Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Morning at The Plaza – 27 January 2018

27 January 2018 – I got up, took a shower and went to breakfast. Oh no, it wasn’t a continental breakfast. You had to order everything you wanted. I was stuck. The ordering started out pretty clunky. Then the waiter asked another individual who he knew spoke some English to help. I was able to order what is called breakfast typical. I ate the breakfast but was still hungry. I texted Mary saying it was a tough breakfast. She said, why don’t you ask for Huevos Ranchos and see if you can get it. Sure enough, they cooked up Huevos Ranchos which filled me up for the day. I left the breakfast area.

I grabbed my Spot personal locator beacon and walk the city square / plaza and fired it up. While I was waiting for Spot to send a text a lady and her daughter sat down on bench under the trees. They had brought rice to feed the pigeons. When the pigeons saw them they immediately flew and walked over to them. They knew them personally. The little girl threw out handfuls of rice to them which they gladly ate. I’m guessing they don’t know that feeding birds rice is bad for them. The pigeons didn’t care. My phone dinged so I knew Spot had sent me a text saying it had found a satellite, and I was off to the hotel to load my motorcycle and get out of Pasto.

I grabbed all my computer stuff etc. and headed to secure parking. I had the receptionist get security to open the door on the secure parking in the basement of the hotel. Security offered to carry more of my baggage and but requested that they didn’t help. I went down to parking and security followed. When he saw what I was doing and knew I wasn’t a threat, he just walked off. He had better things to do than watch me load my bike. When I was done there, I drove my bike to the front door again where I finished loading it. From across the street, a woman and a couple of kids ages 10+ watched me and wanted to know everything about my motorcycle. I told them what I could and they left. I went upstairs for the last time, had the cleaning lady check the room out and gave me the all clear sign. I checked out and departed for Ipiales. The woman who was watching me load my motorcycle had disappeared. So off I went.

Blanche immediately tried to bully into a shorter route but I would be bullied. I backtracked myself out of town to the Y in the road which takes me to Ipiales. It was starting to mist out and I was thinking the worst. You know, it never did rain though. I went through a tunnel which had to have been a 1 mile / 1.62 Kilometers long. I think it is the longest tunnel I have ever driven through. It was a Saturday, and the police / policia were out on the hunt. I saw three different places where the policia had cars pulled over. As I was minding my manners, it was an uneventful ride to Ipiales.

I stopped before entering the town to find my hotel. I checked Blanche for hotels and received a totally blank page. I was looking for Hotel Nubes Verdes. So, I slowly started driving into town. I didn’t drive 5/8 of a Mile / 1 Kilometer and there was the hotel. What a streak of luck!  I found it with no thanks to Blanche.  I checked in and a room was available. My kind of hotel: $15, secure parking and good wi-fi.

At the hotel, I met a guy from Quito, Ecuador who could speak some English. We talked some about South America and then parted ways. I put my Spot out to mark my location. In the secure parking area, I checked the adjustment on my rear chain and oiled it. At 5:00 o’clock I went to restaurant and ordered supper. They had all the choices on the door so ordering was pretty easy. The hot soup took the chill out of my bones. I then went to my room to refresh my memory on all the paper work I would need for the border. I think it was in the high 50’s Fahrenheit / high 10’s Celsius. Man, it was cold. I also believe the elevation was 9850 feet / 3000 meters. That’s getting right up there. I went to bed.

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