4. Colombia Part Two by Justin Chatwin

I searched for about an hour for Nik and the others.  As well as put another layer on as I was climbing into the mountains.  My bike felt sick.  And although night time riding was a past time of ours, It wasn't preferred. When I found them ten miles ahead, they were on the side of the road.  It was a very anticlimactic farewell party for our trip south to Argentina.  As I rode in, my bike had lost all of its top end power. Not unlike I had experienced in Panama when I had to push my Harley onto the ferry to Cartagena. 

With the help and generosity of the local bikers and a foot or two on the back on my sissy bar, we made a tough choice and turned back to the city,  barely getting the bike back to the Harley store. 

Drew was sitting there having a drink with his new motorcycle date and stood up confused when we rolled in. 

My head was spinning and I was furious from heat and the beautiful women and the bike and my childhood and not making progress today.  I didn't want to talk.  Adrenalin addiction is still addiction.  And both Nik and I were red-lining from road withdrawal.  This bike has been nothing but problems for me.  Never my Ducati. Never my Honda.  Only this bike.  The bike I chose to beat the shit out of down dirt roads and ride 20,000 miles to the end of the world.  Needless to say, we left the bikes with Harley and they were still scratching their heads after two day.    'May need a new engine' said the mechanic.  Think the milwaukee butcher did a number on her'.  My bike was fixed after swallowing a carberator screw by a guy who went by the nick name 'the Milwaukee butcher'. And now that temporary fix was facing its last day.  'How long will that take?'

'Couple weeks'

At a crossroads pic: Nik Dean

At a crossroads pic: Nik Dean

I got on the phone like a junkie, calling Harley Davidson, who basically just gave me data expenses and no assistance.  We only had 4 more weeks in this trip to hammer like hell to lose or fill our souls with South America before we had to return to work.  So I called everyone I knew who knew anyone at Ducati, Honda, and bmw trying to source new bikes old bikes any bikes.

Trying trying trying.  But nothing. 

I even had a guy at Dakar Motors in Argentina  basically call me a bitch for abandoning my bike. 

I was hurt by this of course because I'm sensitive person and maybe he's right but it was never about the motorcycle for me, it was always about the adventure, the people, and the places. Time is all we really have in the end.  And even that is relative.  I never cared too much for motorcycle rally's nor any sort of motorcycle culture for that matter. Bikes are a means to adventure and a deeper experience. Give me a Vespa and I'll ride it, give me a donkey and I'll ride it.  If it breaks it's leg I'd probably leave it too.  In fact, I'm riding on a bus right now through rural chile as I write this and it smells like ass and there's a guy to my right double fisting axe body spray. I'm riding it. And you can't make this up. 

Back in Medellin, I look at my notebook.  It reads:

The IS has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.   

I just don't know what the IS was nor had any imagination for this trip anymore.

After two days I could tell Nik was either mad or hungry because he had gone completely mute.  He went back and forth between staring at the wall and staring at his phone.  He had every right to be mad, after all, his bike worked! I didn't know whether to look at tickets home with him or send him to a vocal Doctor here in Medellin.  Rental company's had no stock, let alone Nik wouldn't be seen riding a GS down south like every other adventure bent retiree.  (Although I will say it is the ideal bike to do this trip on) I just want to see Patagonia, the holy land that cures all of man kinds ills.  For us, that was the Grail.  A symbol of something inside ourselves that we wanted to reach. 

In that moment, My dad called me. 

'I'm in Ecuador visiting my girlfriend. Come see me'

Drew Beetlepoop is now in my face filming all this still and Niks slouched over sweating in a chair. 

"I'm a fly buddy.  Just pretend I'm not here". 


My father, adventurer at heart, grew his hair out and did the same route six years ago in a westfalia to the same latitude only to end his trip in divorce.   The only thing I was ending on this trip was my sanity and peace of mind. 

It was a cheap flight across the border.  (Which later wasn't so cheap because we had to buy a return ticket for customs reassurances) We landed in Quito to my father dressed up as Donald Trump.  You can take the dad out of the clown.  But not the clown out of the dad. 

Every road Leads us wanderers back home. 

By now Drew is pacing back and forth in my fathers Quito apartment room. There's no motorcycles on this motorcycle trip.

Be careful what you wish for when you ask for an adventure because after a long three hour conversation with my dad I somehow chartered a Cessna an hour into the middle of the Amazon.  There's now a small airplane on this motorcycle trip.