Loving the Pictures! Looks like some amazing time you are having!
Loving the Pictures! Looks like some amazing time you are having!
Off to ride Canon del Pato tomorrow morning, and with luck make it to Lima tomorrow night. Going to ware the camera around my neck (done this before, no problems riding this way) so that I can easily get some good shots of the ride!
I will try to post up Pictures of Peru this evening, but for now just a quick update. I attempted to ride Canon del Pato, but wound up getting really lost, which turned out to be a great experience, riding Porky in places that have probably never seen an adventure bike, and where I think few have seen a white man. Some of the locals reactions were absolutely priceless when I came wheeling up on what to them is such an exotic machine. I then made it to Lima after bribing the Police and met Heidi at the airport at 1am. Poor Heidi has since had a rough start to her vacation, and though she is feeling better now, she got a stomach bug (no idea from what, we have been careful what we eat and drink) and spent 4hrs in the hospital after passing out twice in the hotel. She is up and moving, slowly, today though. Being an EMT in a hospital down here is interest...gives new insight on the relative quality of what we have back home!!!
So just another quick reply, sorry! James and Ustadza arrived safely and we have all had a fantastic (though greatly extended and unplanned) time getting Cusco. I have now mastered the art of getting horribly lost in the Andes and Heidi has mastered the art of getting sick. We took a less then standard rout to Cusco, and now fully understand why, despite what google maps says, everyone comes here via Nazca rather then Huancayo. We had planned two days, it took us 5, and trust me when I say we were pushing hard the whole time, not taking our sweet *** time. We drove roads that would have been rough in my 4Runner, crossed rivers that would have stopped most 1st world trucks, and even had the honor of sleeping in the car on the side of the road for 14hrs waiting for a flash flood to clear. Thankfully Heidi was only sick for the beginning of this when we still had hotels with nice bathrooms, Ustadza was happy to be with me despite the unplanned travels, and the scenery was hands down the best I have ever seen, topping out at over 16,000ft! I have over 1000 pictures to edit, and LOTS to type, so I make no promises as to when I will get a proper update posted, especially since we are off to Machu Pichu early tomorrow and racing back to Lima as soon as we return from there.
I hope you're keeping a journal or when you do sit down to start typing, you're going to forget 1/2 of what you've done
Be safe, cant wait to see more photos and hear the stories to go with them
Ok, here we go! I'm sorry this has taken so long, but it has been a long, busy, and spectacular three weeks! I tried to update this yesterday, but I just wasn't feeling it. After a few hours of staring at a blank screen I gave up and found something else to do. When I left AZ I didn't think it would be such a big deal to keep a ride report up to date, but as time as gone on and internet becomes harder to find, I'm learning it's actually quite a lot of work to keep up on things. Editing photo's, loading photo's, and trying to write something that makes sense with photo's inserted takes a lot of effort! But here it is, three weeks worth of the most amazing riding I have ever done!
First off, I have to post a link for a video put together by Young James (the Britt I rode with in Ecuador) about our ride through Las Cajas Park. It's a great video!
I left Cuenca Ecuador with sun and blue sky, but that was just a dirty trick ment to make me think it was a good day for riding...about 45min after I pulled out of the hostel it began to POUR. After that, it really started to rain, coming down so hard the dropps actually stung my skin through the motorcycle jacket, jacket liner, and long sleeve shirt. Thankfully all my gear worked as advertised and I stayed nice and dry, I really can't say enough about the quality of Firstgear riding gear! I had opted to follow E35 (Pan Americana Sur is the good road right???) and cross the border at Macara rather then turning off on E25 and riding down to the coast like everyone else does. I now understand why Everyone rides the extra miles to the coast...E35 turns to complete crap once you make the final turn to Macara, and in that kind of heavy rain it was atrocious, I will spare you all my real thoughts on that road in pouring rain. However, in the end I think it was a good choice as the border crossing was super easy. The Ecuadorian side stamped my passport and took my bike papers... literally that fast. The Peruvian side was just as easy, but the computers were down so I had to wait about two hours while the guy figured out how to hand write everything, using a ruler to draw the borders and then trying to trace the seals. It was a great show to watch! I stayed the night in a little hole in the wall Hospedaje in the first little town across the border. A bed is a bed right? I tried not to inspect the sheets too closely...
