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Old 12-26-2013, 07:41 PM   #136
UltiJayne OP
Sister on a KLR
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Oddometer: 74
Cool2 Fake Money and Real Friends: Mancora, Peru

I nearly fell into the waves as he spun me around and around. The weather was perfect and the sand was golden in the moonlight. Our friends were gathered on the beach, or also playing in the ocean, and I couldn't have wiped the giant smile off my face if I'd wanted to.


After visiting so many small, desolate, almost abandoned, beach towns along the Ecuadorian and Peruvian coastline, it was a great relief to finally arrive at one that had awesome people, a fun vibe and great weather.



Mancora, Peru is a small surf/beach town, filled with the restaurants and souvenir shops that tourism perpetuates. It has a lot of hostels for the backpacker crowd, who flock to Mancora as part of their tour of Peru.

Welcome to Mancora

We rode into town and soon found La Posada, a quiet hostel off the main drag where we got two rooms with double beds and private bathrooms for 45 sols ($20) per room per night. Importantly, they had a big, secure garage where we could park the bikes.

I didn't take any pictures at all in Mancora. Phil only took a couple. This is the closest we got to a pic of the hostel.

Phil and Tom had been itching to go riding the sandy paths from the second they saw them. No sooner had we checked in then they were pulling all the weight off their bikes and lowering their tire pressure.



Having Tom travel with us takes a lot of pressure off me. I don't have to feel guilty for not wanting to ride offroad because Phil has a friend to go with him who is just as enthusiastic as he is.


Kelly and I decided to wander into town and explore while the boys went off playing on the bikes. We'd wandered down the beach and up and down the main drag, stopped for cheesecake and coffee, and were just on our way back when suddenly we saw Phil riding down the road. We waved and were pretty disappointed that he didn't stop, until we realised he was towing a moto-truck!


I'll let Phil tell you how he got into that situation:


Load lightened and ready for sand!


Tom and I set out for a sandy ride into a small desert "canyon" that started right by our hostel. We ditched our boxes and extra gear to lighten the load, then set out in the midday sun.


The ride was also a long overdue farewell for my heavily worn chain and sprockets. No sense in replacing them right before a sandy ride.

These teeth haven´t been to the dentist in far too long.



Tom takes a top turn.



Fast, fun easy riding!


12km into the ride, we came across a couple gents pushing their "moto-truck" through the desert. It was hot with intense sun, they had no food or water, and were a long way from home. But they did have a rope, so we gave it a go and tied up to my rear rack for a tow.

Lending a hand





All went well, a couple challenging soft sand spots and first gear the whole way, but before too long we had ridden all the way out of the canyon and through town to their mechanic. That's when the trouble started. It turned out they had no brakes at all, a point that had been missed in the translation (I understood their brakes just "weren't great"). When I pulled off the road to stop, they shot past me.



The rope came taut, and I got spun around and thrown to the ground. A quick grab of the rope dragged me along behind the moto-truck, and prevented the disaster of having my bike dragged over top of me. Tom thought the whole crash looked quite spectacular. No good deed goes unpunished...



Many helping hands, only a couple actually helping.

Several locals who witnessed the crash came over to help out. The only broken item that really mattered was my shifter. It was bent in to the point of not being able to, well, shift. Several of the men tried to "help" with a pry bar of one sort or another, insisting that they could have it straightened out right quick. At first I was polite: "no, thanks, I think it would be better to take it off first, etc". I really didn´t want to torque too much on my shift lever rod. It has had a lot of use in its life! This post from ADV rider really stood out in my mind at the time. "Nobody cares about your bike as much as you do". If they break something, well, "they were only trying to help". But you are stuck with a hard-to-replace-part.


In the end I had to get quite firm, physically stopping one guy from "helping". Thanks, but no thanks. After that everyone was much more actually helpful and found me whatever tools they could, lending a hand when needed AND wanted. Everyone was really friendly. After a few minutes of futility I quit trying to bend the lever and just rode back to the hostel in first gear. It had been a waste of time really as I had a spare lever waiting for me in my pannier.

One of these things is not like the other.

Back to Jayne:


Luckily Phil was okay after the moto-truck with no brakes incident (which Kelly and I didn't see). He and Tom came stumbling back in to the hostel covered in dust with giant smiles on their faces.


There was a table outside a tienda on the main street (as seen in the video). We adopted it as our own, and throughout the rest of our stay you could usually find at least one of us sitting outside in the sun with a $1.20 beer in hand. This table was the place to meet people. Everyone in town walked by eventually.


We met a lovely Canadian lady called Pat, who walked by and stopped to chat every day. She spends time every year in Mancora.


An Argentinian guy on a V-strom named Julian pulled into town and Phil ran after him and told him about our hostel with great parking. He moved in to the room next door to us. We told him to meet us at our table once he was checked in. That evening he took Kelly and I out to dinner in a very nice restaurant. Kelly had decided that she wanted to treat herself, and I am always up for a fancy meal. Phil and Tom were sure that it would be too little food for too much money, and so weren't interested in eating there. We were thrilled when Julian said he would join us.


The restaurant was more popular than we expected, and we had to make a reservation for 9pm. A cocktail on the beach killed the time until dinner, and then we enjoyed a wonderful meal, with great conversation and an excellent bottle of wine. So excellent that later Kelly and I were sure that we'd shared a dessert, but to this day cannot remember what it was.


Julian was only on a short trip up to Colombia and back down to Buenos Aires (in a month!!) and insisted on paying for our dinner. What a gentleman.


Kelly, Tom, Georgia and I later ate one of the worst meals I've ever been served (in fact the spaghetti alfredo I ordered was inedible, as was most of the other food served) so we really had mixed luck with food in Mancora.


Phil and Tom were sitting at our tienda table when Tom's Australian friend Georgia, who he'd met a couple of times along his travels, randomly walked by. It turned out she was staying at Kokopelli, one of the party hostels.



She and Tom were glued at the hip for the rest of our time in Mancora. The next evening Kelly and I had been out for dinner and were wondering where the boys had got to. We were walking outside of Kokopelli when we heard the unmistakable sound of Phil's booming voice through the wall.


