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Toughest days riding yet ...epic ...EPIC day! by Nick


We hadn’t realised that the road wasnt paved (not a problem)

had large prolonged roadworks (not a problem either)

and had large areas of washouts and waterfalls which had also been churned up by works traffic resembling the Somme!!!! (er... could be a problem).




And so after a breakfast in the outside kitchen and a bag full bag full of freshly picked mandarins from the orchard courtesy of the owners of our nights accommodation, we were again on our way from Barbosa.



Intended destination was a place called Otanche some 270 ks away, BUT we did however end up in Doradel which was very near the home of the 80's drug lord Pablo Escobar. He died (badly) in the 90's and his home has now bizarrely been turned into a theme park.


This is how it went... (our day and not Pablos demise, your'll have to google that one).

The heat of the day was already elevated but increased even further as the day progressed with Bec complaining that even her themometer had melted!!



The route planned would take us through some little agricultural towns/ villages like Jesus Maria, Buenas Aires ( there’s a lot of these and not in Argentina) and Bricenco meaningless to you all I know unless you have a map!!

The riding, as we have now found here, can be extremely interesting, the gps was once again in its element ( I think it had heat stroke) taking us on some obscure and often unrideable goat tracks.


this was a COMPLETE dead end, signalled by the cross!

We yet again encountered breathtaking vistas, tracks with dead ends and tracks that didn’t either physically exist or didn’t exist on the map!


Nick got off to check there was a bridge ...there wasn't! just a sheer drop off and bridge foundations

You have to go with logic, because sometimes roads actually do exist in real life and not on GPS/maps so you have to say ...well we got this far so we’ll carry on! It looks well used and not overgrown.

However sometimes the opposite is true!

You learn to read the locals and surroundings when perhaps you're not on the intended route; people stop what their doing and stare as if to say WTF if you are heading for a dead end. And then they might nod or wink as you return back past a few minutes later as if to say "sucker!"



Big wooden crosses which have nothing to do with their religious beliefs but to denote the road ahead is closed!! (I missed that one and nearly carried on down to a bridge (or foundations of) which had been washed away by recent floods!




We encountered large multicoloured lizards scurrying across the roads and trucks carrying stock, as well as paddocks of horses and cows curious to who we were.



A lot of the roads by now varied between tar seal and dirt which equals dust and lots of it! It wasn’t until stopping for water and a few photos that we realised how dusty we were !


A few more off piste routes later (these bikes might be smaller and lighter than most but can still be a pain to turn on a five foot wide track an a steep incline!!).

we hit route 60 and it was perfect tar seal with bends ...lots of them!

Yea Boi!


You just had to watch out for the odd horse being towed up the road by a motorbike????????


We made it early to our intended destination by 2pm. A quick chat and it was decided to push on to Doradel some 100 ks away …this road was easy quick riding!


It all started off really well, 5km of good roads heading up into the mountains Until…



We hadn’t realised that the road wasnt paved (not a problem)

had large prolonged roadworks (not a problem either)

and had large areas of washouts and waterfalls which had also been churned up by works traffic resembling the Somme!!!! (er... could be a problem).




We battled on as we were too far in to turn back and it would be dark in a matter of hours, not the best combination when tackling mud with precipitous drops.


For the next 3 hours all I could hear in my earphones was Bec repeating the mantra "look where you want to go Rebecca!"

She had however trumped me and was riding through with ease on her off road tyres, except for one hairy moment on an algae covered water crossing when she did a full on 90 degrees left to right like Birchy!!


As I made my way through the mud I apparently, squealed like Eddy Wareing, slipping and sliding from side to side on my “these tyres will be fine” Anakee Adventure-ish tyres! Hmm... time for a change perhaps.




Ignoring the “told you so’s” from Bec, we just kept going and 100 kms later we popped out the other side and were met by a beautiful tar sealed road where we could hustle and find some accommodation ...which was again was interesting when neither phone had signal.

A stop at a petrol station put us right AND finally found the hotel where we were again the only guests, falling off the bikes and into a shower the owners rustled up some food which never even touched the sides and we finally rolled into bed with the biggest smiles on our faces so far.


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