16-Riding Popayan to Pasto, Nariña

My thread on ADVriders is:

'70 year old women calling herself the “Old Weed’ is having her longest ride’



Adventre riders are a fabulous group very supportive to the riding comunity and specailly the traveling community. I have learned so much from them for my preparations of this long trip. Therefore,  I am including some of their questions and responses which will help you readers get a sense of the other aspect of my trip.

I have been asked some specific questios as I traveled all along and placed them here  in a separate text as they come along.


ADVriders comment:


Abosit, congratulations on the beginning of what looks to be an awesome journey. You have chosen the perfect bike with the perfect luggage set up!

I am very close by to you, having ridden down from Vancouver also on 250s. My best friend and I are camped near St, Augustine, about a 2 hours ride from Popyan. We will be crossing into Ecuardor some time in the next 6 days or so. Any chance could take you out for a jugo naturales (or a beer) some time in the next week or so? We would love to hear about your bike setup, travel plans and route ideas.  

You are an inspiration to many! ROCK ON, ROLL SAFE!

My response:


I think there is a chance to meet. Who knows how long I have to stay in Pasto.

Here is my first little hicup!!
Since I started my trip I have been carrying a Spot Gen-1. 
My husband ( sorry TEWSTER2 I am married to a good man for 45 yrs) 
is following me and worried about if something happens. Therefore it is important to me to have it running.

In Medllin a friend of mine joined my riding for 10 days and the first bad luck with spot happened there. 
She carried a Spot Gen-1 also and was so kind to leave hers with me for the remaining trip.

UNFORTUNATELY Spot # 2 quit this morning. So I am back to square one.

I have been looking if there are some available in Colombia and the closest dealer is in Cali, there are two dealers

( I just was there , bummer) 
Today is Sunday I called the up, to check out if they have the Spot Gen-3 available, but all is closed. Have to wait until tomorrow.
Shipping from the US will take to long and where when I do not know where I will be. 10 days they say.  
Just was able to locate a dealer in Bogota and talk to the person. They say they can ship it here to Pasto.
I do not know the express shipments here in this country, it could be 1-2 days or may be 5.

So stay tuned to the 'Old Weed'.....ha, ha later pictures from todays riding!!

canoeguyFeb 12, 2016


Again I love this and I am looking forward to seeing it unfold. I am curious if you have been riding all of your life?

Canoe guy:

I have been riding a Vespa 150cc in Spain for man- years. It was not a sport just the best way of transportation.

Kids and moving came along and did not have a bikes. explored other sports like canoeing. 
Startet again 10 yrs ago with my husband. I guess it is in the genes. :) First long trip was 3 weeks to Main in the most rainy season ever, you hate it or love it right. We did LOVE it and that was the beginning of many good long rides.


You ROCK girl.

Looking forward to following your adventure.

Your setup looks super - Givi 46L top case to secure valuable items (do you have quick release lock or is it “permanently" mounted?), Mosko quick release Back Country 35L (stuffed to 45L) soft saddle bags, nice 250 to pull you around on.  

Do you speak spanish? have you traveled South or Central America before? Did you bring camping gear? what are your biggest concerns about the trip, what are you looking to get out of the trip or what motivated you or compelled you do this trip? Take your time with the answers if you choose to share your thoughts on any of these questions. I know you are probably super busy right now and spending a lot of energy just adapting to the new conditions you have just been dropped off in.  

You appear to be well prepared just looking at your bike setup, please be careful on the roads and with traffic as you figure out how to ride in very different riding conditions re: following distances, uninvited lane sharing, usage of horns that have very different meanings that what we are accustomed to in the U.S., unusual traffic maneuvers, right of way (you have none - might is right), speed limits (may be ridiculously low for conditions and conducive to speeding tickets). 

I have riden motorcycles in India and Italy but I have not ridden in Colombia. My general advice for wherever one rides (and this may not apply to Colombia so those who have been there, please correct me if I am wrong) is to ride with the flow of traffic and ride as the locals do but within your abilities. Riding more aggressive than the local “flow” will get you in trouble BUT riding too passively or slow or holding up traffic etc…relative to the local flow is just as dangerous if not more dangerous. And as we get older and wiser, we naturally tend to behave or drive/ride more like the latter description. It seems there are fewer opportunities on foreign roads to pull over to the right to let faster traffic get by, there are just fewer emergency lanes or shoulders and many of the mountainous roads have none at all and sometimes no guard rails either so becoming a traffic obstacle in these conditions that is not fitting in with the flow can be really dangerous.

While in your gear, everyone else out on the road that interacts with you will assume you are a high testosterone, mid 20’s, male gringo flying through their country. That may help or be a hindrance to you if your actions, reactions and behaviors don’t meet their preconceived expectations. If you get pulled over by the police, be sure to take off your helmet so they can see you are obviously female (sometimes hard to tell with all the gear on) and obviously a mature adult. There is more respect for both the female and the elderly (sorrow about that word and I’m not far behind you) so they may cut you some slack if and when you need it due to those two attributes. 

And don’t be afraid to use the “Grandma” or the “Mother” card if getting hassled. Saying…”is this how you would treat your Grandma?” or “if your Mother saw you doing this, would she be proud of you” can be very powerful to a young male doing something unethical that he knows he should not be doing. Go to google translate and memorize the Spanish for those to statements.

I’m really excited for you and your awesome trip ahead of you.

Have a great trip and Go Packers

My response:

I Plan to cross in a few days into Ecuador, after that Peru, Chile and Argentina. I dream for the whole pie (all the way to Ushuaia) but time will tell.

Timespan for my travels, - well I would like to get to Ushuaia before winter kiks in there, estimating end of of April or beginning of May. “El Niño’ or ‘La Niña’ will tell me what I can do. I would like to have more extended time in Peru, but all is in the air. I have nothing to prove to myself, just want to enjoy the ride and if it gets unpleasant or any other circumstances happen I will return.

So…. hope that you follwers, nobody gets disappointed if I quit before the end. Knowing myself if things go relatively well I will make it.

My Givi top case is snapped on a Givi plate which is bolted to the rack. Yes I can take it down easy. No need for that in the places I have parked. I have a silnylon square bag which fits in my topcase.. I put my valuables in there and do not have to carry loose things to the hotel. This thin liner does the trick.

The question about  what camera I use, I have a small Canon G16, does excellent pictures and good 1080p video, is small and fits in my packsafe waist bag.

This waistbag, on the outside has a nice loop to attach the zipper. It is better then a little lock I have seen on their other packs. If I want to take something out It is easy to open but super difficult for thiefs. So far works good. I only lock it when I feel I should watch out in crowded areas. I do not have a tankbag, therefore it serves as it as well.


In the bag, I carry a mini iPad which fits perfectly and  still place left for my bike import papers.

I made a copy of my drivers license and plastified it, looks almost original and use that when asked at the hotel. Then have written down the number of my passport on a little paper and do not have to show my passport.

My passport is hidden in a little pouch hanging inside my pants from my belt, and they have to kill me to get it :) also extra cash got in there.

I have used it for several years for me when traveling.

And here lots of my riding pictures.

© Nina Boonacker 2012