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Day July 18, 2013

to Villa de Layva

Yesterday, ready to pick up the bike at 8 this morning I got this email from Edgar at BMW Bogota:

Dear Mr Jeremy.

 I hope do you are very fine. I have news of your motorcycle, we changed the potentiometer, the problem has not been solved yet, we need continue the jobs with our diagnosys system, maybe I must do a update or programming to the control units, but our diagnosys system don´t have comunication with the control units of your motorcycle, so we wil I need continue with the jobs, could we speeak tomorrow at 11:00am, or do you need your motorcycle??

 I woul like solve the problem, but I need your help.

 I hope your comments.

 Best regards.

A nice guy, but heck. An email discussion followed. I decided I didn’t need the damn potentiometer fixed and would ride without it. Lucinda wouldn’t mind. So this morning I went down at 8 as I said I would in our last email and the bike wasn’t ready. I asked why not. Someone said Edgar wanted speak to me and wouldn’t be in until 11. I said forget it, paid for the work done and left.

The lesson is obvious. Fix your own bike. All of it. I’ve had 3 bad services, one caused a broken valve and ribs, and will do everything I can to learn everything I need to over the length of this ride, and I’ve learned a lot already, so next time I leave the house, no more accepting fate. I reckon only 10% of RTW riders can’t fix everything, so it’s a bit not-good. The most expert opinion I’ve heard was that there are about 50 of us solo, so 5 sinners. So you’re maybe thinking, so what happens when I break down 100’s of miles from help, like coming right up, haha? Well you read everything you can on the ADV site about what bike strategies people have for when they’re screwed. And you get comfortable with being resourceful enough, don’t take the doubting times too seriously, remember that at least half of the bad shit that happens to bikes can’t be fixed by the best mechanic without the shop or parts either, and keep learning.

Enough of that. Off we went north, under the always ready-to-unleash tropical clouds
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Then rain out of Bogota on a major highway for an hour before it diminished to a small country road
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Then time for lunch in a small town after my delayed start
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Where I wolfed down arepas, kindof a sweet maize that I love. Claudia would give me shit for eating so indiscriminately I thought at the time
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Over the course of the day I saw maybe 20 roadside food places. Roadside food has always been good and I was happy they were back with the same frequency as Mexico and Guatemala. There was a shortage of them through Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. Good news!

It was a chance to bike watch. In the country they wear ponchos riding. Very cool with the moto helmet
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These guys were in trouble with the boss
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Then as we gained altitude it became more arid
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Into the town of Villa de Layva
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The church at the head of the central Parque. The largest cobblestone square in Latin America, despite the very small size of this town
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Wow, nice problem solving
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Given visual reprieve by the monumental
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As usual it can a bitch trying to find somewhere to stay with secure parking for Lucinda in these colonial towns. But we eventually found a place with an enclosed small field.
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Saludos
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