Thursday, 26 September 2013


Only a short ride up from Armenia we had no idea what we were getting into, we had an invitation for accommodation in a smaller town that is partly touristy and party normal.

In and around the area there is a lot to see and do so we made the most of it, for the most of it we were assigned great weather which includes of course the thunder and lightning.

While based at Salento we also took in the Parque Del Cafe which is a huge amusement park with a coffee theme.

This is the cable car to get down to the main area

Guess who is about to get drowned on the water ride 

The place is beautifully kept and very well done, a bridge in the middle

Our tranquil train ride ... or so we thought, at least it started tha way 

A heart stopping and stressful moment was had at Parque Del Cafe when we were on the train, only a couple of minutes into the ride a lady with a baby next to us starts sounding anxious, it was then we saw a motionless baby with eyes rolled back to whites so it was not looking good, then the tears erupted.

Right there and right then something had to happen and very fast, as it would happen we were approaching a medical unit so I pointed it out to the lady and it was all my might to yell out to stop the train, I climbed onto the side front of the carriage yelling as hard as a could in spinglish at the people in the carriages forward of us, even tho the language was not good the message was received loud and clear.

With help from those up front of us in the carriages we managed to get the trained stopped pretty quickly (although it seemed like forever), in between times with the huge commotion we were making one of the medics realized something was not right and came running arriving when the train was slowing down to a standstill and rushed the baby into the medical unit....followed by a very upset mum and family members.

The train then started again after all clear had been given and continued to the next station where we got off and walked back to the medical unit, they had the baby stabilized and breathing which was a huge relief with the mother and family being very appreciative towards us for our effort to stop the train and get help, we waved the foreigners flag high!!!.

DEFINITELY coffee time and don’t be shy with the Baileys to help calm me down, followed by a cold coffee ice-cream ....enough of that kind of excitement for the day!!! 

Moving on to brighter and cheerful stuff the entire park is like a small Disneyworld with rides and attractions everywhere and all included in your admission fee.

We only did a couple of rides because the lines were very long .... and it was a week day, would hate to see it on a weekend!!

The coffee show which was on our list we thought was going to be a semi documentary kinda thing, well it couldn’t have been more different being an incredible very full on theatrical, now for those of you who know how shallow I am with boobs, bikes, booze being best I was taken back with the level of professionalism and outstanding performance.

To be fair I was blown away and we sat right on the front row so we were right on the edge of it.

Of course coffee being the park theme you can buy anything so I managed to find some chocolate coated coffee beans to I can do stupid shit much quicker and feel 20 while doing it .... 

This is the main lookout structure which is pretty high.

On leaving the park I managed to snipe off a picture of the bricks in the main area which are nicely shaped and coloured .... all from our moving cable car......paparazandi 

Back in sleepy Salento we had met some kiwis travelling in South America too, they were normal people not on motos, we kept bumping into them everywhere, so cool to hear the Kiwi twang again so sitting in the main square we gobbed icecreams and swapped travel stories, best for your travels guys, great meeting you.

While chatting to them at a local restaurant we were spotted by Raul and Elida
cos we were wearing out Horizons Unlimited Tee shirts, we ended up chatting with them, turns out he has a 990 Adventure R ... (lucky) bastid so they came and visited us and checked out Maya. 

Seeing them in the parque the next day we organised to head out for tea and have the famous trout and plantain that Salento is known for, ouwh, trout, mushrooms, mushroom sauce, plantain, rice and salad .... what a feed, world famous, sorry for the crap pic the waiter took with the big post in the middle of Ellen (although she is used to that) 

The trout over plantain ..... n i c e 

Salento has some cool surprises like this little red bridge with freezing cold water under it, no deterrent for the craziasian tho 

Also some dreadful graffiti that I was disgusted with, were is the orange paint when ya need it 

Salento town square at night not long after a big downpour

We loved this bar door

To finish, the colourful main street of Salento with the stairs to the lookout

Next up, our assault of Manizales to Murillo at 4234 meters but something first to sacre ALL Kiwi blokes .... mates there is no pair of gumboots big enough for this task, this is the one that DEFINITELY got away 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Riosucio To Armenia To Salento

Travelling through a few small towns netted some giggles, we pull up beside the local motofeds who where very interested in the Colombian crumpet on a scoota, we momentarily broke their stare with the rumbling orange alien, both of the feds giving us the big thumbs up before returning to their ogle. 

Somehow we managed to take a short cut and find ourselves on top of a mountain top looking down on the clouds and wondering what happened, a quick map check and GPS check and we changed route to compensate for the wrong road, but we got to see another town and some cool backroads  .


