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Old 02-05-2014, 06:27 AM   #3616
JDowns OP
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Location: Bassett, NE
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I’m sitting on the second floor balcony of the Gran Chimu hotel in Chimbote Peru typing this up. Sunrise with blue skies, warm weather, a light sea breeze blowing in off the bay, beautiful view looking out over the seawall at the fishing boats bobbing in the harbor. After riding 1000 kilometers in the last two days, I think I’ll hang out here for the day and update this ride report before heading up Cañon del Pato into the mountains.

More pictures and stories after I finish uploading to smugmug…..
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:44 AM   #3617
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Took off from Chiclayo yesterday morning. The first couple hundred miles into Peru the previous night were in the dark with a new moon, so it was my first time to see what I had been missing. Not much as it turns out:



But hey, some would say I’m a bit windy and trashy so I might just fit in here. They were burying 2” blue and red plastic pipe out in the middle of the desert. Hot and cold running water? Hard to say:



Stopped for a cold drink and watched the world go by in this little pueblo. Between the desert sections in the river valley there is quite a bit of agriculture. This New Holland tractor was idling on the side of the road across the way. I timed the diesel motor. Two beats a second. 120RPM. Chug, chug, chug chug. It’s a beautiful sound if you’re into tractors, as most people from Nebraska are:



Stopped to say hi to the stone masons but nobody was around. Must be siesta time:



Unlike the cement block buildings of Ecuador, everything around here is made from sun dried adobe blocks or low fired bricks.

The three wheeled tuk-tuk taxis in the cities are much lighter weight than their Asian cousins from India. Instead of steel bodies they use fabric down here. So light weight that when you need to work on them you just tip them up on their side and rest them on the running board to change a rear tire or work on the running gear:



Stopped for lunch where they were doing mostly dry land rice:



Gave Pedro the beggar a couple Soles. He’s my age. Yikes! Well he looks like I felt last night after riding all day and pulling into Chiclayo after midnight. Pedro is more of a minimalist than I am. Just a blankie and a plastic burlap bag over his shoulder:



more later…….
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:57 AM   #3618
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Huge cement plant out in the middle of the desert. I could hear the roar of the blast ovens even across the street. Cement is just superheated lime and clay powder:



All the trees around the plant were on drip irrigation. Triple rows of hundreds of trees. Instead of using emitters, they just punched micro holes in the 1/2” plastic pipe. Emitters cost .50/ea so by using this simple technique they were saving hundreds of dollars. Plus, emitters tend to clog over time. Pretty clever, and I checked down the line since the drip system was on. It was working perfectly. Simple and elegant, I’ll have to remember this one:



Stopped for gas. It is three times as expensive as Ecuador. You have to ask for the octane since PetroPeru calls all their gas Superplus. 84 and 95 have ethanol. The 90 is more expensive and doesn’t have ethanol. I ran a tank of 84 and the Sherpa did fine. Then a tank of 95 and same deal. I think the Sherpa would run on lighter fluid. GLP is what they call Kerosene, and it is sold at most gas stations. Probably for cooking and kerosene lamps I imagine. Anyway, I think the 90 is probably best. It’s only 50 cents a gallon more so I think I’ll try that next:



You know you’re getting near a bigger city when the trash piles start growing. I look at it as a feature. If you hit reserve and the trash starts building, you know you’ll make it to the next gas station:



Pretty bleak architecture out here. Function over form :



These guys were coming back from the sugar processing plant riding the flatbed into town on top of the refined sugar bags. Not a bad way to commute:



This place would be dune buggy heaven:





If I had some paddle tires I would head right instead of left:



Vast areas of nothingness. Stark, windswept silence when you stop to look off into the distance. It has a Baja, Sonoran desert, Outback Nevada feel to it:



Nearing Chimbote stopped to watch 3 on 3 girls volleyball. I chased the ball down the street a couple times for them. These gals were really good:



I was planning on heading up Cañon del Pato, but it was getting late. I only rode a few hundred kilometers today, but I goofed off a lot taking pictures and watching the world go by in small towns. The first two hotels said they had wifi but I checked and it wasn’t working. Finally decided to ride into Chimbote where I finally found a hotel with a place to park and decent wifi. Instead of 25 soles it costs 80 soles which is a lot, but it’s a really nice place.

more later……
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:05 AM   #3619
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Hope that car waited for them to finish the point
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:14 AM   #3620
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good stuff

Hi John, I've been with you for the ride, your photos and human interest writing is well done. You've got talent man.

Up here in the mountains it is ice covered and slippery, bad stuff to ride in for us old guys.
If you get a moment could you tell me what kind of camera you are using. Thanks and stay safe.


never a lack of situational awareness most of the time
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:49 AM   #3621
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Great to be riding along with you.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:30 PM   #3622
George 99
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Vast areas of nothingness. Stark, windswept silence when you stop to look off into the distance. It has a Baja, Sonoran desert, Outback Nevada feel to it:


Agree with the look, I can take that same ride south of Kingman and save all the adventure for later.

