Met up with Brian and Patrick again. Rode with them and another rider, Damon from New Zealand, out of Cartagena. We rode into the city of Santa Marta and were nearly mobbed by a bunch of local moto enthusiasts in very welcoming fashion as they followed us thru the streets, cheering us and taking photos - they had us feeling like rock stars. However, a day later my riding partners would experience another kind of greeting when they were involved in an ugly brawl just outside a nightclub as they were leaving - and the incident nearly escalated into a riot. Their evening ended in the local Medical Clinic at 4:00 a.m. with Patrick receiving stitches. What a difference a day makes!
Stayed in a small touristy town of Taganga, famous for its diving and hiking. Found a small family oriented little hostel that was quiet and cheap, where we stayed for several days waiting for the weather to clear. Then we rode from Taganga to Medellin where we planned to service our bikes. This short ride gave us our first glimpse of the Andes, and we were quite impressed. I didn’t get any pics as we were too busy enjoying the ride and the scenery but we will be crossing these beautiful mountains many times and I will defiantly be stopping more on my next trip thru.
At times this trip seems a bit surreal. But the blade of adventure is tempered with the humors of reality. We’ve had problems keeping clothing from getting mildewed when packed away because of the humidity. So I leave you with this thought. There are many popular and descriptive names for the type of motorcycle enthusiasts we are, such as: Adventure Riders, World Riders, Over-landers, etc - but often, the most fitting description would simply be: “Smelly Bikers.”
This was an exciting trip for a number of reasons. It was over 30,000 miles thru Latin America and the Andes mountains, and I didn't speak much Spanish. There was also the small detail of the Darien Gap. And, then there was "Death Road" in Bolivia - supposedly the most dangerous road in the world.
Anyway, I blogged about the entire journey right here.