The only parking available was behind someone who had to leave at 6am, so I had a good early start and headed south, weaving through heavy rush hour traffic for a hundred KM or so until I got to more heavily populated parts. Who knew cow/horse/goat/dog/people traffic was so heavy on the highway in the morning? I had planned to eat breakfast at the first decent place I saw along the coast, but after getting some water splashed on my exhaust coming into Sullana, I decided to press on to somewhere cleaner. The smell of burning **** ruined my appetite, and the massive piles of trash with obvious fecal matter sprayed all over it pretty well killed any desire for food. I didn't even want to put my boots on the ground to stop at a stop light no less touch anything else! Maybe I had become spoiled in Colombia and Ecuador, but I had not expected such filth when I arrived in N. Peru. Amazing how a simple line in the sand can make such a huge difference in peoples pride and quality of life. I really don't think Colombian or Ecuadorian poverty involves any more money or resources then in N. Peru, yet almost everything in Colombia and Ecuador was clean and maintained. Not painted, fancier or richer, but there was no trash, yards were maintained, sidewalks were swept, etc., the complete opposite of the filth I saw my first couple hours across the border. But enough on that rant! I finally pulled off the road for a lunch of Fig Newtons, Gatorade, and trail mix in a deserted area of dunes. Was a beautiful place to rest, but the sand got the best of me on my way out.
Have I ever mentioned to anyone I hate riding in the sand?
I made it as far as Chimbote where I stayed the night in a nice Hospedaje who's owner was tickled pink to have a traveler stay (he rent's rooms for two hours at a time, I'll let you guess the purpose of his normal clientele...) I talked to Ustadza on the messenger for a while before passing out, looking to get an early start to ride Canon del Pato the next morning.
You will be happy to know I have lots of pictures, however I have no idea if I rode and portion of Canon del Pato or not. As it turns out, no local has ever heard of the place. I know I started on the right road up the right river, but as far as what is actually Canon del Pato I have no clue, and neither do they...and I did not find it either!
Heading up the Rio Santa, which I am certain is the right start for del Pato
One of many I will be adding to the Long Road to Nowhere thread...
I stopped for breakfast at what turned out to be the last town for a very long time and attracted lots of friendly attention!
This is where I went wrong. On my right there is a dirt road going off...I thought it just went to a gravel quarry, but I think that it was actually where Canon del Pato beings? For anyone taking this road, this is the first bridge of this type you come to right after a Police check point, and I'm fairly certain you do not want to follow me to the left over the brige. Anyone want to ask how I know you don't want to follow my route?
Having not yet learned just how backwards Peru can be, I figured the paved road was the main hw and rode like the wind with no one else around and some amazing scenery!
Sure, why wouldn't you drive a semi through here at mach Jesus? It's plenty wide enough for everyone else to get out of the way...
This is the last known location of the two fuel can's you see on the back of the bike...
By this point, I am WAY off the proper road. I haven't seen another person for about two hours, but the scenery is so amazing that I had decided I didn't care if it was Canon del Pato (honestly, I still thought I was on the right road), I was going to press on and see what there was to see!
I'm lovin this ride!
Holy crap Batt Man, there is another human out here! She wasn't too thrilled with having her picture taken, but after chatting a little before asking, she sighed and nodded an ok...
Around the next corner (keep in mind I haven't seen so much as a ruin for three hours now) I run smack into a little town. I talked to the first lady I saw asking if I was still on the right road (I have now learned the ALWAYS say yes, no matter what I ask them...thanks guys, you're a lot of help!). They were all super friendly, and then I started to pull my camera out and ask if I could take a pi...where did everyone go? They literally scattered like cockroaches when the lights come on at the sight of my camera, I didn't even get to finish asking. This little guy was a bit slow, so while putting the camera away I got this shot.
Not too much further I hear this huge rumble and the ground starts to shake. In a near panic I look up the mountain fearing the worst...nothing. I then look across the valley and the far mountain side is disappearing...
Around the next corner I ran into another old lady walking along with a loaded burro. She was staring at me so I killed the engine and started talking to her. Unlike the previous town, she was extremely friendly and helpful (though telling me I'm a stupid Gringo on the wrong road would have been more helpful!) and we chatted for a while. She thought I was just the neatest thing to happen to her valley in a very long time and got excited when I asked if I could take her picture. Not only did she say yes, she posed and told me I had to back up to get a better angle on the Mtn behind her! I really wish I could go back there and give her a copy of the photo's I took of her, she was awesome!
Not too long after that I pulled into larger town that had a square and even a bank, so I figured this would be a good place to positively confirm or deny what road I was on. I parked my bike, grabbed the map, and walked into the bank to ask directions. I honestly have no idea what the guard and teller were telling me, but I managed to get that I was in Pallasca...wait, I'm WHERE!? Try to find that on the map, I dare you...Google maps shows it if you zoom ALL THE WAY IN, there are no known roads going there. I now know they have roads because I rode there, but I was so far from where I was supposed to be that I was actually a little concerned about how to get where I needed. They assured me that there was no way I could possibly get to Cabana from there, and needing to get to Lima to meet Heidi only 36hrs hence, I decided discretion was the better part of valor. I did a loop around the square, pointed her back down hill, and rolled on some serious throttle. I made record time coming down the mountain, and knowing the road from coming up I knew where the hairy sections of road where and where I wouldn't be able to see trucks coming. At the first bridge coming back down I had to stop for about 30min while a trucker figured out what his best course of action would be...he had broke through and his front right was hanging in the air over the river!
Yeah, that was pretty much my thought too...
