Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Naughty Blanche and Stories From Back Home - 20 January 2018

20 January 2018 – Got up before 7:00 a.m. to have the clothes washer to myself.  I washed my clothes and ate breakfast. It was probably the best breakfast I had since I checked into this hotel. While my clothes were washing I read over my blog document. I found a few clinkers that I removed. I then started plotting my route out of Bogota. I found all my waypoints and then I entered them into Blanche. I really hate when Blanche starts thinking on her own. It is usually a mess that she comes up with. Well, it has been some time since I built a route in Blanche and I ended up entering the way
points into her incorrectly. She spit that back at me with a message that said “NO AVAILABLE DATA” in big, bold, mean letters. I panicked and I thought I blew her brains out. I checked all her functions and they all seemed in order. When I checked her Recently Found directory, it was empty. Everything was gone. Just as a test, I searched for a city. She found it and then I checked her Recently Found directory. The city was there. I started feeling a little more confident that she didn’t lose her mind.

At this point I had less than 1/4 battery left. I tried plugging her into my computer to charge her battery. She won’t fire up with the battery cover off. So, that ended my best laid plans. I can only charge Blanche in my GPS cradle on my motorcycle. So I entered all my way points as fast I could and then tested them out. I had everything working fine and was thanking God. I decided to name the route and save it in my Favorites. I did that and went back to check the route again. Sure enough, naughty Blanche had changed it. I had already received two low battery warnings and that’s it for reprogramming her till I get outside on my motorcycle. I was really bummed out. If I can’t get her programmed the way I want I will have to navigate the old way; one way point at a time till I’m out of the city. I’d rather not work that hard. So I took the precaution of writing all the way points down so if I had to reference them I had them handy. I also got all the road numbers recorded on masking tape to stick on my gas tank so I knew what to look for as I am driving. Then went to work re-organizing the stuff I had laying around the room and dug out my South American Maps. After I got everything put together I had a pile I could take down to my motorcycle.

I gathered up my stuff, went down to Reception, and asked the receptionist how to find the elevator to the motorcycle parking area. She drew a rough map for me to follow. I followed it to a tee and arrived at the elevator. When I came up the elevator the first time it was with a security person. When we left the elevator the security guy snaked around through the building and I lost track where it was. I can’t tell you how seriously they take security around here. The bicycles 3 levels down are padlocked to a u-shaped pipe in the floor. You cannot get your own bike because security has the key for the locks. You have to get the security guy and he unlocks your bicycle. I’m not sure if the owner has to have some type of card / or identification to get their bikes back. My plan is to take my stuff down and then put Blanche back into her cradle and let the motorcycle battery charge her for 20 minutes. While she’s getting charged I will put all my stuff back in the top box and saddle bags. I will stick all the route data I have written on the masking tape onto my gas tank. After all that, I still had 10 minutes to wait until the twenty minutes were up. I just stood around for that time. Then I pulled Blanche out of her cradle, put the rain cap back on and locked it up. I checked that I had the ignition switch off so the battery didn’t run down, and that the fork was locked. I checked that I had my saddle bags and the top box locked, then I put the cover back on it. 

On the way up, I bought a bottle of water for the trip tomorrow and headed back to my room. I fired Blanche up, set her by the window to pick up satellites and then re-entered all the way
points in the correct way this time. I then ran a preview test to see how the route looked. It was perfect. I saved it and didn’t name it or save it in my favorites. I can’t risk losing this route. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that it worked the way I programmed it. I did another review of the route after I saved it. Blanche repeated the route perfectly. Whew. 

I just talked to Mary and she told me that back at home, our cat Hissy boxed up the neighbor dog. The hound is really friendly but Hissy wasn’t having any part of her. Mary said Hissy was in the garage and the hound cornered her, wanting to play. Hissy leapt onto the dog’s back, dug her back claws in and was boxing the dog with her front paws.  When the dog squealed, she launched off the dog’s back onto the top of the garage workbench. She stood on the bench looking exactly like a black Halloween cat. All her hair was standing on end and her back was arched, and she was glaring daggers into the dog below. Hissy doesn’t take kindly to hounds, friendly or not. I must send this to Mary and then get something to eat. Tomorrow I’m leaving Bogota and keep working my way South.

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