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Archive for December 1st, 2009

Day 358 – 1st December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 1, 2009

Tuesday – Medellin, Colombia

Tourist mode today with a nice chica called Karen

Well, I woke up later than usual around 7.30 and crikey I felt crook! After some breakfast which I forced down I noticed I was having problems with my SPOT, no OK signals coming through even though I tried a number of times. It worked from here the other day so I tried new batteries, but still no go. I sent an email instead to the recipients and would look into it later, for now I was to be at the Mansion at 10am to meet Karen. I was there but she was late, typical girl 😉 I phoned Albert as I needed to pick up my wallet from the bar, I had left it there rather than walk around Medellin in strange places last night with it. Karen eventually turned up and we met Al at the bar where I grabbed my wallet. GPS co Ord’s N 6 ° 12.517’ W 75 ° 34.012’

Just up the street I noticed a clothing repair shop, so I decided I would drop my bike pants in tomorrow and get the fork repaired and the pocket, both hanging out and useless. We walked up to the park where I saw some artists and nearly bought a great painting of a piano player, I would think on it and decide later.

Here is a bit of risqué for you, the statue on the corner of the park, missing their flutes I think 😉

Karen’s driver turned up, this is a taxi driver she uses all the time, it is apparently safer than just grabbing one off the street and we headed to the cemetery. The reason for this was to go see the grave of Pablo Escobar, or the leader of the Medellin Cartel who was killed in 1993. Here in Colombia he was revered because he helped the poor with lots of food handouts and other good public deeds. Of course it is all relative as all the money he was handing out was derived from the drugs trade, so he is no saint.

Next we headed down town to the metro transit area along past the river where there were a lot of xmas decorations being readied for the lights on ceremony on Saturday.

Once at the metro, I bought tickets for us and we headed out. The deal today was that normally Greg would ask $40 for the use of Karen as a guide, but he did not charge me anything, it must be because I am Aussie, so thanks 🙂 All I had to do was pay all the costs, like taxis, any other fares, lunch etc. So, for those that care, this is my guide and very pretty too 🙂

She had no sense of direction though and after getting on the metro and heading the wrong way I took charge of being the navigator 🙂 The reason for being here was a new cable car system that was built to shorten the transit time to certain parts of the city, it goes right over the poor slum areas of town so although it was a nice ride, the views were interesting but ultimately depressing in a way. But, one of the fellow occupants did tell us it would normally take him an hour by bus to get home, now it takes just 35minutes and is cheap. It only costs 75c to do all of the metro including the cable cars. So, come for a ride up into the hills 🙂

Ooops, that last one seemed to have slipped in, well, meet Sandra a different passenger in our car on the way down, exquisite 🙂 Karen chatted with them while I tried to keep my drool from showing, but when we got off I got a group photo, Sandra, Karen and Carmen the mum, well met, did I mention I like Colombia 🙂

We took the metro and were heading downtown for a feed. There was a chap on the train who was in his own little world and kept staring at Karen, talking and singing to himself, while sneaking drinks from a bottle in his bag, loco!

We got off at Botero Plaza, here is where a famous local artist has done some statues based on the ‘FAT’ principle that the artist Botero instigated. They certainly looked fat 🙂

The square was full of people and street artists, this chap grabbed my attention, he was making all types of noises and beeps etc, so I grabbed a small movie of it.

We had lunch at the corner cafe place while checking out the people, this did not last long as it was too windy and we headed inside instead.

We were now running out of time and fatigue was starting to hit me as well. We dropped some of the itinerary as prepared by Greg and instead headed to a shopping mall where I was hoping to buy some Colombia stickers, well as luck would have it I managed to find one decent one and one OK one, so although I will keep on trying, I have at least one to stick on the bike for now. The best bit of luck was we walked past a book shop and I decided to go in and look for the Lonely Planet South America version in English, a big ask as I had failed in every shop so far, but I struck gold here and they had one in stock, yippee. What was not so good was the fact my damm Mastercard still did not work, so that meant finding a cash machine and after a few attempts getting some cash out and paying for it with that. I was also entered into a draw for a brand new Renault, so that was good, I just have to fly back and pick it up next year if I win, not a hard chore at all 🙂

As it was now quite late, we walked the short distance to the Suzuki workshop to check out my bike. I noticed a local bike which may need some rear end modifications if it wants to run that tyre!

Well, my bike was at the cleaners and when it returned it was the cleanest I have ever seen it, wow, now I had to get it dirty again so none would steal it! Karen certainly brightened up the workshop. 🙂

I would pick up the bike tomorrow, Mario said it had no problems in the valve department it was all in spec, great stuff 🙂 I had to go chase up my Mastercard problem so I grabbed another cab and headed back after saying bye to Karen, great day and thanks 🙂 Once back I was on the phone to Oz, the people there said there has been no attempt whatsoever at any transaction from my MC, even at the ATM and they also said the block is not in effect, so it must be the communications lines! OK, no worries, I would find out tomorrow, so I went and had a beer, why not, it was after 5pm 🙂 Al used to run a few bars in Ecuador for 10 years, he is Scottish, but he has only been here for a couple of years. His other pub was called the Turtles Head and on the same theme, this is called the Barking Spider, after I mentioned it he said if he gets a beach bar, he would call it the Chocolate Starfish, still on theme. 🙂 If you are unsure about the theme, google it 🙂

The bar has a motorbike and booze theme as well with some funny posters, this one really caught my eye, I am unsure whether I want to try this beer or not! Dr O’Reilly’s Blitzkreig ME 109. I even managed to catch Al working which is different apparently!

So, I had a few beers and a couple more rums but I was really tired so I did not want to stay too long, 10pm is not long eh 😉 I grabbed some more photos of the staff, Hellen’s sister Heidi started work tonight. Now, on a side note there is a lot of silicone tits down here, it is just a fashion statement and they like to parade them around once installed, well after asking, as I am not shy in that department, I found out these are all natural 😉 Here is Hellen, Heidi and Lady 🙂

I had an early night for me, I was actually in bed before midnight for a change, tomorrow drop in the bike pants for repairs, call Hellen and maybe take her to the Puebleto Paisa which we missed out on today due to time issues and also pick up the bike.

Day 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 44,040 miles and 70,876 km



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