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Bo 'n' Louise

A blog about one of our trips

The unprepared round-the-world tour starting 29th of June 2009.
First phase was from USA to South America on motorcycles. We made it, and the bikes are sold.
Second phase was the South Pacific... from island to island in old fashion backpacker style.
Third phase was around and around in Southeast Asia.
In fourth phase Louise went back to Denmark (August 2010) for work, while Bo continued in East Asia.
In fifth phase we were both on work, Louise in South America and Bo in Southeast Asia.
In the sixth phase Louise was in Denmark while Bo was making his way home through Russia.
By November 2010 both Louise and Bo were back in Denmark and an amazing journey has ended - but then there is always the next trip :-)

Road dolls

Colombia Posted on Sun, December 13, 2009 19:23:49

Our last impression of Colombia was a bit weird. The way from Popayan to the border has been described to us as dodgy and non-descriptive, but we founded it quite beautiful with a winding road that offered gorgeous view over mountains and valleys. But we encountered a strange phenomenal on the stretch.

People have placed their old relatives along the curb to beg from the passing trucks and car… and us. I’m not quite sure how it worked, for nobody would be sane enough to stop. So the only option would be throwing the money at the old people in high speed. Either they would get hit by a coin going 80 km/h (not good) or the coins will be lost for ever in the bushes, which the old folks will be to weak to search. But it didn’t stop here, for when granny has so much fun, the kids also wanted to join in. So kids had installed robe across the road to force cars to stop and pay, well that was the idea anyway. Every time we approached a robe it was lowered, so I never got a chance to hear how a rough hemp rope ripped out of a child’s hand will sound.

But now come the strange part. Even though these old folks and children were at every 50 meters, they have come up with this clever idea. They have made beggar dolls, substituting real beggars, and placed them along the road. Dressed in cloths and hard to recognize, when coming with high speed. A kind of beggar machine. Oh it was so clever. That way the oldies probably also avoided a lot of bruises.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get at picture of one of those dolls… see, we couldn’t stop.



Mantour

Colombia Posted on Mon, December 07, 2009 05:44:02

Just something to start off with… wroooom

As Louise went to Brazil for a friends wedding I ventured off on a mantour with two other bikers, Adrian (Switzerland) and Ollie (UK).

Popayan… in its nightgown

First we went to Popayan and Silvia to check out the Indian market.

Yep… we have arrived to the highland of South America

Since Ollie’s bike had taken a dip into the harbor in Cartagena the bike’s electronic was not quite as it should be, so he stayed back when Adrian and I went hinterlands to Tierradentro (tombs) and San Agustin (stone statues) on dirt roads.

Adrian and Ollie… two warm bikers. The Indians was very fascinated with the outfits

Great transportation we are missing since we have our own wheels

The driving was great… as in fairly crappy, but nice views:

We managed to get to Tierradentro without any mishaps… I know I know, very boring. At least did a snake almost ran/crawl into me on the trek around Tierradentro… and I was not so proud of my not-so-manly “fuuuuck” outburst.

The church in San Andres/Tierradentro… looks like something from… hmmm

The local fan club… the girl in the front and I are standing on the same level

Been there…

The next day we could choose to make a shortcut to save some hours of dirt roads, it just involved a bamboo bridge and two heavy motorcycles.

Me on my way out on the bridge

I came over, so now it was Adrians turn

Almost… just have to remember to dug the head

And we did it… check out the guy in the back, he was very keen to get in the picture

So we got to San Agustin, saw the statues and headed back over the mountains to Popayan.

Female soccer in 3000 m

A manly biker (no, I’m not Lord of the Dance) in front of a lovely restaurant at 2500 m

When driving around in SA you see quite often some… how can I put it, something unusual. I have made a little collection (click to see bigger). The first one might need some explanation, it a person on a bike holding on to the truck:

So if you want to see pictures from the places we visited on the tour, goto Globe Spots.

Indian market in Silvia

Ancient tombs in Tierradentro


Stone statues from a lost civilization



Surprices..

Colombia Posted on Mon, November 30, 2009 23:40:25

We left Villa de Leyva – a little tired of having bad conscience about taking 7 minutes showers.. – and all the other things you apparently should feel bad about – asking and banning doesn’t seem to be enough.. :-S
A simple “No drugs” might have done the trick..

