I switched hostel for hotel.. The Shamrock. I’m not sure what the difference is.. It’s a bit less money at the hotel. The maids son helped move my heavy bags over here.. my broken rib can’t handle the weight yet. I took one of the two rooms upstairs. Yep, the same pub as the hot grill girl.
Her name is Laura.
I share a bathroom. The room is painted brightly and is covered with motorcycle posters.. Brit bikes, Triumphs! It has a great view of the mountains, reading lamp and incandescent bulbs.
No one asks for a deposit, no credit card, no name. Just get the keys and pay when you want. I’m sure this will change with time, but right now, it feels like a little island of trust.
They cater specifically to traveling motorcyclists.. I love to sit outside and
hear the stories of these adventurers passing through. So far, I have met a dozen people that are on long distance South American motorcycle rides. One gorgeous, tall, German looking blonde, forty something with a loose French braid, US expat now living in Australia has been riding all over the world.. On a KTM 690R… Japan, Europe, Siberia, Alaska, now South America.. for twenty months now. She’s not sure if and when she’ll be done. She’s straight.
I thought she was gone this morning but I just ran into her in the hallway.. She’s having some work done on her bike… It could take a couple days. Or a week. or more… It’s still Colombian time. Even if it is a big motorcycle dealership in a metropolitan city.
Here’s her blog… I think she’s a little behind, but I’m going to keep an eye on it when she catches up! sherrijobecauseicanworldtour.blogspot.com I’m a little jealous that I can’t ride with her for a while. The other guys have blogs too.. And post a bit on ADV (Adventure Riders)
They are all engaging.. I love their perspective, their relaxed, nomadic ways, they have a million stories.. Border crossings, small towns, locals, customs, they are information sponges. They are able and bright, all incredibly self sufficient.. But will accept the help from a friend or friendly local anytime they need it.. I feel kindred amongst this crew.
One of my favorite stories was from an Irish guy who worked in Washington DC.. He wasn’t entirely satisfied with his job but didn’t know what else to do. One day, online he read a story about a couple that were riding around the world on their motorcycles.. It was an epiphany for him and although he had never ridden before and had no money to leave town with, he made up his mind that he would do this too. A couple years later, January, 27, he is in Medellin, Colombia.. He’s been riding since last June.
A ginger gal about sixty years old from Scotland is here at ten months of a year long trip. She had a nasty wreck a week ago on her Harley. (totally stopped in traffic, a bus ran over her… and then backed up over her again!) her ankle is broken in two places and wrist..on the same side. She’s going to be laid up for a while recovering. She’s a tough bird, she’s been out here for two days with her busted foot up on the patio drinking beers, chain smoking cigarettes, telling stories, cussing and laughing. She’ll be fine.
The street vendors here in the Zona sell mostly fruit. My favorite of these are Mangosteins. They are perfectly ripe and lovely to look at. They are the same size as a large plum, same patina as a well loved, deep purple-red antique leather chair.. and have a cartoon-ish clump of bright green stem and little round leaves on the top. I have to be so careful when I buy these to only get a small bag because I always eat the whole thing. I love digging in to the super thick skin and pulling the fruit apart… There is a juicy, sweet, tropical prize inside of each one!
I went to the Museum Antioqua today. I took a cab there. It is in downtown Medellin. They have a huge Botero exhibit.. Nearly a whole floor. He is from here in Medellin.. They are quite proud of this and so is he.. The large bustling courtyard in front of the Museum is filled with his giant 10-15’+ Bronze statues.. All figures. Except for a horse. and a disembodied hand. Nearly all nude. They have a generally brown patina.. Except for the boobs, butts and peckers.. Which have nearly all (the ones you can get a hand or two on) been rubbed a shiny bronze.
I take the train down a little way to the Botanic gardens.. A very nice reprieve from crowded downtown… As well, they have a modern, cleanly designed, breezy, white tablecloth restaurant and wine bar that I am hoping to try. I buy an ice cream and walk around the quiet gardens for a bit.
I finish my cone and I’m feeling lazy, so I pull up a piece of grass to lie down.
I watch four vultures circling. The clouds are sucking up enormous amounts of moisture and building into towering cumulus nimbus.. There are smaller clouds at the edges.. the wispy kind that are great to fly directly under because they draw you right up.. but not violently like the billowing giants behind them. There’s a lot of blue sky over the valley. “Big blue holes” we like to say.. Hard to find lift there. It would be a fine day to swoop around the edges of the mountains.
In a way, I was hoping that after the wreck, my desire to fly would be less. There is so much to do here. Museums, stores, dancing, history, people, mini adventures everywhere…. I still want to fly.
I’m on a bus riding back to Cali to catch my plane to Rio. I got Laura’s e-mail. I had a short afternoon to talk with her before it got busy at the bar. I would love to stay in contact with this super sweet gal.. She’s bright, wants to be a chef. She’s adorable, kind to everyone, never has a cross word.. Even when there are orders piled up like a load of laundry and her little wood grill is at max capacity… She’s still smiling.