We went in and found Phil, Georgia and Tom at the bar. We started hanging out there all the time because it had a poolside bar, and was a lot more lively than our quiet hostel around the corner. This, in fact, is a great tip. Book into a cheap, quiet hostel where you can go relax and sleep well, and then go party in the more expensive, happening hostels when the mood takes you.

At the bar with Tom and Georgia and the lovely English girl whose name I do not remember.

Kelly was tired from our big night the night before and so Phil took her home. The rest of us took advantage of the many happy hour specials and got talking to the other people in the bar. Darren from Canada, George from England, two sisters who were working behind the bar and a few locals all joined our party.


We discovered that the volunteer bartenders were not allowed to accept 100 sol notes. This was because of the large number of fake notes around. Tom fell foul of this trend when he was given a fake 50. He didn't realise until he tried to spend it and it was too late. He later used it to bribe a security guard, so all wasn't lost.


It didn't help that the bank machine in Mancora gave me 200 sol notes. After we left Mancora, I used one to pay for gas and was given a fake 100 as change. I also didn't realise it was fake until I later tried to spend it. Very frustrating!

The fake note


You can see the differences when compared to a real one.

When the bar closed, we headed for the beach, where there were bars pumping music and lots of people. On the way we bought a bottle of rum and some plastic glasses. We all started dancing on the beach, not worried that the tide was coming in and we were getting very wet. I found myself waltzing in the waves with Darren, and then with another English guy called Joe, who was later singing opera for us all. It was a really fun night, that ended at dawn with me, Tom, Darren and Georgia all passing out in our room.


At about noon there was a knock on the door. It was the lady who owned the hostel. She had realised that there were four people in a room meant for two. She was yelling at me in Spanish, saying we'd have to pay extra. I sleepily said “si, si” and closed the door.


That evening we discovered a wonderful restaurant in Mancora that ticked all the boxes. It was cheap, it was delicious, and it was near the beach. If ever in Mancora, I recommend you eat here. I had the BBQ swordfish, it was delicious.

On the road to the beach, across from the taco place. Only wish we'd found it sooner!

Mancora was great fun, but there are only so many days of partying and drinking cheap beer all day we could take. Kelly really wanted to get to Matchu Picchu before she had to go back to Canada, and so after three nights of partying and new friends, we packed ourselves up and kept heading South.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:04 PM   #137
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Staying with Mr Crazy: Pomalca, Near Chiclayo, Peru

Trying to sleep while a grown man weeps uncontrollably beside you is difficult. But life isn´t always easy.

Neither is balancing sugar cane on your face, apparently.


Chiclayo was the right distance away from Mancora to set as our destination for the day. On arrival, Kelly noted "look at all the garbage!". Months in Central and South america have perhaps blinded us a little bit to the constant garbage on the side of the road. She was right though, Chiclayo had more than we had seen in a long while.

Banana slip. Some garbage is more dangerous than others.


We ventured to "centro", aka the square in front of a church in the centre of any given city. After a banana nearly took Jayne out as we parked (not just a thing in Mario cart), Kelly and I wandered in search of a cheap hotel. We found cheap hotels, but they didn´t have parking for the bikes, and they charged by the hour. All of them. Fortunately for us, a young man named Jose came up, and generously offered for us to stay at his place for the night! Staying with our "yes" policy, we loaded Jose on the back of Toms bike and swerved through the traffic to Joses house. This was much further than we anticipated, actually in Pomalca, the next town down from Chiclayo. We get a free place to stay, Jose gets a free ride home. Win win!



Hold on tight, Tom doesn`t have passenger pegs



Jose takes Toms bike for a wobbly test ride around the block.



Local kids enthralled with the bikes



More local kids come over to play

Jose took us on a tour of his little town, and we picked up supplies to make dinner. The wine was opened and began to flow. It flowed quite quickly for Jose, who might as well have just put a straw in the box. We chatted and ate. Sometimes understanding what Jose was talking about was a little tough as he spoke quickly at changed subjects a lot. I was able to understand when Jose told me that "sometimes his spirit leaves his body and goes on vacation flying around the world". It was then I realized Jose was perhaps on the hippie side of the spectrum (the dreadlocks were also a hint I suppose). Jose went on to talk about how he was a descendant from the Incas, and then later offered to take us on a tour of the local ruins of his people. At night. Ok sure.
Jayne skipped the trip being dirt roads at night, but the rest of us head off to the ruins. They were of course closed, so we´d have to be sneaky.

Another sign at the ruins

On entering the un-gated ruins, Jose tried to help us gringos by reading us the information sign. unfortunately he just read it out loud in spanish, not much help to Tom or Kelly. But he read the sign very loudly, which was help to the security guards. Jose tried to talk them into letting us take a look around. I think the box of wine in his hand wasn´t helping things. They said no.

When time to head back, Jose asked if he could ride Tom´s bike. This would put Tom on the back of his own bike. Not likely. Plus Jose was a little drunk. Less likely. Plus we´d seen him struggle when he took the bike for a ride around the block earlier. Not a chance.


But this didn´t stop Jose from trying really hard to convince Tom. We ended up all discussing it on the side of the road for about 10 minutes. It was cold and getting windier. Finally Jose laid the guilt trip "don´t you trust me? I let you into my house and you don´t even trust me to ride your bike a little?". That was the end. Tom started the bike, told Jose to get on the back and we head back to the house. Things were a touch awkward. Then Joses sister came home.


Things got more awkward.


Joses sister had a 1-year-old child. There were 4 gringos setting up shop on the living room floor. She was very nice to us, but the screaming from the back room told me that Jose hadn´t told her we were there, and that this wasn´t the first time something like this had happened. It was late enough, and certainly awkward enough, that we all decided it was time for bed.

crying induced expectoration takes place to the left of where I am standing taking this photo

Except for Jose of course, who now had some friends over and was turning up the stereo. The stereo that was four feet from our heads. We laid there trying to sleep for a little while, but that was futile. Kelly or I would reach up and turn the music down a little, but when Jose noticed he would turn it back up. And then the crying started.


I couldn´t make out the words, but he was bawling to his friends. With the tears came mucus apparently, because he also started spitting on the floor. The floor between us and the stereo. These were your championship loogys too. A real hork with each one.


