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Old 03-07-2013, 07:40 AM   #166
dean10 OP
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Cuenca to Canoas de Punta Sal, Wednesday, 26 December 2012,Day 176

Why did the chicken cross the road? So that he did not get squashed by Daisy[/caption]

Riding with Alex and Andrea today so first time except for the run to catch he boat in Panama City riding with someone else. That was riding with a larger group with just the two bike this should be easier. Trusting my GPS to get us out of town with to the border into Peru and for once it does not disappoint so I may have a map that I can trust :-)

Hot day and nice run first through the mountains road a mixed bag of good to awful lots of landslides so lots of rocks and loose debris on the road and road works where they have ripped the top surface of and left it like that for the time being so reasonable progress but you still had to be wary.

Dusty rough roads[/caption]

Came out of the mountains on to a flat coastal plain next to the Pacific passing through banana plantations on our way to the border. Wanted to fill up before crossing the border, as fuel is cheap as chips in Ecuador but the petrol stations closest to the border where shut I am guessing to stop folk doing cheap petrol runs from Peru. Drove back about 5km and was able to fill up there in adversely jumped a huge queue which I did not see as I pulled into the station so bit of laugh with the attendant and the soldier which where present at all the petrol stations near the border and then to the border.

banana anyone?[/caption]

First to the Aduana in Ecuador to check the bikes out nearly missed this as it was not clearly marked and here we met the Columbian Bogotá V-strom club who with about 10 bikes so we where behind them in all of the queues crossing the border which slowed us up a bit

Then to immigration for me which was in the same building so you queued to exit Ecuador and the right next to that the queue to enter Peru. Fortunately very few people so this part went quite quickly and the to the Peruvian Aduana. Where we ended up behind the large group of Columbian Bogota V-strom club.

Philly and Daisy Fan club waving us out of Ecuador[/caption]

This is where we heard about mandatory insurance for Peru first time I heard of this as this was not one of the countries on my list that I needed to buy extra insurance as in theory this was covered in my total central and south America insurance so was planning to bluff my way through this one and they did not ask for it but Alex had pay 35USD for a months insurance. My problem was that they had put my Nationality down as Ireland again and my VIN number was incorrect so ask them to correct it but they refused just crossed it out so I asked for a signature on the changes they got pissy and so did I as I was hot tired and sweaty but no use me getting angry as they have all the cards So the guy rips up my paper work and give me a blank form which I have to fill in by hand this time with the right information. So with a bit of help from my new Columbian friends I had the paperwork written in my bad handwriting but had all the stamps and signatures on it so me and Daisy allowed into yet a new country Peru wow we are really ticking them of the list :-)

This had all taken about 2 hours and it just gone 4 so made tracks for Mancora was about 129km away but had already figured we where not going to make it so we started stopping at all the beach type resorts asking for rooms. This where Andrea was useful we pull up and she would jump of and go in and check the prices and say yay or nay and if nay we would roll on the next one. She also had been the official photographer for the day so loads of photos taken of Philly and Daisy on the move.

Not much luck on finding something as very expensive along this coast when we did one last tries before we where going to try again to Mancora where we knew there were cheaper options.

We had a bungalow on the beach 10USD each and they kept the kitchen open for us so fried fish and rice on the beach watching the sun go down with a mad kitten for company. Perfect could not ask for much more even debating that it is so nice here may have a rest day here tomorrow and that is awfully tempting as I have had a tough couple of days.

Nice here may stay another day[/caption]
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #167
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Canoas de Punta Sal,Thursday, 27 December 2012, Day 177

My travel companions for the last couple of days Alex and Andrea http://micadu.ro/en/[/caption]

Got up reasonably early but I think the decision was made a lot earlier we are not moving on we are staying here, as it is a lovely location right on the beach. So a totally do nothing day on the beach. Leisurely breakfast morning of internetting I have millions of extra photographs courtesy of Andrea my new official personal photographer problem is its going to take days to load them on to SmugMug.

One reason for staying a while[/caption]

Eventually we got enough energy to get a motortaxi (TukTuk) into the village late on the afternoon and grabbed some late lunch earlier dinner. Unfortunately Andrea was not feeling well and was sick so trips shortened and back to our beach home for the rest of the evening.

Nice rest day you need one every now and again bit mileage day tomorrow to compensate :-)



Kitten with a foot fetish :-)[/caption]

And doggy with a broken leg cast is bigger than him :-)[/caption]

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:44 AM   #168
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Canoas de Punta Sal to Huanchaco, Friday, 28 December 2012, Day 179

Been driving through the desert for days sand get everywhere I mean everywhere![/caption]

Well after yesterday rest day up at 6 ready for a long haul through a desert destination Huanchaco that is 640km away so hence the early start.

