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Old 01-31-2014, 05:31 AM   #256
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Quote:
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I am not even going to attempt to load pix the connection is completely bogus.[/COLOR]


Thanks for checking in, we can wait for pictars.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:05 PM   #257
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Wink Salar preview

Rode from Sucre to Uyuni yesterday. The town is a real s#!t hole. But the gateway to the Salar.

The ride from Sucre was very scenic, it reminded us a lot of the American Southwest. And we only had a couple of thunderstorms and hail for less than 10 minutes, the weather is improving as we keep heading West.

We rode the track to the Salar, but this is not the ideal time to go. When you get to the gateway, it is already flooded. Not very deep, 5 inches at a few spots, mostly 2 inches everywhere else, but no way I am taking the bike for a warm NaCl bath.

Will have lots of pics to upload when we have decent internet.




Tomorrow we head to Ollague and the Chilean border
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:53 AM   #258
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Glad to hear you are well and still on the move. RIde safe, looking forward to more photos and adventures.

Suerte,

Martín
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #259
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Entramos a Chile

Made it in one piece more or less to San Pedro de Atacama. I think I might be able to upload a few pics in the next couple of days, amazing roads and scenery
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #260
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Talking The road to Cusco

Finally able to post an update. The next few posts will be pics heavy, we have taken tons and a few came out nice.

After leaving Abancay and minor stomach aches behind, we headed for Cusco, for our last stretch of riding through the Peruvian Andes. Lots and lots of hazards on the road, and more crazy Peruvian driver. This is the price to pay for amazing scenery. We were lucky with the weather and although we did get some cold rain, it was intermittent and despite the constant cloud cover, Jackie was able to come up with a few decent shots.


It's still pretty cold high in the Andes















Never let your guards down









I can't get over the greens









Always lots of traffic on these Peruvian roads









Where the river runs wild, talk about colour contrasts


















-----Oh yeah-----










This little guy was a a bit camera shy

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Old 02-05-2014, 12:06 PM   #261
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Laugh Cusco sans 'Chu







We bumped into Paul, a French rider on a Vstrom about an hour before Cusco, I think he is now riding with AdvFord not far behind us. Funny how serendipitous is this thing we call riding. Like a box of chocolate you never know what you're going to get.














Except in this case for Peru, you can count on the "crap", even in touristy, UNESCO-trendy Cusco, the garbage welcomes you in, and waves you out. I felt that Peru, all along from Coast to Andes, cities to pueblos, is where the disparity between rich and poor, light and dark is the most prominent we have seen so far. If you live in Miraflores, and work in or around the historical centre of Lima you are golden. If you are slightly outside in "the zone", than you are out of luck and mostly live in or around garbage and feral dogs.



It is in Peru that I felt strongest the invariable determinism of the caste system. Not that our (US/Canada) record with our Native people is stellar, but there is an aim for decency for all. I did not see it in Peru. Maybe as OldPete mentioned earlier I need to raise my gaze...









I will revert back in time in a future post, and show some images of what we saw of Lima. Some nice neighbourhoods, but it just felt like a pretend city, a want-to-be capital. Sure the "centro historico" is nice, and the colonial architecture is worth snapping pics as long as you forget about the omnipresent trash. But Miraflores could as well be called Mira-BS. A rich enclave, pressed hard against a cliff that overlooks brownish Pacific shores. Not so accessible from the beach/promenade area as it is belted by a highway, and not much to look to see on its Eastern front. Yes a few trendy restaurants, and nice parks where workers are consciously sweeping, and meticulously picking up paper wrappers from the grassy squares, so that the up and coming and the tourists may get a cleaner version of Peru. I don't know… maybe it is not my place to say so, maybe it is. I am not known for keeping my mouth shut, and tend to tell it like it is. I have travelled enough all of my life to get a feel for what is genuine and what is painted. Miraflores is painted.












The beauty of Peru lies in its amazing landscapes, through mountains and deserts and sinuous roads. Its people are still struggling with the inheritance of the Western exploitation, and plagued by internal, deeply rooted internal problems. Not much different that the rest of the world I guess, Peru just wears it on its sleeve a bit more than others.
















