Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Kind of cow head piggy face teddy bear flower. colombia
After a great feed along side the truckers the night before i wasnt desiring grub on this cool almost cold 8am morning. the mist was still clinging to the hills, the sun light hazy visible in that way that reasures she will be at full glow later in the day. As i am loading the bike a bloke with a 250 crossers is doing the same. a man with a hard face. i dont stare to much. he comes over with that hard face and bleets on about my bike and his bike, that im sure of. then jumps on his and flys off spinning the rear end 180 degrees , throwing up dirt and stones all over me. oh well, i smile thinking ill shatter his ego later down some long straight, my 650 will eat him up. not that theres anything great about roasting someone on a straight, maybe around some mountain hairpin has more skills showing offness... with all that nonsense forgotten after 5 miles my bike starts smoking from all over. the engine is coughing up , even the right hand hand guard looks like its smoking. my right leg is covered in oil, then i notice everything is covered in oil, arghhhhhhh. i stop and see that i have lost the engine oil cap. the only morning i didnt check its tightness since alaska ! all coz some prat got jealous and distracted me. Lucky for me though i had stopped by one of those small tiendas that sell crisps and water that you find every few miles with not much else around for ages. Im covered in oil and my only idea is to maybe stick an old t-shirt where the cap should be. I ask the pretty girl serving the tienda if she has tissues for me. she has and she has 2 brothers with a motorcyle as it happens. Jairo and yorsman. they look like they are in their early 20s. Yorsman jumps on his bike without a word and disapears in the direction i have just came from. Jairo speaks better english than my spanish. he says that yorsman is off looking for the cap along the road side following my trail of lost oil. Jairo stares at the bike saying there is a town a few miles off rural zone silence with the odd mnnnnnmmaaaaaa from a cow. half hour later yorsman is back with no smile. didnt find the cap. he rides off again to the near town. Jairo tells me hes off to medellin also today and that i can ride with him. an hour later yorsman returns without a smile again . im not smiling much at this point either. just groaning... the boys disapear into their tienda and return 10 mins later with a tube of solid wood, carved. they measure the diameter of the wood to the hole where the cap should be in the engine. im thinking nah, chips will get mangled in the engine and thats the trip spent. it works. the wood is screwed into the engine and its solid ! perfection, genius ! the wood doesnt budge. and to top off the kindness and time these 2 boys have given up what they was doing for me they rode around showing me the back rural parts of the region. Antioquia a queen of hearts part of the world. towns and hills i would never have seen. serenity everywhere. After another 4 hours we are riding around the mountain roads, dodging on coming trucks and trying not to slide off the edge. these boys are fast, even twoz up on a 125. they jsut miss an oncoming truck , ooooooooooohhhh that was very close. we all laugh about it in that phew you got away with that one mate this time, kind of motorcyclists way. Medellin sits in the belly of a vast valley. buildings crawl up the westside and east side of the valley. down the middle is the main centro sections. i have never seen a city like it. Its rush hour madness.the boys lead me to a bike shop they know. anothe rcolombian calle filled with just bike shops. colombia loves her motocecletas. Im given a free cap, its probably not worth more than 5 quid , but isnt the point !. its the correct kawasaki klr cap, what a relief. im gonna keep that piece of wood for ever though. the shop is named auteco. cra 50 no.37 -15,,,, email:dismedellin@une.net.co.... if you are in town and need bike help, go see these generous knowledgable people... we say goodbye. i will never forget these 2. jairo and yorsman. thank you so much !! I eventually found my medellin hostel, after one of the mechanics from auteco showed me through the rush hour darkness where it was, more unconditional kindness. the casa kiwi. owned by paul from the states. a rider who rode through colombia 6 years ago and decided to stay. the casa is perfect. full of great new friends. pauls gives a discount to motorcyclists. another gaff thats gonna be hard to leave.... im starting to understand why some people travel through this country and end up staying....... Medellin has an Aon office. A few months before i left the UK i had been put in contact with a chap named peter who is colombian but worked for Aon in London for 2 years. After one emial to him , peter was well up for helping me in anyway once i got here. I call pete, he wants to meet. we meet. he takes me in his car up the winding east side of the city valley to a beautiful spot overlooking the great city. a restuaurant.he orders some classic colombian grub and agua ardeiente, fire water.... a large plater comes out topped with chorizo, morsilla ( black pudding mixed with rice), chicharon ( large crispy pork), arepa ( soft tasty corn bread). empanadas. mincey stuff in crispy corn pastry ( pastyish). i am in love with empanadas. a salad, avacados , tomatos, coconut all chopped and sliced, topped in lime and salt, peter generously pays for all.... he tells me he has talked to the Aon medellin people and they are looking forward to meeting me. they are even trying to get contact with the cities medias. Wow , again all this genuine colombian unconditional help. peter is great company. hes a handglider. he jumps off mountains with only a small triangular frame, a canvas above and alot of skill and braveness. can handgliding be topped with any other activity ? he tells me of life in past colombia. it doesnt seem possible that people could have lived in that way. pablo escobar used to run the town with his narco tactics and fear mungering. pretending to be robin hood. You really couldnt walk around at night. bombs relentless, fathers desapearing in the night. guns everywhere. those days are gone. colombia is safe now. it will grow into a global treasure of a tourist spot. i only hope it doesnt spoil. peter has given the Aon people my hostel number. I get a call from Alvaro. he has great english and we meet . again i am treated generously to the meal. stake in a cherry type delicious sausce, chips, salad and pomegranate drinks. mmmmmmmm ! Alvaro is a very perceptive guy. he has lived in europe for a few years, but decided to settle in his home town. who can ever blame him ! after the meal he takes me to the office, a short stroll through a medellin park filled with unusual trees and plants. Alvaro tells me of medellin history and its people. Again stuff i wouldnt have known on my own. At the office i am greated with smiles and much interest .there are 50 employees here. Aon medellin deal with health and damages. personal and nusiness health which is law. damages in construction paublic liability and transport over land and seas. Alvaro has brilliantly sorted out a meeting with a medellin newspaper in the morning and he has kindly written an article about the Fragile X pedition, to all aon employees in colombia. they have offices is bogota, cali, cartagena and bucarramanga. fantastic ! .. i have to mention this fruitcake i met here in the casa kiwi. Tod from kentucky. he is driving a car from prudhoe bay down to ushuaia. A toyota 4 runner. right now he is in guayaquil, ecuador waiting for its release, after shipping the car from panama city, with more stress and worries than ever imagined i recon. todd is top man and has some great stories. to find him check out : http://www.thegetupproject.org/ Thanks also to gillian from ireland, she has been my PR person since we met, and she taught me how to dance like jim carrey. the casa kiwi another perfect place full of interesting fun people from all over. all with magic stories and adventurous addictions.

the wooden work of genius. an oil change later and a new cap. alls rosy.

jairo and yorsman. top colombian geezers !

the boys at Auteco bike shop medellin. a right laugh and they no what they are doing.

peter from medellin who worked at aon london in recent years. superb company and very generous in all ways. a fearless flyer of handgliders.

colombian tapas style lunch

Aon Medellin. Alvaro handing out Fragile x Syndrome info

Aon employees

Alvaro and mary the receptionist. aon medellin

the 1st floor gang. aon medellin




medellin won 2-0. my first latin america footy experience. a fiesta. a very passionate crowd

medellin fc

medellin residential

looking west medellin

looking east medellin


Anonymous said...

love the pics...especially of them handing out stuff on fxs ;-)

Anonymous said...

aaa medellin................amazinfg city