Early start mucho km today :-)[/caption]

Long day in the saddle we arrived at 5 in the evening two petrol stops 2 food stops and 2 pee stops but generally moving forwards. The idea for this big run is that it is not that interesting so lets crunch the miles out as quick as possible. It is a totally different landscape than what I have come through so far empty desert, desert with trees, sand dunes, rice and paddy fields, and loads of other agriculture, so not wonderful but interesting enough. We had address of an allegedly cool hostel but we arrived they where surely and unhelpful so sod that life to short we went of to find somewhere else parked in a street me looking after the bike and Alex and Andrea going round the place trying to find the best deal. Which is great for me we finally settle on place called Chimu Beach check in and go for a wander along the beach and down a back streets to find somewhere to eat. Do not tell my mum I have eaten fish for the last 3 days on the trot as a kid I never would touch the stuff and really not a fan of fish but the stuff we been getting here is excellent and does not really taste of fish so hence me been able to eat. Tonight I had ceviche, which I have also discovered I like.


Nice little beach town to end up in at the end of hard day in the saddle[/caption]

A long hard day no idea what we are doing tomorrow as there is not much of interest until we hit further south as far as we can see so onward and forward down south.

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Old 03-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #169
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Huanchaco to Barranca, Saturday, 29 December 2012, Day 180

Famous Huanchaco reed boats[/caption]

Today I got an E-mail from Johan Holtorf from Garmin-winkel.nl and they are refunding me the money for South America SD card I purchased from the which was a complete duffer and out of date. They do not even want the old one back so compliments to this shop for the excellent customer after service as I was not expecting anything so this is a nice result and when good things like this happen it should be reported just as much as the bad for balance. Pity I got the duff old card in the first place however the good thing is they have rectified the situation so hats of for that :-) And the maps I have seem to be working except they keep sending me down one way streets in the wrong direction but I can live with that.

 

Well I was just congratulating myself that the GPS was working when it throws another wobbly and get us lost in Trujillio keeps wanting us to do a U turn and go back 28km and will not offer anything else so back to asking directions stroppy little bastard of a machine.

Funny looking birds on the beach here![/caption]

Left Huanchaco after chatting with the 3 blokes who ran the hostel quick run along the beach to get some shots of the reed boats the place is famous for and then hit the road was going to be a short run after yesterdays marathon but you guessed in turned into another rather long day. Through desert all day but this time hilly/mountainous so pleasant enough ride being continually sand blasted I have sand in place where the sun does not shine so it gets in everywhere. We kept on going when Alex signals he needs fuel and I was thinking the same thing and we had seen loads of stations up until then and when you need one they all disappear so speed reduced drastically to try reduce fuel consumption and we finally find a station. I have no idea why I always find myself in this position as it so easy to avoid new mantra must fill up more often so that I am not putting myself at risk of running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. Funny thing is that there were two of us who made the same rooky mistake Doh.

It was now later than planned so next exercise find somewhere to stay so with Alex and Andrea trying all the different hotels, hostels, etc.* And me looking after the bikes we ended up three of us in one room for a good price.

Went for a wander and some dinner still no idea what we are going to do for News Years Eve yet but that something for tomorrow.

That elusive Romanian Cake Thief last spotted in Downtown Barranca[/caption]

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:49 AM   #170
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Barranca to Lima, Sunday, 30 December 2012, Day 181

Get a room!!![/caption]

Bit of a strange day first thing was that when I went to pack the bike the dog of the hotel had left us huge steaming present outside the door nice and pongy!

Hit the road short run into Lima which started a long way out of the center so running through the burbs or shanty town dual carriage way but utter chaos people and car buses lorries and various other forms of transport all wanting that small bit of road that you where on. Had skipped breakfast so was peckish and a bit light headed but not really a nice place to stop so pressed on to an address we had of Hostel. When we got there no room at the inn so we headed down the coast to another address we had which also had no room. Alex has had enough and is ready to go back to the Hilton, which we had also scoped as a possibility as he had a loads of points that he had accumulated as an Accenture consultant he could get this free so tried for an apartment but only had rooms so they where going to stay there and we found Philly and Daisy a Hostel bed in Barranco which turned out to be a really cool place in a great neighbourhood.

Great walk along the cliff tops nice :-)[/caption]

Alex and Andrea headed of to posh Ville will see them tomorrow. Joop had not checked in but was not really expecting him as he was a good days ride behind us but booked him a bed for tomorrow night. Did my laundry then had a great walk along the cliff tops from Barranco to Mira Flores treated myself to a McDonalds and watched the sunset and walked back to the hostel. Had been informed that it was a safe walk in the dark and it has security guards from the posh houses all over the place. Got back at about 8.30 been walking for a good 5 hours so bit tired and as I handed in all my trousers to be cleaned I was wearing my swimming trunks/ shorts and they are not designed for walking so was suffering from some chaffing :-( (to much info :-))

Mira Flores Building Art[/caption]

Hung around the hostel chatting to folks and then beddy byes sleep in and nothing day tomorrow yes need it

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:51 AM   #171
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Lima, Monday, 31 December 2012, Day 182

New Year in Lima[/caption]

Had a bit of a lie in which was nice leisurely free breakfast, which was not bad for a hostel then on the Internet, as I had been trying to locate some new tyres for Daisy, but the sizes we need are not readily available in Peru. Had been offered some Pirellis in Arequipa from a Dutch bloke Lars who runs a motorcycle rental business down there he had some available so 90/90/19 for the front and 140/80/17 for the back. Daisy needs 110/80/19 and 150/70/17 so the question is will what’s offered fit and work so on to the forums and e-mail some people who may be able to offer advice on the dilemma and as usual when you ask multiple folk you get conflicting answers so still none the wiser so have a go to see if I can get the recommended sizes here in Lima had found some dealers one was just round the corner so tried there first but could not found or the address I had was wrong.

