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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Congratulations to Rhonda and Ngatikawa

July 25th, 2009 by sunflowers

QuitoCongratulations to my sister Rhonda who just had her fourth child Hawaiki Ngahuia Moetu Hemo Taituha and her husband Ngatikawa who delivered the child. I am looking forward to going back to New Zealand after the trip to see my family.

Posted in Ecuador | 1 Comment »


Mean Old Man

July 24th, 2009 by sunflowers

My border crossing into Ecuador didn’t go so well. The old guy who had to do the paper work for my bike obviously was ticked off with my poor Spanish and served everyone else while I was waiting until one of the guys that came after me finally said he should do my paperwork which the customs official did under duress and I got through the border after four hours of waiting so it was a rush to get to Quito before dark.

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Colombian Confidence

July 23rd, 2009 by sunflowers

I have loved Colombia. The people have been incredibly friendly. Every traffic light I pull up to someone wants to have a chat. And when you are traveling in a foreign country you can feel like it is a have but in Colombia it feels really genuine. So I took a bit of Colombian confidence and when I passed a guy obviously long distance biking I pulled up just to say hi and exchanged a hello with a Belgium rider who gave me a few tips for further south. Also you feel pretty safe in Colombia as all along the road there as military on bikes.

PastoPastoPasto

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Pasto

July 22nd, 2009 by sunflowers

The ride down from Popayan to Pasto was really weird. One moment you were in dry valleys and the next minute in the more typical green Colombian countryside.

PastoPastoPastoPasto

PastoPastoPastoPasto

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


20,000 Miles

July 21st, 2009 by sunflowers

When I got back to Cali I got my chain and sprockets changed as I have just finished 20,000 miles. The bike is running a lot better. But note to oneself: when you ask for the price before the job make sure they tell you, otherwise it may be a lot different than you expected when they tell you at the end.

Then in the morning Mike took me to have the new tyres fitted and I headed towards the border. I was going to stop in Popayan as I had been told it was very beautiful. But driving around the ugly market area I got hit by another bike and decided to skip it. But as it started to rain I changed my mind and decided to stay in Popayan. Which I was glad of as the centre was gorgeous.

PopayanPopayanPopayanPopayan

PopayanPopayanPopayanPopayan

Posted in Colombia | 2 Comments »


Free Lunch

July 20th, 2009 by sunflowers

The next morning I got my astronomy certificate and said a sad goodbye to my new friends. I wish all the best to Tomas, Jeimy, Oscar and Scott. I also finally found the Suzuki bike group I had wanted to join but as they speed pass me on the flats I knew I couldn’t have kept up with them. Though I made it through my first river ford fine (c;

I was a bit hesitant going over the mountain pass again without a good night’s sleep but it turns out there wasn’t as many trucks and buses and they had closed the traffic letting one direction go at a time. So there was times I had the road to myself as well as never having to wait when they were stopping the traffic. Also like most of the mountain passes I have done I rode into a wall of fog.

Then a couple of hours from Cali I ran into the Suzuki group again who invited me for lunch and to ride with them on the way back. I finished my lunch first and got a head start. When they caught up with me later they slowed down a bit so that I could ride with them. It was pretty cool riding with 12-15 fully loaded big V-Stroms until I lost them on an alternative route they said to take into Cali. I was a bit worried but they had stopped for me and a couple of them showed me to my hostel. To all the other Suzuki riders thanks for lunch and riding with me.

CaliCaliCaliCali

CaliCaliCaliCali

CaliCaliCaliCali

Posted in Colombia | 1 Comment »


Back to School and Win and Award

July 19th, 2009 by sunflowers

Today I was salsa dancing by a children’s pool at an astronomy conference in the Desierto de la Tatacoa.

In the morning we missed the bus tour around the desert and instead were invited to join a Bogotá school astronomical club bus. We went to a site set up for UFOs and walked around the desert looking at how the water made little desert rock mushrooms. It was a lot more fun than most of my school outing as everyone was dancing in the isles of the bus. I was interviewed for the school records.

Then in the afternoon we went to the local swimming pool and the Australian and I got pool side salsa dancing lessons. In the evening I won a Colombian travel guide for being the furthest traveled.

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Desierto de la Tatacoa

July 18th, 2009 by sunflowers

I thought that I would be let down by the desert and that what I saw wouldn’t be as good as the pictures. But it was beautiful. A little miniature desert as you could see the mountains and bad weather in the distance. When I got there I couldn’t find the Suzuki riders so I signed up for the Astrology conference with camping and had my tent put up which I was congratulating myself on until they put a hole through it. Then I met three lovely Colombians who were traveling with an Australian and hung with them and watched the star, saw falling a meteorite and looked through a huge telescope at the moons of Jupiter.

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Desierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la TatacoaDesierto de la Tatacoa

Posted in Colombia | 1 Comment »


San Agustin

July 17th, 2009 by sunflowers

In the morning I realised that my new fuel filter was leaking as they hadn’t put clamps around the hose pipe and my chain was really lose again after being tightened in Cali which really worried me.

After spending a bunch of time trying to buy a phone to get a hold of Mike in Cali he said to get someone to take some links out of the chain. I decided to see the archaeological site first and bumped into Alexander again who it turns out was carrying a chain splitter and came back and helped me with my bike which in the end only needed a chain adjustment. And he bought me some clamps for the fuel hose. A big thanks to him and all the people I met at La Casa de Francois who made me dinner two nights in a row.

San AgustinSan AgustinSan AgustinSan Agustin

San AgustinSan AgustinSan AgustinSan Agustin

San AgustinSan AgustinSan AgustinSan Agustin

Posted in Colombia | No Comments »


Lost and Found and Lost Again

July 16th, 2009 by sunflowers

The next morning I headed off to San Agustin and while I was filling up with petrol Alexander a dutch guy on a bike stopped and said hi. As we were going the same way we decided to travel together. I managed to get lost and went from being in the front to behind but I caught up to him. So we started out again and when I stopped for a photo I lost him again and couldn’t find him when I got to San Agustin.

I walked around looking for Alexander and ended up meeting a bloke from Spain, saw a parade with a bunch of motorbikes and hung out at his hostel playing charades with some Colombian students other travellers.

San AgustinSan AgustinSan AgustinSan Agustin

San AgustinSan AgustinSan AgustinSan Agustin

Posted in Colombia | 1 Comment »


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