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Old 02-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #301
CourtRand
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How are you finding the Peruvian drivers compared to the rest of the countries?
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #302
RexBuck OP
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How are you finding the Peruvian drivers compared to the rest of the countries?
They tend to be pretty aggressive, particularly in towns. And, if they are driving giant tour buses. But then driving in Latin America is a different style than North America - signs and lines are merely suggestions.

As things get busier and more congested they seem to push a little harder. I'm too wide to squeeze between vehicles so, unless I can get down a shoulder I'm stuck in traffic. However, i just keep my poition and they leave me alone.

Compared to other countries? Bogota isn't a country but it was the worst. Insane. Peru is close. One of the reasons I like to stick to roads that aren't too busy.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #303
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Feb 17 Cañon del Pato

Had one of the best rides today. Went up Cañon de Pato – Duck Canyon.

The day starts off early and it is very mild close to the coast – low 20s. Left the hostel before their kitchen opened and since I was a bit tired, didn’t take long to stop for breakfast and a big cup o Joe. Some Caldo de Gallina–basicly a chicken leg, a hardboiled egg and a potato in chicken noodle soup. Filling.



After 100 km or so, turn off the coastal highway (Pan American) in a town called Santa and head up a 2 laner through a lot of pretty farm land.



It’s amazing how the simple addition of water to this basic desert turns it into lush farmland. Standing in one spot – on the left side of the road



Turning around on the right side of the road.




First time I’ve seen cotton grown down here. Went on for miles, some small farms and a lot of huge farms.



The usual rice, sugar cane and corn then started seeing some asparagus and other vegetables mixed in. I’m guessing with the fairly consistent climate here that they can grow crops year around – see sugar cane and corn in all stages of maturity.


Road finally veers off across the river but we continue straight following the Santa River . Pretty decent quality gravel road with a few rough spots and a bit of washboard. Starts as a two lane then mostly single lane after awhile but lots of wide spots for passing.
This was one of the best days I’ve had on this whole trip. The magnificent mountains towering above and the wild river roaring below was an incredible feeling.


The road had about 20 bridges mainly crossing the Santa River as we dive back and forth with the road trying to find a hold on the sheer cliffs. It also has about 50 or more tunnels ranging from short 20 footers to some maybe a couple hundred yards long, some with one or more turns in them. My horn got a good workout.


The first tunnel



Massive mountaings



Came around a corner and could see a bridge in the distance and the GPS is telling me I’m crossing the river and going up the other side. But there seems to be a traffic jam with a bus, some taxis and cars. Trying to figure out how to get through this mess when I notice the same thing across the river and a bunch of people walking across the bridge. Oh oh!



By now I’ve attracted a couple of locals and one guy explains the bridge is broken at the far end and is closed to all vehicles. He tells me to take a look. So I walk across and the bridge is dodgy and you can see where it looks to have sunk down at the break . It doesn’t seem that bad and looks to be able to hold quite a few people at once. I don’t think my bike will be any greater weight.


I come back and ask him who is going to be mad at me if I ride across? He says the policia. I ask where they are. He says in the next town. Good enough for me.

Then another couple of guys show up that actually seem like they know what they are talking about. I tell this guy I’m going to ride across – he asks how much my bike and me weigh (right question) . He figures it will be alright if I carry my bags across separately. I figure I would have been alright with my bags on but he is kind of giving me permission so, what the hell.


Of course two of the guys that have shown up immediately volunteer to carry my stuff across. I’m good with that. They carry, I ride. It all worked out.

Some of the locals



When I get to the other side, I park to load everything up and this woman walks up and says she has a gift for me. And then proceeds to plop her baby on my bike and tell me I can have her. I tell her I don’t have a place for her and she tells me to stuff her in one of my bags. That’ll work.



Boys give me a bag of Mangos. Then one of the guy’s sons shows up and is quite enthralled with the bike. We get him on the bike and take a pic with his dad



Here's the bridge as I was leaving



Got through the next little town and sure enough there are a bunch of Polica there. They are gesturing at me that I can’t cross the bridge. I nod at them as I ride by – whewh, glad you told me that.

Rest of the ride was great – got into some even more dramatic canyons.







A pretty little waterfall.



Duke Energy has a bunch of hydro projects in the area. This river has a pretty good volume of water going down it with a big drop and it looks like they are able to divert a bit here and there to make power. I think this little dam primarily diverts water to a power plant inside the mountain.



Now, here is a treat for you. Another video. Some excerpts up Cañon del Pato. Again, make it full screen . . .



Edit: YouTube had a problem with one of the songs on the original video I posted. So, I replaced the song. This video now has the new music. The old video is still on YouTube but they may take it down. You can find it on YouTube under RexBuck1

Was a toss up to stop in the town of Caraz or carry on to Huaraz where I’d like to spend a few days. Got spit on a little coming in and the nasty looking black clouds where in the way of my route to Huaraz so decided to bail in Caraz.


Got a great hotel (Los Pinos) right on the central square. 60 soles (down from 80 soles – one of the few times I have argued with a hotel price). Has good secure parking and good wifi.


Well I thought it was on the main square . . . it was on a square. The main plaza was about 4 blocks down the road where I had to go to find dinner.


