Thursday, 9 August 2012

On the road to Medellin, Colombia

 Escapee...!!


I have to admit, first day on my own in a long time was filled with the feeling of freedom and rock and roll!!!  I rode fast to the music and stopped whenever I wanted to stop.  There are pluses and minuses to riding on your own, and today is a plus day!

Intrigued by these water houses.. from what I can tell, they are set up for fish farming.

Fresh fish anyone??

I traveled along the water until I needed to turn inland a bit.

I've seen a lot of weird animal warning signs.. bears, moose, koalas, but never rats. I assume that is a water rat anyway.


Wiggling through town with all the bikes..


And into the country.


Things got a little rougher here and I had an UNUSUAL experience.  I came up to a couple cars that were stopped in the road and several people around them in the opposite direction.  As I got closer, I noticed the brown rope, so I slowed down and stopped.

The people here were men, but they were dressed like women, very dirty in a rough dread-locky sort of Mad-Max way.  I was warned about these rope people.  Highway robbery!  This is my first and only time it ever happened, so by the time I worked it out, they had surrounded my bike.  Only some of them. The others were still working on the little red car on the other side of the road.

They were speaking to me in Spanish and I just pretended I didn't understand, I spoke to them in English.

During my nervous conversation with them and pretending to be totally confused about what they were asking for, they let their guard down and were holding the rope only half as high as before.  If they were smart, they would have stood in front of my bike, but I quite honestly think they were on drugs anyway.  I'm also thinking they were not so forceful with me because I was a woman and ALONE.  I don't know that for sure, but maybe.

With lady-men on each side of my bike, I knew if I rode through the rope, my tire would be enough to push it down and I gunned it!

I was shaking most the rest of the day. That was really scary.  No way was I going to take photos, and let them see my camera, but they were quite a sight.  I remember the long black dread locks, dresses and skirts, earrings and lipstick, mustaches and very hairy legs. Very surreal, it would have been worthy of a movie scene!

I've been told that sometimes they pull the rope up just as you're passing so you fall off the bike and they rob you then.  Since it never happened before, my guard was down.  Now I'll keep an eye out for them......




I eventually stopped and stayed the night in a small village on the road to Medellin.  Even when I unpacked I noticed I was still shaking a bit from the rope experience hours earlier.  This is when I really missed Kevin. 

The next morning, back on the road alone was nowhere near as nice as the feeling of freedom I had yesterday.  Even though I felt pretty confident I made the right choice yesterday.

Later on, I noticed along the road a lot of the locals bringing their milk in to what I assume is a treatment or distribution barn?



As I got closer to Medellin, it was getting more and more mountainous.



And then...finally made it to the big smoke... Medellin!


Gui and David who were on the Independence with us had told me a good place to stay in town, when I spoke to them on email a couple days ago. They literally left the morning I arrived so I got their room.  There are only 2 rooms available here on top of the Shamrock Pub, so I'm quite lucky I got in.


We wiggled the bike through the bar and parked it in the back room.. where it is definitely in good company!  Imagine, out of all the bikes in the world, the owners here are passionate KTM riders too.. check out the wall color. These are my people! ;-)


And check out my motorcycle room!  Pretty cool.. So if you are coming through Medellin on motorcycle, you might want to book this in advance.  


Once I settled in, I emailed James.  I knew he was still riding with Mark, whom we both left in Nicaragua several weeks ago. I thought I knew they had moved on from Medellin already, but wanted to let them know I had arrived.

He didn't respond to my email, but not long after, I hear a very light tapping on my door.  Couldn't believe when I opened, it was James!  What the heck?  I thought you left Medellin already?

Turned out they did leave Medellin, however Mark had another small accident (which is also what happened when I met him in Guatemala!).  So they returned to the city to get Mark's front forks repaired. 

Shortly after that Conor (who was also on the Independence with us), is in town too!! He showed up to meet us here for beer, which I quickly came to learn the Shamrock to be our daily hangout.  Works for me, drink all I like and if it's too much, not too far to go!

So there ya go. I've got friends in town I didn't expect.. I'm really happy to see them and it couldn't be more perfect.  Motociclistas Unite!


Welcome to Medellin! ;-)))
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5 comments:

  1. That's the part that scares me about Central and South America, I have heard too many bad stories. Glad you made it okay. Keep safe.

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  2. Fair enough George. I guess I would respond with a quote from Helen Keller: "Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing." It is scary at times, but in comparison to staying home due to fear, the risk is worth it.

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    1. Oh, I totally agree with you, I would rather be on the road regardless. Being in unknown surroundings is an amazing feeling, not having a set destination is beautiful :-)

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  3. You are a very, very lucky! You showed some major sense under pressure by seeing that exit from the situation - not all of us are so able. I know a few similar cases that didn't turn out so well. I'm curious - what were they saying to you? Did they want just your money or the bike as well?

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    1. Hi Jayne.. they were speaking very fast, wanting me to open my tank bag..they were not after the bike.

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