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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 334 Saturday March 29, 2014

The ADVenture is now in San Gil, Colombia. I departed San Juan del Cesar last Tuesday and rode to Curumani where I stayed for one night. That was my first day of ride since the leg injury. The ride went well and the leg did not give me any problems. My riding boots provide excellent protection and support for the foot and ankle. That said the ankle is still quite swollen and requires daily rehabilitation. From Curumani I rode to San Gil the next day.

It was near 6PM before I found a suitable hotel in San Gil. After unpacking I walked to the grocery store for some supplies. On my way back to the hotel I was looking for some ice to put on the ankle and met a man that spoke a little english, his name is Norberto. Norberto insisted that I go with him to get the ice. Norberto and I see each other everyday and he has introduced me to his friends. So now I have a small network of acquaintances here in San Gil.

This is a photo of Noberto and Claudia.

It rained the last day I was in San Juan del Cesar.

On the first day of travel I stopped in a shady spot in a small town. I introduced myself to these wonderful people and they made coffee. As often happens the motorcycle draws a crowd of children. Where the moto is concerned language is never a problem. Have I mentioned that I live the Colombian people?

While stopped here this little girl took my camera and acted as our official photographer, instructing the boys how to place themselves for her photos.  She would not let me take her photo electing to do a selfie.

A few hours later while stopped for lunch at a roadside cafe.

That evening I stopped in Curumani and stayed at the Hotel Central. The next morning I met these two Colombian bikers. We talked for a hour. The man in the middle is Jorge Vasquez Serpa. We became FaceBook friends and he has since invited me to spend Holy Week with friends riding around Colombia.

I departed Curumani that morning and spent the day riding to San Gil where I met Norberto and Claudia. Claudia took a holiday the next day and a acted as my guide and interpreter in Barichara where these photos were taken.

This is Claudia using my cell and Google Translate to explain to me what I was seeing.Thanks Goodness for technology.

Last evening I went to the Centro Commercial in San Gil. It is a great place to view the city at night from.

I plan to stay in the area for a while as there are many day trips that can be made from here. More will be revealed...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day 333 Sunday March 23, 2014

This is day nine of rehab and relaxation at Hostel El Prado. The foot and ankle are much better and I will travel again tomorrow. I will be headed to the San Gil/Villanueva area which is 578km, so it will likely take two days.

I have very much enjoyed my stay in San Juan. The hostel is located in a very nice neighborhood and I am on a speaking basis with many of the people. San Juan has a population of 24,000 and there are few buildings over one story high, so the town is spread out over a wide area. Therefore I have not seen much of San Juan due to my limited walking range. I have used Google Earth to investigate parts of San Juan and do not think I have miss much.

At the plaza is the raffle board. I did not play...but I was allowed to spin the wheels.

On the left is Edward. I met Edward on the second day in San Juan when he escorted Susan and Scott Nelson to Hostel El Prado where I was staying. They knew that I was staying somewhere in town, but did not know where. Edward met them on the highway and brought them to the hostel. Susan and Scott are from Oregon and they are among the ADVMoto travelers that sailed from Panama to Colombia on the Stahlratte. The Nelsons are traveling with a Labradoodle named Bentley. They both ride KTM 640 that are very well rigged out with a dog pen on Scott's bike.

These are the raffle wheels...they are started spinning and then someone throws a single dart into each wheel and the three numbers win the raffle.

This photo is of some of my neighborhood amigos. They come by the hostel everyday and we look at the bike or just communicate.

This Edward and his son Carlos at their bicycle shop.

Afternoon fun with my amigos!

I spend much of my time here on the balcony, just outside of my room, people watching.

This is how gasoline is purchased in this part of Colombia. There is no excuse for running out of gas...the main streets of every town is lined with venders. At first I could not figure out why gas stations were closed and gas was sold on the streets, but now I figure this is bootleg gas from Venezuela. The oil companies are unable to compete with 25 cent a gallon gas smuggled across the border.

This is where I received my first street hair cut. The barber did a good job.

At the plaza the shoe cobblers are always hard at work.