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Archive for November 24th, 2009

Day 351 – 24th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 24, 2009

Tuesday – Cartegena, Colombia

I had arranged to meet Val for breakfast at 8am, but he knocked on the door around 7.30 and said, are you going, so I went downstairs. Well, he was ready to leave, he is in such a hurry to get to Brazil, he had booked out and was ready to rock! During breakfast across the road at the Hostel Luna, I explained that I would be there a day or so in Cartegena and maybe try and find another place where they had bike parking inside.

We went for a wonder around the streets, it all looked great, we found a street and market area where we asked around for cameras, but they only had Sony, Panasonic and stuff like that, no Olympus. It was nice wandering around and on the way back checked out another hostel which had bike parking inside, they said they are full and as checkout was 3pm, come back and there may be a room!!

I got stuck into some blog stuff, way behind the times as you all no doubt know 🙂 Around 10.30 I grabbed a cab, very cheap at $2.50 for nearly anywhere and headed back to the supermarket we met at yesterday. Here we met up with Manfred who had our temporary VIP’s, so now it is legal for us to unload the bikes and ride through town to the customs area. We arranged to meet him around 3-4pm as he was getting our passports sorted out and we needed them to go to customs with the bikes.

We then went back to the boat with Bruce and started to get the bikes ready for unloading. It was good to sit on my bike after nearly a whole week 🙂

I checked out the disk brakes and as you can see there was a lot of corrosion, but that should scrape off after a few minutes, but I need to be careful to start with as they will be very grippy and not smooth at all. The back ones looked fine though.

This is where I found the bike would not start, the battery was flat. After some checking I found the voltage to be 7V only and that was when I realised the bloody faulty Kisan chargeguard had drained the battery, the shunt was hot to touch, just like Johnofchar’s a while back. Bloody crap system, I disconnected it and it will be binned. As a side note, I had contacted Kisan about this failure a week or so back, they said that the unit was faulty and they would sell me an upgraded model for $100US. When I queried a few points I decided enough is enough. The new unit is once again, NOT WATERPROOF, I will never buy one of their units again, until they get it made suited for a motorcycle!!

Anyway, we had 5 people on board, so I could get a push start at least 🙂 We shifted the boat over to the public wharf and Bruce organised the ‘crack’ crew to help us unload, I think by crack, he does not mean the best crew, but the ones full of crack 😆 Anyway, we soon got started unloading the bikes, this involved the reverse way they were put on board, using the mainsail motor to hoist them over the rail and down to the dock.

We spent about 4 hours doing this for 5 bikes and it was hot, we missed out on lunch too!! By the time all the gear and bikes were on shore, we had arranged for the service station crew to give the bikes a wash and they proceeded to do that. This was when I found a bad thing, one of my panniers which had been packed in the waterproof front locker, somehow was full of freaking water!!! And what was worse, it was the one which normally stored my computer, well lucky for me that was in the hostel. It seems the pannier was packed with the mounting holes face up and somehow we shipped some water through the hatch at some time! I guess it is my fault for not seeing how they were packed by inexperienced people, it was a bugger though.

Anyway, I managed to get some jumper leads and using Val’s bike got some charge in the battery and managed to start my bike and left it running while it was washed and I loaded the gear on. Val of course was now resigned to the fact we were not going anywhere and it would be another night. Bruce had tried to call Manfred but he was not answering, so Bruce told us we should park the bikes at whatever place we were staying and we would meet up that evening at the old city for drinks and he would work out the bike thing then, and of course the much needed passports.

We did not have far to ride the bikes and we took it careful, being mindful of rusted brakes and we soon had our bikes in the parking lot behind the hotel we were staying at. Not all of us where in the same hotel of course, and this was when we found the water shortage, stoppage would be in full swing. I managed to grab a shower while there was water and later on headed up with Val to the old city of Cartegena, this is the section inside the walls, a massive area and one of the largest walled cities in the world. We were a bit early, but found the meeting place which was a bar called the Donde Fidel, or where is Fidel. They had a large amount of external tables and chairs inside the wall and lots of horse drawn carriages and street entertainers. After a while, everyone was there, including Bruce who had had to wait once again for the passports, but we finally had them back, yippee 🙂

After that, some went their own ways, a group of us went to a BBQ place for a feed, I was famished, 5 beers on a stomach that had nothing in it from breakfast, meant I was a tad tiddly 😉

Bruce told us bikers that tomorrow morning, we had to be at the DIAN, which is the customs house at 7am!!! We did not have to take the bikes according to Bruce, so it was just a matter of turning up in a taxi with the papers we had been given today, and the normal stuff like Title etc. Now, both Vincent and myself were a bit annoyed by the fact that we had paid $30 for the fat German to do the paperwork yet we still had to do the run around the city to get things checked and stamped and buy insurance, so what did he do for his money!!! 😕 Myself and Val headed back for a night cap and we found a party in full swing at the Media Luna hostel just up the road form us, so we dropped in and met David and Tami, so we stuck around for a few before crashing out about midnight, it was too expensive up there anyway, they charged $2 a beer, every whew else it is only $1.20 😉

Day 2 miles and 3 km
Trip – 43,488 miles and 69,987 km



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