Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 24th, 2013 Monday
woke up packed went downstairs with my coffee cup and got a refill.  Then i packed, went across the street to the other hotel so the lady could unlock my moto from the room it was locked in next to the street.  This was downtown Medellin, so I was blocking the sidewalk while loading my moto.   So i hurried and in the process forgot to look at my map before I left wifi range.  So i took off, got lost really bad and it was Monday morning rush hour traffic, and it's just a complicated city to drive in of 2.5 million people, so 30km, yes 30km later I was on my way out of town.  The mountains came quickly, and the ride was simply amazing...you can't come close to understanding the experience with a camera.  So I had reset my odometer knowing I had 425km to get to Cali...well there is a song, by LL Cool J I remember from junior high school.  It goes  "Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, I'm going back to Cali..huh, I don't think so!". Is how the lyrics went I think.  And that's exactly what happened.  Right at 100km my bike began to wobble in the back really bad and I was in winding mountain curves and just before this happened at times I was hitting 100km/hr. I pulLed over at this restaurant hotel and asked a guy to spin the tire and sure enough I had a problem...13 broken spokes!, yes, 13 of 24 were broken.  I could go nowhere and I was stuck there in the middle of nowhere.  The lady at the front desk had no suggestions and I was 10 miles from anywhere.  So I decided to eat lunch, yes eat lunch that's what I do when I'm depressed...eat.  But I had the best meal ever.  Catfish head soup for the first time too! And it was good. I booked a room for 15000 pesos or 7.50$ Then I worked to see if it was possible to remove some front wheel spokes to the back wheel...no chance, you gotta remove the rubber tire.  So  I struck up a conversation with a guy eating and he decided to help me out...thank goodness.  He tried to help me get the back tire off so we could carry it on his scooter into the next town, 9km away...no chance, no tools.  So we took off and went to the moto taller(shop) and a guy showed up and my friend shook my hand i thanked him and he left, then me and the mechanic got on his moto and went to the hotel to take the tire off.  5 minutes later we were headed back to town with the tire.  Then we stopped at the tire shop and removed the tube and tire, wrapped the rim in paper and took off 25km to the next town.  The nicest people ever were there.  We actually went to a bicycle shop where a little old man said he would have it done in 1 hour for 14000pesos or 7$.. Thats with all of the broken spokes replaced with new ones and tuning.  I felt like I was back in my Baytown in 1982 at Delgado's bicycle shop.  So alvaro took me to change $40.00 at a grocery store for 1800 per dollar.  Then we went back and watched the old man finish working and talked to him and a cycler.  Then we went back to the tire shop, put the tire back on the rim $5000 pesos, then rode back to the hotel and Alvaro finished the job and even adjusted the breaks and tightened the chain 40,000 pesos.  In all it was a great day, and I got to meet all kinds of new people and experience the lives of the Colombian people, it was worth the $34.50 it cost me to fix the moto.  Plus the hotel turned out to be really cool.  It's on a river bank with rushing rapids surrounded by mountains.  But I gotta move on, Tomorrow...I really am going to Cali!  Lord willing.

Photos are of:
 My hotel in Medellin
Views of the mountains 75km outside of Medellin
The kitchen at the hotel
My lunch with fish head soup b4 abd after
The cook
My room
The tire shop
The moto repair shop 

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