Keep it up, John, really enjoying all pics.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:33 PM   #3623
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by black top bob View Post
Hi John, I've been with you for the ride, your photos and human interest writing is well done. You've got talent man.

Up here in the mountains it is ice covered and slippery, bad stuff to ride in for us old guys.
If you get a moment could you tell me what kind of camera you are using. Thanks and stay safe.

never a lack of situational awareness most of the time
Hi black top bob,

Thanks for the props. I am using a sony point-and-shoot that I picked up at a pawn shop in Tulsa for 10 dollars. I tend to lose cameras on long trips. This trip I bought a sony and a canon in Tulsa at a pawn shop recommended by Tomski and Yanoush and Thottlemeister gave me an old sony that uses the same memory sticks as the one I'm using. I lost the canon in Ecuador. Set it down somewhere.

I think the subject matter is more important than the camera. Cameras all get trashed on the road eventually. It is less painful to lose a cheap camera.

I like big photos on ride reports, so link to the X-large size on Smugmug where I upload the pics to.

Saludos,
Juan Foto
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:39 PM   #3624
Old-n-slo
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J-
I'm sittin here looking at 18 inches of snow piled up and more blowing sideways...and reading page after page of your great missive. In 1976, my new wife and I hitched your basic route, starting Pittsburgh to Vancouver to Ushuaia.
Keep up the great reports!
JohnD
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #3625
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Finally caught up on your ride report, all I can say is wow you have a gift for writing, I feel as if I've done this ride with you and can story tell about it. GREAT READING!!!
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:36 PM   #3626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-n-slo View Post
J-
I'm sittin here looking at 18 inches of snow piled up and more blowing sideways...and reading page after page of your great missive. In 1976, my new wife and I hitched your basic route, starting Pittsburgh to Vancouver to Ushuaia.
Keep up the great reports!
JohnD
Hi Old-n-slo,

It's my job to entertain you this winter while you stay warm by the fireplace. It's the only job I've got right now. Hard to imagine it's been nearly 40 years since you took that trip.

Nowadays all you have to do is check the internet to see if it's safe to head north. Looking at the Nebraska road camera south of my house:



and the weather forecast for my hometown:



and then looking out the window of the restaurant where I'm sitting at the hotel where it is 27ºC or 80ºF at 5 PM:



Hmmmm. I think I'll be staying down here doing some more ride reporting for the foreseeable future.

Saludos,
Juan de Buen Clima
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:14 PM   #3627
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Heya John, where are you hiding now? we are in Arequipa now heading back inland towards Cusco to be a tourists
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:31 PM   #3628
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Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post
Heya John, where are you hiding now? we are in Arequipa now heading back inland towards Cusco to be a tourists
I'm currently in Chimbote on the northern coast. Not that far away really. I'll check in with you when I make it further south to see where you're at. It would be a shame not to visit the Moto Kiwi Gruvers when I'm in the same country. I've been following your ride report. Really great stuff. Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
John
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:08 PM   #3629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
I'm currently in Chimbote on the northern coast. Not that far away really. I'll check in with you when I make it further south to see where you're at. It would be a shame not to visit the Moto Kiwi Gruvers when I'm in the same country. I've been following your ride report. Really great stuff. Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
John
Like wise, we just did the coast stint but our hearts are in the mounts so we are going to zigkindazag in, up, across etc.

Plan A is to head to Chivay tomorrow to the head of Colca Canyon, you have some stunning territory east of you through Canyon Del Pato and Huascaran National Park
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:04 PM   #3630
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Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Oddometer: 2,652
Headed up Cañon del Pato yesterday. I don’t have a map of Peru so just followed the excellent written directions on Hektogliders ride report. Turning off the Pan-Am highway at the small town of Santa and heading up the Rio Santa Valley there is a stark contrast between the lush irrigated valley and the surrounding hills:



Corn crops nearing harvest time in February is something different for a Nebraskan:



they also had acres and acres of cotton:



as well as sugar cane and rice paddies. It was all being fed by an intricate network of gravity feed irrigation canals:



You come around a corner and see the Andes looming in the mist:



hard to capture just how majestic these massive mountains are jutting straight up into the clouds.

Near the top of the valley was an irrigation dam. I stopped at the locked gate and asked the guard if I could ride down and take some tourist photos. Surprisingly he said yes. Rode down and met the Jefe (supervisor) Raoul:



and got a tour of the facilities.:





Nothing like roaring water going over a spillway down to the main irrigation canal:



Anyway, not to bore you with more dam photos. I continued on. Once past the dam it became arid and otherworldly

more later…..
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