This went on for an hour or more.


Sometimes Jose and his friends would retire from the living room and go to his room. We took the chance to turn down the blasting music, but soon after Jose would be back out to turn it back up. At some point, we turned off the music and the lights, and he didn´t come turn them back on. This would finally give us the chance to sleep. The multitude of flies that kept landing on our faces would take that chance right back. None of us slept well.

At 7am, Jose was up and started slurping his cereal on the couch, right beside Kelly's head, more or less above the dried spit pool. Uncomfortable and ready to leave, Kelly and I got up and started packing our things quietly, whispering a "Buenos dias" to Jose since Jayne and Tom were still somehow sleeping. No matter, us getting up gave Jose the message apparently that it was music time, and again turned on the stereo. "They are still sleeping!" I whisper-yelled in spanish as I turned it down. Jose just smiled, didn´t seem to get it.
"The faster you get out of bed, the faster we get the (heck) out of here." -Kelly.
No truer words have ever been spoken. No faster have any 4 travelers packed their things.


Jose insisted on making us breakfast, which turned out to be just our leftover pasta we had cooked for him the night before. Did I mention her introduced himself as a chef? We all politely picked at it before charging to the bikes and making dust.


Likely the earliest start of this entire trip.


Looking back, I think that Jose may have had some mental illness. If I were more fluent in spanish and understood every word he said, I`m sure I would have picked up on it earlier. I don`t believe he was being purposefully malicious in any of his actions. I think he honestly didn`t feel they were inappropriate. I think he just had no idea.
Or maybe we just happened to visit while his spirit was off flying around the world.

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Old 12-29-2013, 05:06 AM   #138
UltiJayne OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Oddometer: 74
Cool2 The Life of a Celebrity: Trujillo, Peru

Northern Peru was nothing like we expected. Mancora was fun, but the long straight roads through boring desert with lots of wind are not a motorcyclist's dream.



Not much fun at all. Especially not for hours on end!


The gang arrives at Trujillo's beautiful main square

After our odd experience with Jose we really wanted to find somewhere to stay in Trujillo that didn't involve sleeping on the floor or anyone spitting in our near vicinity.


On the 6 November 2013, Casa de Clara delivered. Set on a quiet street adjacent to a pretty park, yet walking distance from the main square, with hot water, wifi and parking for all three bikes in the lobby, we were very pleased to be there.



Motorbikes in the lobby, right where they belong.


With the ladies who run Casa de Clara

All through Colombia and Ecuador, I have felt like a minor celebrity. People are often taking covert pictures of me, sometimes even getting up the courage to ask for a picture with me. The customs officers on the border crossing to Peru spent 15 minutes taking pictures with Tom and I.


Of course none of this is deserved, they are attracted to the colour of my skin, and occasionally the fact that I am riding a big motorcycle. This constant attention has made me think a lot about celebrity and whether anyone really deserves the adoration of strangers.


There are some people who most certainly do deserve to be admired. Nelson Mandela immediately comes to mind with his recent passing. I was lucky enough to meet him in London when he came to unveil his statue in Parliament Square, and I was certainly impressed by his greatness.
That's me there in the red. A great day.

However other celebrities, actors, politicians, sportsmen; there are many who I feel are overly celebrated. Certainly having strangers come up to me and thrust their babies in my arms for a picture makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable!



Here, hold my baby! Now strike a pose.

Phil and I have become known in the KLR community, we are active on the South American KLR facebook groups, and have had the pleasure of meeting many like-minded riders along our journey. In Trujillo, an Argentinian KLR rider called Luis, who I have not yet met in person, arranged for us to meet up with Julio, another KLR rider.



Julio, Cricket and I

Julio came to our hotel the next morning with two of his friends. We jumped on the bikes and headed to Solomotos motorcycle shop. I wanted to talk about my shock, which isn't really absorbing much shock anymore, and Phil needed some tools to be able to change his front sprocket. As we stood around talking bikes, more and more motorcyclists turned up, some because they had business at the shop, others because they saw us there.



Hanging at Solomotos


One of the mechanics found us extra tall!

While there I noticed that my right fork was leaking oil around the seal. The owner Johnny kindly offered to clean it for me and change the oil that evening, for only the cost of the materials.


Eventually we decided to go and see some local ruins. What started as 4 motos ended up as a gang of at least 8, with people who hadn't brought their bikes hoping on behind their friends.



Taking over the streets of Trujillo

Julio got us onto a tour of the ruins for free (he knows the head of something or rather) and so the four of us gringos headed off with a group of Peruvians from a small village in Northern Peru.



The gang pulls up the the ruins

Those Peruvian families turned out to be our new biggest fans. They started out shy, but when they realised that Phil and I could speak passable Spanish, the floodgates opened. They took so many pictures with us that the tour guide soon grew tired of waiting for us.



We stood in this spot for a very long time...


The Moche ruins have a lot of very well preserved coloured painting. This little guy is the Inka representation of God.


Phil is often referred to as Jesus these days... Here he is with a picture of God


Uncovering a buried city


Uncovering ancient cultures, one section at a time.

The children kidnapped me, insisting on taking my cell phone number and the girls pushing each other out of the way just so they could walk beside me. There are no gringos in their town and I think we were the first white people they had ever spoken to. Hollywood and television have created a magical aura around white people.



We did a jumping picture in front of an ancient wall


So all the kids did one with us too.

Whilst I adopt a strategy of being as friendly, approachable, welcoming and obliging as possible, being a celebrity because of the colour of my skin makes me very uncomfortable. You would never see white people in Canada throng around someone from Japan or Nigeria, just because they look different. In fact in many Western countries, people who have a different skin tone suffer from racism and are not made to feel welcome at all.



Kelly's strawberry blond hair was a hit!

Maybe the South Americans have the correct approach? Isn't it better to be thrilled to be speaking to someone from another culture and to want to be seen with them than to shun them and treat them as though they do not belong? Perhaps us Westerners should change our attitudes, seek out new people, and welcome them to our countries with big smiles and loads of questions.