Armenia is a big city with about 300000 people so we didn’t get to meet all of them.

Town centro was only 2 km away from our couchsurf so we walked in for tea sampling the local empanadas which were fantastic.

Treating Armenia as a tourist stop after mucking around in the back yard we rode up to Buenavista to a cafe ... which was closed , next stop Cordoba, luckily it was open for lunch ,while there we took a small road up to the lookout but we failed on that too missing our turn and going well beyond and way higher up a skinny little road.

Leaving Armenia our destination was Salento, only 40 minutes up the road, at the servo a dude pulled up in a truck wanting to catch up with us for a local ride, we gave him our details but the ride didn’t eventuate.

Salamina to Riosucio

Being in the middle of nowhere and not having a big day setup we cruzed more backroads and gorges making an easy day of if, we dropped 1800 metres and the temperature difference was huge so we were back to sweating again ...ouwer.

On the way down to the main road a dog jumped out of the bushes on the left and ran across the road and straight into us, in a split second I didn’t even have enough time to the “t” out in shit and we hit it, the dog buffed our front wheel clean on the left hand side before heading under the bashplate and the rear wheel . 

With a full tank on board and us, bike, house and contents I estimate the dog took a hit of 400kg weight coupled with about 40 - 50 km /hr impact, we were so bloody lucky not to get hiffed off Maya.

Turning around to go check it out it was apparent he wasn’t coming back from that, a couple of twitches of the lip and stone dead, by this time a small boy had appeared from the house but he didn’t know we ran it over, given the unfortunate rules here we hit the gas and left making as much ground as we could, only two minutes later a moto cop was coming up the road ... that was close. 

Once back on the main road we were inundated by trucks and buses again and so appreciating why we get off the big black ribbon as they are laced with trucks and buses so you spend half your day overtaking.

Again our maps perfected another Houdini escape maneuver as far as roads go, having our trip set around getting off the main drag the plan was to ride into Supia from the back road .....nup all the maps lied again with Mrs.Garmin telling us to turn off through a rock wall ... we decided against that.

So Roisucio was a stopover night however there is a cool hill to climb and get a great vista of the valley so what is a man to do but make the most of it.

They have their crickets there that are very brightly coloured, here is a couple of them having a chat on a log.

The steep path up to the rocky climb to the lookout point

Riosucio from the top

Ellen had organised a couchsurf in Armenia so that was the destination for the day, another cruzy day other than lots of traffic, also being Sunday it seemed the Sunday drivers were out in mass.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Manizales To Salamina, Town And Around

With only a short ride of 78 km it was a lazy start, the road in good condition all the way...for a change....and it was actually there which was a pleasant surprise 

Getting sorted with accom we took Maya to the parking spot cos there was nothing at the hotel but hotel and moto park combined was $13 so not too spendie 

Finding the disappearing road day was the mission for the next day, a 168km shingle road blast at around 3000 meters, my riding skills were put to test yet again with were clay, mud and moss.

Poor ol Maya got a beating suffering a smack in the bashplate and ding in the front head pipe, while trying to take some pics I climbed off the right hand side and accidentally took her with me ..... she dropped onto an ill placed rock, nevermind shit happens.


Turns out it wasn't my fault (a good rider always blames his bike ) as the creek was soft, look mum no stand 

950 excavator making easy work of it

We got to within 11km of our road to discover we are correct and it simply does not exist despite being shown on all our maps and GPS.

This was where the road ended ... literally a you drop off the edge so I had a chat with Mary and as you can see by her body language she said quite clearly your maps and GPS are wrong .... woman they just don't understand 

This was typical of the road conditions

Turning back we headed to Marulanda for lunch, only thing we could get is sweet bread so that was it as well as coffee which was excellent then home james to beat the incoming rain storm, well as luck would have it we followed the rain storm for 20 km and riding into San Felix it dumped in front of us leaving us alone and with only wet roads, the storm turned right and we turned left, perfect.

The rest of the road by this time had all but dried so our return was much swifter, our rear tyre with 19750 km on it not holding on that well and suffering some big cuts from sharp rocks.

Next day (we were only gonna stay on night) we decided to have a rest day and catchup on ride reports etc, I also finished our camera mount and the fuel indicator tube on our CJ tank split and spewed fuel so I had to buy a new tube as well, just one of those fixit days.

Some amusement was had with me bein the only whiteyfoo in town some local kids befriended and it was 20 questions .. and some photos

This is what happens when there is white velcro to touch and play with ...

This we found amusing, the Suzuki shop sells furniture ....seems they don't trust their bikes either 

That my friends is what has been happening in motorcycle and travellers heaven.