ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-15-2011, 12:08 PM   #16
Beltway
Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Peoples Republik of Takoma Park, MD (Wash. DC)
Oddometer: 29
I'm so very in.
Beltway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2011, 07:50 AM   #17
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Day 1: Lima to Ica

Day 1: Lima to Ica (click photos for larger images)

Begin: Lima, Peru @ 1PM
End: Huacachina Oasis in Ica, Peru @ 10PM
Distance: approx. 303km (~190mi) in 9 hours (~33KMH / ~21MPH average)
Average Gas Mileage: ~57MPG
Stopped by Police: 2x

Almost exactly a month to the day from the initial purchase, my mototaxi (henceforth “motokar” or “moto” since the locals use those terms most) was finally going to be ready to go at 11AM today. It took a teeny bit longer, but before long I was tearily shaking hangs with Enrique at Desert Honda and waving goodbye to my home in Lima (at Pirwa Backpackers Hostel) to head out on this brave new adventure.



I was quite surprised to escape the clutches of Lima with a minimum of hassle, I only missed a few turns and my map kept me under control. Soon enough I had made it to the Panamerican Highway where my real struggle would begin. I need to take this road south for quite awhile before I can cut away from it and there’s only one problem with this scenario: Motos are prohibited on the Panamerican. Time to see how far my charm could get me…

I started out catching the pieces of Panamerica Antigua that I could, as it’s a local road that parallels the highway. Before long I ran out and had no choice but to merge onto the four lane autopista directly before a toll! Three ladies from three different booths came out to tell me that I couldn’t drive a moto on the autopista, but they quickly relented in response to my subtle wit and charm – “this time only!” they tell me as they let me through (okay I admit I’m pretty sure this only worked because I just smiled really big and told them I would drive careful on the side and they could not resist my infectious grin!).

From there, things got boring, really fast. There’s a reason I don’t want to take the Panamerican down like many people do and this is exactly why – it’s a busy road through a desert in this area, where everyone drives super fast. I amused myself by attempting to translate all the giant billboards (harder than you may think), either trying to figure out what a word meant by the placement or just making up a meaning (this is probably not a good idea). I also settled down to fall in love with my moto.



I didn’t expect it to happen so fast – it’s not a normal thing, a moto. It doesn’t quite drive like a motorcycle or a car or an ATV, the closest I have experienced is maybe a snowmobile. On the other hand, I’ve driven one for over two thousand miles before, so maybe it was more a matter of remembering than learning… regardless, by the time I was out of Lima I was seriously stoked. This Honda is bloody fun to drive and it’s going to be awesome to take it to the end of the world.

To start with I was extremely careful as the engine was brand new. After the first hundred kilometers I could feel everything bedding in, some of the vibrations stopping, and the engine generally breathing better. I still haven’t taken it to the limit, but I’m guessing it will top out at around 70KMH (44MPH). There’s a bad resonance from 45KMH to 55KHM, but just north of 55KMH (35MPH) seems to be the sweet spot for cruising,right around 7500RPM (redline is just north of 9000RPM). Of course this will change as I get up into the mountains and lose oxygen.



The foot pegs, gear and brake levers, and handlebars are all quite comfortable, though the latter definitely puts out a lot of vibration – I’ve been stopped for nearly 45min and my hands are still feeling funny. There’s a nice back rest at the end of the seat that gets a lot of use (also conveniently helps prevent the back of my shirt from flying up), but the seat itself is HORRIBLE. It’s the most uncomfortable motorcycle seat I’ve ever experienced, I think because it is way too soft. My ass hurts so bad right now I can barely sit down… I sure hope I get used to that seat fast!

As I continued to feel out the moto and get used to it, I noticed the sun was going down and I had only made it around a third of the way to Ica, my ideal destination. I told myself on this trip that I wouldn’t keep driving into the night repeatedly because I miss scenery, take considerably more risks, and lose out on random side-of-the-road stops (for food or sleep). Every half hour I would tell myself that I’d stop at the next decent location, but then I’d notice how much more distance I had covered and wonder if I could make it all the way to Ica..

As darkness fell, I was waved down for the first time by the police in their ever-present checkpoints (I had avoided a couple by drafting trucks). The officer was surprised to see my strange looking face and asked for my papers while telling me that I wasn’t allowed on the highway in a moto. I gave him my license and registration and told him the nice ladies at the toll booth had let me through, so it must be okay, right? He then asked the standard “where are you going?” to which I replied “Ica” and he told me I was crazy.