…YMMV
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:24 PM   #262
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Thumb On the lighter side of Cusco





We found a great Peruvian-Middle Eastern restaurant, they served lamb sandwich in homemade bread, also with homemade falafel, humus, and tahini, one of the freshest tastiest meal we have had on the trip.


---Houba-Houba---






I know, I know... it's a disease






The view from our crappy yet super well located hostal





The San Pedro market is one of the nicest one we have seen since the Mexican fairs.














































Let's head for Bolivia...
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #263
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Cool2 One more stop before Bolivia






Funny how the people of each country we were leaving warned us how dangerous and unsafe the country we were heading for was. Well Peru and Bolivia were no exceptions.

One more stretch of high altitude road from Cusco to Puno, a quick overnight just about 30 minutes of riding to the Copacabana crossing for Bolivia and the shores of lake Titicaca.

Enough talking, just come and enjoy the ride with us











Four frozen Brazilian riders














The first views of the highest lake in the world













This town shortly before Puno, about 35 km or so was according to Albert from the Shamrock in Medellin a: "Real proper S#!thole"; Albert you were right to the point of bizarre






Back to greener pastures


































Before





After





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The Southern Episode
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:51 PM   #264
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Laugh Quick post for a quick hop

45 minutes from Puno to the Border at Copacabana, hit three colourful buildings for some stamps and signatures, and you are out of there in no time.


Bye bye Peru.


















Welcome Bolivia.









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Old 02-05-2014, 01:15 PM   #265
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Talking Down at the Copa...













Note to self, next time you are travelling by motorbike to the Peruvian-Bolivian border on the shores of lake Titicaca and you want to visit one of the floating islands, do it from Puno, not from Copacabana.


Copacabana was a neat introduction to Bolivia, it is a hippies/backpackers dream, you can chew on the "Oja de Coca" t'ill you turn green in the face, camp it or hostal-it for peanuts, and there are lots of neat people and things to see.



For us it was also about meeting up with re-found friends. At the border we saw an overloaded GSA with a German flag on the right panniers and we immediately new we had caught up to our German friends from the Stalhratte. Siggy and Linde have been unluckily visiting almost each BMW dealer in their path since leaving Cartagena...


And also making new friends as we met this young couple from Argentina, also overloaded with a smallish bike; Rides and Smiles




There was a big church for such a small town
















There was also very festive atmosphere on this Saturday night, but the guys and gals were each doing their own thing.


















Next we go for a hike...





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Old 02-05-2014, 05:52 PM   #266
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19th Century Bowler Hats ...

Hi guys! We're very much appreciating the fact that you seem to have found some reliable internet service again. We can rest easy that both of you are well and Angela is behaving. We're lovin' the pictures and narrative!

We have a question - perhaps best answered by Jackie - in regards to the bowler hats perched precariously on the heads of Andean ladies: How the heck do they stay in place?

Cheers!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:06 PM   #267
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Cool2 Lake Titicaca

At almost 4000 metres of altitude, lake Titiqaqa claims to be the highest lake in the world, in reality that claim can only be substantiated if you factor in its total area, and complete volume.

For me it is and will remain a mythical, magical place, somewhere deep in my boyish subconscious lays the memory of a young student listening to his grade five history and geography teacher as he related the topography, and history of the famous lake.

Professor Jean-Marie Ballard was probably the one who first awoke this passion I've always had to seek, discover, and learn about strange things in far away places. And for some unknown reason, lac Titiqaqa stuck. It spoke to me of wild and undiscovered territory, and forbidden places were natural wonders, and mystery abound. Where exotic languages are spoken. A stranded lieu where extraordinary, and wonderful people made their homes out of straw that grows on magical floating islands.

