Oct 9, 2017: Northern Colombia

Sept 28, Claire and I parted ways again. I flew back to Cartagena, Colombia to the R1200GS and Claire flew to England to visit family before flying to Australia to look for work. Our small 3 month chapter is complete… Who knows when our paths will cross again, for now our plans are to have separate adventures on opposite sides of the globe…
My plan once back in Colombia was to get some much needed rest in since I’ve somehow acquired a serious case of tennis elbow in the past 2 months. Who knew riding motorcycles everyday would be hard on the body 😉 I was in Cartagena for all of a day when I met 3 other riders that just crossed the Darien Gap on the Stahlratte and we decided to team up to bag Punta Gallinas (most northern tip of South America).

I used my time in Cartagena to do maintenance to Donkey vs rest. The BMW needed a new battery, oil change, and new skid plate bolts.

On Oct 3rd the 4 bike posse headed north/ east along the Carribean coast towards Cabo De La Vela (the last town before Punta Gallinas). We stayed a night in Minca at Hotel Colonial then east of Santa Mart at Hotel Relaxo and moved on. The day we left Cabo De La Vela, we felt good about doing the 110kms north through the desert to the northern tip. Our gps tracks had us ride across mud flats, which when dry is awesome as all hell. But when wet, oh dear…

Our tracks brought us to a river where we couldn’t cross so we headed around to try to navigate somwhere else. Chris on his KLR650 managed to find a good mud hole to bury it in and so the 4 man team grunted and growned in the desert heat to free it. After an hr or more and a further buried mud lodged KLR, it started to rain. Chris made the tough call to leave the KLR and head back to Cabo De La Vela on the back of Joshs Super Tenere. This is when a bit of panic struck with mud flats and rain. Our bikes were now caked hard with clay and front tires stopped turning. After I dropped Donkey about 6 times and Chris came back to help, when we realized that my mud guard had so much mud packed in it that it had to be removed to make it back to rockier ground. The best thing about the R1200GS is that the front wheel needs to be removed to access the mud guard bolts… For me, this was not a time to complemplate a really poor design, rather get the tools and and get shit done while sweating balls. I got the mud guard off and was moving again. Josh removed his with little drama and Oliver’s mud guard actually broke off on his KTM 1190. All in all, we made it back to Cabo De La Vela that day and Chris and Josh rounded up a landcruiser rescue truck to go back out right away to retrieve it. That bill was close to $100 for a truck, 4 hr round trip and 6 Colombian locals helping.

If you are planning to get to Punta Gallinas, And you make it safely there and back, I will personally buy you a beer 😉 It is the real deal out there…
Now time for some much needed hammock time 😉

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