Star wars Franchise is not overing any work to R2D2 so slumming it as a bin in Lima[/caption]

Back to the hostel more research and dialog and then Joop turned up and had also been talking to Alex and Andrea had arranged to meet them for New Year so got Joop settled in then me and him walked to Mira Flores to try and find another tyre shop get some dinner and meet up with the Romanians later at the Hilton. Long walk to the dealer had got my trouser back from the laundry but yesterdays chaffing was acting up :-) Dealer had nothing in the sizes I wanted there was one rear road tyre that was the right size but did not fancy running road tyres on the roads that where coming my way need some sort of off road capability so decided that fate had decided what tyres I was getting the ones offered in Arequipa he has a fleet of BMWF800GS running this combo and a mate had who judgement and knowledge I trust said the offered combo would work would be taller (that all I need with my stumpy legs) and feel weird but doable so I may regret this decision but can be rectified down the road if needed. The next question is have I got enough meat left on the existing tyres to do the 3000km to Arequipa and can I find a Suzuki Oil Filter in Peru and if I cannot is that a real disaster mechanically wise. All these questions can be dealt with next year time to say goodbye to 2012 so off to KFC for dinner and a beer for Joop and Inca Cola for me (my latest soft drink addiction and yes I am still off the wagon so that’s 73 days without a drink :-)) watching the sun go down.

Does not really feel New Years Eve ish so we head to the Hilton for a bit of posh and to meet up with Alex and Andrea. Hang around there posh room for a while then head down to bar as they have some complimentary drink vouchers there a live dance show going on so we hang around there for a while then head to the cliff overlooking the sea as been told fireworks are best seen from there.

Every one in national costume[/caption]

Very pleasant New Years loads of folks and loads of fireworks and sober. Walked back to the Hostel and around Barranco so had walked miles again chatting with folks back at the Hostel and finally to bed late night been a while since I have been up this late.

 

Bye bye 2012 lost a great job but look what I got in its place I am riding down the Pan American Highway on me bike fulfilling a long time ambition so guess 2012 is not so bad :-) I wonder what little surprises 2013 has in store for me.

 

Happy New Year faithful blog readers hope this is keeping you entertained if not tough titties :-)

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:54 AM   #172
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Lima to Huacachina, Tuesday, 1 January 2013, Day 182

Oasis in the Desert[/caption]

So this the first post of 2013 not much different from the last post of 2012 never understood the fuss made about a new year and new year resolutions you can change your life any day of the week or year why specifically today do folks decide that this is the time for a change beats me. So today started the same as most travel days on the road up shower, breakfast, pull kit together load bike pull bike out of awkward parking space the last two can be swapped if the place is really awkward plug in destination into GPS curse GPS as destination cannot be found hit road find fuel and or breakfast if not provided at place you are staying. So today start no different from many others on this trip. Bit slower as I am not in a hurry not planning on going far today only to an Oasis in the Desert which is only 300km away. Leisurely breakfast with Joop say Tata and heading out of Lima back into the Desert. Not sure that the run was that interesting been in the desert for what seems to be ages sand everywhere. Roll into Huacachina at about 3pm its an Oasis in the middle of a desert surrounded by huge Sand Dunes and streets full of Mad Max buggy’s taking tourist on blast of the dunes.



Loads of Mad Max Buggy taking folks into the Desert I walked![/caption]

Head for Hostel I have the name off and check in there the usual attempt to get double rate price for the bed as it was a public holiday but after a chat with me saying the fiesta was yesterday price went back to normal so that 13.50 Sols or less than 5 EUR that’s more like it.

Went for a walk in the dunes doing my usual impression of mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun walked quite away into the Desert getting funny looks from all the tourists on there Mad Max dune buggy excursions as they blasted past. Had fun mucking around in the Dunes except for all of the sand, which I have mentioned a couple of times gets in everywhere.



Mad dogs and Englishmen![/caption]

Having dinner when I spot Alex and Andrea looks they had the same destination in mind as me so they join me and we agree to go and see the Nazca Lines together leaving at 7.30 in the morning not sure why agreed to that time but it is cooler at that time.

Curious as to what the Nazca lines will be like expectations are low so hopefully will be a nice surprise :-)
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:58 AM   #173
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Huacachina to Puquiro, Wednesday, 2 January 2013, Day 183

Wonky tower for views of Nazca Lines only 1 dollar to go up ![/caption]

So up bright and early with the idea to have breakfast at 7.30 at the Desert Nights Hostel that I was staying at change of plan as restaurant did not open till 8 so we hit the road straight away so rhythm upset as I was planning on breakfast in my head and I was heading back into the desert. Stopped in a small roadside café after driving for about an hour for my standards South American breakfast eggs and rice either scrambled or fried and a cup of milky coffee. Good fill.

