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Old 01-01-2013, 04:13 PM   #661
KLRJRS
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Location: St. John's Newfoundland
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Happy New Years from Newfoundland

Hi there Dwight
I have caught up with your RR and its great! You are doing a great job writing and the pictures are amazing. I know that at speed in traffic you have seen so much but can't stop for a picture. At least it will be engraved in your mind and we will have many,many stories when you get home. Safe travels and keep on posting. Fantastic job,
Jim
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #662
Kedgi OP
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Thanks Jim

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Originally Posted by KLRJRS View Post
Hi there Dwight
I have caught up with your RR and its great! You are doing a great job writing and the pictures are amazing. I know that at speed in traffic you have seen so much but can't stop for a picture. At least it will be engraved in your mind and we will have many,many stories when you get home. Safe travels and keep on posting. Fantastic job,
Jim

Thanks Jim, glad you're enjoying the report. So many of the Mountain roads in Colombia had staggeringly beautiful scenery but were just so narrow and twisty there was no room to stop. I do have amazing mental images of some of the more spectacular mountain roads i saw.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #663
Smithee
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Location: Inland Northwest - Walla Walla
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Caught up!!!

I finally am up to date. I've been reading your RR for a while now, but Interrupted by 10 days in Costa Rica with my daughters. Your report really makes me want to get on the moto and go. There is something about Centro and South America that really interests me. Need to get more fluent in Spanish first.

Have you had a chance to check out some of the Latin music? I learned from a new Colombian friends of Presuntos Implicados. Listening to them right now.

Keep the reports coming Dwight. Wish I was there with you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:41 AM   #664
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Spanish

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Originally Posted by Smithee View Post
I finally am up to date. I've been reading your RR for a while now, but Interrupted by 10 days in Costa Rica with my daughters. Your report really makes me want to get on the moto and go. There is something about Centro and South America that really interests me. Need to get more fluent in Spanish first.

Have you had a chance to check out some of the Latin music? I learned from a new Colombian friends of Presuntos Implicados. Listening to them right now.

Keep the reports coming Dwight. Wish I was there with you.

I have heard some Latin music I liked at various places but don't know the names of any of the artists.

Working hard on Spanish would be a good idea before coming down here. I learn as I go but I wish I knew a lot more. The Americans, who took Spanish as kids in school, have an advantage over me. I don't know many of the basics they all seem to know. Having said that, I get by, I find people more than willing to help.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:49 AM   #665
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Originally Posted by anytwocylinder View Post
Kedgi,

I can't tell you how much we (myself and office staff) are enjoying your report. It has resulted in many hours of lost productivity I'm sure but your trials, tribulations and written insight have made it well worth it. We have spent many summers riding your home turf in the Canadian Maritimes from the Hartford, Ct area. Hopefully we will cross your path someday.


Outstanding work and much continued safe and smooth riding. We'll be living vicariously through you this winter. As for Steph, we did the math on what we all paid for our last good novel and sent that amount to the fine young lady's cause. Just be sure to keep the good adventure stories coming. We need a great ending to the book.

Enjoy your holiday away from home. We wish you all the best.

I was just looking back through my Ride Report this morning and I realized I had missed reading this post somehow. I want to be sure to say thank you for your generous donation to Steph and her cycling for a cause.

Here again is a link to her blogspot It's a story of courage and selflessness, for those that haven't read it.

http://stephgoescyclingforacause.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:59 AM   #666
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Headlight

Today I am going to see if I can get my lowbeam headlight fixed. It has been a nagging problem and the Kawasaki Dealer in Cali told me to F.O......not in so many words but his lack of any assistance was disgraceful. He refused to work on my moto because he had seen it at an Aprilia shop called "Racing" just down the street the day before. I had dropped it in there to get an oil change, when they couldn't fix the bulb I went to Kawasaki which was farther from my hostel and he waved the back of his hand at me and said "I saw your bike at "Racing" now go" I'd call him an asshole but an asshole is useful. Just try and get by without one.