I expect the conversation that followed is going to be typical for me on this trip – I explained that I was traveling all over South America by motokar and was raising money for a charity that helped children in their country. There was a crowd of police officers asking questions before long and my illegal driving of the Panamerican was quickly tossed off with a “please be very careful and good luck!” and I was off again.

A few hours later, the scenario repeated itself, except the second officer said it would be okay to drive it in the daylight but not at night! I told him stories about driving in India at night and explained that the trucks and busses here are actually quite nice (they are) and he let me off as well.



Twilight turned to darkness quickly, the darkness that you forget is reality outside a city or a suburb with street lights. Even with a large moon, I could barely make out shapes on the side of the road and resorted to simply trusting in the quality of the road as I crush another couple hundred kilometers. Suddenly I saw a sign that said Ica was only 25km away, and in my travel addled state it seemed I had teleported 300km to get there. I rode into the town surprised at how big it was, found the turn towards Huacachina on my map and road into the little tourist area at the oasis.

As I drove around looking for a hostel (the plan is to spend a day here sandboarding), I went to the end of a street and started at the darkest one only to have a guy come out all excited to talk about my moto, then be joined by a woman. They turned out to be running the hostel, loved what I was doing, and hooked me up with one bed in an empty hostel room for 20 soles! Then Victor asked if he could drive my moto around before putting it into some secure parking and I got to experience being a passenger in my moto for the first time.

Then, a shower – I was shocked to notice how crazily swept back my hair was, though I guess I should have predicted it. I looked craaazy. There is a big fiesta in town going on right now and I was promised tons of beer and girls if I went, but instead I decided to wind down and recover. Within a couple weeks a nine hour non-stop day won’t be that unusual for me, but for now the emotional and physical impact is definitely noticeable. Ah, sleep…

P.S. Because I had a destination and was dealing with the emotional payload of a new moto and a new adventure, I didn’t take very many photos today. That will change as time passes!

(written April 15 @ 11PM)
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2011, 08:07 AM   #18
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Random Responses

I'm relaxing at an oasis in Ica, a shockingly green pool in the middle of huge sand dunes. I wanted to stay here for a day to try out the local sandboarding, which involves hiking up a massive dune then riding down it on a cheap board strapped to your feet with velcro... The down side is that you can't do it until evening because of the heat, so today is an R&R day (already!). The next R&R will be in Arequipa or somewhere around there to get the moto serviced.

Here are some quick responses while I have internet (since I expect to go days at a time without on this trip, especially when I hit Bolivia):

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterGalactic View Post
Go Pete, Go......This will be great. Any mods planned for the tuk?
The first thing I did was replace the tires with dual sport tires, though I'm not convinced they were the best since I still spin wickedly on sand if I'm not careful. After that, at some point I'd like to build a wooden box on the rear cargo area and maybe one in the front area within which to put my things. I've found in the past people are usually awesome but all it takes is one bad apple to walk off with a bag while I'm taking a dump or something (the unfortunate downside to solo travel).

From a drivetrain perspective I'm not planning on making any changes aside from tuning for altitude when I hit the altiplano.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flys Lo View Post
Threw a few bucks in for the cause
Awesome! Thanks a ton for supporting Operation Smile!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukoner2 View Post
Wow, that thing looks neat, would love to see someone ride something like that north to Prudhoe, not that it would be a quick 2 week trip or anything.
After riding a scooter to Prudhoe, the scary thing about taking a motokar up there would be those freakin' RV's on the AlCan. There were times when I got pretty pissed having an RV pass me doing 60MPH while I was doing 35MPH with barely a foot of clearance... can't imagine what they'd do to this motokar!

That said, I dreamed of driving it up to the US to keep it but my cursory research has indicated that the paperwork on this may be nigh-impossible. I don't even know if I could get it into the US temporarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastjarl View Post
Trackpete, you are not alone down there with bike taxi.
Yep, that was the Second Mototaxi Junket (the third is about to begin next week). I was on the first and that's what hooked me on the idea. The Adventurists are awesome and it's a crazy good time for two weeks targeted at more "normal" people (out of maybe 40 people on the first one almost no one had motorcycle experience). I highly recommend them for a short and crazy adventure vacation, good for a working stiff. Links are in my first post!
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2011, 09:13 AM   #19
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederic_Shiffer View Post
Can I come with my hammoc and stay in the back for a while?
I've been thinking about putting one up myself to sleep at night! In a serious answer to your question though, once I get everything broken in and get into the rhythm of the trip, I do hope to see if I can get people to meet me various places and join in few a week or two at a time - that's part of the reason I went with the motokar instead of just a 125c enduro.

