THE BLOG

Ultimateride, I Zig, you Zag: Phil and Kelly in Honda, Bogota and La Mesa, Colombia

01/02/2014 05:27 EST | Updated 02/18/2014 05:59 EST

Canadian brother and sister Philip and Jayne Davidson are traveling on motorcycles from the Arctic Circle to Patagonia. This is the latest entry in their travel blog. Read their adventure so far, and see where they are right now, here.

Sometimes part of spending time together, is spending time apart. After 14 months together, it appeared time to part ways. I wanted to head to Bogota to visit friends of my buddy Pacho and play some ultimate, and Jayne did not. Bogota is known to be cold, and Jayne wasn't interested.

Kelly goes where I go, so interested or not she was stuck with me.

Bogota and beyond.

September.

After our night in Honda, it was a little tough to get going the next morning. Not because of any bike problems (there weren't yet) or because I was hungover (I was), but because so many people kept coming to talk about the bike, and ask the standard questions (how much? How fast? How far? How much further?). This delay proved fruitful however, as that lost time allowed me to later pull out of a gas stop just as Vladamir rode past on his Africa Twin! I pulled along side, made the " wanna pull over and talk bikes?" sign language, then pulled over and talked bikes. Turned out Vladamir lived in Bogota and was just returning from a short trip. He invited us to follow him and come stay at his house. We had nothing lined up yet, so gratefully accepted his invitation. That's when the troubles started.

 

Even wearing the cloak, Jugs attracts attention.

 

Vladamir pulled over his Africa Twin for a chat, then offered his place for us to stay! ... Sadly Jugs renegged on the offer.

Jugs began hesitating. I had felt it before, but not since I changed my petcock in Medellin. Must be bad gas I figured. I mentioned the problem to Vladimir when we stopped to wait for construction. He said "no problem, I have a garage where you can work on it". Sadly there was a problem, as five minutes after we were cleared to leave the construction stoppage, Vladimir passed a quintuplet of slow semi-trailers, and Jugs just wouldn't go. I limped up the hill until I found a place to pull off, but not having exchanged phone numbers, we would never see Vladimir again. Farewell Vladimir! Hello Rusty?

 

Rusty stops in to see what all the trouble is.

Rusty was heading to Bogota to ship Black Betty and himself back to the states. He noticed us looking miserable and pulled off to say hi. Jugs back running again after draining the carb, we set off in a mini-gang. An hour of great riding later, just as Rusty passed some cars, Jugs would act up again. Again we lost our companion!

 

Once in Bogota, we found Rusty for a visit in his hostel. Finally a tall-friendly hostel!!

Another height based photo, this from the Bogota library showing average Colombian height over the years.

 

some great Grafiti! but...

 

.... most of it looks like this...

 

... and by "it" I mean the city of Bogota. (In defense, there had been some recent large protests)

 

On the promenade 7th street, my favorite busker ever: 22 guinea pig houses on which you place your bets. He picks one of 6 guinea pigs and which ever house it crawls into wins! sure it´s a scam, but what a fun scam!

 

The gold museum is worth your time. So much neat gold!

 

Distracted by all the gold, we would lose Rusty again!

 

Joined in an Ultimate practice with "Raza". Limited and costly grass fields at night means they practice outside the major stadium (for the lights) on the brick courtyard! Great guys... but not many layouts.

 

I had hoped to play a lot of frisbee while in Bogota, bad timing only allowed me one practice. The national Championships were coming up back in Medellin, so all the players were leaving town.

 

Staying where he worked at the Martinik hostel (p.s. no parking), I traded with my amigo Diego for a Colombia Jersey. This caused strife with Kelly. I guess she is a big Blackfish fan.

 

I see you baby. There ain´t no glass.

 

 

Back home there is a "cash corner" where day labourers hang out waiting for someone to come by and offer a job for the day. Bogota has something similar, but instead of labourers, there are Mariachi bands!!

 

 

Ignoring street signs led Rusty and I into this Bus-only, still-under-construction metro tunnel. That it was not finished meant we had to turn around and ride out past the angry guard again on the way back out.

 

Rusty proving he owns Black Betty with a fingerprint. Ready to ship to Florida! (for only around 740$!)

 

Black Betty had to be cleansed of all its evil oils. The guard dog at the carwash took repeated comically sneaky attempts at eating the "sheep" from Rusty´s seat. Taunting the dog didn´t help.

 

After Bogota, Kelly and I took the fantastic ride to Villa de Leyva. Read about that here. Then it was time to start closing the gap on Jayne, heading towards Armenia.

Again sputtered to a stop on our way to Armenia. Once again draining the carb. Not really working longterm anymore, perhaps it´s something other than bad gas?

 

Love the free bypass lanes for motorbikes at toll booths!

 

Oil on your boots? Never a good sign. Slow leak from my valve cover, and still having loss of power from the bad gas.

Not enough to even need an oil top-up, but my valve cover was leaking from the front of the gasket and from around two of the bolts. Not great. Had several more stops to drain the Carb, seemed to work pretty well before, but now I was only getting an extra 20 km before having to stop again. Some terrible gas indeed.

 

After a long ride with several breakdowns, in much traffic on a holiday weekend, we finally reached the top of the mountain above the clouds on "la Linea" pass, the second highest in Colombia. (3265m) Next stop, La Mesa.

 

The pass is known to be quite dangerous given all the crazy semi-trailer traffic. It is the main supply route to Bogota from the coast. Sometimes not all "supplies" fit inside the truck...

 

Once over the pass, the sun was setting, so Kelly and I stopped in "La Mesa". Beers with the friendly locals, then took their recomendation on a cheap nearby hotel.

 

Outside our hotel were some older gents playing a very fast moving Gambling game. It plays a lot like the game "Sorry", except they aren´t so appologetic when they take your money. Beginners luck, I won the first game and was up 20,000 Pesos. Second game I lost it all back. Pretty sure they stopped helping me as much after that backfired in round one.

 

Next up was a stop in Armenia, where our couchsurfing host Luis and his girlfriend Adriana awaited. At that time, Jayne was in Cali, ready to make a run for the border.