To me it was all that and so much more. Evidently, we grow up and nefariously the fairy-tales and the enchantment die. A little bit more everyday as we so willingly, and blindingly work, spend, acquire, waste, regret, and die. It is the world of adulthood, of modernity, of reality, of excuses, and other pretence for numb and domesticated happiness; of this we are all guilty to of. True freedom may only be defined in the moment it is exercised; this ever-lapsing instant is so elusive that true, and uninhibited moments of liberty are but fleeting licentious episodes of our often-middling existence.

Hence it is with all that in mind, and even more precipitated boyish anticipation that Jackie, the Germans, and I roved the streets of old Copacabana in the hopes of finding a way to get to one of the famous floating islands. That plan came brutally to a stop when after four discussions with four different operators, we came to the profound realization "yep one of those moments" that:

“si queries a ver las islas flotante necesitan a salir de Puno, de aqui no pueden”

“Oh well!” Watcha gonna do?

Well, the next best thing was a 12km trek a 4000 metres on a North-South axis on Isla del Sol. So of we valiantly went for our escapade.

What an awesome trek, granted the at altitude the thin dry air, and ever climbing trail made the 12 km challenging, the day will remain forever engraved in my mind.





Why don’t you let the pictures tell the story said the woman wearing the funny hat?

Come on, let’s go…


































































































































































Just another day in the land of Oz for Jackie and Valentino...
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-05-2014, 07:13 PM   #268
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Talking Great to hear from you guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuggyCrewNextDoor View Post

We have a question - perhaps best answered by Jackie - in regards to the bowler hats perched precariously on the heads of Andean ladies: How the heck do they stay in place?

Cheers!


Funny things those hats, the Quechua and Aymara women of Peru and Bolivia have been wearing them since the British railway workers of the 20's. Don't get me started on the cultural confusion it creates in my mind...

We think that the fact that they hold in place has to do with the amount of beer they/you drink


Or is that something inherited from the Brits too
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 02-05-2014, 07:44 PM   #269
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Laugh Road to La Paz

Mostly rainy and cold, so just a few shots taken on the way; it was a good thing we opted for backing up Angela on the precarious looking ferry. The way out would have been stupid, it was a quick climb in loose gravel, easy when you are facing the right way...

Miles and Miles of empty road and green pastures





















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Old 02-08-2014, 06:36 AM   #270
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Eh? La Paz!



Coming into La Paz we made a wrong turn and ended up in the super busy market areas on the outskirts of the city. We fought our way to the capital's centre; a real urban jungle. It's the law of space attraction; if there is a space, no matter what wheeled contraption you are using, you get attracted to it. It sure makes for some interesting driving; urban jungle guerilla would also properly describe it.



The next day was Sunday afternoon so traffic was really light.



Most interesting is the city's topography, and apart from fighting out way through traffic mayhem, nothing really stuck as extraordinary. We did manage to take a few decent pics.

























A whole eight city blocks are closed off for the market from Friday to Sunday. Makes for some great appreciation of local delicacies and customs. Markets are always so dynamic, where everything from everywhere is available to browse and haggle.

The Bolivian people are particularly camera shy, they do not want their picture taken. I perfectly understand the sentiment, I am unsure if I would like my picture taken while sitting on a park bench in Victoria. For whatever reasons, I can accept that. I tried sneaking some, politely asking, but all with the same result; I got shooed away, even trying to make shots of market stalls was a challenge. They did not want their stalled captured on "film". The few shots I got were all taken with the owners permission but maybe only one out of ten was agreeable.


Funny about cultural attitude in regards to picture taking. In India, everybody wants their picture taken, and will ask you to take pictures of them with their family, but with your camera so you have a souvenir shot of them. People would stop me on the street and say:

"Come, mister snap a pic" and pose.

,
Completely the opposite in Bolivia, they categorically refuse and are quite aware you are trying to sneak one in and will turn away. So you get something like this:


Bolivia








Sneaked this one





India











The difference is quite noteworthy, it's one of those things that makes all cultures so specific, and amazing to experience. Exact same circumstances, dealing with an outsider (me) wanting to take some shots, with completely opposite reaction.

The Markets


























Bolivian urban art





















Enough city dwelling let's go for a ride... next Potosi-Sucre and the Salar of Uyuni
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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