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Old 12-17-2013, 11:29 AM   #466
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Day 113 Peru Continues to Impress

Day 113 December 14 Caraz to Chavin de Huantar


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Today’s ride we planned to be a short one after yesterday’s epic route.

Our hotel in Caraz







A man and his piglets



We would once again climb into the Cordillera Blanca on the way to Chavin but we didn’t expect to be surprised like we were yesterday. Well, we were blown away again.









A nice man greeted us at the top of the pass







Another tunnel




However we were surprised by the lack of hotel/hostel choices in Chavin. We wound up at a pretty decent place though and enjoyed listening to a parrot saying “hola” over and over again. We also met an older German couple who were traveling by bus all over South America. He helped us confirm the fact that there is a road from Chavin to La Union. An important bit of info because my GPS maps showed no road but Google Maps does. More about this in the next post.
I was so tired from the last two days that I fell asleep at 7:30 right after we ate dinner.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #467
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Day 114 The not so Beaten Path

Day 114 December 15 Chavin to La Union


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How many spectacular days of riding can two people take?! I plan to find the answer to this and today was truly exceptional....again!

I had read other ride reports that mentioned a route from Chavin to La Union but my GPS maps showed none. However Google maps do show a road but you never know what kind of road the little white line really is. We talked to our hotel host and he said there is a road. In these parts one must get at least 2 confirmations especially when there is a language barrier. A couple we met at the hotel said they planned on hiring a car to do the route and had confirmation from multiple sources it exists. So we set out to find it.

The road supposedly started in San Marcos so when we got there I stopped and asked a bunch of young motorcyclists where it was. They looked us up and down with raised eyebrows and pointed the way. I asked is it difficult or easy for motos? The response was “mas o menos” “more or less” Okay lets go!

The road climbed steeply with multiple switchbacks but was in good condition. We reached a pass in the clouds and then descended into beautiful rolling hills and valleys. I was constantly watching my GPS to check our progress, hoping the road continued east and south.

The rain was light but steady and the dirt started to get a little sloppy. By the time we reached the huge Antamina mine it was raining hard and the fun began. There were multiple places where the road split but there were workers posted at these places and they guided us the correct way. The men had radios and there must have been a lot of chatter about the bikes coming through because it seemed they all knew we were coming.

We dodged mining vehicles while trying to stay upright in the mud and came to a beautiful aquamarine lake at the base of the mine.





As we left the mine site the road split again. I was hoping to find the route due south to join up with the main highway so I asked a fellow which way to go. Every time I asked about La Union people all showed confusion so I started asking about Huanuco and this guy seemed to know the way so we took it.



I watched the GPS hoping the track would turn south but it just kept going east and more east. I didn’t bother to tell Eran this because the road was just so great and the scenery even better.





We must have ridden about 70km on this before we encountered a water crossing.



We had no choice but the water seemed a little deep so I waded in to see how deep it was. Not too bad at just about knee depth but my boots filled with water. After watching a car drive through we chose a path and one of us stood in the deep water to support the rider going through in case of a fall.











It turned out to be really easy but certainly could have been worse.





Eventually the road turned south and I was feeling better about where it was leading us. We had only one more minor issue when Eran tried to go around a truck blocking the road. He was axle deep in slop so we had to push him out.







Where we came from



The rest of the day continued to be glorious and we reached a town called Pachas by 3pm. There was nothing there for accommodation and the streets seemed to just end arbitrarily ( we had to ride down off this ledge).



We rode south 15km to La Union but there were few choices there too. We ended up in a rundown hostel for 20 soles each. The beds were horrible but at least we had a place to sleep.

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #468
kalahari-k
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Thumb Heaven!

You look like you're in heaven on those roads, in those mountains the last week.........We're just amazed.

I speculate what this experience must feel like. It's so different from our disciplined routine at work, in an office all day etc. You're months into the trip, in that extraordinary environment. I suspect it must lighten one's mood a whole lot and put a healthy perspective on the rest of one's life. It's well deserved, if so, to the people with the guts to do a trip like that.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:58 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by kalahari-k View Post
You look like you're in heaven on those roads, in those mountains the last week.........We're just amazed.

I speculate what this experience must feel like. It's so different from our disciplined routine at work, in an office all day etc. You're months into the trip, in that extraordinary environment. I suspect it must lighten one's mood a whole lot and put a healthy perspective on the rest of one's life. It's well deserved, if so, to the people with the guts to do a trip like that.
I embrace each day as though it is my last. I find myself smiling and taking deep breaths to try and take it all in. I am loving this!
Adjustment to "real life" should be interesting when I get back. I do know I would love to do more of this somehow.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #470
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Day 115 Huanuco

Day 115 December 16 La Union to Huanuco


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Today will be my last riding day for 2 weeks. We only had 125km ahead of us so we took our time getting ready to go. Our motorcycles were trapped inside the locked compound of the hostel until after 9 so we hit the road about 9:30. We needed to backtrack about 15 km north to Pachas and then kept going on the really cool highway to Huanuco.



This road is paved but is quite narrow most of the way. Often there is only one lane and the numerous turns are very tight so everybody honks their horns before entering a turn.







We were still at a fairly lofty altitude so the temps were very cool most of the day and we had a few bouts of hard rain. At one of our hourly breaks we found a neat little spot on a bend in the road. A man had set up a little tarp shelter and was selling hot chocolate and fish soup. We passed on the soup but each had two cups of the delicious hot drink that tasted like chai. We also each had a Christmas muffin.





