Cali

Lucinda and I are supposed to be nearing Equador’s border this morning, but we’re not. I was picking her up yesterday afternoon here, Motoservicio Asturias when the plans changed
P1100453Where the owner, Jorge, patiently walked me through what he had done to fix the mysterious starting problem that has plagued me since Salvador, 5 countries ago. Three BMW dealers have failed to sort it out. The shop with maybe the strongest reputation in SA, Ruta 40 in Medellin, sent me away twice claiming it was resolved, all a fault of the clutch switch (which I disputed with them) only to have it fail again each time. I’m trusting it’s resolved now, but we’ll see.

Jorge explaining the possible cause
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It will be interesting to see if he’s done what a half dozen BMW factory trained mechanics have been unable to do.

But the reason we’re not south is because at Jorge’s shop I’m told that the road is blockaded by protestors at Popayan, about half way to Equador, and at points further south. I hit the internet for the story and here’s a piece from the US that describes the big picture in Colombia right now

colombia issues

The roadblocks went up 48 hours ago, letting through the one rider (the day before they went up) who I know is ahead of me. No-one else is around looking to go south right now so Lucinda and me are on our own to figure it out.

After verifying everything we head over to talk to Mike at Motolombia about options. He says there’s no way around that wouldn’t be plain stupid.

Backing up a bit, on Thursday my visiting friend and I were downtown and there was an organized protest in front of the government buildings in an outdoor pavilion
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The speakers were women representing mining workers
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The reason I took the above detail picture was to get a shot of the white women in the center of the shot. She was a British trade unionist who spoke angrily for less than 5 minutes, being filmed the whole time by her crew. The crew didn’t appear to film anything other than her. Annoyingly she spoke entirely in english, despite it being no great work to read such a short speach in spanish. Not even a buenos dias to start or a gracias to finish. I thought about this for a minute – all it took to realize that her interests possibly lay in the value of her returning with a record of her taped activism, rather than in the interests of the people she was here to support, and speaking in spanish would have been a counterproductive record of her attendance. My apologies for editorializing

On the brighter side, a video of a local activist, to the left

Although the meeting was entirely peaceful (which possibly annoyed the Brit woman. oops, done it again, sorry) there were pockets of riot police around
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On the subject of security and communications, Cali’s skyline bristles with cool do-dads
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Lots of concrete everywhere
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Some dated but imposing none-the-less
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Or
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A typical street in Cali
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And a typical park
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Somewhere in here, time for lunch. Papas and awesome dried cow lungs. Addicted.
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Massive murals. Promise or threat?
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The city surrounds Rio Cali
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Where young love goes to find itself. Hey, don’t listen to him, he’s 16 and therefore lying
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Saludos
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