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Old 03-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ONandOFF View Post
Looks like you had a good time including mud, side trips with bridges out, and cold.
Smokin' is right! That is one magnanamous valley.
Very cool! I bet he's still talking about that.
That exercise of wisdom demonstrates experience.
Damn, almost 16k feet! I'm trying to reconstruct your route in Google Maps. Does THIS look about right for that spot?

Don't feel bad about that, man; serves it right. I love dogs and have three but they should behave properly. Maybe now it won't crash the next guy who isn't as adept as you.
And that was quite a story. Thank you for making it so interesting for us!
Was a lot of fun . . . when it was done.

Well, I don't know how magnanimous that valley was, but it sure was magnificent.

Was going to try to construct a Google map then realized you just have to look at my SPOT map. Right here. In the adjustmenst section at the left, change history to 3 weeks or a month - start at Cusco.

Glad you enjoyed and, thanks again for tagging along.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:42 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by ONandOFF View Post
Steve! Wow, that's high! 16002' Now you can tell everyone you went to Peru to get high!
It's amazing how cold it can be so near the equator. Hope you're heading for the costa.

Okay, I'll bite. Why were you walking down a 20 foot embankment?

I don't understand getting on and off the right side of the bike. Yours has the kickstand on the left, correct? (I put 'right' but that looked confusing). It's always harder to get on and off on the side opposite the kickstand plus it presents the problem you experienced. You can't pull the bike over getting off if you're on the side of the kickstand.

Way to stand your ground on the change for the entrance fee. I'm sure it's a game to see if you'll roll your eyes and say keep the change. The more people do that, the more they'll expect it.

Thanks again for the great stories. And it goes without saying, the great pictures. It looks like about a two week gap between the day of the events and the day posted, so I have to wonder, are you back home writing the final installments?
OK, going down the embankment . . . um, looking for gold?

Getting on and off the bike. Yah, sidestand on the left - never seen one on the right. I've always found it easier to mount/dismount from the right - much easier, particularly with a load on the back. While you can pull the bike over with a right side dismount, you can push it over with a left side mount. Moto cops used to always do the right side - don't know if they still do or not.

Still on the road things are winding down. You can see my current position on my SPOT map in the last post. Won't be home for another 3 weeks or so.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:56 PM   #378
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The Spot thing is great, Steve; thanks for pointing out yours. I'm getting a feel for what's where by following along on the map while digesting the report. No more guesssing with the Spot! I wish it reported the altitude along with location.

Three more weeks is great. I bet it will seem fast, though. My ventures to S.A. have always been for a month at a time. Starts out fine but the last week goes by in a flash.

Hope you found the gold. What I initially found shocking in Ecuador was people relieving themselves in plain view on the side of the road. They don't try to hide; it's a natural thing. People here would say they are uncivilized for that, but I think the reality of it is that they are one step ahead of us in that regard. And it can be dangerous clamboring off in the rough to hide.

I think if moto-cops use the right side for getting on and off the bike, it's because it's away from the traffic, not because it's easier. It's definitely harder to get on and off the right side. Ever seen anyone lean a bike AWAY from them to hop on? I haven't either. And I've never pushed a bike over hopping on; I hold onto the handlebars that are tipping down toward me. Now and then, I'll hop on the right as a shortcut to walking around the bike, but it's awkward. And more motions. Left mount, right foot goes over then down to the ground in one motion, tip bike to right, pop up stand and click into first in the next motion, then pick up right foot as bike moves away. Easy peasy.

Here's a good one. Stand on the left, fire up the bike, stand it up and take up the stand, put your left foot on the left peg and click it into first, start taking off as you stand up on your left foot, and as you're accelerating gently, lift your right leg easily over the seat to its peg, shift into second as you sit down.

Tenga cuidado y disfrute your last days before heading back to cold reality. Looking forward to following you through to home. Saludos, amigo!
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:46 PM   #379
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Thumb More coming

I've had a couple of notes from you loyal readers being a bit confused about the status of this Ride Report. Some of the recent posts may have made it confusing for those not used to this forum. It is not finished. I have more to write about.

