Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Day 107: Palmira to nearly Pasto, Colombia

Hello folks,
Well we woke this morning at around 4am to the sound of booming thunder and lashing rain. "Ah well", we said, "it won't last." It lasted. Bother. We ducked across the road for a lovely egg and ham breakfast and lugged our luggage up the road to the parking area and loaded up. And headed out into the rain at about 7.30am.

We had a great run out of Palmira and back onto Panamerican 25 which is to be our companion for some time. The road was freeway for a while and then kept splitting off onto seemingly minor roads and then back onto freeway again. It wasn't a hell of a lot of fun with the rain sheeting down and the temperature dropping to 17C. I had my goretex jacket on but only my Draggin jeans so I was half dry and half wet. Shirley was also pretty wet from the waist down.

We stopped for a coffee at a pastry place and had a chat to a young man selling bee products: pollen, honey and some white stuff that queen bees make (?)

Shirley took photos of the baking. These are turtles.

and various buns.

As we went to leave the owner of the shop came out and gave Shirley a turtle loaf. We'll have it for breakfast!

Then it was back out into the rain.

This is an avenue of wet eucalyptus trees.

We started to climb again up into the hills.

past some simple churches

and simple animals.

Every now and then we came to a toll station. Bikes don't pay tolls but we have to go down this narrow little channel down the side. This is a bit like the one where I lost my balance a few days ago and had tipover #5. It is a trifle narrow on a big bike with pillion and full set of luggage!

Everywhere we go though we attract a lot of attention. People are surprised by the cc rating of the bike and all the luggage. Even the police! And our origin and destination. It is all very friendly and jovial.

Shirley liked the phlox - just like her mum used to grow.

The roads must be tough on suspension however. This landcruiser was rolling all over the place. It was not atypical.

And this bus!

We had soup for lunch at a truckers' and bus stop and pressed on. The weather was gradually improving but the road wasn't as we faced kilometre after kilometre of rough potholed roads. We were leading and going a bit faster than D&D so stopped to let them catch up.

Then I got a text from Diana to say they had had a breakdown, that the bike had stopped and wouldn't restart. We went back to meet them but fortunately met them upright and mobile. They had solved the problem and were back on the road again. Phew!

Here's us at some roadworks. There was just enough room for the bikes to squeeze by.

Then we went into an amazing mountain pass. The scenery was stunning. Quite unlike anything we had expected to see in Colombia. It didn't do to look over the edge.

With a number of road tunnels.

Finally we arrived in a little town about 20kms short of Pasto. It was after 430pm so we decided to stop at a nice hotel where we have had dinner and will hole up for the night.

All is good despite the ribs. A tough day with the rain and the rough roads but a good one nonetheless. Tomorrow - Ecuador! Woohoo! :-) And some days of R&R while Dick pops back to New Zild.

Today's run 377kms
Cumulative: 27,551
Tipovers: 6

Location:Nearly Pasto, Colombia

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