So yeah, it's been a while but I'll fill you in from Colombia, sorry if I go over old ground.
We spent 2 months waiting in Medellin for parts, piston rings and gaskets. Who knew the local mechanic would lie about it only taking 3 days? We decided to go camping early in the wait and headed up to a national park where we stayed for 3 nights but only paid for one. It was an organised camp ground and there was some kind of relationship seminar going on. The tents had nice soft mattresses and rose pettles scattered on them. a big bonfire was setup in the middle of the tents and everyone got drunk, played with fire and I assume had sex although who would want to do it with the neighbours 2 feet and a thin plastic sheet away I don't know.
|View from the cablecar over Medellin|
|Just another pretty street in Guatape|
We left with a churning feeling in my stomach and headed south towards Ecuador. The noise persisted but we tried to ignore it. I've kinda taken to hiding problems a bit from Heather. I've put her through hell with this bike and she deserved to enjoy the trip considering the time, effort and money she's put in. So we headed to Tatacoa desert in the south. Nice roads most of the way, we slipped off the main road onto a dirt track into the desert. At least with the rough ground I couldn't hear the noise from the engine. After several miles and wrong turnings we eventually found a campsite and pitched our tent looking out over a multicoloured, wind shapped landscape. It was beautiful, we watched the sunset and when it was totally dark we visited the observatory for a lecture on the stars and some moon viewing. We were even lucky enough to see a huge meteorite. Someone else saw a plane and thought it was another meteorite. We tried not to laugh too much.
The next day we headed south running for the border. The GPS showed lovely tarmac the whole way. It lied. We've posted the video already but there's another copy here. It took us two days to reach the border, a couple of close calls with trucks and general amazement at the condition of the road we finally made it with a day to spare on our visas. Phew.
|Parked overlooking the Tatacoa Desert (the roadmap is Heathers artwork)|
|this sign is always reduntent. If you don't realise you're on a twisty road then you probably shouldn't be driving!|
|Engine disassembled, clutch in the top box, alternator on the right and some parts that are probably important on the left.|
|Motorcycle gears, input shaft on the right (takes power from the pistons) and output on the left (turns that power into some mean torque and spins the rear wheel) a precise and incredible piece of engineering|
|at the top is the 5th gear, then a static washer (it can't move along the shaft) and a free washer. They are the wrong way round. this is the difference between silky smooth gear changing perfection and engine failure.|
|engine going back together|