Thursday, December 20, 2012

Back on the road in Colombia....

I'm going to try and start something new and begin each post with some stats and a little progress map of the day's ride. We'll see how long this lasts.

Day 65
Cartagena, Colombia to Sincelejo, Colombia
Day's Millage: 115

I woke up at 5:30 AM this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I ended up rewriting the post that I had accidentally deleted last night.

At around 8:00 AM I met up with Byron and Isabel for breakfast.

Can't say enough good things about these guys; they're great! If you get a chance, check out their blog:

After saying our goodbyes, I went back to the room and did some packing. I wasn't in a hurry, I just planned on not making it all the way to Medellin today. I was also pretty damn tired. Didn't end up leaving until around 10:00 AM and had to make a quick stop at auto shop to get some carb cleaner to clean out all of the WD-40 on my brakes. I've learned my lesson with WD-40 and disk brakes: mask, mask, mask before you apply! Having oily pads and disks magnifies your stopping time/distance by two!

Riding out of Cartagena was a little bit of a madhouse; apparently the roads weren't as good on the outskirts of the city as they were in the interior. Check out the elevation difference between these two lanes:

It's hard to tell, but it's almost a foot and a half high! Right off the bat one of the things I've noticed about Colombia is all of the motorcycles; there's tons of them! Still mostly 200cc and smaller; but still, they're everywhere!

After about 20 minutes of everyman-for-himself riding to get out of the city, things quieted down.......until I saw this:

Ohh no! I thought I had escaped the speed bumps/topes/tumolos/vibradores when I left Central America. Apparently they are following me so that I don't get to comfortable and actually start enjoying the riding....

I rode for about an hour then stopped for a little street-meat at a roadside stand.

I asked for a typical Colombian meal and this is what I got:

Some pork that looked like it had been cooked two days ago, some really bland and dry plantains, and a very tasty "arepa". Arepas are similar to Papusas; a big thick tortilla type bread stuffed with meat or cheese or both. I had one bite of the pork and was about to take another when I realized that they hadn't quite totally skinned the pig when they butchered it. There were still quite a few curly black hairs sticking out of the meat. I ate the arepa and got the hell out of there.

Back on the road again I began seeing another central American nemesis that seems to be haunting me:

The semi-domesticated ass! I think I saw about 20 today grazing beside the road, most of them were untethered, just waiting to jump out into the road in front of an unsuspecting gringo motociclista!

Colombia is definitely bike friendly. I had heard from numerous people that the toll booths where free for motos and had a little motorcycle lane on the far right side.

Brilliant! This needs to be instituted everywhere!

After only a few hours of riding, I was feeling done. I'm still tired from that damn boat ride and I haven't been sleeping well lately. I decided to call it a day at the next major town.

I pulled into Sincelejo and immediately saw a few likely looking hotels. The first one I stopped at was closed due to construction, but the second one said they had rooms for $50,000 pesos. Doing the rough math in my head, I figured that would be about $25 american, so I said yes.

However, after they ran my debit card and I got my receipt back, I realized that it was $150,000 pesos (about $83 american)! Snap! I totally misunderstood the lady behind the desk! Just like the space gravy incident.

Unfortunately, I was too tired to raise a fuss at this point and I dully shuffled off to my room. The Hotel is called "Hotel Boston".

To it's credit, it's almost as good as a low to mid level hotel room back in the states.....except that the hot water doesn't work. They do have a nice private garage though.

Which is only occupied by my poor little abused XRL....

I'm going to make the most out this outrageously overpriced hotel room and get some much needed sleep now. In the morning I may thrash it like a rock star and then blast out of here before the staff catch on to the fact that I threw the flat-screen TV out the window....

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