Time constraints and poor internet have prompted me to defer further postings for a few days. I apologize for any confusion.

I'll have a few free days coming up, should have good internet and promise to get it caught up.

Thanks for your patience
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #380
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First and foremost, enjoy your trip. The report is clearly a work in progress. Please take your time and maintain the high quality standard you've set thus far. Good things come to those who wait. And thanks!
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Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #381
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Take your time RB and enjoy the ride, and if you can sneak us a peak at what your doing every now and then, that will be good. Just don't get another haircut like the last one.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:36 AM   #382
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Talking Thanks for Posting

Enjoying your report and pics, the ones from Machu Pichu where really nice. We are heading to Tierra del fuego in the fall, kick off from Victoria, BC is October 1st.

Can`t wait.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by Sunday Rider View Post
Take your time RB and enjoy the ride, and if you can sneak us a peak at what your doing every now and then, that will be good. Just don't get another haircut like the last one.

LOL - I did get another haircut . . . it was a lot better than the last one but no pics. Had a lady do it who was at least tall enough to see the top of my head when I was sitting. Different perspective I guess.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:14 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by ac_elite View Post
Enjoying your report and pics, the ones from Machu Pichu where really nice. We are heading to Tierra del fuego in the fall, kick off from Victoria, BC is October 1st.

Can`t wait.
Hey ac_elite, thanks for joining in and glad you are enjoying. You are going to have a wonderful time seeing this great part of the world. Have a good trip!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #385
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Mar 8 Colca Canyon and Arequipa

Was originally planning on staying here for another couple of nights and get caught up with the housekeeping stuff I needed. But, when I found the hotel only had internet on one crappy computer in the lobby and no WiFi, it was a no-go and back on the road. It is amazing how dependent we travelers become on technology like WiFi. From doing these ride reports (which includes a lot of time to upload pictures - not even talking about videos) to route planning to looking after personal stuff, it becomes our umbilical cord and watch out to the establishment who doesn't provide a decent plug-in.

Colca Canyon is a remarkable sight and is billed as twice as deep as the Grand Canyon – which technically it is, from the river at the bottom of the canyon to the top of the adjoining mountains. OK, it ain't the Grand Canyon but this canyon has its own beauty and I really enjoyed being there. One of the big draws here is to see the Andean Çondors who nest on the sides of the canyon.

One of the guides at the hotel got me some info about the road in Colca Canyon. At first the advice was to detour to the other side because of a wash out but then we found that the main road was now open. The advice also was to not take the road past the town of Carbanaconde as that road becomes quite remote and is known to have some decent slides and wash outs. Apparently, the rumor goes, a group of bikers went that way and one guy lost his bike in one of the washouts. Doesn't take that much to convince me.

Decent road to the next town that you have to detour through because of a washout on the main road below it. Dirt road after that was generally good except the few slides and washouts to cross. The bulk of this little slide is out of sight around the corner






And this little stream flowed down the road for a hundred feet or so - pretty good volume of water pushed a bunch of sand, gravel and rocks onto the road





They even bored a hole through this mountain to bypass the old road you can barely see on the right clinging to the mountain where it hasn't already fallen off. Not good for the Tour Bus industry . . .






Continue on along this spectacular canyon.


















Arrive at the lookout where the Condors nest to try and get a glimpse of one of those magnificent birds. Didn’t happen. Not only didn’t see any birds but fog started rolling up from the canyon floor quickly blotting out any chance of seeing squat. They are down there somewhere.






Headed to Carbanaconde and the road turns into a beautiful paved road with perfect pavement . . . and no traffic. Evidenced by the relaxed nature of Junior here seeming quite comfortable having lunch in the middle of the road.





Came around a corner and notice a bird flying around. Well, I’ll be, I did get to see a Condor after all – kind of far away but there it was. These are supposed to be the second largest birds in the world and larger than Bald Eagles (which if any of you have seen one up close, are frickin huge) and is the national bird of a whole passel of South American countries. It ain't much but it's all I got.





