August 24, 2019
We have now been on the road for a month and in that month a lot has happened and time has flown by.
Normally I had my head back at work a long time ago, but that is not necessary now -😊
I had to clear some paperwork and wait for the boat but eventually the boat arrived and we got, with very good help from Paola Linares and Craft, my bike through customs..
Meanwhile, two weeks on the bike and it’s great.
Of course, first the adventure to drive to Punta Gallina. That was more than 500 km off road in 3 days. Really super. It is hard to ride with Margje on the back off road, it is also slower (we drove over 5 hrs per day, in heat , sun and dust) and sand is completely impossible, but it all worked out.
We have fallen twice (fallen over), the front wheel turns away and there is no stopping. I ended up with my foot twice under the case (painful, but no damage).
After the first day (to arrive in Cabo de Vela ) the effort and the heat proved to take its toll. Slept very badly at night, probably a kind of heat stroke. In the morning, Margje got a dehydration drink from the local Pharmacia and helped me on top of it. In short, we added a compulsory rest day, which was not a punishment.
Another experience, was that around the Wayuu villages roadblocks were made by children / mothers by tensioning wires over the road. You then had to provide water and / or soluble coffee and / or cookies, after which the wire was lowered . On the advice of our guide, we did some big shopping before we took off. Champj (pronounce Shampoo), our guide carried a whole bag of water pockets and Margje carried a bag full dissolution coffee / biscuits). In a village there was often not 1 wire across the road, but several one after the other.
Then from Riohacha to Valledupar, Bucaramanga and now Villa de Leyva (a kind of open-air museum town).
The road has many variants, such as:
- well paved;
- asphalted but with many holes;
- dual lanes (almost a highway); that gets along nicely
- uphill and downhill (single lane), many curves and all the way up and then all the way down), so many altitude meters;
And many adventures on the road:
- many very large trucks (that can only go uphill very slowly), and many cars behind them that cannot overtake (luckily that is possible with our motor);
- stopped several times in a long traffic jam due to an accident or breakdown with / from trucks ( such as failling brakes) ;
- a huge downpour, which caused many branches on the road ;
- and huge stretches of half paved / offroad.
We are not quite sure yet, but it seems that our average speed is somewhere around 50 km per hour. So the distances that we can cover per day are not great (250-350 km).
I suspect that a car here is less than 25 km per hour.
The motor is doing great, nice and smooth, up and down the mountains, we even have the most pulling power of everything that goes on the road -😊
There are many checkpoints en route, both from the police and from the army, but motorbikes and therefore we can always drive on. Also with the accidents that we saw the motorbikes at the front of the queue were allowed to continue and we were able to continue quickly.
We refuel at petrol stations, there are plenty of them, but there is also a lot of petrol on the side of the road. Of these, our hosts say that we should not take it because water and sand polution. This is smuggled gasoline from Venezuela.
We have also seen many refugees (from Venezuela) along the road walking with their entire family and very few possessions (very sad). The road we have travelled is actually the first major road after the border, hence. Bogota and Ecuador are the main destinations.
The overnight places that we find are fine, somewhat small, to be able to store and dry all luggage and motorcycle suits, etc. (or from sweat or rain), but clean and good beds.
We want to travel from Villa de Leyva (go take some pictures later) to a finca of an acquaintance, is about 250km. I think we will stay there two days, then to Bogota to book the flight to Letitia. There we take the boat to Manaus and fly back to Tabatinca (Brazilian side of the three-country point). Jeroen Ijgosse has given us many good tips for the trip across the Amazon.
We are in Bogota right now, flying out to Letitia tomorrow. We can park the bike with a friend of ours and take only some hand luggage on our Amazone trip.