Tuesday, 17 December 2013

263 Cali

Sunday 15th December 2013
Miles Today  262 Total  28,987
Leaving Medallin we got to see the setting it was in. It is in a bowl surrounded by mountains and at an elevation of a round 1000m it was not too hot.

The scenery on the road to Cali was spectacular but the route was again twisty and mountainous. This is usually fun on a bike but traffic makes the journey hard work as around almost every corner is another lorry that takes time to overtake safely and therefore makes progress very slow. The first 60km took around 2 hours to do.

Our destination today is a city called Cali. Cali has a fearsome reputation as being home of one of the largest drug cartels in the world. Medallin, where we had just come from is another and the former home of the notorious Pablo Escobar. In Cali, the cartel, headed up by the Roriguez brothers bribed or threatened everyone from taxi drivers up to judges and a presidential candidate. When arrested and convicted they forfeited 2.1 billion dollars.

On arrival in Cali we booked into our hotel, the Imperial Hotel and once settled in we went down into the city center where the Christmas festivities were in full swing.

The streets were blocked with spectators for this band. They were obviously popular as everyone was singing along with them

Like Medallin, the streets were mobbed.
 We passed a large church with a service in full swing. It even had a Father Christmas entertaining the children. Here they call him Papa Noel.

Papa Noel giving the service. When do we get churches this packed in the UK ?

The mood was very jovial and the people warm and friendly.

This looked more like a Disney set.

Monday 16th December 2013
Miles Today  6 Total  28,993

We had two jobs to do today, one was to get some new rear wheel bearings for Wallace (as spares, the current ones were still OK). I went to the shop I had been told to go to by the shop in Medallin and soon found out why. The two shops are run by relatives.
Anyway, we could not get Yamaha ones so I had to take my rear wheel off amd get the bearings matched up. I did some other bits of servicing whilst I was there using their tools and when the bearings were eventually found around the city and presented to me they only wanted $13.

On arrival at the shop, this guy, Jaime Giraldo, already had a photo of our bike on his phone.
The staff at YAMOTO, Cali, were extremely helpful and friendly. Thanks Guys, especially you Jaime.

The other job was to send some more stuff back to the UK. Luckily the postage cost was only about twice as much as the value of the goods !!!! 

Cali city center in the daytime.

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