Really glad I decided to stop here instead of carrying on to Huaraz. Started raining, hard. Took out the power for a while. Lady at the front desk dug out an umbrella for me when I went for dinner.

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Old 02-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #304
Sunday Rider
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Great update RB. That video made my palms sweat at the narrow road and the drop off. The condition of the road got tough near the end.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:09 AM   #305
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Great update RB. That video made my palms sweat at the narrow road and the drop off. The condition of the road got tough near the end.
Glad you enjoyed it. I guess I was pretty foucused on what was ahead and didn't look over the edge . . . out of sight, out of mind.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #306
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Great ride video! Nice editing. I'm amazed you took a computer powerful enough to edit video.

Smooth riding! No guard rails along the treacherous drop off - a wipe out here could go unnoticed for days I imagine. And it looked a little unnerving when the van passed and you were between it and the jagged rock wall! I'd ride it though; looks gorgeous Thanks for sharing

Thrilled with your interaction with the locals at the bridge. It's another world there.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #307
Motardca
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hi Steve,
great RR, great video, your report is so positive not like some others. How fast you think you were going through the canon.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:34 PM   #308
RexBuck OP
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Great ride video! Nice editing. I'm amazed you took a computer powerful enough to edit video.

Smooth riding! No guard rails along the treacherous drop off - a wipe out here could go unnoticed for days I imagine. And it looked a little unnerving when the van passed and you were between it and the jagged rock wall! I'd ride it though; looks gorgeous Thanks for sharing

Thrilled with your interaction with the locals at the bridge. It's another world there.
Thanks for that ONandOFF.

Just before I left I went to Dell and told them I wanted a bomb-proof computer that would handle video editing. So far, it's worked great. Handling video is the only time I wish I had a Mac (or whatever Apple calls them now), otherwise I like to have a real computer.

The editing wasn't that bad - most of it when the river is on the left is cutting out the longer tunnels and my stops to take pics and peer over the edge.

The bridge was interesting. In most places in Latin America I have experienced friendly people who are always trying to help. Peruvians seem to be extra friendly.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:43 PM   #309
Jick Magger
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Thanks for that ONandOFF.

Just before I left I went to Dell and told them I wanted a bomb-proof computer that would handle video editing. So far, it's worked great. Handling video is the only time I wish I had a Mac.
Rexbuck i must say i am impressed. Very impressed with your ride of course but the fact you have upgraded your computer. I seem to remember travelling with you last year and I believe you had this with you...
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:56 PM   #310
RexBuck OP
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hi Steve,
great RR, great video, your report is so positive not like some others. How fast you think you were going through the canon.
Nik
Hi Nik - thanks for that. I don't find it too difficult to keep it a bit more upbeat most of the time - the new experiences help keep things positive.

Speed in that canyon? I'd say 40 - 50 kph. It was a comfortable speed. I think the wide lens of the camera might make it seem I was going a bit faster than I was.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:59 PM   #311
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Rexbuck i must say i am impressed. Very impressed with your ride of course but the fact you have upgraded your computer. I seem to remember travelling with you last year and I believe you had this with you...
LOL - yah, I decided my old guy was taking up a bit too much space. Had a helluva discussion with Dell though . . . apparently they don't make floppy disc drives anymore. Who knew?
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #312
Jick Magger
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LOL - yah, I decided my old guy was taking up a bit too much space. Had a helluva discussion with Dell though . . . apparently they don't make floppy disc drives anymore. Who knew?
Ha ha . What a great trip you are having. Enjoying your photos, video and tales from the road. Stay safe and we will continue following your adventures
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #313
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Ha ha . What a great trip you are having. Enjoying your photos, video and tales from the road. Stay safe and we will continue following your adventures
Thanks for that Jick - glad you are enjoying.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #314
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... Handling video is the only time I wish I had a Mac (or whatever Apple calls them now), otherwise I like to have a real computer.
...The bridge was interesting. In most places in Latin America I have experienced friendly people who are always trying to help. Peruvians seem to be extra friendly.
A nice i5 at 3.8 GHz based machine running W7 prof. and Vegas makes for a pretty handy video machine!

Very friendly... I have to wonder if you suspect what I do, that the people out in the country tend to be more friendly than those packed into the larger cities. Generally speaking, that is.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #315
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A nice i5 at 3.8 GHz based machine running W7 prof. and Vegas makes for a pretty handy video machine!

Very friendly... I have to wonder if you suspect what I do, that the people out in the country tend to be more friendly than those packed into the larger cities. Generally speaking, that is.
Well, I have no idea what that first line is but I assume it must be some Apple deal . . . most of which generally just confuse me. Since a small part of what I need a computer for is to process video, it doesn't make any sense to me to go that way just for the video.

Although I have to process the video twice with a PC, the slow part is uploading to YouTube - for example the hotel I was at when I uploaded that last video had pretty slow internet and it took over 12 hours to upload it. I was surprised it completed. But it would have been the same speed with an Apple.

I think your observation of rural people vs city people is valid just about anywhere. I think both groups are friendly, it's just that city people are more reticent until they get to know you then they warm up quickly. The rural folks are a bit more laid back. The exception to that would be the natives, particularly those who dress traditionally. They tend to be very shy and generally the women will look away or cover their faces or even turn around if they see a camera. Once you get them to smile though, they start to open up a bit.
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