Grumpy Travels the Americas !!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by davey1212, May 4, 2013.

  1. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 205 Total 16,684


    On the road at about 8-15 and, with no city to get out of, we made good headway and the roads were good. Half the miles were covered by 11-00 so we stopped for breakfast/lunch in a small town where it was still hot and humid. As soon as we left there we started climbing, the road surface deteriorated and the number of large trucks appeared to increase but that could have been due to them moving slowly. Overtaking them was interesting/challenging/stupid.......take your pick...as it was usually on a hairpin bend. trucks often came around the bend heading for us on our side of the road !!!!!!!


    There were a roadworks with long lines of stationary traffic whic had clearly been there for some time as bus drivers were asleep in the luggage area under the coach and truck drivers sitting around making coffee etc. we were able to ride straight past them to the front and even go through the zone while they were working.

    As expected, the temperature and I was chilly for the first time in ages. It rained for about 15 mins on the down hill section but the views overall were stunning with little chance to stop and take pics. I, therefore took a few while riding with the old camera which was handy, hence they are mixed up a bit.


    We entered Medellin, as usual, during rush hour, and once we fought our way through the traffic found our destination.......The Shamrock Inn....an Irish bar, owned by a Scot who owns a KTM and a Norton commando. This place is well known to bikers travelling through Columbia and the accommodation is reasonable with pictures of old triumphs in my room. Jonas & Hector are staying in a hostel a few doors away as they will be staying with a friend here for a week or so.


    Had a couple of Fullers IPAs which I asked to be warmed up (Brits like their beer cool not cold) and they helped me sleep. A 71 year old Argentinian who lives in the US and is travelling by scooter joined us and I will pick his brains as he knows the roads south of here.


    The Argentinian walked me to a few bike shops to find a new tyre which I eventually had fitted. He negotiated a cash discount and, although it does not have quite the aggressive grip of my existing tyre, it is a better road one. I will carry the old rear with me as it still has up to 3k left.


    When I returned to the bar an Ozzy guy (Shane) we met last night said he would show me the way to the ski lift which go to the top of the mountain overlooking the city. I did not realise that is was mainly for the commuters who live up the sides of the mountain. The views are impressive and ride over the shanty area (which is huge) and incredibly busy. Shane works in Mauritania but comes here to see his Columbian girlfriend, who we met and returned to the bar for a few beers n food. Tomorrow, south !!!

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  2. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Dave do you mean leaving Mexico? I'm crossing at Chetumal/Belize so I don't think I;ll have the same issue

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  3. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    No, it does not apply to you as far as I am aware. I thought you were going from Mexico to Guatemala. Your report is great, by the way !!
  4. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 239 Total 16,923

    After a quick breakfast with Armando I set off in warm sunshine with the expectation of getting half way to Cali due to the twisty mountain roads and truck traffic which would limit me. In the end I made it all the way as the second half of the trip was on level, good roads with some dual carriageways. On one mountain road, however, I was approaching a bend and a large silver car came around it, on my side with no room to manoeuvre. I could only move about two feet to my right and he tried to pull closer to the truck he was overtaking. I braced myself but, somehow, there was no contact. This played through my mind for a while afterwards and I cannot understand how I did not hit the side of his car. Not complaining, just counting my blessings !!!!


    The weather was superb all day and the road conditions, apart from some gravel sections at roadworks, was very good. Scenery great on the mountain sections and lush & colourful in the afternoon.


    Arrived in Cali at 16-00 but could not find the hostel I wanted so after 90 mins ended up in cheap hotel a bit hot a nd sweaty as, as we are close to the equator, they have great weather all year round. Despite its reputation, Columbia is a bikers paradise with fantastic roads everywhere and great people.
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    Tolls are free in Columbia for bikes and they all have these special lanes....Great !!


    Tomorrow, closer to the border.
  5. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 226 Total 17,149

    Had breakfast in the hotel then survived the traffic in the town of Cali. Bikes and Taxis got straight through red lights, although some do look first, and it is ok to go down a one way street the wrong way as long as you have your hazard lights on !!! On all the roads there are, at times, double yellow lines along the centre which means you cannot overtake.......unless you want to ! One police car, later in the day, waved me on and told me to overtake him !!