One last picture before I got on my bike

My new friends said goodbye at the end of the tour by giving me presents. One little girl gave me a bracelet she had just bought at the souvenir stand, and a mother gave me a pair of earrings. I gave everyone a sticker, feeling bad that I had nothing else to give to them all.


We left our fans with big hugs and many more pictures. We were all very hungry by then, but before we could eat – more pictures. Julio rode ahead and took some great pics as we rode away from the ruins.


Jayne leaving Moche ruins

Phil and Kelly doing tricks

We went to a small restaurant that served amazing ceviche, seafood chicharrones and fish curry. We ate very well that lunch time!



Deep fried seafood goodness

While we were eating, Che, another of the motorcyclists, asked me if I liked chicken. I told him that I did and he insisted that we come for dinner at his restaurant – a Polleria.


Julio had some work to do, so we decided to find a post office and wander around the very beautiful main square.



Kelly fearfully feeds the lion her postcards


Passing youth want pics with the tall gringo

While we were standing in the square, we were approached by a man who works for the tourist authority. He offered to take us on a free tour of city hall. We happily agreed, and soon we were learning about the history of Trujillo. The highlight of the tour was when we were ushered through a whole meeting full of towns people so that we could stand on the balcony overlooking the square.



The meeting is in there.

It was the day that the mayor allowed the people of Trujillo to come and speak to him about their problems, and there were hundreds of them there to see him.



Hanging on the balcony with our tour guide



Great view of the square from the city hall balcony

Dinner at Che's restaurant was delicious and plentiful. Kelly was in heaven with having as much fresh salad as she could eat, and Phil and Tom ate an enormous amount of roast chicken.



Group shot at the Polleria

After dinner Julio and Che showed us maps of Peru, and suggested that we drive the Canyon del Pato to get to Huaraz, rather than continuing down the boring Pan American.

Pouring over maps, paper and digital

The more he told us about the sandy, narrow trail, the more I realised that it was not a trip that I would find enjoyable.

How to get to the Canyon del Pato

Turned out that that was not a problem, there was a very scenic, paved route for me to take, and I could meet the boys in Huaraz.
I dropped Cricket off at the mechanic shop, Phil decided to change his front sprocket, and then I rode home on the back of Suzi.

Night time sprocket change

The next morning, the boys and Kelly headed off to their offroad adventure, and I went to pick Cricket up from the mechanic. I found her in pieces with no front tire and the right fork missing.



Cricket's got some problems.

Johnny and the boys were still working on her. Lucky that I had decided to go a different route from the rest of the gang! About an hour and a half later, Cricket was back together, and Julio and his friend kindly escorted me out of the city, leaving me on the highway where I couldn't get lost.


My ride to Huaraz was great along a newly paved road (actually started very potholed, but soon improved) that climbs from sea level to great heights.

The road to Huaraz


Cricket hanging with the locals


4224 metres?? Is that why I have no power?



Getting closer to Huaraz


My first glimpse of snow in a very long time.

Despite leaving Trujillo much later than Phil and the gang, I arrived in Huaraz first.


Why? You ask? Well stay tuned for the next blog to find out.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:23 PM   #139
Wump
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The rides of Huaraz, Peru

Fun rides abound in Peru apparently. After Tom and I saved lives on our ride in Mancora, we now had another highly recommended ride in our sights. Something about a duck.


Several riders highly touted the "Cańon del Pato" as one of their favorite rides around, so it became a "must" for Tom and I. Jayne opted for the paved route, while Tom, Kelly and I set off to ride the "Cańon del Pato" (Duck Canyon). Not seeing any ducks was the only part close to a disappointment on the day.


Moon landscape ready tire pressures



Hot and hard packed for smoooooth riding



The bridge post police control check

At the turn off for the start of the Canyon, we stopped to eat a giant sandwich.


Largest expectation to disappointment ratio in history.

Called a "King Kong", theoretically filled with Peanut Butter, Caramel and Pinapple jam. "King Kongs" were all over the place in Trujillo, and we saved this for the perfect moment. After a we each took a bite, I left it on the hood of a construction workers car. Hopefully he isn`t insulted. The King Kong was dry, difficult to eat, and the flavor layers were far thinner than advertised. That wasn`t a bad thing in the end, since the flavor layers were missing any good flavor.
Back to the ride.

or not

The king kong stop fortunately alerted me to my broken rack. I had felt the bike a touch unstable, as my rack must have been swaying side to side a little. I had just attributed it to the grave road. Luck would have it that only 3 minutes back was a little town, and there I found a welder.

Quick pit stop, 12 soles, and right back on the road.


Into the Canyon.


42 tunnels of varying length, all double dark inside. Powerful headlights recommended.



Riverside rest stop.



Don`t slip.



Dusty frosted tips. Thanks Tom for that.


Out of the cańon, after narrowly averting getting clipped by a bus (just nicked my elbow pad) we stopped in town for lunch.

Kids trying to steal a free ride on the tuk tuk. They were caught repeatedly.


While stopped for lunch, I adjusted my now quickly wearing chain, and then I noticed something a little off again with my boxes. Well that didn´t last long!

I guess 12 soles doesn`t buy real welding sticks



This guy had it all. Cut out the old weld, then welded in reinforcement rebar alongside the new weld. and it only cost 10 soles.



...and he was a fun guy! Muchas Gracias!


Leaving town we were greeted to the region with some stunning views.

Welcome to Huaraz


With our un-planned pit stops, Jayne had beaten us to Huaraz by a bit. We met up, found a hotel, then went for warm beer and vegetarian food. Note that I did not pick the restaurant. The warm beer was inexcusable, since it was so cold outside and inside that they must have actively TRIED to warm the beer before serving it.

Jayne and Kelly trying to look wise and distinguished with important things to say. Also: mocking me.


The next day Kelly and Jayne explored the town while Tom and I went for a ride in search of a nearby glacier. Basically looked at a map and said "we could get to that one, it has roads". Fantastic roads.

Glacier, lake and music video locale extraordinaire.



Fantastic roads with many animals!



We really enjoyed ourselves


The ride wasn`t without its moments of excitement and peril. I had been taking video of Tom from across a valley, then rode off to catch up. Coming around a corner, I encountered this ass.