New Plans

I spent the morning looking at where to go next, with the understanding that I really should be getting my moto serviced before Arequipa (500km first service and Arequipa will be at like 1300km). Found a Honda dealer in Coracora, the capitol of the Ayacucho district, approximately 300km from Ica. In theory I'll arrive with 600-650km on the clock, which isn't too bad.

The trippy bit: It's on the altiplano. In fact, when I cut off towards it up 26A, it look like I will be climbing from around 700 meters at Nasca up through a 4300 meter (14,200ft) pass in what appears to be around 20km of crow-travel distance on Google Earth. :o

Coracora will be at around 3200 meters (10.5k feet), so if nothing else this will give me a good early test of the altitude capabilities with a definite dealer at the end to help me tweak anything.

After that it will be back down towards the Panamerican with small side trips through Peru (frustrating, but not really any other options for going south unless I go all the way up to Cusco and I've been on those roads already).

Not sure when I'll get a shot to update next, so that's the deal. You can keep an eye on my route at threewheels.net (or whoispete.com) by clicking the map icon, courtesy of my SPOT tracker.
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2011, 10:03 AM   #20
c5babe
Gnarly Adventurer
 
c5babe's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: North Woods
Oddometer: 260
This is gonna be wild! I'm in.

__________________
F650GS
DR650

There are four things you can't recover: the stone..after the throw, the word..after it's said,
the occasion..after it's missed and the time ..after it's gone.
_____________________________________________
Been There, Done That, Took Pictures, Retired.
c5babe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 07:25 AM   #21
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Not much to report right now - I spent yesterday chilling at Ica and the evening taking a huge sandbuggy tour around the desert. This was insane, with the buggy driver catching air and driving up and down hills like a roller coaster. Wicked fun. Sandboarding was also cool, though I did get a bit sandy.

Off towards Nasca and Coracora today, hope to arrive there tomorrow sometime while the dealer is open.

(that's how I "relaxed" in Huacachina)
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 08:51 AM   #22
iBiker
Gnarly Adventurer
 
iBiker's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: West Virginia at the confluence of US Rt 50 & I-79
Oddometer: 307
I'm in too

Sounds like a bunch of fun. Enjoy your ride..........

Stay safe!
iBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:24 AM   #23
DWR302
Justan Nudderboomer
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: SW Flowdah
Oddometer: 123
Pete, is that setup a solid axel driving both rear wheels? Never checked one out up close.
DWR302 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #24
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWR302 View Post
Pete, is that setup a solid axel driving both rear wheels? Never checked one out up close.
Unfortunately, nope - there's a dual chain setup, where one chain goes from the engine to an axle halfway down the bike. Another chain goes from this to the left rear wheel, which is the only drive wheel.

This makes it very hard to steer at times, as well as to maintain control on bad roads, since it always pushes towards the right hard.
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 08:28 AM   #25
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Day 2: Huacachina

On a very slow internet connection in a town in the middle of the mountains connected to the world only by dirt roads... Here's an update of the last couple of days!

Day 2: Huacachina (chillin')


Huacachina Oasis is such an important place in Peru that it’s actually on the 50 soles bill! It’s also incredibly touristy, but an interesting area. I spent most of the morning relaxing before preparing for an afternoon dune buggy tour and – the entire reason I wanted to go – to try my hand at sandboarding!



The dune buggies they use here are insane, massive contraptions of steel with a huge engine and a bunch of seats strapped on. The one I went on had seating for seventeen or so people! I thought the dune buggy tour would just be a nice little romp around the desert nearby and didn’t feel strongly about it either way – boy was I wrong!

At the first opportunity, the drive slammed open the V8 and went full throttle up a massive dune at an extreme angle that felt like the buggy might fall over at any moment. We hit the top and soared over it, going full throttle straight down the next. For the next ten minutes we were treated to one of the most epic roller coaster style rides I’ve ever been on, jacked to the hilt on adrenaline with the sure knowledge that it was only a matter of time until this thing ended up rolling down a hill at 40MPH. I was in the back and was especially tuned to the rear tires underneath me and I could feel the thing constantly losing the back end and struggling for traction before the inevitable outward slide and roll…



Somehow (maybe a bit of experience?) the driver kept it mostly upright before coming to a stop at a large dune for us to take photos and take our first try at sandboarding! One by one, everything laid down face first on the board and went sledding down the hill. I’m not sure how to describe this – it’s close to real sledding, but different because you don’t get as much speed and seem to have much more control. It’s fun, but not epic… or so I thought on the first hill.