We hit the Nazca lines which was as advertised in the middle of a huge flat bit of desert our first sign that we where there was that we being buzzed by small light aircraft overhead and then there was a simple metal tower in the middle of nowhere 2 sols to climb and you could see two of the Nazca Geoglyph yes that a real word got it from Wikipedia and that was the world famous Nazca Line! Well it a bit more impressive than that but this involves getting in an airplane and doing a tour from above but that was not in the budget so the wonky tower that only can manage 10 people was going to be my experience of the Nazca lines.



This is what you see if you do not want to afford the airplane trip[/caption]

Did a quick fuel stop and cashpoint stop in Nazca and it was hot but this was going to change as we were finally moving out of the desert back into the Andes to a place called Puquiro as it was within driving range and there was nothing else before and after. The heat was soon long behind us as we climbed and we found ourselves in a one-horse town but this place had a great vibe to it.

Back in the mountains with mobile chicanes for added fun ![/caption]

The Romanians as usual did a great job at locating a cheap but cheerful place to stay (its great travel with Alex and Andrea as they are great at sniffing out a bargain)

Cool little town with a great vibe :-)[/caption]

We went for a wander and found a great little restaurant where we had an excellent feed that good we planned to go there for breakfast as well.

great little restaurant[/caption]

More wandering round this charming small town and back to the Hostel to work the blog and photos as usual nice mixed scenery day lot more mountains to come :-)

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:00 AM   #174
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Puquiro to Abancay,Thursday, 3 January 2013, Day 184

Like the stuff so much brought a lorry load to follow me around :-)[/caption]

Inca Kola comes in big bottles to![/caption]

The original plan was to push through to Cusco in one day as it was about 500km doable but a long day when we talking to the old gentleman at the restaurant he mentioned that Abancay was a nice town and it was roughly half way and as we had really enjoyed Puquiro we decided to take it easy and enjoy the ride through the mountains and do Cusco in two days. Lovely to be out of the desert and whizzing through the mountains stopping every now again for photos and just to enjoy the scenery couple of high passes where it was a bit cooler and in short a very nice day in the saddle. We had breakfast in the same place as last night and Philly managed to get us lost getting us out of a one-horse town and as usual he blames his GPS but managed to get us on the right road :-)

Good to be back in the Mountains[/caption]

Arrived in Abancay quite a bit larger than Puquiro so not quite same vibes I guess we got lucky with our last stop. Found a nice Hotel for reasonable price that the lady discounted for us so a honourable mention for the Oziwasi Hotel we even parked both bikes in the lobby. Andrea and me went for a quick walk looking for a market for some fruit (not for me I have not changed that much :-)) and then back to the Hotel and then it started to rain the road was like a river and it went on forever so we decided we would hole up in the hotel for the evening as there was no way we where going out in that so no dinner and an evening with 3 of us on a double bed all with our PCs doing different things. Another very pleasant evening with good company the rain finally did stop but by then no one fancied going out.

Two bikes parked in the hotel Lobby![/caption]

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:15 AM   #175
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Abancay to Cusco, Friday, 4 January 2013, Day 185

What do we need to stop for this time?[/caption]

Another landslide[/caption]

A short run to Cusco Alex and Andrea where couch surfing and I had a name of a hostel so a late start. The problem is that I have lost my ability to sleep in so was up and awake by 8 and we had agreed to leave at 10 so I went for some breakfast on my own and had a lasagne and a meat pasty and a cup of milky coffee (I had no supper last night so was starving Marvin) Back to the hotel where I borrowed a hammer as I had to fix my panniers that had taken a beaten over the last couple of week. Twice I had hit a wall going through the narrow roads they have for motorcyclist at the toll booths and I hit a motorcycle taxi a couple of days ago in traffic all with the right pannier. Yesterday I noticed that the lock was no longer connecting so needed adjusting as it had been knocked out of place and today was going to knock the dent out and seal the hole that had been made as the panel had taking a large shunt so happily banging away at my pannier with a large hammer with my bike parked in a hotel lobby. Short of seal the gap will need some taping as well. By this time A&A where up so decided to go and have breakfast with them as well (Just a coffee which turned out to be bloody expensive) while they where eating there breakfast I decided to do an autopsy on my middle set of gloves. My summer gloves had holes in them and my middle gloves which I have had for years where no longer fitting well the lining had become twisted making it difficult to get them on and of and the little finger never felt right so I decided to change these from middle to summer gloves by cutting out the lining. They’re where two linings a waterproof layer and a cotton layer that I kept whole so can use these as extra layer in these gloves or in my winter gloves if it really get cold. So I have a new set of summer gloves without holes in them still lots of glue from the lining but this will be gone after wearing them for a couple of days so had salvaged some extra usage out of these gloves. Why not buy some new ones you ask well gloves are like shoes they are horrible to wear when new and get better with age and usage better in the sense of comfort rather than practicality as they leak and have holes in them but are dam comfortable so find it difficult to get rid of them and get new ones.