    Anyway, the weather was very warm and the roads overall ok. Was making reasonable time with about 110 miles to go when I gassed up then saw a Rider and BMW GS1200 fuelling up so approached him. Never found out what his name was but he was Columbian, spoke no English and, as he was so hot suggested a cold drink. Parked the bikes and we made ourselves understood. He has been all over Central & South America with flags to prove it. He asked me to stay at his house here in Pasto as his children speak English and he could show me the best parts of Argentina & Chile. OK, I said.


    The road continued up the mountains and, as he knows the roads well, he set a very fast pace which was ok on the smooth tarmac but in the very rough sections he went ahead. I caught up with him acouple of times but then he went ahead and I never saw him again. The scenery though, was fantastic. Due to the mountain traffic and the bends etc it was dark when I arrived and could not switch on the GPS. That was the battery had fallen out on the rough roads while I was charging it. No GPS, no way of finding the Hostel I wanted even after riding around some very dodgy looking areas so found this hotel. I will have to try and get a battery here tomorrow, which will be difficult I think, or stay in a cheap hostel and wait for it to arrive from the US if I order it tomorrow. Or have it delivered to a hostel in Ecuador ????? Suggestions on a postcard.....!
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    Now with Grumpy sticker.
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  6. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 208 Total 17,357

    Out of the Hotel and on the road by 7am and, luckily, found my way onto the Pan-Americana quite quickly. From there it was about 60 miles to the border on mainly mountain roads which had stunning views but also some rain. It was also quite chilly so out came the winter gloves and I considered a fleece.


    Once at the border I parked and, surprise, surprise it was easy to get everything completed by friendly people on both sides. The layout was almost logical. Including taking photocopies and obtaining the temporary import permit it took about 75 minutes....a record. If it wan's for the permit it would have been 20 minutes.


    The roads continued through the mountains ( I have not mentioned it but these have been the Andes since north Columbia) wher it continued to be cool. However, when the road drops altitude it heats up quite quickly. So most of the day was cold, hot, cold, hot etc.


    On a mountain road just before the border there was a line of traffic which, I assumed, was further roadworks. Once I had filtered to the front I realised it was a head on collision betweem a coach and a 4x4 right in the middle of the two lanes. It was quite a heafty crash with some serious damage to bothe but there was no sign of drivers or passengers.


    Some 23km north of Quito is the town of Mitad Del Mundo where the equator "runs through" although I looked out for this there was no sign so by the time I reached the capital I had crossed it and into the southern hemisphere for the first time. If I get my GPS working I may ride north to get a pic.


    Quito is a very large city and I headed (as best I could) to the centre to find a hostel or cheap hotel. For quite some time all I could find was a Best Western 5* which was not going to be cheap. After a lack of success I tried to back streets and immediately found a hostel which is reasonable...my own room in the centre of the city for $12 (£8)...not bad. Calua Hostel if anyone is interested.


    Once in I spoke to Jayne on Skype then went for a walk in this really nice city centre. Very modern coffee shop with Wi-Fi, Americano, Double Chocolate yummy, sickly cake and a cheese straw for $3-65 (£2-30). And just to make everyone spit..gas/petrol here is about $2 per US gallon. That makes it $2-50 per UK gallon or £1-60 !!!!!! I will double check that tomorrow.


    As I have said before, the bike receives plenty of attention in all South & Central American countries as large bikes are so rare. Groups gather at gas stations, other bikes crowd around at traffic lights and many ask questions...where am I from ?....what size is it ???...how much does it cost etc.


    When I walk around, I also receive plenty of stares as I do not blend in well. Tall Gringo with very white hair. Jonas & Hector suggested I get a local football shirt and a hat to help avoid standing out. When we discussed this on the Stahlratte I stated that my hair was metallic blonde and a German lady said "In Germany we call your hair Cemetery Blonde !! ". Her bruises are coming along nicely !!

    Tomorrow, the GPS battery, if I can find the place as the addresses are weird.


    The first five pics are from the old camera, taken while on the move.
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    Poor internet so more pics on link below.
  7. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 108 Total 17,465


    Spent yesterday in Quito getting a new battery for my GPS but, once fully charged, it would still not connect correctly to the fitted charger on the bike. The contact points had been damaged somehow. I walked around a few large stores to get a price for a cheap car GPS but no-one sold them as they do not have such maps for Ecuador !!! The place I bought the battery, on the edge of the city, had them so I would see what they could do today.