We climbed up the short side of the next dune and I decided to try standing up on the board, snowboarding style. The guide warned me to stay in one direction and go diagonal and not to try transitioning sides/direction. This turned out to be apt advice, mostly because sandboarding turned out to be NOTHING like snowboarding! (contributing to this may have been the velcro bindings which did not exactly allow any control at all)

My first standing ride down a dune I basically dug my front end a foot into the sand and flipped onto my face about five times before getting to the bottom with the realization that I needed to basically spend all of my effort keeping the leading edge lifted up. We proceeded to another HUGE hill where I gave it another try, getting some decent speed a couple of times but inevitably losing control and railing at the uselessness of the bindings.





After another quick ride, we stood atop the final hill – a massive dune that looked at least a hundred feet high from the top, and incredibly steep to boot. I decided to do this sled-style and tore straight down it without using my feet for brakes, so overcome by the speed and intensity that I didn’t even smile or laugh. It was over before the adrenaline could trigger, and I stood up to look at the dune from the bottom… holy crap! That thing must’ve been at least two hundred feet high, if not more! It was HUGE. I wish I could have climbed up and given it another try…





Once everyone was finished, we found a good spot to watch the sunset over the desert then headed back into town. I opted to chill out with a couple beers and read instead of partying like everyone else, then went to bed with the plan of an early breakfast and start. I thought about staying another day and trying things again, but I really want to hit the road for now.

Sleep beckons.

__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 08:31 AM   #26
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Day 4: Huacachina to Unknown Location

Day 3: Huacachina to Unknown Location

Begin: Huacachina Oasis in Ica, Peru @ 11AM
End: Unknown Location off 26A @ 6:30PM
Distance: approx. 257km (~160mi) in 7.5 hours (~34KMH / ~21MPH average)
Average Gas Mileage: ~70MPG
Stopped by Police: 8x

Tonight is my first night sleeping in my motokar in the middle of nowhere, though I suspect it will only be the first of many. The next town is still many hours away through twisted tortuous roads in the mountains so I decided to try my new technique of actually looking for a place to stop during the sunset, rather than waiting until dark.



I scouted what appeared to be an excellent location, a wash that went behind a large set of rocks and was not visible at all from the road, but it would require driving half a kilometer offroad in some very rocky terrain. I drove past and continued on for awhile before convincing myself I was running out of time and turning back.

Getting to a spot that could not be seen anywhere from the road was harder than I initially thought, mostly because I could barely inch forward in first gear trying desperately to avoid rocks and ending up falling into one of the many pits I could not see from the road… but I made it to a secure spot, and now I’m happily snacking on crackers and preparing to unwind.

The day started a bit late, with me finally picking my moto up and hitting the road around 11AM after a fantastic breakfast at the Desert Nights hostel in Huacachina. I took off south towards Nazca and checked out for the 175km or so to get here. I pondered the question of the Nazca lines but I did not bother to try to see them at a mirador or by plane, mostly because I have heard it’s not really worth it compared to the effect from satellite (thank you Google Earth).



In Nazca I got lost for a bit trying to find the turn onto 26A towards Puquio and then Carocaro, but with lots of asking and help from random strangers I was on my way – towards the massive twisting ascent up over ten thousand feet. My moto handled it fantastic, generally climbing most hills in fourth with only a few downshifts to third. The road was also much less busy and full of beautiful views.



I hoped that since I left the Panamerican I would finally stop being hassled by the policia – I’d been stopped seven times already. No such luck, as the first policia that saw me on 26A stopped me for the same reason, saying motos were prohibited! Apparently 26A is considered a feeder road to the Panamerican and the same rules apply. This guy was also very stern and took much more discussion before he finally let me go, warning me to be off the road by 6PM (around sunset) or I would get into a lot of trouble.

