Voyage to South America travel blog

Some guy building a foot bridge.

A church in one of the villages on the way to Charaia


April 6, 2011

I only stayed the one night in Buca. The temp was nice but it’s just a big shitty town. Plus I have been here before and seen what needs to be seen. My next stop was a town called San Gil.

It was only a 2 ½ hour drive from Buca to San Gil. At 1100m the temp in San Gil was nice and it’s beautiful little town. It really reminds me of Germany. There are a lot of really cool drives that can be done around San Gil. I stayed in San Gil for two days.

The first day I arrived around 11:00 and was settled in around 12:00. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking at tyres at motorbike shops around town. I found a nice one that would fit Electra’s behind for about $USD110.00. I hummed and hawed about it for a long time. I was at the same motorbike shop looking at the same tyre a few weeks back on my way to Taganga. They were laughing at me when I left – without the tyre; the shithead gringo that can’t make up his mind.

On day two in San Gil I decided to go for a drive to a village called Charaia. This village is on a secondary [paved] road that lead to cascadas de juan curi, a 180m waterfall. There were a couple of small villages along the way that I went to see. I don’t remember their names nor are they listed on any of my maps. At village number two I got a flat. Actually it was a few km’s for the village. The rear tyre was almost dead flat. It was fortunate that I still had my saddle bags on as in one of them was my electric tyre pump. I added about 30lbs of air and found the leak. It was a gash that I thought to be too large for a pug but whatever was in there caused the trye to deflate slow enough to get back to the village. When I arrived I asked some locals if there was a tyre repair shop. Yep. I drove there but it was closed so I asked if there was another. Yep I drove there but they didn’t do tubeless tyres. I need someone to patch it from the inside and to do this I [they] need a dremmel to smooth out the inside. OK, no worries – my options are now one – put in the spare tube that I carry.

I took off the rim and the tyre from the rim and found two punctures. The gash was a piece of glass and another hole that was caused by a piece of hay wire. I removed both. Just as I was going to put the tube in, some dude on a scooter offered to drive me to a tubeless repair shop. OK. I got on the back, rim on one hand, tyre in the other and we were off. Guess were? The place that was closed!! Yeah, my Spanish blow goats. He then offered to drive me to the next village as he knew of a ‘guy’ there who does tubeless tyres. 15km’s and two throbbing arms later we arrived. I showed them were the holes were and he used a plug to patch both! I could have done this at the start! I have plugs but I thought that the ‘gash’ was too large for a plug. We added 45lbs and checked for leaks. None. $COP8,000.00. The ‘taxi’ driver took me back to the bike. I rested the tyre on the back and held it from behind. I dunno if this guy was trying to impress me but fuck me the pegs were scraping around corners – I just went with it. I didn’t bring my helmet. He was another $COP$10,000.00. I put the tyre back on the bike and left. It was now 1pm and I was hungry. I drove to Charaia and had lunch then drove back San Gil for a nap. Fuck the waterfall. A total of 78km’s/5 hours. I was spent. A weak traveler.



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