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Corporate Runaways

Overland travelers and certified geeks, based in Vermont.


4-Minute Read

Wow, almost two months now.

Today our friend in the states managed to make it through the snow-drifts to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and procure a new plate (and registration) for my bike. It didn’t require any convincing with tales of dangerous colombian drug dealers. In fact, all it required, literally, was a copy of my registration, which I find rather disturbing, because with the Mass. registration being so amazingly forgeable it seems that just about anyone could go in and fuck with someone else vehicle.

There was one, minor, tiny, insignificant, little snag though. The whole getting it delivered to us? Yeah. No. We checked the FedEx web site… we could have it delivered to a FedEx location in Pasto, which is on the way to one of the two borders. That sounded good, so we gave our friend a heads-up. She goes, and discovers that the “hold for pick-up” location for Pasto is not exactly IN Pasto. No. It’s in Bogota, at the Airport. A three day drive from Pasto. So, not exactly what I’d call “convenient” to anyone living there. It’s a two day drive from Mocoa, and along the way is San Agustín which sounds like something worth visiting since every single adult we encountered between Bogota and Pitalito asked us if that’s where we were headed. Plus, the package won’t be in Bogota until Monday (Today’s Thursday) so why not?

After hearing about her luck at the RMV we wandered back to the welders who presented us with this.

Five dollar pannier repair

We were thrilled. Now, you’ll note that it’s not actually welded. This is entirely our fault. We never specified that it had to be welded. We said we wanted a replacement with aluminum and that we didn’t care how ugly it was as long as it was strong. They then did what I think was perfectly logical. They took a pannier held together with rivets, made a replacement corner from the plastic one we ripped off, and riveted it on like everything else. Welding would have been stronger, but more work, and incongruous with the rest of the construction. We should have been more specific, BUT we were still thrilled, especially for $5.

Welders in Mocoa

Fortunately for us there was a hardware store right next to the welder, and Dachary had the bright idea of going in and looking for some sealant ($3) which we took back to the room (after a stop at a bakery) and proceeded to use. Dachary asked “is it ok to use your bare skin?” I thought… “hmm silicone boobs, silcone implants, silicone in aquariums… why not?” and responded “sure.” so she did, and a few minutes later reported that her fingers were starting to tingle. Not a good sign. “Get it off!”

We then got the latex gloves out of the miscellaneous bag and I finished the job with those, feeling terrible about putting some nasty chemicals into her system.

The rest of the day was pretty simple. Sample pastry stuff for lunch noms since neither of us was hungry enough for lunch. Read the first few chapters of Nathan Millwad’s (NathanThePostman’s) book Going Postal on the Kindle…well, Kindle on the iPad. And venture out for dinner. Dachary ordered Barbecued Beef, and got what was essentially a very disappointing carne asada. I ordered a burger which turned my stomach and I could only force myself to eat a third of… if that.

And that, is about it. Some clothes washing in the sink. Some water pumping…. OH, the water pumping…

Remember a while ago someone commented that it wasn’t worth the effort since you could get water cheaply along the way? Well, we’d both kind of decided, without ever speaking about it, to go with that suggestion because it just spends more time in the morning than we really wanted to, and was annoying, but it turns out that that’s not really an option in Colombia. In Colombia the only places that have large bottles of water are the supermarkets…. sometimes. Gas stations and other small stores along the way generally only have 600ml bottles, and we need nearly five liters a day between us. So, we’re back to pumping.

Side note: we happen to know exactly where to go in Bogota because we had to walk past the FedEx cargo office twice when getting our bike through customs. It’s just down from Girag. :)

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A couple with 2 dogs and a thirst for exploring the places in-between.