Monthly Archives: May 2014
From Bogota we went North a bit to Medellin. We didn’t have a place lined up (which was unusual for us since we are traveling with Bentley). We went to a popular place where adventure riders go called the Shamrock Irish Pub, hoping to see if they would help us find a place to stay. When we arrived we were greeted by a man, Glen Short, fellow world traveler, http://www.madaru.net who we had met briefly in Cartagena. We were also greeted by Andrew Lord. I had been facebook friends with Andrew since we rode to Mexico in 2012 only we had never met. I had no idea that he was there. It was a great surprise and furthermore, they rented rooms above the bar and had one room left. All was well.
We rode South to one of my favorite places on the trip called Salento. It is in the Coffee region and absolutely beautiful. We stayed at a Hostel, La Serrana in a private room with private bathroom for $45. a night. It was one of three rooms in a house with a living room with fireplace and a kitchen. We felt like we had the whole house to ourselves. The view was incredible and we hated to leave!
We hiked to the Coffee plantation for a tour with fellow world travelers, Gary and Elizabeth Gray www.capepacific.com
We took a four hour horseback ride to a beautiful waterfall. Our guide was the sweetest man who loved and cared for his horses. We did a very tough ride through mud and rocks and several rivers that had big boulders to get through. We scaled the steepest trail I have ever been on that had huge rocks, concrete on the super tight switchbacks and lots of mud. Those horses were incredible. Didn’t even break a sweat.
As we rode into town a cab driver pulled up next to Scott in very heavy traffic and quickly handed him a note. When we got to the Hostel, this is what it said….
We met a nice couple in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico way back in the beginning of our trip, Maria and Henry. They live in Colombia and go to San Miguel every year for three months. So when we got to their town, Popayan we met them again. They had us over for a wonderful dinner and the next day a tour of the city.
The Hostel we stayed at was right in Parque de Caldas, in the main square of the town. We had the best room that had big windows that looked out into the park. The Cathedral was right next to us and on Sunday morning we were blessed with beautiful singing wafting through our open windows.
We left Popayan for one more overnight stop before crossing the border to Ecuador. I would not even mention the place, however, like everywhere we have been there are so many really nice people and in this town called Pasto, we again, met an awesome couple.
As we were packing our bikes to leave a nice man stopped to talk to us. His name is Jaime and he rides a V Strom. As we were getting ready to leave we noticed that I had a flat back tire with two nails in it. Jaime says; “I have a gas station 300 meters from here”, so off we went. We arrived and were greeted by his lovely wife, Angela. We had a great visit while the guys fixed my tire and upon leaving they surprised us by buying our gas! Amazing, kind people.
One more stop we had to make before crossing the border was to visit an incredible Cathedral called Santuario de Las Lajas in Ipiales.
GOOD BYE COLOMBIA. Thank you for showing us the flavor of your amazing country, the people and the food!
On our way to the big city of Bogota, we stop in a little town called,The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá (Spanish: Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá) It is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine, 200 meters underground. The temple at the bottom has three sections, representing the birth, life and death of Jesus. It was awesome.
We continued on to Bogota, a gigantic city with motorcycle riders EVERYWHERE, weaving in and out of traffic from all directions. Wherever there is a spot to get around cars, that is the spot you take. Left shoulder, right shoulder, in the middle, on the sidewalk……(okay, the sidewalk part is semi true) I found myself watching out for the motorcycle traffic as much, if not more than the cars! It takes “lane splitting” to a whole new level. One day, riding with our friends, Salvador and Jeffrey; I was overwhelmed by the traffic. I told Jeffrey, this is so hard and it is freaking me out. He said in his “Zen” voice….”it is the Colombian way”. If they want to Tango, I tango. If they Waltz, I Waltz. I love that man! So…I did the Tango! LOL
We just arrived in Bogota and these girls were so excited about us they wanted to sit on my bike and get a photo
We heard from a lot of people that they didn’t really care for Bogota. We were told just about every day by someone to “be careful, it is dangerous”. We are not usually parcel to big cities, but we really enjoyed this city on so many levels.
First of all, we met some amazing people. Joan and Luz who were in charge of the wonderful Hostel we stayed at, called Explora. They did not allow dogs, but when they saw Bentley they couldn´t resist and snuck him in.
We also met Salvador and Paulo, who live in Bogota. Salvador saw us from his apartment window and being a KTM rider and a motorcycle adventure enthusiast he did some research and found us on a blog through ADVrider and sent us an email wanting to meet us. Awesome couple and have turned out to be really great friends.
We met up with some of our friends from the Stahlratte, David (somedaynevermaybe.com) and Nina and my pal, Jeffrey Polnaja (rideforpeace.net)
We were able to really enjoy the amazing “traditional foods” from this country and super cheap. Anyone going to Bogota, try Mama Lupe’s, they served incredible soup called Ajiaco which is traditional from Bogota and the best Arroz con Leche ever! (I can hear my friend, Paulo laughing right now because all of our conversations seemed to have Mama Lupe in it). This city has some of the most incredible museums and the Museo de Oro (Museum of Gold) is the most beautiful one I have ever been too.
We took the tram up (and hiked back down) to Monserrate, a mountain that dominates the city where there is a church with a shrine that was built in the 17th century. It was awesome and it overlooked this massive city.
We took a wonderful morning hike with Joan from Explora Hostel and after, she took us on a private tour of one of the fruit stands and showed us all the beautiful exoctic fruits of Colombia.
Scott had a fantastic ride one day with “just the boys” David and Jeffrey
Salvador, Jeffrey, Scott and I went on a ride to the only race track in Colombia to see a famous Motogp rider, Jorge Lorenzo. He was there to release the new Yamaha motorcycle. We got there pretty early and the only entertainment before his arrival was Moped races (I am serious) or on another track there were kids racing go karts, which had our interest a lot more! We got bored and decided to leave on a beautiful ride instead and of course, we passed Jorge as we were exiting the gate!
We left on our final ride out of Bogota with Salvador and Juan as they rode with us all the way to Mariquita. It was an amazing ending to our time in that amazing city!
We got a lovely invitation by Joan from Hostel Explorer to stay with her in her vacation home, halfway to Medellin, which was our next place to visit.