So I took his advice and here I am… we’ll see what happens tomorrow!
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!

trackpete screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 08:33 AM Reason: Woops this is actually Day 3... sorry for any confusion in title
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 08:37 AM   #27
trackpete OP
Adventurer
 
trackpete's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Washington DC
Oddometer: 182
Day 4: Unknown Location to Coracora, Peru

Day 4: Unknown Location to Coracora, Peru

Begin: Unknown Location off 26A, Peru @ 7AM
End: Coracora, Peru @ 4PM
Distance: approx. 194km (~121mi) in 9 hours (~21KMH / ~13MPH average)
Average Gas Mileage: ~49MPG
Stopped by Police: 0x

I wish I could say I slept like a baby last night, but the reality is that my first night sleeping in the back seat of my motokar was not as pleasant as it could have been. I think the root of this was simply the fact that I had ascended from ~400m to 3740m (12,270ft) in one day and that transition is not conducive to comfort (I found myself waking up needing to take deep breaths and dealing with a mild headache all night).

At one point in the night I started hearing sounds of movement nearby and was wondering if someone would stop by to see what I was doing there when I heard an animal snort of some kind. Knowing there are all sorts of domestic animals around here in herds, I didn’t worry too much, but drifted off back to sleep. Later I was awoken by something and my sleep befuddled brain wasn’t sure what it was… I slowly processed it and realized something had smashed into my motokar frame (probably the back bumper), rocking it and making a loud metallic *ping* sound.

For what felt like another ten minutes I debated ignoring it and going back to sleep (comfy in my sleeping back pulled over my head), or extricating myself to investigate. Prudence finally won out and I sat up to look behind me and see, to my surprise, a herd of at least ten cows including a number of very large bulls staring at me from five feet away. How should one deal with such a situation? Shoo them off? I couldn’t decide, so instead I just went back to sleep and hoped I didn’t wake up to a bull goring my feet or something…

When the sun came up, I quickly packed and navigated my way back towards the road, a process which turned out to be quite difficult since I had failed to consider there would be a large amount of condensation at night turning the dirt into muddy sand. I may have even been trapped if it had rained in any quantity!



Once back on the road, it only took me a few hours to get to Puqiou on the nice paved road, though my poor motokar was struggling greatly during some of the transitions over 4300m (14,000+ ft), especially on the hills. I spent a lot of time in 2nd gear being very careful for worries of my chain (I am not carrying a spare, which is a really stupid oversight – I asked for two in Lima but they didn’t give them to me and I forgot to follow up). I also found myself on reserve as I closed towards Puqiou, unsure if I would even make it! Another note – I really need to buy a gas can!

Puqiou was an interesting town, however I transitioned it fast expecting to have a short 60km or so ride to Carocaro on a dirt road. In retrospect, I should have just headed for Abancay and the dealer there, but Carocaro was closer according to Google Maps! Let me just say, that’s the last time I rely on Google Maps because apparently it hasn’t heard of this thing called “twisty mountain roads.”

I don’t even want to get into this in too much detail because it was mind numbing. Let’s just say the next 100km or so to Carocaro was a road consisting entirely of (in various spots) mud, sand, dirt, gravel, and rock with a number of water crossings with depths over eight inches. On top of that, it constantly climbed and ascended, with the longest straight stretch on the entire road being maybe two hundred feet. Altitudes varied from mid 3000 meters to low 4000 meters, with my little motokar struggling up hills and staggering down them.



This section of road, around one hundred kilometers, took me around seven hours (do that math). Around five hours in, I noticed that my front fender was loose and banging around and that some bolts had fallen out. I tightened the two remaining and decided to leave it on with the belief that it would hold until Carocaro, which I kept thinking was just around the corner (it was not). After stopping a few times at ten minute intervals to re-tighten it I was considering applying some Quicksteel to hold it in place and literally looking for a spot to pull over on the side of the road to do so (that wasn’t too muddy/sandy) when it gave out completely.



With a heart wrenching lurch my moto slid to a stop in the mud, almost tipping over on its side. I had a panic thought that my engine had seized when I realized it must have been the front fender. A quick investigation showed that only one bolt remained and that the fender had wedged itself into the tire and front forks. I removed the fender and got back on to continue onwards when I realized something was very wrong – my front forks appeared to be severely bent, meaning that when the wheel was pointing straight ahead my handlebars were angled at around 30 degrees to the left!