Preparing for bad weather always draws an audience it was pissing down 5 minutes later[/caption]

So a productive morning and another nice run into Cusco except it decided it was going to rain on us. So out with the wet weather gear and Alex was leading at a slow and sensible pace as the road had turned greasy and muddy and as he had his prize possession on the back (His Computer :-) no I mean Andrea!) he was taking no risks which suited me fine as I was not happy pushing it to hard in conditions like this either.

Wet wet wet![/caption]

Found the Hostel thanks to the GPS sort of but they where full but then they were not bit strange but had a bed for the night and a place for the bike after riding down a steep wooden ramp (remember awkward parking places not looking forward on getting out of this one). Turns out that the place is full tomorrow so can only stay one night but can come back on Sunday preferably Monday so needed a plan. So after chatting to a French bloke the plan was to leave Daisy at the hostel and get the bus and train to Machu Picchu and stay there a couple of nights and then come back and spend another day in Cusco.

Had a quick wander round town and back to the Hostel chatting with some other bikers as this was one of those biker gathering spots looking for info on the road ahead and swapping tall stories as that what bikers do (not me of course as I have no tall stories!)

Bed is me alone in 6-bed dorm still confused about the place being full maybe he did not like the look of Alex :-) who was not planning on staying there anyhow!

 

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:21 AM   #176
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Cusco to Machu Picchu to Cusco, Saturday, 5 January 2013 to Monday, 7 January 2013, D

Wow its even better in real life :-)[/caption]

Philly finally made it to Machu Picchu yeah![/caption]

One of the main reasons for coming to South America was to see Machu Picchu. This had been an ambition of mine for as long as I can remember so was a little disappointed when I woke up and it was pissing down and cold. Mmmm does not look good. Had my free breakfast at the Hostel and packed an overnight bag. As the weather was so poor decided to wear me bike jacket and had my waterproof trousers on as well so prepared for the worse. Said Tata to Daisy and headed to the Microbus station. 2 hours to Ollyantambo where I had to get a train which was another 1.5 hours pleasant enough trip. The bus cost 6 bucks for 90km but the train cost 70 bucks for 60km Cor blimey guv they are screwing the tourists here but I was in the mind-set that this trip was special and was not going to let money spoil it, it cost what it cost and my wallet was going to take a hammer for the next couple of days but this is a once in a lifetime experience.

Train to Aguas Caliente[/caption]

The sun came out when I arrived at Agua Caliente the small service town for Machu Picchu and then I thought I had planned for bad weather and not really thought that the sun could shine and I did not have the appropriate kit so would have to lug a huge bike jacket around and had no spare clothes as I was not expecting it to be hot and sweaty mmmm great planning mate.

lugging huge bag due to bad planing :-([/caption]

Agua Caliente small village full of restaurant’s and hotels so finding somewhere to stay for a couple of nights no problem so with that sorted of to buy a ticket for Phillys big day tomorrow. There are 2500 tickets available a day and I had checked yesterday and there was 1600 left so no problem getting a ticket. I wanted to get a ticket for one of the mountains either side but for one of these you need to book this weeks in advance and I am not that organised and I had no idea when I was going to hit this spot. I did get a ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain so some serious climbing will be done tomorrow. Went for a walk and had seen all of the village in no time and walked along the river as I heard you could walk to Machu Picchu instead of shelling out another small fortune for the bus. 20 minutes walk to a bridge across the river and 1.5 hours straight up. So I did the 20 minutes and saw the hill and decided that tomorrow I would be getting the bus sod the expense and I will do a load of walking at the top without killing myself before even I get there. Walked back to town and had dinner at a cheap Chinese I had found good feed and then some carrot cake at a French boulangerie the French guy had told me about and then back to my room as I had set the alarm for 5.30 for my big day. I had not brought my PC so was at a bit of a loss of what to do as my evening rituals for the last 6 month revolve around my PC sad I know but I did have my Kindle so was reading an autobiography of Rafael Nadal called Rafa. Interesting and boring at the same time which is a weird combination but the bloke who wrote this pulled it off as have I with this blog mostly boring but with the odd interesting bit or is just mostly boring!

Up at the crack of dawn down to the bus station and before I knew it I was entering Machu Picchu and the weather was good. So after wanting to be here for so long was it disappointing nope exactly how I imagined it so far so good. Wander round near the entrance area trying to get away from the masses and then head up Machu Picchu mountain also was hoping few people would be there and I was right. The guy at the entrance to this walk said it would take 1 hour and 20 minutes and I made in exactly that time which felt good as it was up hill and steps all the way so lots of breaks to get my breath back as we are at altitude. Talking of altitude so far I have not had to much trouble with it the first night in Puquiro was a bit short of breath and had trouble catching my breath and woolly mouth syndrome so some slight effects but as I took things slow and easy no problem and I have no problem with slow and easy :-)

Slow and easy does it![/caption]

Met a nice Korean family on the way up and they gave me a Korean Power Bar which was nice and of course they insisted on having there photo taken with me as if I was some kind of celebrity. The top was at 3000 meters and there where great views over Machu Picchu all the way up so I am taking loads of pictures. Had my breakfast up there and finished my water supply for the day oops. Going down was not that easy as the steps I had come up quite steep and small and uneven.

