Tag Archives: Pasto

Cali to Pasto, Thursday, 20 December 2012, Day 170

Guess I am sort of on the right road

Trying to remember this day as it was another long day I got out of Cali and headed into the hills. Daisy feeling good after the TLC she had received twisty roads with lots of slow moving traffic that needed to be past on blind corners and brows of hills you have got to be brave here or you will not get anywhere far fast but you can also be to brave as I past a crowd looking down a huge crevice where something had gone through the barrier I could not see what it was but I did not hang around to long to find out either.

Still no idea what had gone through the barrier

Later in the day it started to rain so that slowed the pace down as the roads turned greasy and it was getting late again. Remember I mentioned that there are toll roads here but next to each is a small track for motorcyclist to go through for free. So far I had managed to squeeze through with my luggage but today there was one it was late it was wet I was tired and I took a chunk out of the wall as I wet through I just tapped it but it put the bike into a bit of a wobble so that toll booth was not taken very graciously. I found out later others had issues with this toll booth as well Fred had hit it like I did but he smashed his luggage so bad that it needed repairs so I guess I was lucky but note to self check fittings and if it look like its to narrow slow down to check 🙂

  

Moody weather today

      

I pulled into town just as it was getting dark knackered I had a vague idea of a place to stay when the police stopped me. A big lecture about no bikes allowed on the square today or something like that but I do not understand Spanish when it comes to rozzers so feign ignorance but she keeps whitering on I had just let a pedestrian cross the road maybe that is what is upsetting her. She tells me to pull over by another copper so I do this and sit there like a lemon. The other cop is giving a ticket to another motorcyclist and I try and get his attention and he asks me what do I want? I point at the other cop and he shakes his head and tells me to bugger of so I do that very promptly. I turn around the corner pull over and get out my lonely planet, as I still need somewhere to stay. I have stopped outside a shoe shop and the bloke there asks me can he help and I say yes I am looking for a hotel and can he point me in the right direction. He gives me a funny look and points behind me and hey presto there is a hotel and it’s the one I was aiming for there are two doorman who have seemingly were also trying to get my attention as well god I am frazzled. So I pull into there car park thinking this is a bit posh as the bloke offers to carry all my kit to the front desk. It is a bit of a choker when I ask for the price of the room so when I have picked myself of the floor the negotiations began which involved getting the Manager. I managed to half the original price but still bloody expensive oh well a bit of posh never killed anyone so I agreed the price and went and got the rest of the kit of the bike which like I said was carried to the room by a bell boy. I get cleaned up and go in search for food but I am not staying out long at the rate I am paying then back to the room and watching the goggle box and I have a hot water bottle how posh is that 🙂

Note to self check prices of other folks recommendations as they may have a slightly different budget than the one you are travelling on but it was nice  bit of posh and it’s a lot cooler here so ideal for me who likes it cold when I am sleeping nice and cuddly under the blankets.

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Pasto to Ibarra, Friday, 21 December 2012, Day 171

Las Lajas Sanctuary reminds me of Lourdes

I made a Skype call home and I then had my complementary breakfast which was just a couple of fried eggs I was expecting more considering the price I had paid for the room and it was about 10.30am when I finally hit the road I am crossing the border into Ecuador today but first a visit to Las Lajas Sanctuary a church built on a bridge over a river in a gorge.  It was quite impressive spent a while just wandering around taking in the sight impressive building and great location and the sun has decided to say hallo as it was raining when I arrived.

cool church

              

Cute!

Not so cute!

Next stop the border I first checked my bike out of Columbia  took 2 minutes changed some money with the a money changer took 5 minutes than it went all slow. A rather a large queue at immigration to check out of Columbia and even bigger ones on the Ecuadoran side. I fortunately bumped into Andrea who kept me company in the queue, Alex was trying to get insurance as he had been told by the Customs that this was now mandatory for Ecuador this is the first I have heard of this. Alex comes back and has not managed to get insurance something wrong with there systems so they leave me in the long queue and we arrange to meet in Ibarra later where who knows?

Queues into Ecuador

I finally get the to the front of the queue of immigration I have a bit of a joke with the lady when she asked if I was married and I asked if she was asking other than the  killer comedy I was in next the bike. Get a photocopy of my entrance visa than to Aduana who where rushed of there feet but I went through reasonably fast and there was no mention about the mandatory insurance and after a couple of hours I was in Ecuador. It was late so made haste to Ibarra and the GPS is not working yet another country that is not covered in any detail on the maps I have it took me a while to realise this.

New Country yeah

I got to Ibarra as it was getting dark and no obvious place to stay I had an address but I could not load this in the GPS so drove round and round in ever decreasing circles asking folks for directions until I finally found the street and then the Hostel. From the outside it did not look like it had parking facilities but joy of joy there was huge parking lot around the back I had to drive a couple blocks to get there but it was safe and reasonably priced compared with last night. Alex and Andrea bike was also there so it looks like they coincidently that they went to the same place as me and it turns out they are in the room opposite me. I check in and arrange to go for dinner with Alex and Andrea and Joop who is staying at a Hostel next door so we pick him up and go for dinner at some Ecuadorian lady’s place Alex had met earlier and she was also going on a big trip of South America with her husband so she wanted to chat about this and it was her restaurant. So a very pleasant evening chatting in Spanish as the husband did not speak English that well. (I have forgotten their names :-()

Had my first drink since Houston a glass of warm red wine so I am not sure that counts as falling of the wagon and it would have been rude to refuse.

Another long hard day another country life on the road is tough but I am still enjoying myself