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Day 355 – 28th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 28, 2009

Saturday – Yarumal, Colombia

After 5 nights in Cartegena I was finally moving, this was also over 10 days of non riding so I was really looking forward to being on the road. I brought the bike around to the front of the motel then started the total repack, because I had used one of the wet bags for the boat, I had shifted everything around. This took a little while but around 9.30 I was ready to move.

My goal today was never going to be Medellin as I knew there was a lot of mountain winding roads, so I sort of picked a town called Yarumal, it was within a few hours or so of Medellin and would allow for a leisurely ride tomorrow. I cheated leaving Cartegena, Jim had left a while back heading in the same direction, but I grabbed a cab and told him to take me to the Carraterra. This took about 20 minutes of city traffic and two toll booths, which he had to pay, out of my money, but motorbikes stay to the right and ride past the toll 🙂 In the end it cost me $8000 which is $4, and saved me any agro getting lost, which I probably would have done 😉

So, I was now on the road and heading south and it was fun, the weather was nice, extremely hot though here on the coast, but it was good to be moving. I was mainly sitting on the 100kmh mark most of the time with a slow down at each small town. The hours passed. About 5 hours into the ride I was passing a truck going downhill and at the bottom was a police check point and they waved me over. They checked my papers and started rabbiting on about something else, I could sort of guess what it was about because he had a speed gun in his hand. I had no idea what he was saying but I patiently waited and meanwhile he was gunning other cars and pulled another one over soon after. I got bored after 5 minutes and with a bit of chit chat, I gathered the speed limit was 80kmh, when I wrote this down, he said yes, all of Colombia is 80. Well, I had seen signs to advise to slow down at villages etc, but no signs advising of max speed. So, I said OK, if that is the speed limit, no worries, so why am I here? He took my notepad and paper and wrote down 105kmh and pointed at me, 😳 OK, so give me a ticket and let me go, his partner came over and chatted and I pointed at the gun and told them to show me on that machine where my speed was registered, of course they could not and they waved me on 🙂

Lesson learnt I headed off at a slower pace and found a place to have lunch, just a roadside servo with a cheap chook and rice dish. I kept on motoring after this through the farmlands and at one stage going through a small village I noticed Jim pulled over grabbing a drink so I beeped and kept on going. I was amazed I was this close to him as I left way after him, but there you go. He caught me up shortly after and got me to stop, apparently he wanted to take a video of me riding behind him, then to pass and get in front. We did that and I have the video, but it is MPEG4 and I do not have a converter to drop it down to VCD or AVI format for Youtube use, but it is quite good as I am the star of course 😉

It started to rain a short while after this and we stopped and I put wets on, Jim packed his cameras away, he did not have wet gear! It was still hot so that was no big issue, but for me it meant sweating a bit for a while, but the wets do come in handy. We continued on and now it was getting late in the afternoon, with the slower speed and now we were starting to climb some hills so that meant slow corners in the wet with knobby tyres on and we were still a long way from Yarumal. We kept on going after another fuel stop, very expensive fuel here btw, and it started to get dark. We went through a small village and Jim pulled me over and asked my opinion, I told him there is nothing here and Yarumal was only 40km further on, so we pushed on. By now it was dark, it was raining on and off and the road was full of twists and turns, normally something I love, but not in these conditions. We still had all the traffic to pass, mainly trucks on blind corners etc otherwise I would still be on that road a week later! We climbed up quite high and it got very cold, I was cold, I gather Jim must be wet and cold, but he is Canadian and obviously likes that stuff, eh!

As we got higher we got amongst the clouds and the visibility was about nil!!! You can see the change in elevation from this track profile.

This fog slowed us down further and at this stage I was hoping the town we were heading to was big enough for a comfortable hotel and also thinking, why am I once again riding in the dark in a dangerous country!!! Eventually though we arrived and the town was a welcome sight, it looked quite large and lots of lights, we asked a servo attendant about hotels and he pointed us to the centro area. We arrived there and came to a central park, lots of activity and a young kid asked what we wanted, when I said a hotel, with secure parking he said follow me. We did so and found a cheap hotel, with parking next door and we soon had a room each at $25, with internet etc.

It was now gone 7pm so after I changed into shorts and thongs, we went up the road to get some dinner and beer at a pub/rest which was very welcome. No photos of a new beer called Pilsen, maybe later. After dinner I headed up to a balcony bar which overlooked the park, it was very nice, Saturday night, the police prescence was extremely active as it had been all day, (there were check points every 30km or so), so I felt totally safe. I was freezing though and after two beers got onto to rum to warm up. I had not brought jeans nor jacket from the bike, so I now realised that it is not the same 2.5km up as it was on coast, duh!

Anyway, having a chat with the bar people who were very friendly, and watching the parades of chicas all strutting their stuff was extremely enjoyable. Jim turned up with his camera and tried to get some photos of the girls sitting behind me, I even chatted the cute one up, and asked if we could take her picture, but what I did not realise was she was with her parents and they said no, 😳 It was all fun though and no offence was taken, but here is Targena 🙂

I stayed until 11pm or so, before heading back for some sleep, the shower was cold, no hot water at all, so I made do with a body bath as it was very cold by now. Anyway, tomorrow would be a nice riding day I hoped and I had checked the distance and I had only 125km to travel and all day to do it 🙂

Day 348 miles and 555 km
Trip – 43,839 miles and 70,552 km



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4 Responses to “Day 355 – 28th November 09”

  1. Craig said

    Clever use of a taxi!! Good thinking.

  2. ybg said

    I can see why daddy is so protective. I would not let her within 10 feet of you reprobates.


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