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Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Reach!!

Yes, indeed.. we reach Toco today!!

As is usual for this trip, things did not go exactly as planned .. :)
Rebecca is, to the best of my knowledge, still in Güiria.
Many of the folks who had planned to accompany us on the last leg couldn't make it last minute.
In the end, Aunty Vilma, Michelle and I drove up to Toco to finish the trip off proper.
I did spend a good couple hours visiting with Danny while up at Aunty Vilma's house.

So this concludes the formal portion of this broadcast. I will be back in Canada in the morning, and will put together one final post to wrap up the story of this adventure.

Stay tuned for one more...

Michelle on the rocks under the lighthouse

At the lighthouse

Aunty Vilma

Alvin "Danny" Daniels


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 129

This morning I crated up Rebecca. I am trusting her to Miguel and his shipping partners. I really hope I see that bike again.

We've just docked in Chaguramaus, Trinidad but there seems to be some delay in getting the Customs and Immigration folks set up to check us into the country.

One of the ship's crew just placed bright desk lamps on a couple of the lounge tables. It looks like the checking will start right here on the boat.

The trip over was decent. No big waves, so I did not get seasick.

While the sun was up, the breeze was warm and inviting on the upper deck of the ship.

After a light rain, we were treated to a tiny rainbow, and a wonderful sunset.

I met an interesting Polish sailor whose been bouncing around Central America and the Caribbean since 2006. Karol's a bright, fun fellow who has seen quite and experienced quite a bit. The only issue I had to correct him on was who has the best Carnival. Can you believe he said Brazil!

He's introduced me to the idea of traveling the world as crew aboard random ships. That's his plan to see all the continents, whil

Not a bad idea :)

Oh yes, I was in the radio this morning. You can listen here:
(sorry the link is not iPhone-friendly)

Still Goin' Toco...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 128 - Still in Güiria

Big news, folks!
Your's truly will be on the radio tomorrow morning.
Today I taped an interview with Matt Galloway and it should be aired during his Metro Morning program on CBC Radio 1 in Toronto on Wednesday February 9.
His show is on 99.1 FM and runs **early** --- from 5:45 M(!) to 8:30 AM

Thanks Roxy!


Miguel, my shipping agent here in Güiria, tells me they've found a shipping crate for Rebecca. We should be packing her up later today.

Well, that's the plan ....

In other news, last night I got the final, tragic definitive word that there is NO roti shop in Güiria.

I can hardly believe it. We're less than 50 miles from Port-of-Spain. With the right winds I can smell the cumin and curry from Patraj's shop near the Oval..

One more sleep, and St. James, here we come!


Last night a couple of rookie cops stopped me while I was walking down the street. They wanted to check my papers.

Then one of them tries to ask me for money before he'll hand back my passport.
But he's so clumsy in his lame extortion attempt (and in his English), his partner can hardly keep from giggling at him.

Sensing no real danger here, I break out in my best gringo accent, 'No fumar espanol', and that pretty much ends the conversation.

I guesture at their parked moto, and older model KLR 650 like my 'becca, and give them a smile and 2 thumbs up.

Back comes the passport.

Good night, Güiria's finest... I'm off to the hotel to dream of black cake and rum punch.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 124 - Where in the world is Güiria?

Just a little ping to let everyone know I´m alive and safe.

I´m in Guiria, Venezuela and trying to deal with getting me and the bike to Trinidad.

It looks like my luck has finally run out.Right now it´s not looking good for Rebecca making the rest of the trip. Given that I seem to have forgotten to budget for this last bit (doh!), the close to $2,000 USD costs involved with getting her home may prove to be my undoing.

She may have to overstay her papers here in Venezuela. If I can find her a good home, that may not be too bad.

All is not quite lost yet. I have some folks (including the incomparable Daunette, and my new friend Roberto) working very hard at helping me find a solution that brings us all home together.

The latest schedule sees me catching the ferry to T&T next Wednesday, and then flying back to T.O. on Sunday.

If we´re lucky, ´becca will be on a cargo ferry on Monday afternoon, land in Chaguramaus and then ...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 121 Last night in South America

The plan was ... ha ha, I always smile when I have to start a blog post with those words..

We decided to wake before dawn to beat the crazy rush hour traffic from El Junquito into Caracas.
What we didn't factor in was the effect of eating 3-day old Chinese food the night before.
To be fair, we bought the food thinking it was fresh. I've found that Chinese chefs have an amazing ability to make anything taste good. At least long enough for you to go back for seconds a half-hour later.

