Colombi Part 2



So here we go, part 2. On my way out of Guatape, I just happened to look down at my display. Slamming on the brakes I saw my WR250R has achieved 50,000 miles! Wooohooo. By the way, my moto is called “Bunny” (Conejito in Spanish). It is for sentimental reasons. But she lives up to here name.

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​Leaving Guatape

I am going to Bogota. The capital city of Colombia. A friend of mine found me an Airbnb there for cheap.
While in Bogota, I plan on having service to my bike done.
I initially went to the Yamaha dealership here, but when I arrived there was a cue of people waiting to have their bike serviced. Most of them were actually police officers. The majority of the motorcycle police ride Yamaha XT660’s or Suzuki V-Strom’s (Which are actually made here in Colombia) I decided that the Yamaha shop was not going to be the best option, so I searched the web for a recommended mechanic in Bogota. There I found a great mechanic which I found through the Horizons Unlimited webpage. My bike is not common here in Colombia or anywhere else for that matter, so I often get lots of questions. These two officers were impressed with my journey thus far, so I bought them coffee and talked about life on the road and life in the United States.

​​Karma Coffee
Off to the recommended shop which was KTM!

So I will say that the guys at KTM Powershop in Bogota are a first rate dealer and mechanic shop. The mechanics there are very well trained and they pay attention to detail. They can work on just about any motorcycle.

​​The service I wanted to have was to inspect the valve clearances on the engine. The manual recommends every 26,000 miles. Now that I was at 50,000 and had access to a good mechanic, it only made sense.

I left my bike in good faith for a good service and that is exactly what I got. My mechanic, Fredy, was outstanding. He went over the bike from head to toe and found things that I would have not have seen myself.

That week long ride across the ocean from Panama to Colombia really took its toll on my electrical.
​​That's not good

​​Shit show

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All better!
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​​Perfect!

So while my bike was in the shop, I took the time to relax and enjoy the city. Bogota is actually a very cool city. It’s a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s with its punk scene.

There are a bunch of places that have punk shows or support the local punk scene. I went to Bar Asilo one night because they had a bunch of bands playing. One of the headliners was a Rakta, a female band from Brazil. They rocked!

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​​A few days later my bike was ready.

​​My excellent Mechanic Fredy! Gracias!

Going back to the small world thing, I happened to notice a friend I made in Costa Rica was now in Bogota. So, I contacted him and we met up for coffee to share travel stories and plans.

​​My friend Tim for Notier Frontiers

One of the main attractions near Bogota and maybe one of the only reasons to go there for some is the Salt Cathedral about an hour north of the city.

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquir√° is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 metres underground in a halite mountain. It opened in 1995.

​​The entrance

​​The mine is absolutely huge, and most of it you don’t actually get to see.

As you work your way down the mine, you see an exhibit called the stations of the cross which depicts the crucifixion of Jesus. This leads you to the main Cathedral.

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​​Groovy chandelier

​​Pope salt lick?




​​The main cross of the Cathedral at 50 meters tall

​​School field trip

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​​Elegant carvings in the salty walls of the mine.

​​These nuns were singing in a choir

​​Making friends!

I spent the rest of the time in Bogota relaxing and exploring the city.

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​​The Presidential Palace

​​Presidential Guard

I stopped into the famous gold museum. They have stuff that looks like it came from an Indiana Jones movie.

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​​Cool

After Bogota I headed out of the urban life for some solace time in the desert. Colombia has a very diverse geography.

​​Tatacoa Desert

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This valley below looks like small, but you can actually walk through these valleys.

​​Dick rock

After spending a few days in the desert, I met up with my friend Steve. We planned to ride to Ecuador together and a famous road called the “Trampoline road of the devil”. It’s supposed to the Colombian Road of Death. And although it was a cool ride, I didn’t find it any different that a forest road in the Olympic Peninsula.

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There are some pretty funny blog post out there where they write about a “near death” experience.

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​​Dusty bike after a great ride.

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We took the “death road” to a border town called Ipiales near the Ecuador frontier. There, just outside town is a famous church called Las Lajas Sanctuary, a Catholic pilgrimage site. This towering Gothic-style church and its arched bridge span the Gu√°itara River in a steep-sided gorge southeast of town. Built in the 20th century, they mark the spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a mother and her daughter in 1754.

Jesus is magic!

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The site is very tranquil and the church is beautiful. The next day we would venture in to Ecuador ending another chapter in this journey and another country in the mirror.

Although I didn’t explore as much of Colombia as I would have liked to, I found it to be a wonderful and friendly place. I would return here without a doubt.

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​​Adios Colombia.

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