Starting out in the rain from the Hacienda we were sad to leave, but the rain did not last long. The drive is scenic and the only 4- lane road we have been on so far.
Arriving in Cali we headed for the famous Casa Blanca Hostel and Moto shop Motolombia run by Mike and Diana.
Fellow rider from Alabama and Casa Blanca guest Armando welcomed us. It’s not every day you meet a rider who was born in Ushuaia.
The hostel is in a great location for travelers and bikers especially. Mike at Motolombia can help you out for sure. Just up the street Sammy at Motoluxury has all you lubricantes and for us good quality chain lube for cheaper than home.
We settled in and relaxed.
The next day was moto maintenance. Bold tightening, power washing, and inspection. Daniel had planned to change our tires from Huston in Santiago, but looking at his they will not make it.Mine still look amazing after 22,00 km.
Ok look up tires on the internet and get the address from the GPS. Then drive all the way across town to the address, but no shop. Heading back in traffic we luckily made a wrong turn, because when we were coming around the block Gabriel drove up beside us on his 1150R and said “do you speak Spanish?” I said no English, and he switched to English and said “ do you know where to go in town for BMW?” Long story short he suggested the exact place we were looking for Astrias motoroservico, and stopped to give us direction and several other contacts and connections. Thank you so much!
Funny story in the end the Asturias shop is 3 blocks from the hostel. This is where all the BMW work in town is done by Jorge and not at the BMW dealership. They were very helpful and called the Heidinau distributor in Bogota and had the tires shipped the same day.
Another great contact that Gabriel gave us was Alain, who just happen to come by the shop when we were there. He has been up and down South America many times.
I decided that I was sick of restaurant food so we whipped up a good home cooked meal.
Since we are stuck on this side of the protestors we have to find something to do and North of Cali. Today we headed out towards Darien and around the lake.
Following the GPS initially we detoured for a bit off road, and then we did it the old fashioned way and asked directions and had to back track to the route around the mountains to the lake.
We took a side trip to the town of Restrepo for a snack and a cold drink. There is a nice church here.
The route around the lake is very windy and scenic. We waited out a short rainstorm at the postre stand on the side of the road.
Well the road is still closed so we decided we were up for an adventure. We headed north to Beunoventura.
Half way there is started to pour rain. We took a break hiding under an overpass with the army guys.
Arriving we stopped at the police station and they advised we “ go to the islands”. We parked the bikes inside at the station and the officer drove us to the docks.
It’s not everyday you get to ride in the back of a police car.
Here is where it falls apart. The boat is 28 per person, but we get charged 40. We are in the front of the launch and get soaked in the rain and salt spray for 25 min. We are taken to a “beach” with no dock and very big waves and are expected to wade to shore.
We do and then arrive at the “hotel” where we were told it was 30,000P a room, but now he wants 90,000 per person.
Now we are all mad so we insist on returning to town. Arriving back in town a very nice cabby drives us to a few hotels until we find a nice one with secure parking for 40,000 per room including breakfast. Then he takes us to the police to get the bikes and then drives us back to the hotel.
It was raining so hard here that the streets filled with water and the kids were actually swimming in the street.
We had heard from the police that the road was going to open Monday afternoon, so we got up early and headed back to Cali. The rain did not let up and we were very wet when we got to Cali as our rain suits that had been great were delaminated. The amazing people at Rev’it and Revzilla will warrantee the suits and will replace them for us when we get to Miami in december for Gillian and Bruno’s wedding/