I mean seriously what kind of a man refuses to help someone that has ridden the bike he sells 12000 miles and just needs a headlight because he's having some petty dispute with a business down the street? What a moron! I'll bet he doesn't know I have been writing this blog with over 70,000 hits, but I'll bet he finds out. I can't wait to send a little message about his lack of service to Kawasaki Canada, Kawasaki USA and the South American Kawasaki distributor. You know what they say....don't get mad, get even.

Kedgi screwed with this post 01-02-2013 at 05:21 AM
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:32 AM   #667
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Sorry to hear that Dwight.
Email all three ASAP and don't harbor negative thoughts.
There are much better thoughts to hold dear on this road I am sure.

Knowing how to adjust the high beam lower may help if this low beam issue arises again once fixed.

Best Regards,
OldPete aka John
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:05 AM   #668
Kedgi OP
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You're right

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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Sorry to hear that Dwight.
Email all three ASAP and don't harbor negative thoughts.
There are much better thoughts to hold dear on this road I am sure.

Knowing how to adjust the high beam lower may help if this low beam issue arises again once fixed.

Best Regards,
OldPete aka John

Your right Pete. I didn't let it bother me that he wouldn't work on my bike. It is just a hassle to come to another big city and have to deal with the issue again. I'd just like to make sure that this doesn't happen to other moto travelers in Cali again. Inexcusable behavior for a Kawasaki shop anywhere not to take a few minutes to help a long distance rider. I wouldn't have cared if he said come back tomorrow, I could have.

I really avoid driving at night in any case, but just in case I would like to have it fixed.

We are waiting, this morning, for Freedombikerentals to open. I'm sure those guys will be able to direct me to a reliable mechanic here in Quito.

Kedgi
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #669
Smithee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kedgi View Post
I really avoid driving at night in any case, but just in case I would like to have it fixed.

We are waiting, this morning, for Freedombikerentals to open. I'm sure those guys will be able to direct me to a reliable mechanic here in Quito.

Kedgi
It's a good idea to get it fixed just as a safety matter. You don't want the low beam burned out and then come to find the high beam has gone dead as well. Those kind of things tend to happen just when they're most inconvenient or dangerous.

From all reports the guys at Freedom Bike Rentals are top notch. I'd bet they can help you out with a referral to a mechanic or have someone in-house to do the work.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #670
Max Wedge
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Are you running a stock headlamp or have you done a HID conversion? Just curious, my headlamps only last about 8k miles, but I do run the high output ones and expect less life.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:44 AM   #671
Kedgi OP
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Stock

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Originally Posted by Max Wedge View Post
Are you running a stock headlamp or have you done a HID conversion? Just curious, my headlamps only last about 8k miles, but I do run the high output ones and expect less life.
I run the stock headlamps. I finally got it fixed yesterday. Sylvain at Freedom Bike riders was excellent. He had the correct bulb and offered me tools and made me a coffee while I fixed the headlight with Dylan's assistance.

I have some photos from Freedom Bike Rentals I will post later.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #672
Kedgi OP
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Kawasaki

I used Skype to call Kawasaki Canada, then I had a friend in Saint John, NB call Kawasaki Canada on my behalf. In 24 hours they have not responded to the messages we left.

I had hoped that someone in Toronto would have a contact in Cali a straighten this dealership out, so what happened to me doesn't happen to another traveler, maybe a traveler with a far more serious problem.

Still, no reply from Kawasaki.

Kedgi

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:31 PM   #673
Scottishman
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Greetings from BC!

Hi there. Just new to ADV Rider and the RR.

Read your log over the holiday and am quite impressed. I am going on a trip from Bogata to Santiago to Ushalia, and then on to Buenos Aires from Oct to December. You have passed on some wonderful insights, so thank you for that. I did a trip through Europe last summer on a rented bike and it was terrific. Never been to South America and really looking forward to it. I will be shipping my bike (GS 1200) from Vancouver to Bogata, and then back from Buenos Aires. Also riding in a group, so not as adventurous as you, but still a challenging trip.