For us, the bad news didn't kick in until the wee pre-dawn hours.

And, so we left late.

A quick stop at Maybi's house to say goodbye. That wonderful lady even gave me a present :)

Then a ride down that mad hill, this time in daylight, but with the interesting addition of fog. I swear, I don't know how these folks manage this daily. 'Nuff respect!!

[VIDEO to come later]

We rode to Roberto's workplace where we said our goodbyes before I got on the highway - Eastbound.

It's fairly uneventful riding east from Caracas, but I did manage to meet some really friendly and inquisitive boys at one of the gas stops along the way.

Minor roadside repair needed when the ballast for my HID headlight shook loose. Again.
Thankfully this happened while I was already stopped at a light, as it got stuck between the cowling and the fork, and prevented me from turning the wheel.

Zip ties to the rescue.

I'm going to add this particular brand to my DO NOT PURCHASE list!

Pelicans waiting for scraps
My riding day ended fairly early with me checking into the Hotel Minerva in Cumana.

Last night we had called ahead looking for hotels that accept International (dollar-denominated) credit cards, as I STILL can't get cash out of the bank machines in this country. Beware of that if you do visit...

This time tomorrow we'll be docking in TRINIDAD!!! Whoo hoo!!

Reality check: I still haven't found a flight for 'becca to come home. Please drop me a comment or email if you have contacts with a reliable freight-forwarder.

Still Goin' Toco...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Press Release - Please circulate

Contact: Darren Baptiste                                                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: +1 647 407 0118
Trini-born Man Rides His Motorcycle Back Home -- From Canada

“I wish that everyone dared to make their dreams come true.” 
Everyday we hear people talk excitedly about their dreams and goals, yet act as though they are unattainable. One Trinidadian-born man now living in Canada decided to live out his dream and ride his motorcycle 16,000 kms from Toronto to Trinidad. At 7:30 PM on Wednesday Feb 2, Darren Baptiste and his motorcycle Rebecca, will get off a ferry boat in Chaguaramas and begin crossing the 12th country of their 4-month long journey.
The trip that began Oct 3 in Toronto, will end this weekend under the lighthouse in Toco.
The journey is called “Goin’ Toco” and has been documented on a web site set up to follow the trip.
At a time when many are feeling overcome by their circumstances, and others are stagnating in their same old boring routines, this one man’s journey has allowed hundreds of others to, at least for a moment, live vicariously through his adventures.
From accidents to illnesses to crooked policemen, interspersed with teaching children and learning Spanish, all the twists and turns of the journey have made for many interesting stories.

As one woman commented on the web site,
I love how everything you happenstance upon is such an exciting experience for you, and how you in turn make it exciting for me the reader. Yes, keep the tales coming!

# # #
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Darren Baptiste, please call or text 647-407-0118, or email

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 118 - Caracas

Yes, it's true. Gasoline in Venezuela is ridonkulously cheap.

A 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola costs B $12.

Filling my 'becca's tank with 20 litres of gas costs B $2. To each other, Venezuelans sell the locally produced oil very cheaply. On the world markets, it has a much higher price. I wish the Canadian government could understand the inherent benefits of using national resources to improve the national standard of living...

I'm happy to report that the roads improved immeasurably East of Lago Maracaibo. Once I passed through that hot city, we were onto paved, divided highways with 2-lanes in each direction.

Random thoughts on the road:

- The highways can be signed with different speed limits for different lanes.

- The collection of tolls has been discontinued. The toll booths remain, but are "staffed" only by local folks hawking everything from toilet brushes to cellphone chargers.

- Just beyond each toll booth, one or more police officers, backed by soldiers clad in fatigues, rifles and bandoliers stop vehicles seemingly randomly for spot checks. I've been told they're looking for stolen vehicles, contraband goods and illegal drugs.

- All of the regional roads, aside from the major highways, have countless topes (aka "sleeping policemen" or speed bumps). The majority of the ones I encountered are not marked. Their presence can be determined by looking for the random child selling bags of plantain chips, or old men selling rubber slippers.

My second night in the country was spent at a no-tell motel... and that's all I'm saying.

