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Archive for November 29th, 2009

Day 356 – 29th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 29, 2009

Sunday – Medellin, Colombia

Just a quick note which I forgot to post yesterday, when I took the taxi out of town it took me 20 minutes to get to the main highway, Jim had told me it took him near 40 minutes to find his own way out, well worth the $4 cost I reckon and less stress and that would be why I caught him up so quickly. 🙂

Well, today started well despite the limited sleep, as I had stayed up chatting and reading forums last night until about 2am. I had a quick breakfast across the road and I managed to rip out a quick post and then pack the bike. I was actually ahead of Jim at this stage and was on the road by about 8.30am. I figured I could take it easy and I did, the weather was great and the roads just as good, with the twisties about the same as or better than last night. The difference being it was sunny and dry and I could see the road 🙂
Today was still a slow ride anyway because of the traffic, read buses and trucks, which needed to be passed, so it was not slow and boring, there were moments of extreme excitement when a truck comes around the corner in your lane or vica versa of course!!! I managed to get about 30kms from Medellin, (pronounced Medder Jian, with a soft J), when I hit a big bump and immediately checked to see if the saddlebags were still clipped on. They have a habit of jumping off when I hit topes too hard, anyway, the one on my left was there, but it felt funny, like it was half empty!! Bugger, I remember now, I had left my waterproof pants and booties on the bike next to mine in the parking building while I backed the bike out and packed the rest of my stuff 😦 They had been on my bike drying out after last night’s rain!

I only dithered for about 30 seconds or less and then turned around, I had been riding for an hour and a half, it was now 10am and that was slowish, so now I grabbed a handful for a change but I still had to slow for the hundreds of corners. I was unsure whether I could find replacements down here for my wet gear and they cost about $100, so as I had heaps of time, it was a no brainer to return. I met Jim going the other way and explained what I was doing and continued on. So I got to Yaramula around 11.30am, surprised the heck out of the garage bloke, grabbed my gear and headed back! Needless to say about an hour later after some more twisted throttle, bugger the scenery, (I had been there, done that and been back for seconds), I pulled over for a feed at a roadside cafe, it looked busy so no doubt the food was edible 🙂

I met a couple from Medellin who invited me to sit at their table, they spoke a bit of English and although they were finished their meal, they went out of their way to write down some info on hostels, and some places to go see, as well as possible places to get some Colombia stickers and a Lonely Planet. So thank you Maria for your help, it certainly will come in handy 🙂

After lunch I headed off again and after a while got to the place I had turned around, spectacular scenery of mountains and valleys, straight down just about and a lot of hang gliders jumping off the edges too 🙂 I then slowed down a tad and enjoyed the rest of the short run into town. I used the Suzuki shops GPS co ordinates to nav with and got real close before a chap on a bike said follow me, so I did. He showed me the shop and then pointed me in the direction of El Poblado, the area where the hotels and hostels are, I wanted to find a park called Parque Lleres and eventually did so as it started to rain. I asked around for the Barking Spider, but none of the cafes knew of it, so I parked the bike and had a wander around. I phoned Albert from a public phone, but there was no answer, I kept walking around and found it tucked away in a side street, but it was closed, bummer! 😦

It was 3pm as I rode away and started to look for a hotel, the first one I looked at wanted $100 a night so the doorman pointed me to a hostel up the road which would be cheaper. The manager of the hostel, Dan, helped me immensely as they were fully booked out for private rooms, I did not want a dorm bed. As it happens he is also partners with a hostel type place up the road and after a phone call, said I could get a room there for a discounted rate of $30 which includes brekky and internet plus the usual 🙂

So, I followed him up there and parked the bike under the house in a roller door lock up garage and booked in 🙂 The room was large, there was a pool and free use of the phone system, great stuff 🙂 Once in the room I researched the Barking Spider and found it does not open until 5pm, we had also called the number from here but it still rang out, so I grabbed a cab and headed up there as it was gone 5pm.

It was open and I eventually met up with Al and it turns out you cannot ring a cell phone from a landline here for some reason, and there is no error tone, it just rings as normal but does not connect, duh!! I chatted with Al for a while, he was stuffed from Saturday night and so was I so after a hamburger and a few beers I headed back for some well earned rest.

Al had told me about a number of shopping malls around where I should be able to pick up a camera, so I would drop the bike off first thing and then start looking. I still have had no contact from the Suzuki shop, so I am hoping it will be all OK.
All in all a good day, even with having to do the same road three times 🙂

Day 201 miles and 323 km
Trip – 44,040 miles and 70,876 km



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