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Old 01-16-2014, 04:46 PM   #3466
SteverinoB
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Location: Orangeville Ontario Canada
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Perfect

That is one heck of an office!


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Old 01-17-2014, 11:56 AM   #3467
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Headed out this morning down the dusty trail that Hektoglider recommended yesterday. Sort of a Jurrasic park vibe:





took the wrong turn and ended up in a muddy cow pasture. Although now that I think about it, when you have no destination there are no wrong turns. It was a beautiful ride down through the coffee fields.

Surfer Matt turned me on to Colombian Cream Soda. So I stopped at La Tienda de Laura for a cold Postobon Colombiana. I like her sign made from recycled Posobon bottlecaps:



Continued on through the old train tunnel:



and booked on down the road south. I am currently sitting in a truck stop south of Cali. I was going to stop at Casa Blanca Hostel in Cali, but it’s only 1 PM. So I think I’ll head down to Popayan and see if I can’t find the Parklife Hostel where the folks around the campfire last night were heading today.

The wifi at this truckstop is mega-slow, and my laptop battery is on fumes, so I’ll upload the photos to smugmug this evening for your viewing pleasure and send more postcards from the edge.

Adios amigos,
Juan Popayan
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JDowns screwed with this post 01-17-2014 at 04:31 PM
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:04 PM   #3468
afewsketchymoments
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi Matt,

Yes, it's your kind of place. Your mighty XT would have looked good parked out in the meadow next to your hammock. Are you in Ecuador?

Cheers,
Tio Juan
Yeah I am. On the wave hunt. Good to see your out of the city.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:10 PM   #3469
Kingo1
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Glad to see you got your bike back and are on the road again.

Keep the rubber side down.

Ryan
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:42 PM   #3470
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Headed down past Cali this afternoon. There is a lot of straightline riding through sugar cane and pineapple fields as you drop down out ot the mountains into the Valle de Cauca. It is much warmer and such a different environment down in the lower elevations near Cali. It’s like another world. The ethnicity changes as you ride through the cane fields there are mostly blacks. I passed a lot of sugar cane trucks. You have to get a running start with a 250 to pass these bad boys on a two lane road:



Cab and 4 40’ trailers is like passing a train.

Finally got to Popayan and you can’t believe how long I followed this Colombian equivalent of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile before I could whip out my camera and take a pic:



rode down under this nice brick and stone bridge:



and found the central plaza and the Parklife Hostel where I am currently staying at GPS waypoint:

N 02º 26.468’
W 76º 36.383’

A dorm bed here is 18,000 pesos ($9.18)

It is located on the central plaza next to the Catholic church, so I think there will be churchbells in my future. I climbed up to the third floor lookout tower of the hostel on this spiral staircase:



to take a shot of the cathedral tower next door:



heading out on a ride tomorrow with a Dutch couple to some thermal hot springs so I had to go down and buy some swim trunks at Exito Supermercado. Should be fun. I’ll report back what I find.

Hasta Mañana,
Tio Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 01-19-2014 at 08:21 AM
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:05 AM   #3471
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Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Headed out to some thermal hot springs north of Popayan. Went with a Dutch couple and a young man from Australia out of town 30 kilometers up into the mountains. A jeep took us out and dropped us off along with mountain bikes and helmets to ride back to town with. The water was rich in minerals and the hot pools over to the side were really hot, It was very relaxing. There was a hot mineral swimming pool to hang out in as well. Quite a few Colombian families were there since it was a weekend. Very friendly atmosphere. Here is my new Dutch friend Charles in the main pool:



After an hour or so it was time to rinse off under a cold waterfall off to the side of the swimming pool and hit the dusty trail on our mountain bikes. Alas, the rear derailleur on my bike was broken. Someone had clamped the broken bracket that holds the derailleur back on as tight as they could with the rear axle nut, but when I went to go up the first hill it came apart and left me scratching my head. Hmmmm. I told the others to go on and I would figure it out or find a truck back home. So they went on ahead and I went back and asked the lady at the hot springs entrance if there were any taxis around. Sorry, no. Maybe walk to the nearest small town down the gravel road and catch a ride there.

So I tied the broken derailler to the rear frame out of the way with some string I found in the parking lot and walked the bike up the gravel road. After a kilometer it was a steep downhill all the way, so I coasted down to the little Pueblo and found a soldador (welder) to see about welding the broken bracket, but it was aluminum and he just had a stick welder. He said there was a bicycle parts place down the way so I coasted into the small town and my bicycle compadres had stopped for lunch, so they accompanied me over to the bicycle repair place to see about finding a bracket. The owner was out, but his wife had a derailleur for 10,500 pesos ($5.50) so I bought it and had the help of several Colombians that had gathered trying to Mexicanada the bike back into functional shape. But it was no use as the attachment point was totally different. And then Charles from Holland had a brilliant idea. Why not remove the rear derailleur entirely and shorten the chain to turn the bike into a one speed. Since it was mostly downhill back to town with maybe 4 uphill climbs a mile or so long each, all I really needed was low gear for going uphill. And just coast the rest of the way, Brilliant. The bike mechanic had arrived by then, so he whipped out his chain tool and shortened the chain to fit snugly on the small front sprocket and largest rear sprocket and voila! I had a one speed mountain bike. I put the derailleur and extra chain links in a plastic bag to return with the rental bike and was off.

