A six hour ride that was really nine!

Trip Start Dec 25, 2009
Trip End Feb 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Auten Hotel

Flag of Colombia  ,
Monday, January 25, 2010

Left Turbo at 7:30 laughing at what the tour book says about this town. "The best thing about Turbo is seeing it in your rear view mirror!"
I had a dream that when I finally got on to the bike I got sick from motion sickness, ironic at best!  It was good to be back in charge of our own destiny and schedule.  If we screwed it up it was our own fault and not some captain!  The road started out good got bad , improved, got worse, then finally got better.  The worse part was about what seemed like 2 hours of very dusty dirt and gravel road.  With lots of traffic, were were dusted immediately.  We came around a left hand corned to find a broken down truck in our lane and another coming.  We stopped in the soft shoulder dirt.  As I placed my right foot down it slid in the soft sand causing me to drop my bike on the right side.  This no motion, no speed crash caused no real damage as I just crow stepped off the bike as it went down.  I tried to soften the blow to the pannier by struggling to keep it up as long as I could.  Jene helped me pick it up and we were off again.

We hit many toll stations but bikes can go for free. We were directed by whistles to the first of many very narrow lanes designed for small scooters to squeeze through about a 2 foot wide lane with 18 inch curbs on both sides that catch foot pegs.  Add in a few poles on both sides of the lane and you have about 2 inches on each side of your panniers to make it through!  Careful here boy!  Rene led most of the way today and did a great job navigating with out signs.  As he approached a bridge, there was a small lane along the right side of the bridge.  No some people might see this as a sidewalk, not this group as we are conditioned to change and surprises.  Rene rode up the sidewalk, Having a little more time to review the situation Fern and the last two of us stayed on the road.  I laughed as I thought about how I probably would have done the same thing!

We found our way in the 97 degree heat to Cartagena.  We arrived just as night fell.  We decided to hale a taxi to find the Centro Hotel that was described in the book.  The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site founded in 1553.  The historic zone of the city is fabulous with its walls surrounding the central city to protect the storehouse of plundered treasures.  These walls were built by the Spanish to fortify the city from the likes of Pirates named Hood and Sir Francis Drake.  The taxi lost Jene and Rene, found the wrong hotel where we flagged down another taxi who also couldn'tīt find the hotel.  By luck and a small city center we stumbled up on the hotel about the same time.  It was full!  We found one close by.  Exhausted and smelling to high heaven we dined on pizza before our rooms were ready.  Jene and opened our door and turned on the light for find more that enough scurrying going on to suit us.  Too tired to care we stepped on what we could, took showers and went to bed.  Jene reported one bug inspecting his forehead during the night.

I placed my spot out on the common balcony this morning to send the OK signal.  When I returned after breakfast it was gone.  Stolen.  The hotel staff were not to concerned even when I demanded the police be notified.  Not sure what I will do but check the site to see if the perp hits the OK button telling me where the Spot is located.  Those of you watching the site can be sure we are no longer in control of it as of now.  Really bummed.

Jene and I had a haircut and shave today and are looking quite handsome if I do say so myself.  It feels good to look better. 
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Lee and Marilyn Warren on

Hi Jene and all.....we are following your adventures every step of the way. Enjoying your blog tremendously and admire your stamina and gutsy approach to all the trials and tribulations encountered thus far. Happy Birthday, belatedly Jene. Stay safe, and keep those bikes upright!!

Maud & Carl on

We really enjoy following your adventure.... the writing is absolutely great to read! A big hug to my dad Rene. I can't wait to ear all the stories from your mouth. Be strong and safe. Je t'Aime xxxx Maud

Gregorio on

I caught up on your blog today. I applaud you all for enduring such primitive conditions to get to Columbia. I hope your luck turns for the better as you head south. Say "Hi" to Jene, Rene' and Fernand for me. Bummer about your Spot...

Be safe and keep up the great blog!

Kizzy + 4 on

I'm not sure if I still want my kids to adore pirates and captains..... That's a "once in a lifetime experience" you just did......hopefully!! Say hello to my dad (Rene) and look for Fernando Botero paintings and sculpture.....he's the most famous artist from Colombia!! Ride safe!!

Charles on

Stealing a gps must be the dumbest thing I have heard of. You will know exactly where to find them the next time they use it. Go get em!

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