Confusing Caracas traffic got the better of me. I did manage to find and checkout 3 different hotels, each with a price tag more shocking than the last.
Finally after fatigue had set in, I stumbled across the Hotel Las Americas. Again, it was ultra expensive, but by then my resolve was shot. At least they had Internet en la habitacion, y agua calor.

Saturday morning I met with Roberto and his girlfriend Maybi.

A quick stroll through a nearby square on the way to breakfast had us pass a statute to the only Black Admiral (the Navy equivalent of a General) in Simon Bolivar's revolutionary forces.

We spent the afternoon looking at condo units for Maybi and Roberto to buy.

Lunch was a lovely garlic fish
with rice at Laguna Beach. The midday views from the beach next to the restaurant were stunning. I can only imagine the sunset...

Roberto is still working hard to help me sort out how 'becca will get to Trinidad. In the meantime it was decided I would spend at least tonight, and perhaps the next few days as well at his home. It's up in hills west of Caracas.

Getting through the city to the base of the hill was simple enough - even though it involved several of my least favourite moto situations: driving on a big highway at night, while lane splitting through mad traffic.

Bonus: how many things wrong can you spot in the previous sentence?

Half-way up the hill we pulled over to buy some drinks. I had to shake Roberto's hand and acknowledge he had far more guts than I. Even though he's only been riding for 2 years, tackling that hill, in that traffic, with those potholes as part of his daily commute ... I'd say the man has a pair of brass ones, size extra large.

Following him up the hill we passed on curves, lane split between giant busses and sheer drops. I suggested that simply waiting in the line behind the other vehicles might be easier (to reduce the little-girlish shrieks inside my helmet).

That idea went over like a lead zeppelin. So off we went!

But we made it. Through all the craziness I still didn't Troy my shorts, so that's a good thing.

Sunday will be a day of rest (for Rebecca) and a day of code writing for me.

Still Goin' Toco...

Location:Carretera El Junquito

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 116 - Venezuela

As usual, the pundits were wrong. For some silly reason I heeded all the naysayers predictions of corruption and malice being ready to greet my entrance into Venezuela.

As it happens, this border crossing has been the easiest since leaving crossing into the US from Canada, some 112 days ago. (I'm deliberately not counting the ease of entry from the US into Baja, Mexico. I still consider that a trap by the Mexicans...)

Leaving Colombia was simple. The hardest chore was lining up in a room full of chairs for 20 minutes. We were expected to maintain the order of the line while seated. So as one person was processed, the next in line would walk to the counter, then everyone still seated would stand up, and shift over 1 seat to the left. It worked, after a fashion, though was very tiring in the heat of the office. Naturally, throughout the process there was always at least 1 person in line for whom this concept proved more difficult to solve than a Rubic's Cube.

That said, my paperwork was processed smoothly and as efficiently as any bureaucratic process I have encountered in Latin America.

Getting into Venezuela was just as simple. I was looking to find where to register my bike, and it was pointed out by one of the money changers hanging around.
Unlike all of the other borders, the only non-official people working at the border were the money changers. And they we not pushy at all. Actually, bettet than that -- they were helpful. No fixers needed. The money changer even accepted that bank conversion rate I had on my iPhone's XE Currency Converter app.

No haggling.

All told, it took 1hr and 40 minutes to completely clear both borders. I consider that a smashing success. And it cost me nothing.

Oh, yes, and about that myth that you need a Visa to cross by land into Venezuela? Consider it busted. (At least for Canadian passport holders)

The roads in Venezuela are horrible. Well, perhaps not ALL the roads. Just the first 96 kms worth when crossing at the northern border.

I was ever so glad I had obeyed my gut and stopped to buy a new front tire this morning on my way out of Riohacha. I felt a lot more secure on the crappy surfaces that kept shifting from red dirt to once-upon-a-time-this-was-pavement...

I opted to stay in the Millennium Hotel that's charging and outrageous $65 USD per night!
Sadly, I still didn't buy my mini-USB cable so my GPS has not been loaded with Venezuelan data yet, so I'm riding blind.

Within 45 seconds of removing my riding boots in the hotel room, some little bugger has bitten me several times on the shins and my Achilles tendon. Now the poison in my system has me all weirder out, constantly scratching at phantom bites all over my body. I am actually dreading the thought of sleeping in this room tonight.


Both the hotel staff, and the taxi driver (who took me to the mall to buy a cable) are excited to take pictures with the bike :)

L-R: Eddy, Kelmary, and Keiber


I have a date! I have 2 dates!