From a local guy who took a closer look at our bikes in a parking lot while we had lunch on the way suggested we should go to Lago Tota (Lake Tota). It should be a lake with a beach – a white sandy beach.. just 2 hours away..
Lunch on the way

As always it turned out to be more like +200% – 6 hours later we reached the lake and then we ”just” had to find Playa Blanca – the white beach. We both imagined the place to be a Colombian tourist place with small shops and hotels and kitsch souvenirs..
Kitch sourvenirs at a Colombian tourist spot in Medellin

We asked a couple of elderly men who were painting a church by the lake – they debated for a while and finally agreed to send us clock-wise around the lake – the beach was situated opposite of where we were and this was supposed to be the most beautiful route. It certainly was – in the golden light of the afternoon sun we drove through small villages – everyone here wears hats and ponchos and horses and bicicles are the most common means of transportation.
Riding through small villages in the soft light of the afternoon

We finally got to a viewpoint from where we could see the beach – no hotels – no shops – just a small dirt road and a faded sign stating that this was Playa Blanca and that there was camping.

On the beach there was a small restaurant were we bought beer and snickers and then it was camping time.
A couple of other people had had the same idea – one family and two groups of young people.. with music playing from one of the parked cars.
Hard to imagine that he fits in there..

We got the tent op and then we were up for some more surprises – our alcohol wouldn’t burn – don’t know why, I would think that 96% ought to.. but it just wouldn’t.. luckily there was a few fire starters in the tranquia – they burned well and after some time the water was boiling for our freeze dried meal.. hurray..
Meanwhile we made a few other discoveries; Bos mattress looked like well overdue garden furniture – all covered in fungus – and mine had a leak.. – in other words it cannot be recommended to pack up your gear for a couple of months in humid climate..bummer..

While waiting for dinnerPlaya Blanca

The next morning we were off to Bogota – a really beautiful trip. Arrived in Bogota just as it was getting dark and tried (this time using a GPS) to find our way to a hostel. Suddenly we were caught in a bus lane – not the kind that is just painted on the pavement but a 4 lane sealed off arrangement with an immense amount of buses.. We couldn’t get out and only when we were basically heading out of town again were we able to turn around. At this point it was seriously dark and some people were running around between the buses, hitting the tires with sticks. I was convinced they would give anyone who wouldn’t pay them a flat tire(I later learned that they do this to check the tire pressure hoping to make a penny). But my heart was pounding loudly by the time we finally found the winding streets of central Bogota and even found a place to sleep.

the following days were spend getting a new tire for my bike – again we experienced how extremely helpful Colombians are – it took only 24 hours to bring about and put on. We even managed to do some sightseeing in this complex city.

Glimses of Bogota – as always, click on the pictures to enlarge

and now we are ready to get out of the town again.. out on the roads..



Motorcycle pictures

Colombia Posted on Mon, November 23, 2009 21:19:38

A few pictures from the last couple of days of our trip through ColombiaThe girl and the bike at one of the most beautiful stretches we have riden

Chicamocha canyon

Pablo from the Kawasaki store shows us all of Medellin and surroundings on lovely winding mountain roads

Barichara – yet another picturesque colonial town

I believe there is some sneezing going on here

Other means of transportation in the road

Another waterfall along a beautiful beautiful ride

Paseo del Ange – a path with a view

Bo riding on the edge of the world – to Paseo del Angel

The main square of Villa de Leyva and ready to move on..



Back on the blog

Colombia Posted on Wed, November 18, 2009 21:00:41

So we’re back full power after a month of separation. And we set off with a bang.

Yet another one of our luxury hotel rooms.. there really is no door.

We had saddled up in Cartagena and set off for Medellin 700 kilometres south. In the evening of day two (after a romantic night in a cheap love Motel.. oh yeah complete with mirror in the ceiling) we swept past the exit we should have taken. So we had to make U-turn number 1000 (since we’re driving without a map and signs are not commonly used here). I make the turn first and have just made it across when I see a taxi at high speed closing in on Louise who is just crossing the road. What comes next I see in slow-motion. Maybe because it seems so unreal, maybe because it is actually not happening any faster.

The taxi breaks hard. Before the bang, I manage to think that he is going to hit Louise, who is still in the middle of the road. I remember that I managed to think “damn, he will hit” and one pico second later “fuck, Louise has been hit” when he finally does hit Louises bike. Surprisingly many thoughts run through my head while Louise falls onto the hood of the car and is thrown several meters in front of the car while the bike is sliding on the pavement. This is, as mentioned, just my perspective on the situation but it all sees very unreal.

