It’s 4:05 a.m. on January 5th. I’m wide-awake and I feel rested. We’re in one of those sex by the hour motels; very nice, just one bed. I found Frank down in the garage sleeping on his mattress, very thoughtful of him. We are 200 mi. SW of Bogotá. Our tires are still holding up - wow. Took a great picture of Frank going toward a mountain in the middle of the road (it seemed). Really miss my Kath... about 6 thousand miles to go, can only do 200 or 300 a day. I think Frank & I both are weaker than when we started (road weary).
Mr. Romero did show up at the cargo company (Girog) and finalized our bike shipment - $250 cash each; we now are broke. We’ll have to find an ATM. Hotel took VISA, $142,000 pesos = $71 U.S. Our taxi driver (Ernesto) is most anxious to help us. He came to our hotel 45 minutes early to pick us up to take us to our bikes. Couple hours of paperwork, on the road at noon, traffic was unbelievable. We went around an ‘open’ manhole in the street. What a trip stopper that could have been! We saw a total of 3 open manholes. Traffic was bumper to bumper for about 60 miles. We passed 100’s of vehicles on the right and left to make progress, & so as not to have to sit in the 104-degree temp. We stopped at a pig roast on the highway, was scrumptious. My knee is finally better this a.m. - still a little feverish, but better. Think we have about 350 miles to Ecuador, won’t make that today. So many of these roadside restaurants have no menus, just their meal of the day.
It was beautiful, when we finally got out of Bogotá, lush green mountains and valleys, great roads, well marked, nice shoulder for passing when jammed up. We see great numbers of ‘girls’ on bikes & motorcycles now - didn’t see that in Central America. Traveling is much better now. Don’t care much for Central America.
1/7/02 To get back on the Pan American, we had to cross over a mountain. What a chore, 80 miles of rock, blocked roads, shear drop offs, harrowing trip...rarely out of 1st & 2nd gear - stunningly beautiful though. We are only about 50 miles from Ecuador, seems like we are doing pretty well. Staying at Hotel Impero de Los Incas, still in Colombia.
Truck driver stopped to offer us a "gaseous cola" (coke)
Colombia is my favorite country, Pasto is my favorite city, enchanting, ...how beautiful. We stopped to have café con leche and sweet cake (not very sweet), 70 miles from Ecuador border (on top of a mountain overlooking Pasto). Saw a guy yesterday (a painter), on a moto with his paint buckets and 8-foot ladder. When we traveled on that terrible rock road, we encountered kids with a rope across the road to stop us for pesos, but more threatening was a roadblock with a big bamboo log across. Frank talked with the leader a moment and they opened a little for him to pass, but stopped me and demanded pesos. I glared at him and gunned my MC thru the opening.
Frank in the distance...Columbian backroads
Then, almost as maddening, we met 25 or 30 groups of kids with water barrels ready to douse us as we passed pails of water & garden hoses. It was chilly riding in these mountains, and that made it miserable. Some kids had white and other colored powder to throw on us. It was a most uncomfortable experience. Sometimes we would pass under an over-hanging cliff and get doused from above. Turns out, we learned later, that we happened to passing through on the last day of a religious holiday, and we were the recipients of their baptismal.
Had to get used to going down 2-lane highways with oncoming traffic and commonly, someone pulls into your lane to pass...you just move over.
Saw a sedan pulled over on hwy, hazard lights blinking, 6 men standing taking a leak. Don’t remember seeing any of that in America.
Really slept well last night, think it must have rained several inches.
Next a.m., couldn’t help but feel like celebrities. People were all over our bikes, and us, taking pictures of each child on the seat (with sunglasses). It is noon and we are at the Ecuadorian border; Frank went inside to do his thing! He was out in a few minutes.
Now to Ecuador... arrived 12:00 noon, out to lunch till 2:00 p.m. This typical arrogant asshole is like we experienced in Central America. He comes to see our bikes (to inspect). We try to show him the serial # that he asked for; he will not be shown anything. He stops to talk with a young girl, laughs, visits, while we wait. After several minutes, he ok’s the document without looking at our bikes further. During our wait for him, I ventured uptown, Frank stayed with the bikes, and was taken with the kids (teenagers), on lunch break, walking arm in arm everywhere. I brought back a large container of fresh blackberries for us, ...50 cents. They were so scrumptious!Posted by Dale Thornton at January 07, 2002 12:00 AM GMT
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!