Next Wednesday Feb 2, I hope to catch the ferry to Trinidad. This could change.

On Sunday Feb 13 I shall return to Canada (this is definite).

Still Goin' Toco...

Location:Calle 3,Maracaibo,Venezuela

Day 115

A quick, short ride up the coast from Santa Marta to Riohacha. The road was straight, at times a little boring, but did have a few worthy sights along the way.

We're on the Caribbean sea here :)

I could have easily made it to the border but would have gotten there quite late in the afternoon.

You could say I'm a bit less than optimistic about how long a border crossing can take.

So, I'll spend the night in the Barbaosa Hotel in town. They allow me to park Rebecca in a ground-floor meeting room -- and there are only 2 stairs to negotiate to get her inside. I'm a happy camper.

Down on the Malecon I visit a local museum and learn that the Riohaca area was first settled by Europeans in 1545. As a result of their intensive quest to convert the locals to Christianity, there's a strange mix of Catholicism and ancient local religions.

I guess that make it no different that a place like Haiti, which is only a few hundred miles north of here.

The museum is styled nicely. Quite modern for it's surroundings.

The angular lines of the building contrast with the traditional fish market that forms on the beach when the daily catch comes in.

Golla @ the hotel looking after Rebecca.

Irina took care of feeding us in the morning.

Though it's a tiny hotel, they've taken the time to fill it with some rather nice original pieces of art.

Vamos a Venezuela!

Still Goin' Toco...

Location:Calle 13 15,Riohacha,Colombia

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 114 - Separation Anxiety

Hard to believe but today marks only 4 weeks since I started riding with the TerraNova boys.

Wow, in that short month it feels like we've compressed an entire year's worth of adventures.

The title of the post, Separation Anxiety, describes exactly what I've been feeling all weekend. We had great fun in Barranquilla, as promised by May and Toni.

But all along I was looking forward to, and dreading saying the goodbyes.

I know for sure I will see Toni again. Same with May - the next time I'm in 'quilla --- maybe next Carnaval :)

Tim and Troy, on the other hand..... I feel really bonded to these guys. I sure hope they remain safe until out paths cross again.

Naturally, I left town a little later than planned and ... surprise! got caught riding in the dark a bit.

Riding Eastbound along the coast road from Barranquilla you see the mist-shrouded Sierra Santa Marta mountains, dominated by the Pico Cristóbal Colón, which rises almost from the seashore to a commanding 5,775 m

It really does look like there's something behind the fact that virtually everyone I've met in this country suggesting I visit Santa Marta. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like in the daylight...

I finally pull off the road when I see a Hotel sign pointing to a very impressive 6-storey immaculate, while building.

This, I figure, has got the be nicer than the Hotel Canadienese (which, of course, is not hard to do)

Unpack bike as the sounds of Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry is heard coming from the hotel's restaurant. It was one of the last tunes I played last night while liming at the pool....

The hotel is brand new. I may have been the first to stay in this room, as I had to ask them to turn on the water taps in the room.

Dinner is quite average, but more distressing to me is that being the only patron in a 56-seat restaurant pretty much means I can expect them to notice the fact I'm leaving about 3/4 of the so-called "steak" on my plate.

Not much else to report today. I'm settling down to tackle writing some Hot Wax code, and will be off towards the border in the morning.

Ahhh... The pool area looks spectacular in the sunshine.

And they're still playing Bob on the stereo ...

Still Goin' Toco...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 111 - Oh what a night!

I'm very happy to report we've all beat whatever bug had us down for the last couple days.

Oops, I was kinda out of it the past couple of days and forgot to post this whack video I shot out the front of the hotel in Bosconia. A Panamanian group was busking. Just listen to the rhythms -- it sounds like home. It was a call-and-response bit with the lead being sung by a very senior woman made up in her Carnaval finery.

We rode straight and fast from Bosconia right up to the coast.
In Ciénaga, where the road branches North East to Santa Marta, we took the Western route to Barranquilla.

The town is built on the edge of a saltwater swamp right along the coast. The road only shows on some of my maps. The marshy plains is sadly, home to a sprawling collection of shacks and ramshackle homes. This is the most distressing looking slum I have seen yet on this trip.

We made into into Barranquilla in the early afternoon. You know the time of day when the sun is at it's maximum intensity. When it's so hot that if you even think of moving a muscle, you start to sweat.