Shocked as I am, I don’t know weather to just throw my bike aside or take the time to put down the side-stand before running to Louise. I decide the latter which means that I don’t see what happens during the next couple of seconds. When I look again Louise is standing up and holding her arm. She is standing, it’s amazing. And when she even answers my question to weather she is all right, we return to a nice reality. All right, Louise is alive with arms and legs intact and things don’t look so bad after all. The police who have a station one hundred meters further down the road have already arrived and people gather around. They all ask Louise if she is OK, if she needs to go to the hospital, but after an arm and leg count we decline.

Louise was smart enough to hand me the camera… I however, managed to set it wrong, therefor the crappy quality

Then it all turns into circus traffic accident. More officers arrive and start measuring. Some onlookers ensures us that we are not to blame (the taxi had almost 30 meters of break-tracks, mainly on the left-hand side though, in a 40 km zone). Despite the crowd people are acting quietly even the taxi driver who is taking things very calmly. Several times he tries to tell his side of the story to the young police officers, but they are far more interested in where Louise is from and where Denmark is located. After much measuring the bike could finally leave the pavement. We both do not care to much about the bike as long as Louise is all right.. and we don’t have to pay for a new taxi (it had an imprint of Louise on the hood). However when we take a closer look at the bike it doesn’t look so bad. It even starts right away.

We drag it to the station, where a rapport is written and blown into the alco-meter. At last, after 3 hours, we can get some food. The officers have been very sweet and got hold of a mecanic who said he would be able to fix the bike the next day. So the next morning, with police escort, we drive to the workshop and before lunch everything was back to normal. One of the officers had even helped even out the luggage rack. As it would take months of paperwork we arranged that we would pay for fixing the bike and the taxidriver would pay for it. Our bill came to approximately 20 USD and a sore arm.

The police officer is onlooking patiently while the academic is messing about

So even if it was a horrible story, we were merely once more reminded how incredibly helpful Colombians are.

Louise back in shape

National police – “your friend on the road” – we can vouch for that..

As again today. The guy from the Kawasaki shop in Medellin, who had helped us finding a spare part, invited us on a Sunday trip into the mountains (on motorcycles of course).

Medellin from atop a mountain… a closer encounter helps

So all day today we rode on the most amazing mountain roads with snatchy views of the valley, just because he wanted to show us Colombia. Beat that Denmark.

Doesn’t have anything to do with anything.. just a mannequin



Break

Colombia Posted on Sat, October 10, 2009 18:16:51

Louise is at work (tour guiding) in Peru and Bolivia for whole of October, while I take the month “off” in Venezuela (tough living). So this blog is taken a break until November 2009.

Hasta luego…



Bypassing the Darien Gap – part 2, comming to Colombia

Colombia Posted on Mon, October 05, 2009 23:45:50

Well on board – 4 bikes and 16 people
not including the 4 crew members we could enjoy the wonderful weather
and snorkle around one of the little palm-tree clad islands. Then
there was BBQ on the beach…

BBQ on the beach – that’s the Harley rider with the drink and the Krisna outfit and Ricky with the starfish (he is looking a bit worried because it has a pretty firm grip on his hand)

The following day rainy season played
its card and made us all shiver a little but still snorkeling and
jumping into the water from the boat was on that days program.. 😉 A
ray of sun on this day was the pile of langusters that were cooked to
perfection and placed in front of us that evening 😀

Yummy..

To actually get to Colombia we actually
had to sail as well – an event that did not go down equally well
with everybody – in fact most people were not feeling very well –
thank you mom and dad for a childhood at sea 🙂

Bo dreaming of being somewhere else…

We were sufficiently
far from shore for exhausted birds to land on the boat – one even tried to catch the fishing
line out back and had to be handled to be set free..

One tired bird with beautiful blue beak and feet – this bird spend a fair amount of time on the boat after the exhausting experience of being trapped in fishing wire..

During the night
a thunderstorm hit us – and one of the front sails cut loose –
unfortunately it made a knot out of the robes which ended up bashing
up my bike… or at least the left mirror-mount..

This bit normally sits a bit more upright..

Getting the bikes on land again was the
next interesting event.. lifted into the dingy and manhandled out
again on the docks – the little boat almost went under when the
Harley and all the men sailed in in one go – but they made it and
so did all the bikes – all seemed fine – except… my little bike
wouldn’t start… bummer.. Luckily Ricky knows a thing or two about
KLRs and tried all possible things, but finally the battery died on
us and we were out of options – although we even tried to pull it
to start it – that is Bo and Ricky tried this tricky stunt with a
robe between the bikes lent to us by a very helpful Dutch guy who
lived nearby and owned a big BMW. In the end he agreed to let me park
the bike in his building over night and we rode of to the hotel –
me in a cap with all the luggage…

Finally in Colombia 😀