Things are starting to show some wear!

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

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Where I stayed
Gran Hotel

Flag of Colombia  , Antioquia,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We purchased our vests this morning and paid 17 mil.  That is 17,000 pesos.  If you have been following along you should be able to figure the cost in US dollars by now.  Before they had a chance to get sweat stained, Rene's ripped at the bottom strap.  My T-bag, the big black bag that holds most of my cloths on the back of my bike, has a rip in two of the seams,  I tried to sew it with dental floss last night and it held all day!  The floss is the slippery kind so it is hard to tie off.  The road is nice and twisty with good pavement in pretty country side.  As we climb up into the mountains we can see the clouds shrouding the mountain tops.  I stop to put on a jacket for the first time this trip.  A local says it is summer and it will not rain.  I'm not convinced so put on my covers on the Flex paints I am wearing.  These mesh pants have an outer layer that zips over the mesh, an under layer that is rain proof, but you have to take off the pants to zip in the liner, and another liner that zips to the rain liner that is insulated.  So far I love them, the mesh has been cool enough to wear on the hottest of days.  They have armor in the knees, shins and hips in case I go down.  We will see how they work in the the cooler and colder weather we will get in the mountains. Did you get the right amount in the equation above?  It's about $8:50 US.

The road goes through a small valley where the locals have captured the water coming out of the hills as mountain run off.  They use larger to smaller diameter hose, creating this high pressure to set up truck washing stations all along the road.  The water squirts 30 feet into the air, making geysers all along the road side.  The trucks pull over and the locals wash the trucks. 

We hit very heavy traffic, most of it being large trucks in both directions,  We enter the clouds and the fog is thick. There is no place to pass even if you could see to the front of the truck in front of you.  No shoulder, no fog line and no center line either.  The large dump truck in front of me stops to shift into granny gear, I fear that it will roll back into me and crush us between the truck behind.  No escape route here.  It rolls back a little but the driver gets it going soon enough, Jene in an attempt to get started again stalls his bike. He hits the brakes to keep it from moving back but the road is so steep and oily with the truck droppings that even with the front and back brakes applied the bike slides back about 6 feet.  He keeps it upright and gets going.  The driving requires that you feather the clutch, throttle and rear break to try to stay in gear but not go so fast (one mile per hour or less) that you run into the truck in front of you.  Don't to forget to balance! This gets old on the clutch hand and the pain in your forearm starts to effect the strength in your hand.  We follow the truck in front of us around some obstacle on the right portion of our lane, In the clearing fog we notice that it is Rene, stopped.  We cannot stop here and we're passed him before we could recognize the predicament.  We pull over in a safe place about 200 yards down the road.  We assume at first he has just stalled the bike and will be coming soon.  We get off the bikes and take our helmets off ready to get moving in his direction.  Other trucks beep and point back towards Rene, Jene and I are off running up the hill now,  We notice the elevation immediately but keep on going, then out of the fog comes Rene, he shouts something, we cant tell if it is in English, Spanish, or French or a combination of each.  He is OK and will stop when he sees Fern watching the bikes.  We return, out of breath to discover that the clutch has gone out in his Suzuki, we attempt to adjust it so we can continue.  That gets us to a safer pull out only a few hundred feet ahead, the clutch is toast!

We get all sorts of help from the truckers and the little shop keepers here at this turnout,  We get the manuals out but decide that our attempt to adjust the clutch was correct, it is the clutch that is the problem.  Even after letting it cool the bike will not go, especially on the 30 minute mountain road to the nearest village.  A tow truck is called.  It comes in about an hour, it is modern and we have the bike loaded and strapped down in no time.  Off we go to the town of Yarumal.  The mechanic tries to adjust the clutch and they change the engine oil.  No joy!  Of course we draw a crowd as we motor into town and no one walks by the shopwithout wanting to help or just to enquire about us and examine the bike.  One guy comes out of his shop across the street, he speaks english and offers to help in any way he can.  We have the shop order the parts for installation tomorrow.  Find a hotel and get some food in us soon!
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ed on

My mom's hometown. I havent been to Yarumal for 30 yrs. Its great to see your photos here...brings back memories.

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