That is my favourite kind of weather. And, of course, Tim's worst nightmare. Ahhh..we can't win 'em all :)

We had trouble connecting with May, and so ended up NOT heading to one of the hotels she suggested.

We had stopped at on a side street after determining the GPS was determined to guide us to a 0-star "hotel".

Alongside of us pulls us a pair of cops, riding in their usual style, 2-up on a 125cc Honda.

Our helper
The cops ask me what we're looking for and I say a decent hotel.

They discuss it for a minute then tell us to follow them. I wish I had remembered to turn on the video for the next 10 minutes. These cops led us through their city -- down 1-way streets, through 2 clearly marked illegal left-turns, and finally riding on the sidewalk for the entire final block before finishing at ... wait for it... the Hotel Canadienese.

Tim and I smiled. Troy, the Aussie of the group, had more ammunition for his Canadian Conspiracy story he is building..

Turns out the hotel is not really that good. The furniture is not structurally sound (don't ask how we know --- trust us, this), the windows onto the main street below are paper thin (all the better to hear every single car horn in a 12-block radius).

We resolved to find a new motel in the morning. Troy was ready to checkout less than an hour after we unpacked.


We took a taxi to the restaurant where we had agreed to meet May. The ride to la Cueva was supposed to cost $4,000 COP, but the freakishly large taxi driver (did I mention they all drive a Chevy product that is so small it makes a Nissan Micra look like a Hummer?) wanted more.

We resisted the urge to bargain our way into paying more.

The restaurant is one with a lot of history. Between our first round of drinks, and the arrival of the meal, we were led into a small theatre in the back to watch a short film on the it's origins.

Essentially since the 1940's the place has functioned as a meeting place for intellectuals and artists.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The great Gabriel Garcia Marquez was perhaps the most notable of Colombian writers to spend copious amounts of time there, essentially liming with his peeps. In his Noble Laureate work, "100 Years of Solitude" he even immortalizes some of his La Cueva compañeros.

The dinner was lovely.

We took another taxi to Rueda de Cumbia to check out the preamble to Barranquilla Carnaval.

This was true, true Carnival -- instantly recognizable to any Trini. The street was filled with thousands of people. In the middle of the intersection, a truck was parked with musicians playing some jumping beats on African drums accompanied by other percussive instruments.

Every time the band struck up a new tune, the crowd danced round and round the truck in a thickly knotted circle of feverish bodies.

This is my element.

Your boy put down one set ah wine on them bonita Colombian mujhers, and I'm happy to report, represented T&T properly.

Tim and Troy did their part to rep Canada and Australia. Their results were pretty much ad expected :)

We left that joint after just an hour, and headed for our final destination for the night - La Troja salsa bar.

This is a historic spot in Colombian salsa history, and such is being preserved just as it has been since the 50's, even though the entire neighborhood around it gentrifies.

There are only 2 whorehouses left on the street.

Here we basically partied till out butts fell off. For those who know me, that probably sounds like a 10-minute affair. In reality we kept at it until about 2 AM.

The crowd took a shine to us. The DJ even played Sparrow's "Mr. Walker" as a dedication to yours truly.

At some point in the night, the Carnaval spirit crept into the proceedings, and we let loose with powder flying everywhere.

Ahh.. Once again, a good time was had by all :)

Many photos still to come in from the other cameras present. Be sure to check my Flickr Photostream for the additional pics in the next day or so.

Still Goin' Toco...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 110 Muy Enfermo

Yesterday was another big riding day. The road has finally dropped down out of the mountains onto a wide, hot plain.

The road is straight, arrow-straight at times, and filled with transport trucks and long-distance busses. All of that adds up to some very fast, if not interesting, riding.

Fast riding, that is until we hit another 2 traffic jams each 2.5 kms long. In each case the cause was a washed out bridge.

It looks like this will continue to be a daily problem for all cars and trucks traveling Ruta 45 to and from the costa.

Once again, thankfully, motorcycles are allowed to creep right up the front of the traffic jam, and so avoid any lengthy wait. We were delayed for perhaps 30 minutes, whereas the for the truck drivers, that's probably a good 4 hours spent in that one line.

We stopped for lunch a small truck stop. We were instantly swarmed by a bunch of local kids looking for money, food and just plain curious about the travelers.

We ended the night a little further up the road at the Hotel Ejecutivo, in Bosconia.