One of my takeaways from your RR so far is to learn Spanish. I have the time to do that, and very much want to get to understand the people and the culture. Would that be your first "wish I had"? Any other biggies?

I will be following you with great interest. Be safe, rubber side down. I may be in NB in June or July on a golfing trip and might look you up if you're back by then.

Cheers
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #674
Kedgi OP
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Spanish

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Originally Posted by Scottishman View Post
Hi there. Just new to ADV Rider and the RR.

Read your log over the holiday and am quite impressed. I am going on a trip from Bogata to Santiago to Ushalia, and then on to Buenos Aires from Oct to December. You have passed on some wonderful insights, so thank you for that. I did a trip through Europe last summer on a rented bike and it was terrific. Never been to South America and really looking forward to it. I will be shipping my bike (GS 1200) from Vancouver to Bogata, and then back from Buenos Aires. Also riding in a group, so not as adventurous as you, but still a challenging trip.

One of my takeaways from your RR so far is to learn Spanish. I have the time to do that, and very much want to get to understand the people and the culture. Would that be your first "wish I had"? Any other biggies?

I will be following you with great interest. Be safe, rubber side down. I may be in NB in June or July on a golfing trip and might look you up if you're back by then.

Cheers
I get by without Spanish but it would be nice to have some. I know enough now that sometimes I surprise myself at what I have learned, but it all relates to tourist things like meals, rooms etc. i have been thinking today in fact that I would like to take some lessons. I am planning to leave Quito for Mantanita tomorrow and they give Spanish classes there. I think I'll check it out.

As for other biggies, make sure you bring several different ways to access money. A couple debit cards from different banks and a couple credit cards. Not all banks have agreements with Canadian Banks. Your card will work in one bank and not another. Some small towns only have one bank. I found Banco Populaire in Colombia worked the best for me. Check the expiry date on your cards before you leave. My Scotiabank card expires at the end of the month so now I have to use my Mastercard to withdraw money and that can be expensive.

You may need to do some forward planning for tires. The guys at Motolombia in Cali and at Freedom Bike Rentals in Quito can help, they are great. Tires for big bikes can be hard to come by here. With your GS, BMW dealers can help too.

By all means let me know if your coming to NB. I expect to be back in March. The plan is to Fly the bike Buenos Aires to Miami and ride home from there.

Kedgi

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #675
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Repairs and Gondolas in Quito

As I mentioned we all went to Freedom Bike Rentals in Quito. We met Sylvain. Awesome guy. Fun, obviously loves his work! He was amazing.

Sylvain



Freedom Bike Rentals



Sylvain had the right bulb for my bike. Turns out the one I had installed in Cali was marked as the right bulb but was a cheap copy that didn't work. While I fixed the light Sylvain even made me a cup of great coffee. He did everything the Kawasaki dealer should have done and more. And he didn't charge me a cent, except for the bulb and I'm sure he sold me that at less than cost. I highly recommend Freedom Bike Rentals to anyone who wants to fly to Quito and ride Ecuador. A1 Place!

Today, with repairs finally made I had a little time to explore Quito

What a nice city. very clean, the cleanest city I have seen in Latin America, huge, with over 2 million inhabitants. Traffic is not as crazy or bad as most cities down here. Well thought out streets and good public transit. The express buses have their own lanes that cars can't go in so they make much better time than the cars and as a result people actually use transit.


Today, Dylan, Bryce and I went to the gondola up the mountain and Alison headed for the mountain roads southeast of here, continuing her ride south.

The Gondola








4100 meters over 12000 ft
















It's a steep ride about 20 minutes each way. $8.50








Quito sprawling below
















Incredible Quito





A shot of the mountain, taken from the rooftop at this great hostel, Casa Bambu, before we left for the gondola ride





A few other shots


Hostel kitchen that has a million dollar view. What a great place to make your coffee in the morning




My $15 private room, sorry about the mess





Sitting room across the hall from my room





Rooftop





Bryce leaving Freedom Bike Rentals, to go get his welding done.



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