I’d heard from some other travelers that the road past Carbanaconde was open so I thought I’d go see what it was like. The pavement dumps me onto dirt just before Carbanaconde and the road was generally decent. It was pretty well all dirt so the hard rain last night created a little mud with the odd slimy section. As I gained altitude the slimy sections got longer and rattier. The strangest thing with this road is that there were no vehicles on it. I never came across any other vehicle the whole time I was on it. Creepy! Started to remind me of that road I was on a couple of days ago to the bridge out. Nothing.

After about 30 km and still climbing and the mud getting a little slicker, I’m thinking I have another 150 -200km of this with a really remote section yet to come – this section was feeling pretty remote.

Pretty up there though









I’m thinking I had to cross a 16,000 foot pass to get to Chivay and this road must get pretty high itself to get over the top which could mean all sorts of weird conditions. Combine that with the admonitions and rumors from the locals and I decided it was wise to stick to the original plan. So, after 30 km I decided to head back to Chivay and over the big hill and then down to Arequipa.

Great ride up the hill. Little foggy at the top and then wandered along the altiplano trying to avoid Alpacas, sheep and dogs. One of the many large flocks of Alpaca on the Altiplano




Back on the main highway and get into spurts of fog. Make good time though.


Into Arequipa. Holy Crap! This is a big city. Wasn’t expecting that. Had the name of a hostel and headed for that. It was closed! Rats! Look around, there are tons of places – just need to find a place to park to check them out.

Finally, notice Casa Andina on my GPS list which I remembered seeing somewhere. Very scientific. Pull up and it’s a pretty deluxe place. They tell me they are all out of regular rooms but have a “Superior Room” for 450 Soles. Uhh, no thanks. When I turn around, they dropped it to 390. Still more than I want. Finally say they have some other rooms “downstairs” for 200 soles. OK, I’m listening now.
Take me down and show me three rooms . . . I thought you didn’t have any regular rooms? Then 190 . . . they are 90% full, not down here. The room was quite decent and very deluxe for me.

Gotta note here that I am getting more comfortable riding in big cities. I have always gone out of my way to avoid cities as the traffic scares the bejesus out of me - North America also. Now they seem pretty straight forward – you really have to pay attention but I guess I’ve developed a better sense for city traffic. I seem to swear less.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #386
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Great update and pictures RB. The vistas are magnificent. Well done.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #387
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Wow, I'm very impressed with Colca Canyon! Great job of relating how impressive it is. That's too bad about the road getting scary. It looks like it would be a super ride, if the conditions were good, to keep going where you turned back and continue on through the town of Majes, then take the Panamericana to Arequipa. That actually would be a shorter distance than turning back, too. Well, it was awesome where you went, and I bet retracing your steps in reverse was like riding a new road! Glad you're getting more comfy with city traffic. That's particularly good now as I see that you've actually been in Buenos Aires for the last day or so. Dios lo acompańe.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:01 AM   #388
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Mar 9 - 10 Arequipa

Got some routine stuff done, laundry, maintenance on the bike and above all, planning. My planning for this trip has been to figure out what I will do tomorrow and maybe an idea for a couple of days. So, long storey short, I prety well have my head up my ass most of the time. My long term plan pretty well consists of "Go South" and, I agreed with certain people to be home mid-April.

Now I start looking at the calendar and realize I have only about 3 weeks left for my self imposed deadline of shipping from Buenos Aires around the first of April that will give me time to see family in California and get home by mid-April. That’s three weeks to see the rest of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. I’m not going to be taking a lot of sights in. A bit disappointing as I'll just be glossing over those countries.

Looking back, I spent a lot more time in Colombia and Peru than I had intended – and still didn’t get to a lot of things in both countries. I don't regret the extra time in the least. I just have to figure out a way to come back here some day and pick up where I left off.

Looking around Arequipa, they have a nice Plaza that, like many other Latin American cities has a street set up as a mall with pedestrian only use.





Of course you know there is a tourist component when you start to see some of the familiar fast food names. Here, they squeezed all four into one building.






