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Sat Dec 21 2013: Love and lights in the Air

We've both been getting sick a lot lately, we seem to be taking turns one after another. It's quite annoying, but thankfully now that's we're past the Darien Gap, our schedule has freed up enough to slot in the occasionally illness with little to no advance warning... Bring it on, Disease and Pestilence! (just kidding, please don't...)

The doctor came by and cleared me of The Dengue, so we all breathed a sigh of relief. However, it would be a whole week in bed before I was ready to leave San Gil.

Negotiating the twisty highway south out of San Gil

Our plan is to head westwards, but the main highway goes north a bit before turning west at Bucaramanga - exactly where we came from, so we had an idea to journey on another highway south, and then take a smaller road northwest. Looks to be the same mileage, but it should give us some different sights, especially when we get off the highway.

At Barbosa, we get off the main highway and take a gravel road northwest

We pass by some very small villages and heads turn as they watch a couple of monstrosities on two wheels trundle by

Sometimes the small road turns into a narrow dirt path, made a bit slick by the earlier rains

We both love riding off-this-beaten path. It really felt like you were riding through the heart of the Colombian jungle, like any moment you would need to get off the bike and hack away at the overgrowth with your (BMW Motorrad) Machete to cut a trail in order for you to ride your bike further! :)

Girls wanna talk about bikes? Neda is ecstatic!

We stopped for a water break in a larger town and these two girls approached Neda and started asking about her bike. Normally guys of all ages, from little boys to old men, are the ones interested in the motorcycles, so these two girls were quite out-of-the-ordinary! Neda was so happy to talk bikes with them!

Back on the main highway heading westbound

We stopped for the evening in Puerto Berrio. It's a very small town, but seems to have spent most of it's annual budget on Christmas lights!

Christmas lights strung up in Puerto Berrio

An evening out under the stars

Neon Nativity

Watching an evening wedding ceremony from outside the church

Christmas lights as far as the eyes can see

Puerto Berrio is so small that there really isn't a hotel. We asked around and we were directed to a place about 3kms outside of town. It was a Love Hotel!!! Our first experience with Love Hotels outside of San Salvador was not a pleasant experience, so we were a bit hesitant about staying the night here. But after checking out the room, we were surprised when it was actually a nice place. The first room we saw was the deluxe suite and it had a stripper pole in the middle! :) But the room we booked was a normal motel-like room - no stripper pole, no mirrors on the ceiling...

Even the skankiest Love Hotels have private garages - so the neighbourhood won't know who's LoveHotel-ing

Throughout the evening, we heard lots of partying in the other rooms. With so many multi-generational families living under a single roof in Latin America, the Love Hotel becomes a very popular place to get away from the relatives.

We continued traveling westwards early the next morning.

Stopped for breakfast in this small town that pretty much consisted of this diner and a few other buildings

Our bikes got a lot of attention while we ate inside

Riding through some very peaceful countryside scenery

Good to be out riding!

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