Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cartagena to Medellin June 19th thru 23rd, 2013

June 19th thru 23rd, 2013
So on the 19th after saying our good byes to the parking lot attendant we found a hotel in bocagrande for 70k and we split it, it was like a dorm room one block from the main beach in Cartagena.  Stayed there one night.  Then the next day the 20th Tony decided to take a couch surfing offer for 15k pesos a night and he invited me, but I had talked the lady at the front desk into giving me a smaller room for 35k a night.  Then Tony and I parted ways, and I just hung out at the beach, and walked around to get to know the place, also took several rides thru the city.  The beach was nice, they sell everything from crabs, oysters, drinks, nick nacks anything you want which can get very expensive.  The next day the 21st I headed to Fatima a clinic in Historic Centro to get my Yellow fever shot.  Tony said he paid $30, but at this clinic it was free.  Then it was early enough I decided to ride towards Medellin and get started on my way to Ecuador.  That first night I made it 175km to Sincelejo and found a room with the most hilarious family, we talked for an hour.  The guy at first didn't understand my spanish, so I made fun of him and his wife laughed, then he did too and we finally started communicating and I told them my whole adventure story which every one wants to know how I got to Colombia, and they get a kick out of it, and I like telling it.  I went across the street and the same thing happened the lady didn't understand me at first but they always smile when they say they don't understand which tells me they can't believe I can speak spanish.  The meal ended with 6 people crowded around me as I told my story and showed photos. The food was great and a lot of it for 5$ I had a huge skirt steak, menudo, which they call mondango and a drink.  Then I went to bed no a/c but didn't need it.  Wifi was good.  Shower was weak. The next day the 22nd,  I had my usual oatmeal with banana and instant coffee on my electric burner and pot in the room.  I said my goodbyes, which is always hard, but I knew I had many miles ahead of me, because I was going to drive 471 km through mountains, fog, winding roads sometimes unpaved and under construction.  This was further than my previous record of 365km by a lot.  The riding really wears your body down after 10 hours.  By 7am I was getting it.  80-90km per hour sometimes 95, but rarely.  After 115km of riding I stopped for a snack, and a gas.  Then I headed another 100km and stopped for lunch.  Met a nice lady with some really tasty chicken soup.  Told her my story then headed out again.  Everytime I see a "minutos" sign I have to is pure freshly cut and squeezed orange juice for .50 cents.  I also took several photos of interesting roadside things like dried whole armadillo meat, rodent meat, and bagre (catfish).  Then around 350km the road got really mountainous and I was very high up.  There had been road construction and one stop where 50 or more 18 wheelers and cars were stopped, but they let me pass through and go through all the construction.  I was all alone on the road, then suddenly I drove into this thick cloud and I was all wet, and the road was wet and slick I didn't realise I still had my sunglasses on, then the road turned sharp I tried to stop, but no chance.  I laid the bike down and went airborn and slammed into a ditch right across my diaphragm and knew I was hurt.  Several people saw it and ran over, but They tried to roll me over, but I couldn't breathe and needed to stay on my side.  Eventually I could breath again.  The bike was not hurt.  I went to a house and washed all the blood off my knees and legs, and couldnt bend my left middle finger, but had a lot of pain in my stomach where i took most of the impact against he concrete.  All in all after twenty minutes and some very nice people I was on my way again, with bloody knees.  I learned to wear pants the hard way, but I had decided it was too hot to wear them, but in the mountains it was freezing.  So I stopped at a tienda (little store) cause I saw they had coffee, and it was a great decision.  They were so friendly, and we talked for an hour.  The people, the mountains, the cities, are ao nice here.  I didn't want to leave tjat little store, I could have stayed there forever I think.  Such a beautiful place.  Then I headed to Medellin and saw hang gliding on the mountain side for 50$. Which I would have done if I wasn't in pain already.  A couple on a Yamaha 650 that had been taking photos of me finally caught up with me there and we talked a while.  They both spoke English and wanted photos.  Then I made it to this crazy city.  The hotel is cheap and secure 15$ a night.  Had dinner on the balcony for $3 then went to bed.  Gonna rest up here and recover one more day.  My knee's are swollen, my left hand middle finger is black and blue and swolen may have broke it, my knees are all scraped up, see photo,  and my Back hurts...bummer.

Photos are of:
My hotel room in Cartagena near the playa
Photos around Cartagena and of Centro touristico (4 photos)
Armadillo meat
Rodent and deer meat
Minutos juice stand
 Kid juggling fire and swords at the traffic light
Bagre "catfish" for sale
Small town near a river bridge
Road where the construction began right before my accident
Fog on the road 
After the wreck my friend who gave me 3 free cups of coffee
 Waterfall and beautiful views
The hang gliding place, where I want to return maybe
A guy from Colombia and his wife saw my Mexico plates and asked about my trip so we took a photo.  Very friendly people in Colombia.
Medellin finally, and views from the balcony in my hotel restaurant
My location on mapquest.

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