Ass being an ass.

I couldn`t quite stop in time, and very fortunately the ass reached extra hard for a tasty shrub just as I neared his tether. That motion raised the rope up just enough for me to duck under. Tom had also had a near catastrophe when he encountered the fellow.


Well worth the adversity, our goal in sight.



Just like home eh Tom?



Llaca lake, 4800 meters


We had a celebratory beer, then joined in with these fellows.

Band up at the heights for a music video!


They asked us to dance with them for part of their video.

Dancing at this altitude is really hard work. But due to the bad dancing and lack of oxygen, also hilarious.


Dancing done, we went for a dip to "cool off".

The cooling action of the lake was very, very rapid.



Coming down from the lake, The band was taking their final shots for the video.



We had given the band a head start down the mountain, but a flat had us catch them up quickly. Not much we could do to help.



Long, delightful ride down.



The rides up and down were highlighted with many dog chases. Vicious little buggers.



I miiight have been picking on one said vicious bugger when I had a sudden blowout. Bad timing. Fortunately the pups were more bark than bite.


If I had to pick a location to have to change a tire, this would be up there on the list.



On our return to town, treated to a glorious evening.


I enjoyed Huaraz greatly, not to mention the ride just getting there! There are many, many other great day rides that could be done in the area. If we weren`t on a bit of a push to get to Cusco, I might have stayed to ride a few others.

Well the push for Cusco, and my rapidly balding TKC80 was now missing some lugs, no longer suited for more adventure rides.


A tire change was in my near future. We had been in touch with Endurance Motors in Lima, and all of us had some work to be done. Onwards to the land of courteous drivers: Lima!

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Old 12-31-2013, 02:33 PM   #140
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How many miles do you have on the TKC80 tires ?
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #141
Wump
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Repairs and bears in Lima, Peru (there were no bears)

Riding to Lima was fantastic. Riding in Lima... Different story. Fortunately we ditched the bikes at the shop and took the bus most of our time there.
The ride to Lima from Huaraz is fantastic twisty mountain road than starts coooold and gets a little warmer with every hour you ride. By the time it's hot, it's also windy, and straight, and desert. We were happy when we finally arrived in Lima.


The traffic was bad. They simply don't look when turning or changing lanes. A cabbie got a little too close to Jayne, and many others cut us off or tried merging into us. Our horns got a work out. Tom's died. But all told, it wasn't as bad as we had really been led to believe.
"That's because it's Sunday" said Jorge, our couch surf host.
"Oh".
We would stay with Jorge and his new puppy Eevie for our whole Lima stay. Great host and great help for telling us which busses to catch while our bikes were in the shop.


Jayne frenching toast during our stay



Specialty french toast for "breakfast" at Jorge's


First item of buisness was to get the bikes in for some work. Crickets freshly cleaned fork seal was already leaking and Jayne has found her suspension a bit firm. I don't like the way it feels either, but then I don't ride cricket everyday.
Jugs needed new rubber, oil leak fix, and a fork oil change, while Suzy's forks also were suspect.

Good thing we were leaving the bikes, the sidewalk was torn up while we were inside!



KLR's abound at Endurance motors



Jugs gets a rear tire change (to Conti Escape), new valve cover gasket, and repairs to a broken fork spring.



500 soles later (200$) I was reunited with Jugs


With the bikes in at Endurance, we explored the city by bus.

We took a lot of combi-bus rides



Miraflores was quite nice, reminded me of Santa Monica in LA, and just as overrun with north american chain restaurants.



We worked out on the public gym equipment



mimiced statues and people mimicing statues



and waited for a gust of wind to blow a paraglider into a condo. We ran out of time.



Met Diego's dad Carlos riding down the road in San Cristobal, Mexico. 8 months later we finally met up with Diego! For incredibly tasty, incredibly expensive burgers.



See bikes on the street? go in for a meet.



Come for the oil change, come back for the oil. Our new amigos had the worst possible experience when the oil wasn't refilled after the shop did an "oil change" on one of their new KLR's. Seize much? The rebuilt engine then failed AGAIN. They were none too impressed. Great folks, look forward to meeting them again.



Another bike shop in Lima, Mototech. Wish I could have taken Rodrigo up on his offer to use his shop space, but Machu Picchu beckoned.




"you know what this means? NOT. WELCOME!" Fitting, since we spent our time in Lima without our motos.



Took a brief visit to American soil when a pickup frisbee game was held at the American embacy!

Thanks Fred for helping set us up with the game, and to everyone for helping us get drunk afterwards!


Great chats over pizza and beers with Francis.



We made pancakes instead of waffles at Pat and Don's in Oaxaca, Mexico, because Francis had the waffle iron. 8 months later, we met the waffle iron!


Once we had the bikes back, we did the one recommended tourist activity and went to visit the fountain park.


so much water



Running through fountains on the cool night was far more fun in rain gear.




Frolic in the fountain



When the speed of light meets the spray of water



so many lazers



Inside the fountain



How are we breathing under water?

Well worth it! I loved the spraying water!
We leave Lima after a productive stay, now to battle our way out of the city and on to Nazca to look at some lines in the sand...
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:58 PM   #142
Wump
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Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
How many miles do you have on the TKC80 tires ?
I got 10 000km on the TKC's. Far more than I expected given their reputation, and my weight.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:47 AM   #143
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Cool2 Flying Over History: Nasca, Peru

You would think that a man called "Kiwi" was from New Zealand, but Kiwi who we couchsurfed with in Nasca was Peruvian. I never did find out why he called himself Kiwi.


Kiwi has a small apartment, with one main kitchen/living/sleeping area, and one other room that seemed to be used for storing tools. It was in this room that we slept, once again all on the floor.


Kiwi was very welcoming, and arranged for us to park the bikes in his neighbour's garage overnight.


We went out into town to find dinner and to investigate flights over the famous Nasca lines. The going rate seemed to be $85 each but one guy said he'd give it to us for $80.

Kelly in Nasca at the bar

That evening Kiwi took us out to a local bar his friend owns. The live music that had been booked pulled out at the last minute and so a few local teenagers stepped up. They were enthusiastic but terrible.


