most of the time it's hunger or fatigue), the simmering of the stew, the blow-up (that's when the clip-levels on the communicators work overtime), the cooling off period (often Silent Treatment) and then the resolution.

We've realized over a long time that our goals are essentially the same, we want to make the trip a success, it's just the details and the approach that may differ, and that's not a really a big thing in the overall picture. I don't think we're very prideful people, so it's not beneath us to concede, apologize or just agree to dsagree without resentment.

I read somewhere that travel doesn't inherently bring two people closer or drive them apart, it just accelerates the direction the relationship was headed in. A couple that sees each other a few hours after work and before sleep will advance (or combust) their relationship a lot slower than a pair that has to endure the stresses and joys of full-time-close-quarters travel.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:01 AM   #1644
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"we want to make the trip a success, it's just the details and the approach that may differ, and that's not a really a big thing in the overall picture. I don't think we're very prideful people, so it's not beneath us to concede, apologize or just agree to dsagree without resentment."

IMHO the above says it all with regards to relationships, whether the "trip" is going to the store, riding around the world, or spending the rest of your lives together. Words to live by.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:50 AM   #1645
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As I progressed through your RR I began to wonder whether it was turning out to be a lot harder to do than you had envisioned that it would.

I also wondered whether it may have been preferable to have toured so far and then settled into a place for 3 - 6 months to get a real understanding of the area.It just seemed to me that you were having to take in so much in such a short time that you could end up having sight seeing fatigue.
Your comment is ironic, because I just read a reply in another thread where someone didn't really consider our blog a trip because we had stopped so often and taken so many breaks. He pointed out that others have done what we've done in 6 weeks and that he preferred those kinds of stories.

In a way, I kind of agree with him. When we set out, we had a "trip mindset" and we set a pretty brisk pace across the northern section of the Americas. But now it's morphed into a wandering lifestyle as opposed to a hard-driving trek, which fits our own preferences a lot better. We may never get to Tierra Del Fuego or across the ocean, but we're okay with that. We're just happy seeing what's around us at the present moment.

As to whether it's harder than we envisioned, we definitely did not count on travel fatigue hitting us this hard and this often. So in that way, it is harder than expected, but because we never had a schedule, we've adapted by staying put when needed. The only time this has not worked out for us is when we're racing to make a ship or trying to outrun the winter, which won't be an issue for quite a while.

Quote:
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Whenever you do plan to do it try and take in the Isle of Man as its a great Island and you can ride the roads that the TT riders race on.
The TT is on our bucket list! Even if we don't see the race in person because of timing, we'd still like to visit and ride around the island.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:32 PM   #1646
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.... When we set out, we had a "trip mindset" and we set a pretty brisk pace across the northern section of the Americas. But now it's morphed into a wandering lifestyle as opposed to a hard-driving trek, which fits our own preferences a lot better. We may never get to Tierra Del Fuego or across the ocean, but we're okay with that. We're just happy seeing what's around us at the present moment.
That's what makes this ride report (Enjoying Life On The Road Report) so awesome. Great pictures and thoughtful writing. This takes time. Always look forward to your updates. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:40 PM   #1647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
When we set out, we had a "trip mindset" and we set a pretty brisk pace across the northern section of the Americas. But now it's morphed into a wandering lifestyle as opposed to a hard-driving trek, which fits our own preferences a lot better.
I totally get that. When I came to Japan, I expected to be here for a maximum of two years before I'd move back to Canuckistan. Arrival was in Dec 1991 and, aside from an 11-month stint in Colorado (6 mos + 5 mos of nothing but lazy tourism), Japan remains home.

The Wanderlust has hit again, though. I really feel the need to pull up stakes, but we've a passel of kids in high school. There's an interesting planning challenge.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:24 PM   #1648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
When we set out, we had a "trip mindset" and we set a pretty brisk pace across the northern section of the Americas. But now it's morphed into a wandering lifestyle as opposed to a hard-driving trek, which fits our own preferences a lot better.
Motorcycle trips just like life isn't about the destination, but the journey.

Take your time, enjoy.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:04 PM   #1649
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/136.html



We're on the move again.

It's only been a few days since we left Medellin and after 6 motionless weeks, we've anticipated that it might be difficult to click into the cadence of travel.


