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Day 365 – 8th December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 8, 2009

Tuesday – Pasto, Colombia

One whole year on the road and what a brilliant way to celebrate it 🙂

Up early again, feeling better but I still have a bit of a stuffed head, this may be an issue later as I get higher in the mountains with equalisation, but I can live with that. I packed up and grabbed a cheese pastry for breakfast before taking some photos of the bike for posterity, and to show the new location of the saddle bags.

After saying farewell to Mike and staff I headed off. As it was a public holiday, the roads should be a bit quieter, so I managed to get onto the main arterial that runs south and followed that. Of course a holiday only means an official day off, but the normal people still need to eat and drink etc, so I ended up getting a bit stuck in slow market traffic. Meat hanging from hooks in the open seemed to be the speciality of the day, as well as the normal push me shove you trying to get through 🙂

After 10 minutes I was free on the other side and it was plain sailing from here on in and I even found the speed limit was increased for the first time in Colombia 🙂

Never be surprised what you see on the road down here, bikes carry everything, but check out the truck, this is so bloody normal and so dangerous.

He has broken down with a flat tyre on a curve and stopped, the repair truck has come and pulled up on the inside and now blocks that piece of road, the only way around is cross the centre line on a curve, no other choice, freaking stupid mentality and the cops do nothing about it! Anyway, as I am used to passing on blind corners by now it is no real big issue, but a bit of road rules training could make riding here a tad safer 😉 I grabbed some fuel a short while later and spotted a couple of other riders, this is Adrian on a KTM and Olly on a GS, Olly is the owner of the BMW that went for a swim when disembarking from the boat in Cartegena, he still has some electrical issues. I found out later, it was not a fault of the ship or crew, but he was adding a pannier on the dock when it overbalanced into the sea!

After a bit of a chit chat I continued on, I am on a different schedule than them, but may bump into them later. The roads were starting to get more curvey and rising as well, and the scenery began to become more interesting. (I took some movies in this section, but the internet connection is so slow I cannot upload them, maybe later)*edit – I have now uploaded one check it out 🙂

I continued on for an hour or so in this way until I found a place to stop for lunch.

While I was eating, Adrian pulled up and stopped for a drink and a chat, one thing that made me nervous was this young chook wandering around the tables, I hope he was not looking for his mum, cos she was on my plate 🙂

Adrian left in the hopes of catching up with Olly, he had ridden past and not seen the bikes parked while I finished lunch, after I had finished lunch I continued on, the curves were great but you had to remember to keep an eye on the road which was hard to do sometimes as the scenery along here was eye popping 🙂

Of course the higher I went the closer to the clouds I got, I had just pushed hard to pass this car who I was having fun with, when it started to rain, of course with worn knobbies on I immediately slowed down and of course they wooshed past, although the rain only lasted 5 minutes and I passed them again 😉

Here is some more of the scenery along the road, I even stopped a few times, on the wrong side of the road of course, to get some better shots, I was snap happy today 🙂

Not long after this I saw ahead of me the rain coming a bit faster and heavy, so I took the opportunity to don the wet gear but was held up by some locals who wanted a chat about the bike etc. That was all well and good, but they soon said, it is raining and ran off, I am now stuck in the rain putting on gear and it was heavy rain too by the time I was covered! The worst part was the Pinlock shield in my visor had water between it and the screen, so it meant riding like under water 😦

After a short while it had stopped enough to open the visor and I could see again 🙂 It was only a short ride from here to the town of Pasto. I had stopped to check the lonely planet, just for a hint at what was here and a chap pulled over and looked at the location and said follow me, well why not, so I did 🙂 We passed a roundabout and I spotted Adrian parked up, so mentioned for him to follow and we both headed to the Hostel Koala, it had an Aussie ring about it 🙂

Once parked on the footpath, I found out they do not have bike parking, the closest was a few blocks away, the hotel next door had secure parking but the price was way too high. Meanwhile when I went back downstairs I found a mob blocking half the road and the bikes 🙂

They were all real interested in the bikes and after a bit of chat, the guy to the left with the yellow poncho on, showed us to a cheaper hotel up the road a few blocks. This was not as cheap as I wanted at $55/night, but when wet and a bit cold, it had secure parking, internet, hot water and included breakfast, so that would do us 🙂 After a shower and email check, we went for a beer, we also included Olly who had ridden in a bit later and booked in at the Koala and found out about us and where we were from the locals 🙂 We could not find the bar as outlined by the LP, but the taxi driver found us another one, it had cold beer so we were happy with that 🙂

There were a couple of locals having drinks at the next table who seemed a bit pissed and soon joined us for some fun, Sandra was a lively thing 😉

Lucky for us there was a tucker stand just outside because after quite a number of beers, a hotdog was the right thing to eat for dinner, although Adrian chose the burger 🙂

It was gone midnight before we grabbed a cab back and crashed out. I was still thinking on heading to Ecuador tomorrow, depends on hangover, the other two had a very slow itinerary and would probably stay here a few more days, who knows, nice meeting you guys, rubber side down 🙂

Day 252 miles and 406 km
Trip – 44,594 miles and 71,767 km



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8 Responses to “Day 365 – 8th December 09”

  1. ybg said

    Happy Anniversary


  2. carl said

    Good to see you made twelve months mate,can’t wait to have a beer[rum] with you at the frenchville,and by the way i thought your mother was the only one that kissed you. Stay verticial M8

    • Hi and thanks, yeah a rum or tow sounds good 🙂 Anyone else can kiss me if they are female 🙂

      As for the stay vertical bit, hmm no can do, Vstrom down at the equator!

      Cheers TS

  3. ybg said

    Fantastic scenery, again.

    ça roule

  4. ybg said

    AH! MAN!

    That is some ride.

    Beats the 2 feet of snow I shovelled yesterday.

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