Kelly offered to improve the entertainment by singing with them. They were very excited, but their repertoire of English songs was limited.



Kelly with her "band"

Here's a short clip of one of Kelly's numbers.






The bartender teaches me to play the spoons

The next day we decided to head to the airport to see what kind of deal we could negotiate.


The ladies at all the desks inside were unmoving from the $80 price tag.



The small Nasca airport

In the end Kelly and I went and bought ice cream at the cafeteria and got speaking to some of the pilots sitting there.


We explained our desire to fly for less than the going rate, and the pilots were very sympathetic. One suggested that sometimes they would fly with only 3 people in his 4 seater plane.


A few phone calls to the owners later we had ourselves a 4 for the price of 3 deal.

Kelly and I practicing flying before taking off.


Four motorcyclists in a plane


The route we flew over the lines


Joined by our super pilot and his assistant, ready to see some lines


The view of the desert from the plane. Imagine riding through this landscape for HOURS.


If you don't fly over them, the only other way to see the lines is from this tiny tower. Just not the same.


Taking pictures of the lines was quite challenging. Here's a nice one of "The hummingbird"


The girls

The plane journey was great, but during the last ten minutes I started feeling very hot and slightly unwell. I had a stomach upset and it was not feeling great.


Needless to say I was quite pleased to land and made a beeline for the bathroom.

Phil, Kelly and Tom after the flight.

Seeing the lines was a very cool experience, but we couldn't help but comment how easily anyone could just make new lines. Especially with the fact that no one knows who made them or when, it was inevitable to compare them to the crop circles in the USA. Perhaps there is a team of Peruvians out there every night with rakes and shovels.


While Kelly and I were chatting up the pilots, Phil and Tom were chatting to the two guys who had pulled up on a BMW 800.

Jeremy's bike Smiley, loaded with all his stuff, and his friend's too

Actually it was only Jeremy, the French guy, who was travelling on the bike long term, but he'd given the other guy a lift. We soon convinced them to join us for lunch, and then Jeremy decided that he would ride with us to Cusco the next day too.


While in Lima, Cristian at Endurance motors told us how to make automatic chain oilers for our bikes. We bought three bleach bottles and some hose, and in Nasca, the boys got to work. (Kelly tried to use the bleach to dye the tips of my hair, but it didn't work.)



Tom working on his chain oiler, the other guy was very interested in our bikes


Cricket's new chain oiling system

Squeeze the bottle to get some oil going through the tube, and it gently drips onto the chain.



Ready to leave Nasca, the whole crew jumps outside Kiwi's place (Kiwi is the guy beside Phil).

We said goodbye to Kiwi and his friends, and met Jeremy for breakfast. During breakfast Phil made a worrying discovery.



Just before we left Nasca Phil discovered what happens when contact lens solution explodes in one's pannier.

After Phil had cleaned up the rust explosion in his pannier, we hit the road towards Cusco.

We stopped and chatted to this guy who had more stuff than even I do, and no motor on his bike.


The most stuff I've ever seen a cyclist hauling!

At about midday, Jeremy wanted to stop for lunch, but we convinced him to go just a bit further. Shortly afterwards we were stopped for construction for 45 minutes.



The bikes waiting to be let through construction


A poorly Phil waits to be let through construction

Phil wasn't feeling very well, but the rest of us raided Jeremy's supply for peanut butter, bread and fruit while we waited.

This is the alpaca I would like to mail to my friend Emma.

We decided to stop for the night in a very small town called Chalhuanca. Ther wasn't much there, but we found a hotel with parking for the bikes, and that was all we required.


The next morning (the 18th of November 2013) there was a lot of discussion about Phil's state of health. He'd had a fever all night, and wasn't feeling well at all. After the rest of us had had breakfast, Phil decided that he was well enough to make it to Cusco and we loaded up the bikes.


When I pulled my bike up in front of the hotel, I noticed something dripping on the road.

Cricket leaking coolant the morning of the crash.

Phil helped me tighten the radiator hose near to my thermo-bob, which was leaking coolant, and we were on our way.


Tom took off in front, with Phil racing behind him. Jeremy and I followed at a more sedate pace.


14km later The Ultimate Ride changed forever.


I rounded the corner and saw Jugs, Phil and Kelly sprawled across the road. You can read all about the crash here, and here.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #144
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Cool you got to ride over the Lines via plane.
Julian Nott built a Prehistoric style balloon that is believed to have been used when said lines were built. Which would explain why the lines are actually there :)

His website is down now though :(
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #145
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Are you guys alright ?
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:53 AM   #146
UltiJayne OP
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Are you guys alright ?
Hey SnoWing,

Yep we're alright. Phil's in Salta working in a hostel bar while his collarbone heals and I am in Santiago, Chile.

More updates on this ride report soon.

Jayne
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:08 AM   #147
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Following along with you guys has been great. Winter here....not so much!

Hoping for a quick recovery for Phil and Kelly

Given your location, did you get to see any of the Dakar?

As always, looking forward to your next post. Enjoy the r and r
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:42 AM   #148
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Where you at??

Have been following this trip for sometime but no entries for some time. Everything OK??
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:59 AM   #149
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Cry Stuck in Cusco, Peru

Apologies for the delay in updates. We are both well. Phil is in Peru and I am in Chile. Will try to get caught up ASAP and some posts will be a little out of order.
You can always see where we are NOW on the map on our website. (We both have Spot trackers attached to our bikes now) - Jayne

Four weeks after Phil's crash, he had another x-ray. His collarbone showed no signs of healing. My hopes of leaving in the next few days were dashed to smithereens.


Sunday November 24, 2013, after Phil was released from the five days he spent in hospital, Kelly flew back to Canada as planned, and Tom and Jeremy continued on towards Bolivia and beyond. It was incredibly sad to say goodbye to those three wonderful people who had been such a huge part of our trip.



The fearless five on the day Kelly, Tom and Jeremy left Cusco.

That afternoon we were picked up by Sandy and Sandra, parents of a college friend of Phil's who live in the Sacred Valley, about an hour from Cusco.