Met a lot people coming up who kept asking me how far and they look in worse shape than I did so considering I have not done any serious exercise in 6 months not bad condition and glad I got up there before it got to busy and was on my way downhill not up :-)

Got back to Machu Picchu and had a little lie down as had just done 3 plus hours hard climbing and then next plan was to top up my water supply so headed back to the entrance to get a drink which cost a small fortune (5USD) should have brought some more liquids with me least I had enough food as they where charging a fortune for that as well as they had the monopoly up there on what they could charge.

Back amongst the tourist blah![/caption]

So rehydrated and rested time to take a look at Machu Picchu up close as it was brilliant from up high and as it turns out it was quite brilliant close up downside was quite busy I would prefer to see the place on me own without other tourist but hey that is a big ask.

So after 8 hours wandering around this gorgeous place I was knackered so time to say goodbye and head back to my hotel. Funny thing was it had been pissing down in the village whereas up the mountain at Machu Picchu it was bone dry and been a gorgeous day weather wise all day.

Difficult in getting a shot without other tourist in it![/caption]

Got back to the hotel for a nap and they kindly informed me that they needed my room and could I move to another hostel. Short answer could I bollocks I was staying put. Strange conversation but in the end I was certainly not moving.

Had a nap and then to a nice square where I had a pizza and an Inca Cola my new addiction. Expensive but what I needed then I spotted Alex and Andrea who had just arrived so took them to the Chinese I went to last night and caught up with there recent adventures and back to the room where I finished reading about Rafa and then moved on to Winston Churchill only interruption was the owner knocking on my door asking to be paid for the room at 10pm which was strange but being asked to be move to another hostel was also strange.

Early start again as I had an early train to Ollantaytambo another pleasant train journey spent an hour or so wandering round the village which was nice and there was some sort of religious celebration going on in the square as well.

Mean streets of Ollantaytambu![/caption]

Colourful festival![/caption]

Got a Micro taxi back to Cusco and the Hostel and ended going out for dinner with 4 other bikers that where staying there.

Harry English 2 years on the road on a Diesel Royal Enfield

Glen Australian 1.5 years or more on a Chinese bike brought locally in Peru

Miccu (I think) Japanese not sure how long on a Suzuki DR400, which he had just dropped in a river so, was waiting for new parts

Jasper Denmark not sure how long on the road on a KLR650 his opening statement to me was why would any one bother bringing a bike from Europe he had brought his in the US and was of the opinion that was the only and best way to do it. Arrogant Tosser.

We where looking for a curry house but this was closed so ended up in another nice place called Jacks Place and pleasant evening usual tall biker stories.

So that was my Machu Picchu trip I could call it quits now as I it was one of the main reasons for this trip but guess there still loads more to see. Happy that it lived up to my expectations as many a time these place look great in the brochure but not in reality well this one was better in reality had a fantastic couple of days :-)

Loads more excellent pictures on SmugMug just click on the link http://dean64.smugmug.com/Travel/201...7454464_vdCPh2
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:25 AM   #177
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Cusco, Tuesday, 8 January 2013, Day 189

Fashion styles and accessories differ on the streets of Cusco[/caption]

Been getting up very early for the last couple of days plan was to have a lie in but as you know it seems I have lost my ability to lie so was up reasonably early having a nice breakfast in the courtyard and the sun. Plan was to go and have a wander around Cusco but it was pleasant in the courtyard folks to chat with so was not till about 12 when I got my arse in gear and went wandering.

Nice sun trap for breakfast when its not raining[/caption]

Four seasons in one day is what the weather is like here so from gorgeous sunshine to torrential rain and everywhere in between. I walked up a hill and it started chucking it down and the only place to shelter was a church. However all the churches in Cusco you have to pay to get in so as I was trying to shelter the lady asked me for 10 sols nope alright 5 sols is she haggling also nope. I have a principle never to pay to go in Churches they are for the people built by the sweat of the people and I am not going to pay to any religious organisation especially one as rich as he Catholic church so I sheltered under an awning just by the door of a church until it stop raining.

