Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Epic Ride Reports
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-16-2013, 04:32 PM   #991
norcalstew's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Westwood, ca
Oddometer: 66
Love this story. It's like waiting for the next pages of your favorite book to be published. Cant wait for more, thank you both.
06 640 adventure
06 three hundo xc
06 525 xc
06... Was a good year for me
norcalstew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2013, 06:57 PM   #992
Custom User Title
PrtclMn001's Avatar
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Upstate/Central NY
Oddometer: 979
I usually stay away from ADV during snowmobile season (I tour all over NY on my touring snowmobile - unlike many, I embrace the snow lol) and I somehow missed the beginning of this one and spent the lt few days catching up... FANTASTIC report so far and I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

Though you are off to bigger and better places, if you do find yourselves in NY looking to explore the Adirondack Mountains in greater detail than you probably already have, you are more than welcome here if you need a place to stay... I do have a cat (sorry, Gene lol) but I also have 4 acres and plenty of room for a tent and only one neighbor (nice and quiet here). :)

PrtclMn001 screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 07:18 PM
PrtclMn001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #993
lightcycle OP
lightcycle's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: No Fixed Address (originally Toronto)
Oddometer: 664
Updated from

On the second day of travel, most of the passengers emerged from the hold of the ship feeling human again. We were landlubbers no more, and greedily shoveled down the hearty Stahlratte breakfast laid out on the top deck. For some of us, it was the first real meal we ate in over 24 hours!

Our newfound sealegs were not going to be put to use, as the skyline of Cartagena emerged on the horizon in the early afternoon. South America beckoned to us! For most of the passengers it was the first time on this continent. The Stahlratte anchored down a few hundred meters away from the shores of Manga Island, where the Aduana offices were located. Because it was expensive to rent a commercial pier to offload the bikes, we used a small public pier and dinghied the bikes to shore. It was a wild process to get the bikes on land and it's a testament to the crew's experience that we timed the offload to coincide with high tide as you can see in the video below:

Couldn't believe how they got our bikes onto shore!

My bike needed a few extra pair of hands to haul up

Since we had just unloaded the bikes illegally onto Colombian shores without customs or insurance, we were quickly hurried to the Aduana building a few short blocks away. Ludwig had arranged everything with a local fixer to get us legal, and within a few hours, all 10 bikes had all the papers required to ride in the country. We have been really impressed with how well-oiled and efficient the Stahlratte experience has been, coupling plenty of Darien crossing experience with German efficiency and Caribbean good-humour.

Riding through the old town of Cartagena

Arriving at our neighbourhood for the next few days

We're staying in a part of town called Getsamani, a seedier district of Cartagena that recently has undergone a transformation from a past checkered with drugs and prostitution to a vibrant, hip neighbourhood of cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. We've booked a room with air-conditioning (very important) and we're initially a bit disappointed to learn that there is no hot water in the showers. Until we realize that the average temperature in Cartagena is 31C all year round. No one needs a hot water shower!

Performers at the Convention Centre in Cartagena

Found out later this is the Caribbean Arts Festival

Mornings and evenings are the best time to be out in the city, and our neighbourhood as well as the nearby historic centre is bustling with activity, both tourist and local. We both loved the colonial architecture, pretty balconies with flowers looking over cobblestone streets, and the ever present churches looming above the narrow alleyways.

Sun setting behind San Pedro Claver Church

Balconies everywhere!

The Cafe Del Mar is the best place in the city to watch a sunset

We hung out mostly with the Stahlratte club, meeting in the evenings for drinks and walking around the city. A friend put us in touch with Nick and Clara, who live in Toronto, but spend their winters in Cartagena. We spent a couple of days with them, and they spoiled us silly, ferrying us from swimming at luxury hotels, drinks overlooking the Cartagena shore and delicious seafood dinners.

Mojitos by the poolside! Heaven!

Nick and Clara live across the Sofitel Hotel in the centro and this is how he spends every afternoon!

Follow the nose, it always knows!

The hotel was renovated in an old convent, and the bar is built over a crypt. Spooky!

The party (and mojitos) continue at Nick and Clara's balcony across the street

Horse-drawn nights in the historic centre

Neda celebrates her first birthday on the road

It's still a novelty celebrating anniversaries on the road, different than a trip or a vacation. First Christmas, first birthday, etc., not being tied to any place, knowing that the next anniversary the next year will be somewhere entirely different. We're loving the nomadic experience, I think mainly because there's so many new things to see and we're going at a pretty slow pace to appreciate everything.

Late night coffee in the plaza

Post-hangover lunch in Getsamani

After 3 days of non-stop drinking to celebrate Neda's birthday, we crawled out of our hostel to the heat haze of the Cartegena afternoon. We enjoyed pizza and spaghetti in a great Italian restaurant around the corner called I Balconi, watching the lazy weekend unfold below in the streets of our neighbourhood.

This outfit looks more Cuban than Colombian

Early morning bicycle ride

Cuban women selling fruits on the street

More balconies!

Walkng the streets of Cartagena

After a few days in Cartagena, the Stahlratte Motorcycle Club decided to split ways. One group was heading to the north to the beaches of Santa Marta, while another was headed south to Medellin. We rode with them out of the city, 8 adventure bikes zipping in and out of Colombian traffic, the Caribbean Sea blowing warm air on our already hot and humid group ride.