We stayed with them for a few days. Phil pulled Jugs apart and made a worrying discovery - the frame was slightly bent. Well that would need to be fixed before we could continue on our journey. I'll let Phil post about how he resolved all that.

Sitting in the garden with Sandy, Sandra and Niall. (Tarn was at karate practice.)

After a few days with Sandy and Sandra and their kids Niall and Tarn, they had had enough of visitors (they'd had another guest for 2 months before we arrived) and so we reluctantly moved to a hostel in a town called Pisaq.



El Parche Rutero was a dirty, rundown hostel filled with hippies, but it was cheap (something like $2 a night each for a dorm bed) and had parking for Cricket.

Our room at the Parche Rutero Hostel


One of the residents in the kitchen


Our Aussie friend Ollie with a plate full of cacao beans


Phil being whipped by a statue in the Sacred Valley


The ducks take the bridge instead of swimming.


I thought this cactus looked like hands... But maybe actually more like feet??



Phil catches some of the local wildlife


This one's for you Michelle.


Phil and Ollie on a walk in the Sacred Valley

When leaving Sandy and Sandra's house, I was in the middle of sending some emails from my iPhone. I set it down on one of my panniers to tighten some straps, and forgot to pick it up and put it in my pocket before hopping on the bike and following Sandy's truck.


I realised before we reached Pisac what I had done, and asked Sandy to call home so that they could pick my phone up out of the grass.


Unfortunately my phone hadn't fallen off my bike until I had ridden out of their yard, and when they called it someone else answered and then hung up. That person chose not to return my phone to me, instead immediately taking it to Cusco. (I know this from the “Find my iPhone app” that I had installed on my phone.)

Watching the thieves on the run with my iPhone. The police wouldn't help us, and we didn't think trying to chase after it ourselves was a good idea.

That iPhone was our only solid link to the internet at a time when we really needed the distraction and access. It also had all my notes from other travelers about places to see on our way down to Ushuaia.


Words cannot express the frustration I felt at that moment. It seemed to me that the entire universe was conspiring against us. Somehow our great adventure was falling to pieces around us. Phil was broken, his bike broken, my phone stolen, we had to leave the nice house we were staying in, my mojo was gone. I was incredibly depressed.


A day or two later Phil went into Cusco to find a mechanic to fix his bike. While on a bus someone pick pocketed him and stole his cell phone.
Phil's phone was old, and not smart, and pretty broken, but it was our last piece of technology other then my small netbook. I felt like we were cursed.


It was the support I received from around the world that kept me going. Thank you so much to all you friends and family, new and old, who helped me keep things together.


We had to go back to Cusco because of Phil's bike needing a mechanic, so I put in some couchrequests.


Once again, we had been incredibly lucky to find a wonderful family through couchsurfing, who agreed to host us for two nights. Three weeks later I left their Cusco home to their assurances that they would look after Phil until he could ride again, and that I shouldn't worry about him at all.

Tania, Phil and Philippe on the bus into town

The first Saturday night that we were staying with Tania and Philippe (we seem to be attracted to staying with other “Phil's” - this one is originally from France) Tania took me out on a girl's night with her friends. After three weeks of chilling out and barely touching even a beer, the two-for-one cocktails hit me hard. We met Tania's friends, Anita and Vanessa, in a hidden English pub near Cusco's main Plaza de Armas. We befriended the bartender Frank, and he made our Pisco Sours very strong.

Tania, Anita, Me and Vanessa with our first Pisco Sours

We moved on to several other venues throughout the evening. I have hazy memories of giant fresh passionfruit daquiris and plates of fries and cut up hotdog... It was getting light by the time we stumbled out of the taxi in front of the Red House.


Tania and Philippe live in a big red house on top of a hill with Tania's 18 year old son Luis-Angel. We didn't see much of Luis-Angel because he works from 6am every day, 6 days a week. He works in Anita's restaurant, and I've never seen a teenager work so hard.


That's the Red House, on top of the hill, to the left of the stairs

Phil and I lived in the room on the top left corner. It was amazing to have our own space, and yet be made to feel part of the family. Tania insisted on feeding us along with the rest of her family.


Tania and Philippe built their house on the corner of the land Tania's parents own. Tania's mother runs a small tienda (shop) and Tania's sister Marilu lives there with her husband Joadan and their three children, Ammi (12), Madai (2) and Jatnien (1). There are also several chickens, and a street dog, Cara Sucio (Dirty Face) who are always around.

Jose (Anita's grandson), Ammi and Jatniel


Three little darlings - Jose, Maddai and Jatniel

Phil became “Tio Jesus” (Uncle Jesus) and I was “Tia Jenny” (Aunt Jayne with a Spanish accent). None of the large family spoke English. Becoming part of their family was very good for improving our Spanish. When Madai first met Phil, she would cry whenever he looked at her or tried to play. By the time I left she was running to him and calling him Tio Jesus all the time.

For the first few weeks we were living with Tania and Philippe, I was trying to replace my iPhone. I had no desire to pay the huge amount of money a brand new one would cost, so I was drawn into the web of the Peruvian used phone markets. I had grave misgivings about buying a stolen iPhone. I did not want to reward the people who had stolen both my, and Phil's phones. However, Apple have done very well to make it incredibly easy to recover all of your information if you buy another Apple product.


The other problem in Peru is the huge amount of counterfeit phones available. It is almost impossible to know if the phone you are buying is the real thing, or a clever Chinese knock-off.


One day while walking through a second hand market, I spotted a man selling a used iPhone and took his number. The next day Phil and I met up with Frank, the bartender from the girl's night out (Frank had a thing for me, despite me making up an imaginary boyfriend to put him off, so bringing Phil was my way of reiterating that we were just friends). Frank went with us to meet the iPhone man. The iPhone man never showed up.


Philippe had an expression which summed up my time in Cusco perfectly. “Todo es posible, nadi es seguro” which means “everything is possible, nothing is for sure”. You can get anything done in Peru – just not quickly, or when you want to, or where you want to.


Just before Christmas, after a couple more aborted attempts at buying various used (probably stolen) iPhones, I decided the world was telling me that I should stop my Apple allegiance, and I bought a brand new Android Motorola RAZR D3.



