No wifi tonight so I thought I would write to my younger grandson Lachie. And post it tomorrow sometime. You're welcome to read along so long as you appreciate that I am talking to him and not you. :-)
Saturday 20 October, 2012
This is a letter to you from Pa Ken and Nana Shirley who are holidaying (sort of) in Colombia which is in South America. It is a pretty cool but very hot place filled with lots of lovely smiley people who are very friendly, hospitable and helpful so long as they are not driving.
This morning we left a little town called Taraza. It was Saturday morning 6.30am so some kids were going to school
And men were sharing an early morning gossip and coffee
but it was a big cleaning day for many.
We like trucks that are parked being washed. It means they are off the road! Phew.
Lots of people hung their washing out on the front fence.
Or used a waterfall.
The little three-wheel taxis were having a day off.
We climbed up a huge hill that went up to 2700metres asl. (above sea level) That is quite a long way up Nana Shirley's mountain, Mount Egmont/Taranaki. There were lots and lots of trucks that weren't being washed. Nana Shirley took this photo with a car whizzing by in the other direction. Isn't that great!
But it was hard work. Every time you went to pass a truck, you took your lives in your hands. I think my mum might have been keeping an eye on us.
We stopped for breakfast at a place called Valdavia. Kiwi checked out these young boys. You should have seen their eyes when they saw and heard Kiwi.
Here is the view from the restaurant dunny. I would have stood on the toilet seat to take the photo but Colombia is not strong on toilet seats. Or roses.
Nana Shirley took this great photo of me. Don't you think I look younger in my motorbike jacket?
The road was hard work though with lots of slips, washouts, huge pot holes and cavernous slumps. That's like a slump as big as a cavern and is quite different from the slump your great grandad lived through in the 1930s.
Lovely waterfalls though.
Up on the high plain we were in dairy country. Did you know that Nana Shirley was brought up on a diary farm? So she took lots of photos of cows, calves and milky things.
She old enough to remember when milk came in these.
Some milk is carried in tankers but some is carried by donkeys. Also known as asses.
We came to a town called Medellin which looked on the map as though it had a three lane highway right through the middle. Hurrah we said, no heavy traffic! Wrong.
It took us nearly 90 minutes to travel about 15kms. And because Pa Ken has two broken ribs (one in the front and one in the back) and because Ebony is heavily laden with Nana Shirley and all our stuff he found it quite difficult.
As we rode out of town we stopped for lunch and Nana Shirley, as usual, rushed round taking photos of people's food.
It was about 2pm by now so we thought we would ride for about another hour and then find a hotel. Especially as it had started to rain. Well we went and we went and we went and could not find a hotel. We also began a steep windy climb down the mountain on a road that was clogged with trucks and cars. It was not much fun. Drivers here like to be in front of you. They don't necessarily want to go faster than you, they just want to be in front of you. I don't know why. Ask your mother. Here is a little Chevy trying to get as close the Mella as possible.
And some mules going up the hill.
At about 4.30 we came to a place called La Pintada which means "The Picture" in Spanish. I think. Ask your mother. She'll know. And a posh hotel with a swimming pool. Our room has a toilet seat but no shower rose.
And before you you could say "Don't call me late for breakfast" we were in, unpacked and sloshing swimmingly around in circles. Painful circles for Pa Ken but energetic circles for Nana Shirley. Then a shower, a cervesa and a meal and we are done.
Today we rode for exactly 300 kilometres.
In total we have ridden for 26,827 kilometres from Vancouver to Alaska to here and fallen over six times. Two for Nana Shirley and I, two for me all by my little lonesome and two for Dick and Diana.
That's all for now Lachie. Be a good boy for your mother and father. Or not, if you don't want to be.
With lots of love from Pa Ken and Nana Shirley.
Location:La Pintada, Colombia