Typical group ride shots - gas stations and food stops

Charter member of the Stahlratte Motorcycle Club

Neda and I had different plans, so we accompanied them as far as Baranquilla, a couple of hours on the shore north of Cartagena. After a final breakfast together, we said goodbye and went our different ways. Apparently, the first item on our plan was to get rained on on the interior roads back to Cartagena. It was so hot that we didn't bother putting any rainsuits on, and our ride was made a bit more bearable as our mesh gear dried and evaporated our wet clothes underneath on the road back to the city.
Gene R1200GS
Ride Reports: Ride The World! Indian Himalayas Iceland Europe New Zealand
lightcycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #994
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2012
Oddometer: 1,185

Your comment, Gene, about taking the time to see things reminded me of a six week trip my girlfriend and I took through Europe on bicycles many years ago. Because we had a plane to catch in Vienna on a given day and time there were some things we passed by, telling ourselves "we'll see that when we come back, and we WILL be back!" But we never went back. Never left the States again. I know you guys had to speed through Costa Rica etc to make the SteelRat, but I do believe you guys will indeed return, and I think that it is a wonderful thing that you have the mindset and the time to take it slow and easy and see and do all that you want/can along the way. Bravo!
Blader54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #995
trululu96's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2012
Oddometer: 46

I've been reading your RR lately it seems like you are are having a lot of fun !
Glad you made it to South America, I live in Medellin so if you are looking for a nice ride near the city I would be glad to take you on one!

Greetings, Daniel
First Colombians to attempt a RTW trip
"Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle"
trululu96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #996
mint julep
Gnarly Adventurer
mint julep's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 187
Happy birthday Neda!

Glad to see you guys made it over the gap.

The old city in Cartagena is beautiful. Traveling the coast up to Santa Marta is really nice.
You can chill and scuba in Taganga or trek over to the Lost City.

I'm so envious, Colombia is such a beautiful country with lots of great culture, food and people.

Have a blast, I'll reading your posts intently on this leg to see it thru a moto perspective.

mint julep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 05:39 AM   #997
не стреляйте
Jimdamit's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Oddometer: 42
Happy Birthday, Neda!

It looks like you guys are having a great time! This is an amazing report. I am living vicariously through you since we woke up to another six inches of snow in Minnesota. I wish I was there (or anywhere but here!).
Stuttgart to Croatia 2012

"Some people are like Slinkies: Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs." -- Unknown
Jimdamit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 06:42 AM   #998
Beastly Adventurer
C-Stain's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Team Canoodia
Oddometer: 6,667
Happy Birthday, Neda!

Best wishes for more excellent adventures in your coming year.

Make sure Gene does (did) something special.....
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
C-Stain is wise.
C-Stain is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 09:16 AM   #999
Joined: Mar 2013
Oddometer: 25
Thumb Happy Birthday Neda

Happy Birthday Neda, wish you all the best. Many thanks Gene and Neda for your time making excellent RR and awesome photographs. Have a safe journey.
Golden_Cliff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #1000
I'm a Yorkshireman thanoz
DeeGee's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Up North In The UK!
Oddometer: 1,884
Just awesome. Awesome.

My wife and I are hoping to do a similar kind of trip for my 50th (6 years time)

Thanks for sharing and inspiring
DeeGee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 10:50 AM   #1001
Studly Adventurer
T.Low's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Bellingham, Wa
Oddometer: 935
Just read the first page and was going to offer up a room, hot shower, bay view sunset, garage and tools, just south of the Vancouver border. Then I went straight to the last page and see you are well past my area.

I just wanted to let you know the impact you are having on folks.

Cheers, and be safe, and thanks for the ride.

Via con Dios.
'10 Gas Gas EC 450, plated, Sold
'05 Gas Gas fse450, plated. Sold
Not ready to part with my boots yet, though.

T.Low screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 09:41 PM
T.Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 07:03 PM   #1002
Trane Francks
Studly Adventurer
Trane Francks's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Oddometer: 646
Originally Posted by Jimdamit View Post
I am living vicariously through you since we woke up to another six inches of snow in Minnesnowta.
There. Fixed it for ya.
Trane Francks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2013, 06:11 PM   #1003
lightcycle OP
lightcycle's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: No Fixed Address (originally Toronto)
Oddometer: 664
Neda thanks you all for the birthday wishes, it was extra special this year!

We may be without Internet access for awhile, will try to update when we can. Thanks for following along with us!
Gene R1200GS
Ride Reports: Ride The World! Indian Himalayas Iceland Europe New Zealand
lightcycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #1004
Bad Dad
Joined: Apr 2007
Oddometer: 82
You two are awesome! and a belated Happy first road birthday to Neda
Bad Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 07:34 PM   #1005
LTFD's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Central Texas
Oddometer: 8
"Inspiring" hits the nail on the head.

I've been following along for months as you guys are doing what the rest of us only dream about. Your RR does more than share great pictures and stories. Your experiences have inspired this subscriber to believe that it can really be done, and that it doesn't need to be "just a dream."

For that, I can't thank you enough.

P.S. A belated happy birthday Neda. May the journey never end.
"Let the ADVenture begin..."
LTFD is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015