After that I have no photo's for a few days, and not too many stories to tell. I managed to make it to Lima that night, no thanks to the Policia National. I am now a master at bribing, and since have mastered frustrating them with no bribe until they just leave me alone. I was pulled over twice, the first time was for passing in a no passing zone. Ok, he had fair me fair and square on that one so I paid. The second time they said the same, but really I started passing less then a meter from the start of the passing zone. Did my tires even touch the double yellow? I doubt it! I paid them a bribe as well but they wanted more. After nearly an hour of arguing with them I lost my temper. They had taken all my money and I was not about to waste one more bloody second on these worthless excuses for cops. I took out a hand full of .50 centemos (worth about $0.01USD), started screaming that I had no more f****** money, and started throwing individual coins at them. This attracted a LOT of attention from anyone within earshot, so they said ok, tore up the fake ticket and left. I decided that was the last damn bribe I was going to pay in this country. After that I was just plain pissed, which makes me stubborn, so I said screw it and pressed on to Lima and found a hostel a day early. I spent the next day waiting for Heidi just hanging out, taking the day off, and hiding in the shade. I went to the airport to meet Heidi about 0030 in the morning. But wait, who is Heidi? I had met her once 6yrs ago for about 3hrs, so was that girl who just walked by Heidi?? Damn, where did she go...oh no, I think I just lost Heidi...oh this is going to suck... Thankfully all that worry was for not, for when the real Heidi walked out of customs I immediately recognized her and she me. Beer at the hostel and by then it was 0400, so we passed out.
We had two days to spend before Ustadza and James arrived, so while we didn't want to be bored we also didn't want to see and do everything. We went to Huaca Pucllana for the morning, which is an impressive pre Inca temple just a few blocks from where we were staying. Lima averages 7mm of rain per year (thats 1/4in), which means that the mud bricks are amazing well preserved. So well in fact, that you can see the finger prints of the man who slapped on the mortar somewhere between 1300 and 1800 years ago!
They laid the brick on end with no mortar in between, only on top and bottom, which allows the building to wiggle with the force of earthquakes. Same basic theory as earth quake proof buildings of today, and it obviously works pretty well. Wonder how many earth quakes this place has survived in almost 2000 years?
It was a religious and burial ground. They found Royals buried on top near where others were sacrificed. The sacrificial folk were buried at the base of the temple.
They had some llamas there as well, I just had to take a picture of this guy...DERP!
We returned to the hostel and Heidi wasn't feeling so well, so I sat down to write everything you just read while she napped...well that was three weeks ago, so you can guess how well that went! Heidi's not feeling well progressed, and when I went to check on her a while later she was hanging out of the window, too tired to climb into her top bunk after all the bathroom stops. I began checking on her more often, which turned out to be a good thing. Not long after she asked me to wait outside the bathroom, and when she came out she collapsed on the floor. I carried her back and put her in my bottom bunk. She tried to drink some water but it would just come right back up so she went to sleep. I moved my typing attempts into the room and hung out for a few hours, but she seemed to be sleeping well so I moved out to the couch again...that was just a dirty trick of fait. Soon after I moved I checked on her again only to find her in the bathroom once more. She asked me to wait, but this time didn't even make it off the pot, passing out right there. Her face hitting the floor wasn't even enough to bring her around, so I decided enough was enough and she was going to the ER. We had thankfully made friends with a Spanish girl named Lea who spoke good english, so she agreed to go along as a translator. Let me tell you, Peruvian ER's are not a nice place to be, and we were in the nice one of Miraflores! They apparently segregate their ER's by sex, and males are not allowed in the female part of the ER. Honestly not knowing this, I marched right in behind the guy pushing Heidi in a wheel chair, making it past security before they had a chance to slow me down. They tried their best to explain to me that I couldn't be there, but with a barely conscious Heidi clinging to my leg I pretended like I had no clue what they were telling me. I explained in english influenced spanish that I was her husband (I had already figured that only family could visit) and that I was a nurse and would not be leaving her side. That worked for about 5min before security started to get irate and I figured I should back down before it got ugly. I had Lea translate that they were not to stick anything in her that was not brand new and from a steril package. Interestingly, their response to this was to give me a shopping list and send me on my way! It took 3 hours and only about $8USD, but finally they got tired of me sending Lea in to harass them and after putting 2L of fluid in her, Heidi came stumbling out of the ER. It was now 3am, so after putting Heidi back in the bottom bunk and thanking Lea profusely, I wasted no time passing out. Saturday was spent getting some maintenance taken care of on the bike, getting the rental car, and trying to find mild food for Heidi, who was fast recovering from her one night stand with the demon bug. Ustadza and James were arriving the next morning!
More coming tonight, and if I don't get it all done; tomorrow! I still have two weeks of crazy adventure to go, this may take a while...
You need more alpaca pictures.
Your order will be right up, Madam!
Last edited by Clark White; 03-21-2012 at 03:10 AM.
Great pics Clark! What an epic journey.
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