The mountain roads of Antioquia - a sinuous distraction


Bye bye kitchen - back to road-side stops for meals

I've done really well with my diet during our rest periods in Colombia. I've eaten very healthy thanks to Neda's cooking and lost a whole bunch of weight. I kinda dread having meals on the road again because I have no willpower. Those greasy, carby dishes just seem to glow and pop-out from all the road-side diner menus: "Con papas francesas?" "Por supuesto, Senor!" (Google translation)


Construction on the bridge across the Rio Magdalena has traffic backed up for kms

We're descending quite rapidly from the lofty heights of Medellin and the temperature begins to soar into the low 30s. A traffic jam builds up because of construction on a bridge up ahead and our motorcycles follow the path of least resistance, flowing out of the lane and onto the centreline, our panniers brushing up against oncoming trucks. One 18-wheeler stops short of pushing Neda completely over as it attempts to squeeze by her invading bike...

After this, we take to the opposite sidewalk. It's much safer knocking down pedestrians than it is being knocked over by a truck. At least there, we have the Right-of-Weight!


Bustin' out! Hundreds of bikes let loose before the cars and trucks over the Rio Magdalena


Asking for directions to a hotel in Honda

We're stopping in the town of Honda for the evening. The town is bisected by a river and is known as the city of bridges because there are at least four vehicle-bridges and a couple of pedestrian walkways over the river. We get a bit lost because half of these bridges are under construction making navigation through the one-way streets a nightmare.


Even when standing still, Neda's bike still wants to lean

The next day we do a short walking tour of Honda in the morning before we leave. It's not a very large town and since it's a weekday, all the streets are deserted while everyone's at work.


At least the mornings are a bit cooler and pleasant to walk around in


Surprisingly not a lot of Honda vehicles in the town of Honda...


Patriotic Alleyway Art


The only place that was bustling in Honda was the marketplace where we stocked up on supplies for the road


On-The-Road Selfie! I forgot to do Duck Lips...

For the last few days, we've been debating whether to ride into Bogota or not. I didn't really care whether we go or not, there's nothing there that I am interested in seeing, plus I've heard the traffic is brutal! The city's population is a densely-packed 8 million people - 4 times larger than Medellin, and we weren't too happy about that traffic.

However Neda heard that the old city was very pretty, so as always, on a last minute decision just as we are leaving Honda, we decided to dive headfirst into MegaBogopolitan traffic.


Just wanted to Shoei you what we had for lunch


Change-up in chain maintenance

Neda is changing up her chain maintenance routine. She finds it tough to lube the chain at the end of the riding day, since we're both tired and just want to either eat or relax. So she's started to do her chain maintenance either during lunchtime while we're waiting for food or at our fueling stops. It's working out too well, I can't hear her chain rattling when she's riding now and have to check my mirrors to make sure she's still behind me...

The weather is changing once again. As we climb from Honda's relatively low elevation of 750 feet all the way to Bogota at 8600 feet, the temperature goes from scorching to chilly in just a few short hours. Neda tells me we're at 15C, almost a 20 degree difference! The air is misty because we are now riding into the clouds clinging to the mountains around Bogota.

As if it wasn't cold enough, it starts to rain cats and dogs on us. It takes us an hour to traverse the heavily congested 25kms from the outer ring of Bogota's residential suburbs, through the very modern downtown city core, all the way to the historical centre of La Candelaria, where Neda wants to stay. The moment we arrive, the rain stops. Of course.


We heard Bogota was a dangerous place. So while Neda looks for a hostel, I guard the bikes against... um, curious schoolchildren...


Hiding out from the cold afternoon showers in Bogota in our new hostel


RideDOT.com Trivia: Neda has read nearly 50 books on this trip. It's her favorite downtime activity


After lights-out, the girl in the upper bunk to the left of Neda started sleep-talking up a storm.
I wished I spoke Swedish, it sounded very important...


When we stay at hostels, we usually get a private room because it's more economical for two people. However, the private rooms were all booked up so we had to sleep in Gen Pop. Because we were the last to check in, we were left the worst beds in the dorm - upper bunk.

In a kind of reverse-H.G.-Wells, UpperBunkers are basically the Morlocks of the dorm, treated with disdain by the Eloi who live beneath. You end up disturbing everyone while gracelessly trying to get into bed, you shake the whole bunk when you toss and turn and heaven forbid you need to get down to go the washroom in the middle of the night! And all the while, everyone is tut-tutting away in the dark with over-exaggerated annoyance...

I'll see you for breakfast tomorrow, my tasty little Elois...
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:16 PM   #1650
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Ya, your not on a trip, your on a journey, keep it up.
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