Four seasons in one day Cusco[/caption]

Having wandered all over Cusco headed back to the hostel where a Canadian guy with the help of Glen was trying to sell his Kawasaki KLR650. A couple of days near Puquiro he had an head on collision with a Taxi at about 70km the bike was a mess he fortunately was okay bruised ankle but definitely still in shock. He had managed to get the bike to Cusco about 500km and to the Hostel and as he had only 3 weeks left of his trip and the bike was probably not worth shipping home and or not having the time to attempt to fix it up he was selling to a Peruvian mechanic contact of Glen for a song. The guy was going to try and drive it home so after pulling all of the bits that was rubbing or impeding forward progress off or out top at the radiator which would hold no water he got it started and out of the hostel he even was going to take his girlfriend with him on a seriously bent and knackered bike but we persuaded him to put her in a Taxi and of he went no helmet into Cusco rush hour. I have forgotten the Canadian guys name which is a shame as he also gave me a great map of South America but you could see he was very upset when the guy rode of his bike which he had had for a while since new and had done a great trip on and in a blink was over because of some tosser in A Taxi cutting blind corners and claiming poverty and no insurance when the shit hit the fan. Could be anyone of us so food for thought. The final blow during the accident someone had nicked some of his soft luggage. Bastards!

Good luck mate and safe trip home.



Famous 12 sided inca stone the masonry here that te Incas did was fantastic![/caption]

That evening Mexican meal with Glen and Jasper funny but the conversation seems to dwell on negative things such as accidents and robberies and all of the things that can go wrong on a trip like this. This always seems to be the case when you get a bunch of bikers together no idea why and most off putting for me who’s confidence ain’t that high at the best of times.

mmm women in uniform makes you want to do the crime :-)[/caption]

 
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 AM   #178
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Cusco to Puno, Wednesday, 9 January 2013, Day 190

Back in the mountains again yeah![/caption]

Back on the road again, but first another great breakfast in the sun in the courtyard. Had to get the bike out of the courtyard up a wobbly ramp into a seriously busy road. Managed this but for some reason my nerves and bottle today totally shot. I am as nervous as hell on the bike, which is weird seeing as I have ridden 45,000km and today my bottle has gone. So made my way carefully into the Cusco traffic it felt like everyone wanted the piece of road that I happened to be occupying at that moment. Guess that guy’s accident and all the tall stories had got to me so how to resolve this? So my solution is a really bloke type resolution. Get aggressive so before you know it I am blaring my horn at anyone and anything that dares comes near me and effing and blinding shouting at all the taxi drivers and bus drivers that seem to be driving aimlessly all over the road. Not that this has any effect on there driving but makes me feel better and slowly my confident returns and before you know it I am clear of Cusco back in the mountains back in the groove as less traffic once you clear city limits.

Love it outside of the towns and cities![/caption]

Destination is Puno gorgeous except it decides to rain again on and off so on with the wet weather gear and warm gloves as some seriously high passes to go over. Great ride even in the wet scenery is stunning even though sometimes had no feeling in my fingers from the cold. Finally hit a town called Juliaca, one word to describe this place shithole. It was awful and the roads the worst I have seen on this trip it was like driving on the surface of mars the whole ring road (I am guessing this is ring road) had been dug up and then left. Huge potholes and as it had raining full of water so huge puddles which you had no idea how deep they where so tried to go round them but not always possible and this would be just about manageable on your own but as this was a town your loony motortaxi and crap bus and taxi drivers all trying to weave there way through this mayhem throw in all the pedestrians into the mix and I say this was my worst experience of the trip so far and I made myself a promise that I would not come back this way. Short run into Puno which was not much prettier than Juliaca so already not liking it was expecting a nice town on the shores of lake Titicaca not this brown blot on the landscape. Found the hotel I was looking for and checked in usual hassle with the Internet (not working) and then went for a walk to see if I could find the positive in this town. Walked down to the lake where they’re where 100’s of tour boats for the trips to the various reed islands. I am in tourist hell mmm not looking good go for some dinner and back to my room where there is a note from Alex and Andrea who are in town to but missed them for dinner will try and touch base in the morning.

My idea of tourist hell these boats full of folks gawping at other folks![/caption]

So its decision do I do one of those tours and go and see those floating reed islands or do I head for Arequipa and get my tyres sorted. Easy decision really I had no desire to go on mass organised boat trip to gawp at some folk living an alternate lifestyle that was probably practical originally but my guess is purely for the tourist $ now so I am heading back into the mountains may regret this decisions but did not fancy being a tourist for the day. Another decision I need to make is whether or not to go to Bolivia or not and that means coming back via Lake Titicaca or figuring out another route. A & A are in town as there is a Bolivian Consulate and they need visa so if successful they are going through Bolivia me I will decide in Arequipa once I sorted me tyres.



 
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:31 AM   #179
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Puno to Arequipa, Thursday, 10 January 2013, Day 191

Does my bum look big in this![/caption]

Sort of met A & A on the street they had popped by earlier but I was in the shower so missed them they where busy running up and down the street getting photos and photocopies for there Visa for Bolivia so had a quick chat and a promise to meet up down the road when I finally figure out which route I am taking but South America gets thin at the bottom so are paths will converge again hope so good travelling companions. Just about to pull the bike out of the garage and its starts to pour with rain. So go for breakfast hoping that it will be dry in 30 minutes. Nice Café good simple breakfast and for entertainment I see first Andrea running down the street and later Alex in the other direction trying not to get wet getting the multiple documents for there visas.