The chain would come off occasionally if I pedaled too fast on the flat sections, so I told the others to go on ahead and I would meet them back in town. I looked a little ridiculous pedaling like a hampster as fast as I could in low gear. But it worked and I finally coasted the last 15 kilometers that were all downhill into Popayan. Had to stop for a funeral procession of a hundred people that were marching down the road from a church to the graveyard. The smoke is from all the fireworks and rockets they were shooting into the air. Maybe to ward off evil spirits? Not sure. Kind of hard to see in this pic since I tried to stay back a respectful distance:



When I finally coasted into Popayan it was probably pretty comical to watch me pedaling as fast as I could in first gear to get across the intersections without getting hit by a bus. Eventually I made my way back to return the bike and my bicycle adventurer friends had only been there for 20 minutes and were relaxing drinking cold beverages. I gave the rental lady the bag of derailleur parts and she insisted on refunding my money. So it all worked out pretty well in the end.

After a shower and relaxation I headed out to dinner with my new biclycle ADVrider buddies. Historic Popayan is pretty laid back. White two story colonial buildings with red tile roofs and the occasional Catholic church uplit at night:



It’s always interesting breaking down out in the boonies and finding a way through. You meet a lot of nice people. I think I’ll stick to motorcycles for the foreseeable future though. Bicycle riding makes me appreciate the Sherpa.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 01-19-2014 at 08:25 AM
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:51 AM   #3472
kwakbiker
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Not having much luck on two wheels at the moment John
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:57 AM   #3473
JDowns OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwakbiker View Post
Not having much luck on two wheels at the moment John
Made me laugh.

Ah yes, it all depends on your definition of luck. I felt lucky to make it back to Popayan yesterday. And definitely felt lucky to get the Sherpa out of jail last week and back on the road.

Not that I have anything against blue skies and smooth sailing. It looks like that kind of a day today. Will report back later.

Saludos,
Juan X. Bicicletista
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:52 PM   #3474
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Joined: Mar 2005
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I checked out the weather and decided to spend another day in Popayan to avoid the early afternoon rains that hit today. This is my ride report office this morning:



It is up near the belfry in an ancient building that was built a few hundred years ago. You have to climb a spiral staircase to the top floor and stoop down along a low narrow hallway to get up here, so nobody has been here in the last two days. It’s like a treehouse up here with views out over the rainy cityscape:



Post and beam construction in the unfinished area across the catwalk with 6” diameter trees to support the clay tile roof. Primitive but effective:



I have been sleeping up here at night since the cool evening breeze up here beats out sleeping in a bunkbed amongst 10 other snoring backpackers in the cramped quarters downstairs. Plus since it was Sunday morning and the Catholic church is on the other side of the wall, I got to hear the womens choir this morning through the wall. Pretty angelic music if you're into Catholic Gregorian chants. Personally I have nothing against beautiful women's voices singing "in excelis deo" as a Sunday alarm clock.

One thing I have learned is that hostals are great cheap alternatives for the single traveler as long as you don’t eat their overpriced food and beverages. There is always a hammock or couch out of the way that you can sleep on as an alternative to the jampacked bunk rooms. Just a pro-tip for you minimalists out there. Of course stealth camping is always cheaper. And if you are a couple of folks, it’s generally cheaper to stay in a cheap hotel.

more later…
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:06 PM   #3475
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Hmm that's interesting structure for a roof.. make me wonder if scribe rule will do well down there?
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #3476
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Originally Posted by WhicheverAnyWayCan View Post
Hmm that's interesting structure for a roof.. make me wonder if scribe rule will do well down there?
My post and beam buddy!

Colombia's got nothing on you. I say, build barns in America and travel the third world in the winter. The money's better up in the Carolinas. Hope to see you down the road amigo.

Saludos,
Juan Contratista
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:18 PM   #3477
Andrew UK
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found this and instantly thought of you

So that's how theturtleshead pays for his new KTM's

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Old 01-20-2014, 04:01 AM   #3478
jimtom
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So that's how theturtleshead pays for his new KTM's

That was awesome!
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:03 AM   #3479
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew UK View Post
So that's how theturtleshead pays for his new KTM's
Hi Andy,

Al has GOT to book that guy for St. Patrick's Day in the cul-de-sac in front of the Shamrock. There is just something so right about flaming bagpipes and AC DC. He even looks like he could be Al's evil twin.

Make it happen.

Your ADVpal,
Tio Juan
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

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Old 01-20-2014, 05:32 AM   #3480
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Monday morning just after sunrise. Looks like a good day to head to the Ecuador border through those mountains off in the distance:



I hear it’s nothing but curves for 350 kilometers. Should be fun. I’ll report back what I find.

More later….
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