November 27, 2012 - After replacing the brushes on Jan's bike, we left Arequipa the next morning for Puno. The road was smooth and fast. Right out of Arequipa, the road winds ever upwards. The high of the day was around 4,600 meters.
There was little to no traffic for most of the way.
Even at an average height of 4,400 meters, the bikes ran well and we covered a lot of distance at 100 km/h or so.
We approached a deep blue lake ringed with green hills and Jan pulled over, I presumed to take a picture. Instead he said his electricals were acting up. A quick check revealed the battery was down to 8.8 volts so clearly no charging was taking place. Popping the front cover off the bike, a quick test confirmed the alternator rotor had malfunctioned. Luckily Jan had a spare so we contemplated changing it right then and there.
Then, the unthinkable happened. A Brazilian motorcyclist pulled over and told us he was with a group of others, including an escort vehicle pulling a motorcycle trailer. Five minutes later, about ten other motorcyclists and a few escort vehicles were parked alongside the road and Jan's bike was on the trailer.
Off we went, back to Arequipa. The hotel owners had a good laugh at our expense and put us in the same room we had vacated a few hours earlier. After dinner we swapped the bad rotor out and brought the battery to a place where it could charge overnight.
The next morning, our second attempt to head for Puno failed right at the start. Jan's bike refused to start as the battery didn't hold the overnight charge. Off we went to buy a new battery, which went surprisingly quickly. At the end of a long day, we ended up in Puno and connected with our Australian friends again. After dinner we all decided Puno wasn't that great of a place so tomorrow we're all heading for Copacabana in Bolivia.