Went down to the Plaza for dinner one night and had this pork. Excellent.






The restaurant was kind of ratty, but they had a great location and a very pleasant view over the Plaza.






The only detraction was that there was a stop light on the corner right below the restaurant. Everybody in Peru honks their horns all the time . . . particularly the taxis . . . particularly if they aren't moving. The light can be red and they are still beeping away. Had to take a couple of deep breaths and have another beer as I really felt the need to go down there and go postal on a few of those bastages.


The Plaza at night looking at the Cathedral.





A couple of pics of the streets in the area. Seem to be pretty old buildings that have been nicely cared for.







I ran across these guys erecting a scaffolding that I thought was so typical. "OK, now I can push the telephone cable over with my foot and I'll just push hard on the scaffold and it'l just jam that 220 wire over - no problem - insulation should be ok" . . . I waited around for some fireworks that never materialized - would have been spectacular.






Lunch was this outstanding sausage sandwich. The shake was good but they take the term "milk shake" literally as they are mostly milk.





Had dinner in the hotel again tonight – had alpaca with a nice sauce.







I was the last one in the restaurant and start chatting with the waitress. She trying to learn English and so we’d speak English for awhile then Spanish. It was a lot of fun. Maribel.





Really impressed with the number of people here who give the extra effort to learn English and how many more doors open for them when they accomplish it. Language school isn't free so, they have to work hard and sacrificeto pay for their language training.

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:02 AM   #389
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Mar 11 To Puno

Very relaxing ride to Puno retracing my steps all the way through the little town of Imata (The cold rainy night) and on to Juliaca. Big sweeping corners rising from 8000 feet to 14000+ feet on the Altiplano. Saw my first snow capped volcano before I even got out of Arequipa





and for most of the first part of today’s trip we usually had one or more snow-capped volcanoes in view.








As I was sitting on my bike taking a picture of this mountain, some German tourist walks up, grabs my camera and took a pic for me





Came across some more Vicuńa








Fairly busy road with the odd bus and truck to pass. A few convoys which are pretty easy to get around on grades. Their loads are many times oversized and so heavy, they are lucky to be doing 5 mph up those hills.


Stopped in a little town for lunch. Had the usual "Menu" of soup





and pork and rice





this is great food when riding at altitude - filling, tasty and cheap (about $3). Some of the locals at a table across from me. Notice how they are all pretty well looking away from me when they saw me grabbing my camera.





Got to the city of Juliaca just north of Puno. For some reason my trusty GPS decided to take me the long way round for a change rather finding shortcuts through residential neighborhoods. This time, the highway was the short way. It stuck me on this main city road that was two lanes of traffic more or less each way and was packed solid with cars, taxis, trucks and buses competing with each other in a melee of typical Peruvian driving. There were vendors lining the street, cars parked every which way and the street was solid pot holes. Some of them I could have turned around in. This went on for about 10 km of stop and go. I had one advantage over the larger vehicles in that I could ride through the pot holes rather than try to get around them, kind like riding whoops.

Found my hotel easily in Puno, San Antonio Suites. Decent place. At first the girl wanted me to park in a storage ally that was locked and next to the hotel. Looked a little tight to me and since there was lightning crashing all over the place, I told her I’d deal with it when the thunderstorm finished. Guy shows up after the storm and tells me we can get through the lobby into the courtyard in the back. Much better. Huge step to get up into the lobby. I’m getting better at this stuff. It wasn’t that long ago and I was freaking out about a 4” curb.

Went to a great restaurant recommended by the hotel. Had a Pisco Sour which is kind of like a Margarita except they make it with Pisco which is the national booze of Peru. It is fermented grape juice (wine) that is then distilled. This was the best Pisco Sour I had had. Have to be careful as I could easily get just as silly on these things as Margaritas.





This was called Rocoto Relleno - stuffed hot pepper. It was delicious!




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Old 03-30-2013, 06:39 AM   #390
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Man, what a great trip! Your reports generally make me hungry too. Have you gained weight on this trip?
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