So another attempt to get out of Puno its sort of dry heading to Arequipa so back into the mountains my favourite type of scenery. Remember my promise yesterday about Juliaca well before I knew it I was back there! There was supposed to be a turnoff according to the map but guess I missed it and my good friend the GPS was not playing at all well this morning as according to her Arequipa is 1,200km and the shortest route is via Bolivia and Chile! How can a machine be so infuriating its 300km in the other direction you useless piece of shit!!

So here I was back in my favourite shithole and there was no way I was going on that same road as yesterday even though that where the GPS was now sending me yes she had decided to sort of work again and was giving more reasonable routes to Arequipa. So I ignored the GPS and went straight through the heart of Juliaca roads reasonable traffic chaotic but anything better than the ring road.

Back in the mountains and beautiful run to Arequipa quite simply breathe taking cold due to the altitude as I was above 4,000 meters most of the day but dry with the odd shower just to keep you on your toes. I love the Andes :-)

Love the Andes![/caption]

Got to Arequipa in good time and had an address for a Hostel in my GPS took me an hour to find it due to one way systems and GPS sending me round and round in ever decreasing circles finally resorted to intuition and asking for direction screw technology.

Checked in huge room with 3 beds all for me and reasonably cheap had to ask 3 times about the price as it did not seem right for what I was getting.

Went on the Internet to try and figure where I needed to be to get my tyres and it turned out that the Hotel of Peru motors was only 1km away so walked up there to organise the logistics for the tyres. Talked to Lars on the phone and the plan was to be there at 10 next day and work from there so that was easy and shorted so walked back to take a look at the town which looks nice vast improvement on Puno grabbed some dinner (Burger King first time this trip which is surprising as it was quite tasty!) walked some more and back to the hostel working on this blog.

I have been trying to upload 100’s of photos onto SmugMug for past couple of days, as I had no Internet in Machu Picchu crap Internet in Cusco and for the past couple of days intermittent Internet so nearly caught up. Problem cannot update blog until pictures are loaded as they are linked so one of the reason blog running behind and that the story I am sticking to :-)

Dramatic Views![/caption]
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #180
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Arequipa, Friday, 11 January 2013, Day 192

Who else looks in the mirror and sees this or is just me :-)[/caption]

Well as I did not have to be up early I enjoyed me nice big room and had a bit of lie in. Then headed up to the hotel http://www.lagrutahotel.com home of http://www.perumotors.com where I was to me meet Carlos the mechanic who was going to sort new tyres for Daisy.

Carlos and Eddy turned up and I followed them to the workshop, which was pretty large, and lots of rental bikes. Yes they did have a large selection of tyres but they looked a bit ropey to me being stored in the sun but guess beggars cannot be choosers. The first problem was that the 90/90/19 front tyres they had needed an inner tube I am running tubeless and the only inner tube they had in stock was 110/90/19 inner tube shame they did not have the tyre. I was not going to risk putting to big an inner tube in a small tyre recipe for disaster so me and Eddy got on his little 250 Honda trails bike and hit the streets of Arequipa looking for the right size inner tube and or a larger tyre. Now I hate riding pillion at the best of times but on the back of a Peruvian local through his local town I tell you I was shitting myself never had so many close call in such a sort space of time. I guess he knew what he was doing but I did not so had my eyes closed for most of the time :-)

Went to a couple of small shops no joy on a bigger tyre and we where going further and further away from the shop and I was getting more nervous on the back when eventually we found a tubeless 100/90/19 tyre so back to the shop (One handed on the back as I was now carrying a motorcycle tyre) where Carlos had already fitted the rear 140/80/17 so not quite spec but should work! (Famous last words specs is 110/80/19 and 150/70/17 so even if you do not know tyre specs you can see that front is thinner by 10mm and higher by 10mm and the back is also thinner by 10mm and higher by 10mm so some synergy there but that means that bike is 10mm higher and that all I need with my already to short legs going to be interesting that for sure)

Eddy set to work on the front I was expecting a bit more delicate handling but nope loads of brute force and hammers no tyre changing equipment just tyre levers and using of the side stand of another bike to break the bead. All this works but I was expecting something more professional probably better if I was not around to watch and just get the finished product as I was cringing as he had his full weight on one of the disc on concrete floor as he tried to pry the old tyre of.

Was expecting a big higher tech but this works![/caption]

 



Next job was an oil change but they only had 10/50 oil and Daisy likes 10/40 so I declined on this (was not confident in the ways of working if truth be known).

Got 2 empty oil containers to be used as extra fuel cans for the next bit of the trip, as fuel may be more scares as I head south.

So all done and dusted so how much did it all cost. I had paid for the front tyre already and had the price for the rear one from Lars plus a bit of labour.

The tyres were half the price I paid last time in the US and they where reasonably cheap there so if this experiment with size fails I will not be too much out of pocket.

Back to the Hostel and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Arequipa in the drizzling rain. Pleasant enough town but ready to hit the road and a new country been in Peru to long and need a change.

Arequipa main square nice![/caption]

 
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