The road started descending and the temperature got warmer and warmer as we neared Huanuco. Upon our arrival I was surprised at the size of the city and the amount of traffic here. I attempted to find the house where I would store my bike for the next 2 weeks but failed to find it so decided to try again tomorrow. We found a nice hotel in the most unlikely of places called Hotel Laos. It’s a real hotel with great beds, large fluffy towels, hot water, mini fridge, wifi, and secure parking for only 50 soles each ($18USD).
The only problem was a lack of restaurants so we ordered pizza that took 2.5 hours to get to us. We asked for enough to feed two very hungry hombres but all we got was a cold 12 inch pie that really wasn’t very good for 33 soles.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #471
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I expect your return to Edmonton for Christmas will be a bit of 'culture shock' for you, even though you're from there.
Enjoy family and friends and try not to get too tired of the same questions, they're unavoidable.
Looking forward to the resumption of your most excellent RR, I want to do something similar in the next year or two as fate permits!
Cheers and Merry Christmas from Powell River
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #472
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I simply can't get enough of this report! Jealous. Have a wonderful break over the holidays.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:21 PM   #473
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Originally Posted by rogerg View Post
I expect your return to Edmonton for Christmas will be a bit of 'culture shock' for you, even though you're from there.
Enjoy family and friends and try not to get too tired of the same questions, they're unavoidable.
Looking forward to the resumption of your most excellent RR, I want to do something similar in the next year or two as fate permits!
Cheers and Merry Christmas from Powell River
I expect you are correct. I just spent the day in Lima and even it is kind of a culture shock (except the traffic).
I told my wife I want to stay somewhat isolated while I'm home for Christmas, after all the trip isn't over yet. I am really looking forward to telling everyone about the trip but not until it's truly completed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morleydon View Post
I simply can't get enough of this report! Jealous. Have a wonderful break over the holidays.
Thanks,
I am really excited about seeing my family
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:25 PM   #474
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Day 116 Huanuco

Day 116 December 17 Huanuco

Today was just a rest day for us. We rode into town and found some breakfast after riding through some crazy traffic. Then we found a carwash to get the mud off the machines. Later in the afternoon I found the place where Skelly would stay while I was away. I got her tucked away and we had a great chat with Sara who along with her husband Toby generously offered to store the bike for me. They have a really interesting story and I’m really looking forward to my return so I can meet Toby and find out more about their lives here. Sara gave us some ideas about where to eat too. I jumped on the back of Eran’s KLR illegally because I had no helmet now. This was the first time I rode as a passenger on a motorcycle in 30 years but everything was cool and we made it back to the hotel without incident.
We hailed a motortaxi (Tuktuk) and made the trip to the main plaza which was all lit up with Christmas decorations.



There was a vegetarian restaurant there and we both ordered a tortilla veduras (vegetable omelette) than came with a bowl of soup and anise tea. To finish we had Platana con leche (a banana milkshake but without ice cream).



It was a great day that we finished off by writing an ad for Eran’s motorcycle. He needs to sell it after the trip.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:37 AM   #475
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Yes, I saw the add. It would be a great deal for a person looking to travel in SA and best of all when you finish.........YOUR HOME.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:15 AM   #476
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Solo once again

Day 117 December 18 On My Own Again

Although my flight wasn’t till 2:30 I got up early so I could bid Eran farewell.

I watched him pack the bike and saw him off.









It was truly wonderful riding with Eran and I am so glad we met.



I will miss sharing the great roads with him but perhaps we will meet again. Ride safe my friend!



Today I take a flight to Lima and then on the 21st continue on to Canada until the 30th. Prairies to Penguins will be on a brief hiatus until then but I hope to post a few videos while I have the good internet connection available.

Merry Christmas everyone!!
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:29 PM   #477
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Day 118 Lima Peru

Day 118 December 19 Lima Peru

I had the whole day to myself today so I researched a few museums that looked cool and arranged a taxi to the waterfront. First stop was the huge fort Real Felipe.





Unfortunately the museum was not open but there were a few old gun displays to look at.





I only spent about 30 minutes there and moved on to find the Submarino Abtao musem. Just my luck the sub was closed for maintenance until January 2.



Now I had 4 hours to kill until my taxi returned for me. I didn’t want to wander too far from the area I was in because beyond the main streets the areas seemed a little, shall we say...waterfrontish. So I just walked around and took a few photos and tried some snacks.

A little reminder of Canada












The Path of Anchors







Pea shooter








Awe, ain't that sweet?









Imagine Mini doughnut with a hot creamy caramel filling




Cool old building



At 2 o’clock I waited for 30 minutes at the agreed upon spot for my ride but he was a no show. I hailed a taxi and paid half as much as it would have cost to take the other guy.

Tomorrow will be a long airport/airplane day
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #478
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If you have some time in Lima before returning to Huanaco, check out Pizarro's tomb in the cathedral and the catacombs of San Francisco. Also there's an interesting museum of the Spanish Inquisition, if you're into that sort of thing, which lasted longer in Peru than in Spain. The Museo Oro is good, as is the National Museum of Archaelogy, Anthropology and History. They also have an exhibit of erotic ceramics, if you're into that sort of thing. :)
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #479
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Looks great Dave. Enjoy your time back home. I promise you'll be glad to go back to the bike after clearing snow up here
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:39 PM   #480
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Looks great Dave. Enjoy your time back home. I promise you'll be glad to go back to the bike after clearing snow up here
I will clear no snow!!!!

Actually Mom lives in a Condo with a snow clearing service :)
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