Here's a picture of little Juan Camillo and his Mom. She works at the small take away restaurant next to the hotel.

We're all sick right now. Around dinner time, Troy's stomach was too bloated and upset to eat. A few hours later he had feverish chills, and was throwing up.

Around 3:00 AM both Tim and I began throwing up as well. We all had diarrhea.

I'll spare you the photos..

All of us are too sore, weak and tired to even consider riding today

So, we have to stay one extra day in this little truck stop along this dusty highway.

Still Goin' Toco...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 106 - San Gill y Norte

Up early, we managed to get some yoga practice in on the tennis courts of the campground.

This place has a virtual forest of outstanding trees laden with hanging mosses.

Then came a day of some of the best riding any of us have experienced. We spent most of the day on Ruta 45, as it winds its way northward along the top of a mountain range.

We passed along the edge of a fantastic gorge overlooking the Rio Chicamoca.

We stopped for a short break at what we later found to be one of the world's longest cable car installations. It's a very recent structure, done up with lots of amenities and filled with tourists. What they did not have though, was a place for us to spend the night.

After that the road dropped over 500 meters in altitude in about 5 kms.

I would suggest this road is a must-see for any bikers coming through this country.

We ended the day at La Venta Hostal Hacienda just off the main road in Piedecuesta. Once again, it looks like our heroes have landed in their feet.

The hostel is on the grounds of a 200-year old slave plantation for sugarcane. Apparently it was the centre of the slave trade in this area.

It had been converted into a roof and flooring tile factory. Now site of romantic small weddings in a natural setting surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest.

To be continued...

Location:Carrera 7C,Piedecuesta,Colombia

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 105 - Into Colombia

Inner courtyard of Cranky Croc

It only feels like we've been in Colombia for a month, instead of 5 days. I'd say that's because of the casual and comforting environment of The Cranky Croc hostel. Despite it being an unheated building in a city where it's cold enough for people to wear winter jackets, scarves, hats and gloves... I rate it highly.

Oh yeah, and the small issue of the tp needing to be thrown in the trash instead of the flushed down the bowl...

Otherwise the place is great. The owner Andy, does a wonderful representing the legendary Aussie hospitality.
Plus the man cooks up a great barbie on Friday nights. 

Now that's a barbie!
For the equivalent of $6 US we had bread, salad and about 4 kinds of meat, including some juicy ribeye steaks. Yum.

In Bogota they have entire streets of vendors selling a single product. For instance, the optical shops are all along Carrera 19. Near Avendia Caracas and Calle 15 is the moto district.

This place is magical! I think there must be literally hundreds of vendors selling any, and everything to do with bikes.
From helmets to shocks, custom decals to rain gear, just about everything is here.

Top original, with new
Everything that is, except for handlebar risers for a 2008 KLR 650 (Troy's bike).

However, he was able to get his centre stand straightened (a casualty of the flight from Panama). They also installed the offroad footrests he's been carry in his luggage since San Diego, California.

I found a suitable bolt for my rear top rack to replace the one that while rising back from the airport the other night.

Plus I got a little strip of sunblock with some custom text added to my face-shield. Luger who did the work at Calcomanias LA 17 (Calle 17 No 14-20 C.C. Megacentro) was excellent. He's a perfectionist, and so made sure the finished product came out exactly as requested. If you're ever in Bogota and in need of custom graphics for your vehicle, drop by and tell 'em Darren sent ya...

Also, you can check his buddy Willi in the shop next door selling some very nice LED lighting systems, for bikes and other vehicles.

We thought we'd leave early on Saturday and head north. That plan hit a snag when we couldn't find the house of a guy Troy wanted to purchase a drift cam from.

If you've ever driven in Bogota, you'll remember how insane their street numbering schemes can be. The address we were looking for was on Calle 67, No 97-41

Not a problem finding Calle 67. Well "no problem" is quite relative. More accurately i should say, "No problem that can't be solved by consulting 3 GPS devices, asking 10 locals for directions, and driving around for 45 minutes.  

So we found the street. But this No 97-41 business sunk us. No one we talked to in the neighborhood could figure out where that could be. :(

So, no DriftCam for Troy.

Finally heading out of town we discovered a really cool feature of Colombian highways -- motorcycles pay no tolls! We even have our own special lane, 2 feet wide to bypass the toll collectors. Now how cool is that?!