This made the rest of the ride into Carocaro a bit miserable, especially since ever time I looked up for the road to take in the view I would naturally square my hands and send my moto careening towards a cliff, more often than not only saving it at the last second. Fighting the steering constantly, I finally rounded a corner to see another lush green valley spread out before me with a weird green lake (algae, like Huacachina I expect) and, what is that?! A huge town sprawled out that can only be Carocaro!



The problem: It was on the other side of the valley! ARGH. There is little more frustrating than spending two hours descending one side of a mountain, then ascending the other side, all the while watching your destination slowly grow closer. The road also turned to this horrible rocky surface that bounced my moto everywhere (I’ll take dirt over rock any day), leaving me in fear of some sort of catastrophic failure from my damaged forks. Arrival into Carocaro was a bit emotional, but I kept it under control while asking for directions to Av. 9 de Diciembre where the Honda repair place was.

Fifteen minutes of driving around town following directions got me to the right street, only to find that directions to the Honda place at the end of the street weren’t correct because it wasn’t there! I kept asking people who directed me back to this area, when I finally got the bright idea of asking a guy on a Honda motorcycle. I found out that Ponte Honda had moved and was now on the other side of town!

With a few more stops for directions, I drove by a house with some large doors and a Honda generator banner outside, but no other indications. Could this be it? I knocked on the doors with no luck when a neighbour pulled up. A quick conversation verified I was at the right place, then while I was talking the main mechanic pulled up! Perfect. He told me he’d be happy to work on my moto early in the morning and eventually even showed me a nearby hostal that had secure parking.

Room and imminent repairs secured, I went into town to eat my first food in around 30 hours. I walked into a pollo a la brasa place that was open (at 4:30PM, a miracle! most don’t eat dinner until much later) and asked if they had food, to which the reply was “yes, but we only have pollo a la brasa!” Well, that’s what I want, so I ordered half a chicken and gorged myself on it and a huge mound of fries while watching Baywatch in Spanish.

I don’t remember ever actually watching an episode of that show as a kid and I don’t think I paid much attention as an adult. The whole time I kept watching all the “sexy” women bouncing around in their high-waisted bikinis and all I could think was that it made their asses look funny and thank goodness for modern swimwear. Wonder what the kids will be thinking in twenty years looking back on today’s bikinis…

Perhaps pondering this was a sign of how tired I was, so I retired to my hostal to watch a few episodes of “modern” tv shows on my laptop and crash out early. Trying to keep myself on a strict 6AM wakeup from here on out.

The hard decision to be made tomorrow, after the work is done on my moto, is… where to go from here? I am wondering if maybe it’s best that I go back to Puquio then north to Abancay and take the Cusco route. I’ve done that one before, which is why I wanted to take the Panamerican down until I could transition to Bolivia, but I’ll be honest – I’m getting sick of talking my way past these policia and I can’t help but agree with the last one who warned me it’s only a matter of time until I encounter one who isn’t willing to bend the rules for me.



It’s annoying how much navigation plays a role in these trips – I know I’ll get where I’m going no matter what, but it sucks to arrive there emotionally and physically played out sometimes. Ah well.
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
trackpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #28
Lacedaemon
Studly Adventurer
 
Lacedaemon's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Northern Virginia
Oddometer: 556
Thumb This is Brilliant

What a great part of the world. Subscribed.
Lacedaemon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #29
Jamie Z
Beastly Adventurer
 
Jamie Z's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: almost Memphis
Oddometer: 7,671
I'm especially interested in this report. I've got some experience with mototaxis, and I too want to buy one someday (though I never considered riding one down to Tierra del Fuego) and also you're going through areas where I visited a couple places you've mentioned already. I stayed in Ica and took the dune buggy tour an tried my hand at sandboarding. I also passed through Nazca and opted not to pay to see it from an airplane.

I even got to drive a moto for a short distance (I've got a pic someplace) and once rode in one with six other people, including the driver.

Good luck to you.

Jamie
__________________
I'm the Tent Space Guy Sign up to host fellow travelers here.

Budget Travel the Jamie Z Way
Jamie Z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #30
InterGalactic
SoleTraveler
 
InterGalactic's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: NW Georgia
Oddometer: 16
Great start Pete. Discovering the weaknesses and strengths of your machine is all part of the adventure. Pick up a bicycle pump and then lose some air in your tires for better traction in the soft stuff when you need too....... Rock on brother....
__________________
__________________________________________________
2009 DL650, 2004 VL800, 1990 RT180

InterGalactic screwed with this post 04-19-2011 at 03:31 PM
InterGalactic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014