My friend Teri had generously given me an early Christmas present to help pay for it, and it was actually much easier to transfer my contacts and grow used to the Android world than I expected.
All I needed to do was buy an unlock code from the internet, and then my phone would be free and able to accept any SIM card from any network in the world. (Turns out not to be that easy unfortunately, but that's life.)


One evening after Phil and I had spent the day Christmas shopping for our new family, we went for dinner in a small roast chicken joint. Just as we were finishing, a guy walked in and was struggling to place his order with the waitress. We helped translate and got talking. Turns out that Arun was also a motorcycle traveller!


He was staying at the Estrellita hostel, where I had stayed while Phil was in hospital, and he took us back there to meet all the other motorcyclists who were in town. We only met Ryan, another KLR rider from Massachusetts, that evening, who told us the saga of his electrical problems. However we came back the next night and met about ten other motorcycle travellers from around the world.


There were two Alaskan guys on KLRs, Joshua and Jordon who were travelling with a man called Alan from Australia. They were all heading to Macchu Picchu the next day, but we arranged to meet again over Christmas.

When I first met the Alaskans, Josh and Jordon, with their friend Bill.

Christmas in Peru is very similar to the rest of the world. It is a time for family, presents and paneton. Except that Peruvians each eat about a kilogram of the fruit filled Italian bread, and presents are opened at midnight on Christmas Eve, after fireworks are let off in a most alarming “health and safety” free way.

Thousands of these Panetons were for sale everywhere! Delicious!

While stuck in Cusco waiting for Phil to heal, cooking became somewhat of a therapy for me. At the house in Calca I helped with dinner a few nights, and in the hostel in Pisaq I started experimenting with quinoa, making a sweet pudding somewhat like rice pudding with apples in it, properly cooked fries (seemingly impossible to find in Peru where they love their potatoes hard and anemic) and a savoury quinoa frittata.



I continued this trend in the Red House in Cusco. Apple crumble, vegetarian chili (with quinoa of course), pumpkin pie, lemon meringue cheesecake, gravy for the turkey, pasta... I was distracting myself by cooking, and by going to the market to buy ingredients.

Selling fruit and veggies beside the tracks


Multi coloured peppers for sale


Dried beans and spices


Choclo (corn on the cob)


How Turkeys are displayed for sale in Peru.


Guinea Pigs prepared for cooking!!! (Peruvian specialty)


Properly cooked chips!


My sweet creations for Christmas Day, Pumpkin pie, Lemon meringue cheescake and Apple crumble


Apple Crumble being cooked in the pizza oven in Tipon

There were a few quirks one had to get used to living in the Red House. Almost every day, the water would turn off. Usually in the afternoons, but you never knew when or if it would happen each day.


Lunch was cooked by the ladies in a local restaurant and was always soup and then segundo (a main meal), often rice, meat and some type of vegetable. Tania or Philippe would bring them big pots to fill in the morning, and then pick them up at lunch time. Tania's dad would come over to eat, and Tania would bring food over to her mum in the shop.


The kids were always in and out, one or all of them would be around most of the time. Tania is one of six siblings, and so there are a lot of nieces and nephews. They all love visiting their Aunt and Uncle in the Red House.


The view from the house in Tipon

One weekend we went to Anita and her husband Angel's house in Tipon (a village just outside of town). They are in the process of building a few cabins on the grounds. The main house where we stayed is built and despite me suffering from a head cold, we had a wonderful time playing cards and playing with the kids.

Philippe ready for the ride to Tipon. This is how you fit 8 people in a 5 seat vehicle.


All the guys hanging out on the steps at the house in Tipon


Phil and Anita start the fire in the oven


They have these little pigs on top of all the houses

There were even llamas and alpacas wandering around the neighbour's garden!

Local llamas and alpacas (alpacas have furry heads, llamas don't)


Just before Christmas we helped some of Tania's friends give out meals to the children who come into town for Christmas Eve from the countryside.

The food was supposed to be for children, but we saw plenty of mothers eating it.


It was heart breaking when the food ran out and there were still loads of people wanting some.

The reason they come into Cusco is the giant Christmas market that takes over the city on Christmas Eve.

It seemed like the whole of Peru was in central Cusco for the market!


Always easy to find Phil in Peru, although he did have to do a lot of umbrella dodging.


A goblin children are warned about


Every Peruvian house has a nativity scene, and the market mostly was selling items to put in them

After Christmas lunch, Phil and I went into town to meet the motorcyclists, who were having their own Christmas dinner at the hostel. We were told the hilarious story of how 65 year old Alan punched an insolent Englishman in the bus home from Matchu Picchu, and how their trip to the famous ruins was okay, but not really value for money.


By this point Phil and I had discussed several times the option of me continuing on my way, leaving him in Cusco to finish recovering. I didn't like the idea of leaving him, or of him travelling on his own with a weakened collarbone, but it had been six weeks, and I was more than ready to leave Cusco.


When Josh and Jordon again invited me to join them, this time I said yes. They were planning on leaving with Alan and Ryan on the 27th or 28th of December.


On the 26th I spent the day packing all my things, which over three weeks had managed to jump out of my bags and spread out around our room. I kept having to ask Phil about what things I would be taking and/or leaving, and every time I did I felt a deep pang of unhappiness.


The Ultimate Ride is OUR trip, we'd set out together 17 months earlier. I shouldn't be leaving him, it's not going to be the same travelling without him, this was never supposed to happen. But on the other hand, I had spent six weeks waiting for him to heal. If I'm going to go sailing in February I can't wait any longer, and there really was no point in both of us hanging around Cusco for an unknown amount of time. The latest x-rays showed no further healing, and we both agreed that Phil should not ride without his collarbone being 100%.


I exchanged facebook messages with the boys. Ryan and Arun would be setting out for Puno the next day, the Alaskans and Alan would follow on the 28th. As I was packed and ready to go, and was suffering greatly from the uncertainty about leaving Phil behind, I decided not to extend the torture, and to go with Ryan and Arun.


The plan was to meet them the next day at 10am at the Estrellita hostel.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:27 AM   #150
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Great stuff and so enjoy the ride report. Thanks for putting in the effort and fueling the wanderlust of wayward travelers!
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