I spent a long time typing up a huge post about the last few days, but when i tried to post it, it all got deleted! So, now it's 5:30 AM and I can't sleep due to the sore throat that I developed after 30 hours of projectile vomiting my insides into the Caribean.....might as well re-do that post.
going to re-type everything, but I'll throw in all the pics.
On the 17th
we got dropped off from the Independence and got our passports done. Later, Mike
and I found a room in Getsemani near all of the Hostels with A/C for $44, which
we split. Hotel San Roque. Nice place if a little expensive; they are going to
let Mike leave his bike here for a week while he flies back to Belize to see his
we went and saw the rest of the old city. Cartagena de las Indias is a UNESCO
Worl Heritage Site. It's easy to see why. Beautifully restored buildings and
walls, impressive churches and museums, and really intriguing fortifications. My
pictures don't do it justice; I have a crappy camera that can't quite capture
also managed to find the inquisition museum. Apparently the inquisition was
going strong from 1610 all the way up thought the beginnings of the 1800's in
Cartagena. Here's the infamous rack:
nasty little device was called "eyes on god":
here is a handy questioner if you ever need to talk to a witch:
was at one time sacked by Sir Francis Drake and then ransomed back to the
Spanish for an exorbitant fee. Eventually, they ended up spending tons of money
fortifying the city. They've managed to restore most of the walls and the huge
fort on the land ward entrance.
picture doesn't make much sense to me:
points a cannon back at their own wall? Maybe a swivel gun loaded with grape, or
some rather large muskets, but certainly not a long cannon. Whoever restored
this section messed up. Here's Castillo San Felipe de Barajas:
impressive fortification. I love seeing this stuff.
next day, December 18th, we headed down to the harbor to unload our bikes from
the process in pictures:
wasn't too happy about having to lay my bike on it's side in the little skiff,
but I didn't really have much of a choice. I figure that for $900 there should
be people unloading the bike fore you onto a dock, not you unloading the bikes
yourself into a skiff......oh well.
After getting the old XRL out of the
skiff it was flooded and wouldn't start. This nice guy came up on his scooter,
stuck his foot out and pushed me from my passenger peg while he throttled along.
It was a perfect push start! Obviously they do this sort of thing down here
quite a bit. I had him sign my tank.
rescuing the bikes and picking up the customs paperwork, we go insurance and
then said goodbye to Kevin and Katerine and their amazing XS 650's:
are selling these bikes when they get to Buenas Aires if anyone is interested.
After the goodbyes, Mike and I mozied on over to a car wash to rinse off all the
salt brine and WD-40 from our motors.
when I realized that I had managed to WD-40 all over my brakes! We spent the
next hour searching fruitlessly for brake cleaner. I did find a slightly used
if you are reading this, I think there is an awesome parts bike in Cartagena
just waiting for you to come down here and pick it up!
I also saw an
homage to the best bike in Latin America:
right, the XR250 "Tornado"! If you wanted to do this trip and never have to
worry about getting maintenance done or finding spare parts, this is the bike
for you! They are everywhere. I'm surprised Jdowns isn't on one of these instead
of his Super Sherpa. Hell, I almost want one now.
After bike time, Mike
had to split for Belize. I gave him some stickers from Ed Zachtamundo's stolen
sticker stash which has been bequeathed to me to distribute to fellow ADVriders
whom I meet along the way.
your sticker legacy lives on!
And now for a little aside: this summer I
took a little trip on my Harley (yes I am an evil Harley owner, you can start
hating now) cross country. It was a totally different vibe, no riding gear, just
some Levi's, a cut up t-shirt, and a little half helmet. I managed to do 700
miles one day on this thing:
day in late August I pulled into a KOA in Amarillo, Texas and met this really
cool British couple, Byron and Isabel, on an old 1979 BMW R100RS. They had flown
their bike from the UK to Alaska, then spent the entire summer riding around the
north, down through Canada, and all over the US. They were currently heading
west for California and then were going to turn south for Baja.
We hit it
off and spent the rest of the night talking and drinking beer. The next day we
decided to ride together for Albuquerque, New Mexico. I called up my good buddy
Jeff (Matthews) who met us about half way and then invited us all over to his
place that night to crash! We had a great time!
forward nearly four months to Cartagena and imagine my surprise when I find out
that they are staying in the Hostel just a block away from my Hotel! Granted, I
had been keeping up with them by email and I knew that I would probably catch up
to them sooner or later, but I didn't imagine we would only end up being a block
After saying goodbye to Mike, Byron, Isabel, and I went out and
had dinner and drinks and got caught up on the last four months. They've had a
hell of an adventure, even crazier than mine! I'll try and find their blog
address and post it up on here later. They are great folks!
gave Byron one of Ed Zachtamundo's mustache stickers:
guys are great! I introduced them to Denny's back in the states and they repaid
me by buying my dinner and drinks! Excellent!
So now I'm going to go get
some breakfast with the Brits and then plan my route to Medellin. It's about 400
miles and I don't really feel like pushing it today; does anyone know of a good
place to stop in between?