    Today. Went to the GPS office (they do have any stock on display) and spoke to the owner. They produced a new contact block & cable and I suggest he have a look at the old connector. He agreed it was damaged and proceeded to take it apart. He then took the connector off the new cable, attached it to mine (very fiddly job) and IT WORKED !!! Jeez !! Was I relieved ??

    Thanked him, paid and then rode to the Equator line monument. It cast $2 to enter but when parking noticed 9 similar bikes, all from Bolivia. They turned and all spoke excellent English. Their trip was from Bolivia, through Ecuador and to Cartegena, Columbia. We had a good chat and when I returned to the bikes after they had left, I found four stickers for the bike. Thanks, guys.

    I then headed south but the road took me all the way through Quito first which was not rapid. This city is supposed to be the highest Capital City in the world but I have just been told that La Paz, Bolivia is !! Need to check.

    The ride was straight forward and scenery ok so no pics of that taken today. Found a nice hotel in Ambato which appears to be a very busy, friendly city with a large number of native Indians in local dress including the women & girls wearing long skirts and trilby type hats as opposed to the bowler hats of Peru.

    Tomorrow South to the border.
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    The bike next to mine is also a Triumph.
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  8. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 165 Total 17,630

    Not a great day !! The Garmin GPS maps of Central & South America I bought before I left excluded certain countries including Ecuador. Paul, the Dutchie, dowloaded one he used which was useful up north. However, it struggles to recognise cities and towns in the south and so it proved today. I had set a course but,Tech & I, it took me on a fantastic route along a valley climbing steadily then over mountains with some lenghy gravel sections. I reached a town called Guaranda which is historic and it had live music with large crowds listening. I realised I was in the wrong place, but stayed to enjoy the music for a while.

    Great scenery but I had to back track quite a way, took a while to find the E35, Pan-Americana, then headed south. Found a Hostel on the main road, just north of Riobamba and for $10 it is much better than some of the hotels I have stayed at. Own large room with shower etc, better wardrobes than we have at home and secure parking for the bike.

    Steak dinner down the road for $5 and heading for a good nights sleep.


    It is difficult to get good maps of Central & South America and I have two for Ecuador and they give different numbers to the roads and are very difficult to read. If anyone is thinking of riding this way, get the best you can before you leave home.[​IMG]
    The first snow I have seen since Washington State.
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  9. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,127
    Location:
    nwa
    Sounds like a great day! Local music, color, cheap good food and accommodations, motorcycling in the Andes.

    I can't imagine anything better!

    Great day of being gloriously lost :clap

    Thanks for the stories, I read them in the sea of Grey cubes I work in...
  10. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Good thing you're not in a strange Country with a strange language:evil

    Following with great anticipation of every post. Great job Dave!:clap
  11. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 219 Total 17,849

    On the road at 08-00 as no breakfast offered at the hostel ( which is normal) and I wanted to get close to the border so food could wait. Very cautious with the GPS but it seemed to be confident of the way. Well, it headed south & south west most of the day so it was heading in the right direction but going through places that were not on my map. I was a long 215 miles through fantastic mountain roads, very twisty ( think I am going to wear the side walls of the tyres out before the middle) and mostly good surfaces. Towards the end there were about 25 miles of poor surfaces, but not the worst I have encountered, and a few stretches of gravel.


    Eventually arrived at Machala, about 45 miles north of the border and while looking for a hostel which did not exist, found another for $15 which is good. Only food I have had today so far is a Hot Dog, Empanada & coffee at a gas station so will find a snack now.


    In one place on the mountains it looked like the whole village were working together to shovel a delivery of concrete onto the roof of a building. They caught me taking a pic and waved. The only roadkill I have seen over the last couple of days have been dogs which is not surprising as they bark and chase me in every village.
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  12. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 234 Total 18,216

    Delayed start to the day as my tank bag decided to give up after 5 months on the road. It has been playing up for a while but the zip decided "enough was enough" and stopped pretending. After quite some time I managed to attach it but it has only a day or two left.


    Once on the road it was desert. The route may have twisted a bit up the hills and there may have been scrub at times, and, there may have been a section of "Paddy fields" but it was desert for at least 180 miles. The landscape was sometimes bleak but always beautiful.


    After about 30 miles from the start I saw a biker parked on the side of the road so stopped to see if he required any help. He was Jeremy, a Canadian from Vancouver who was travelling around the world. After a brief chat we agreed to have a couple of beers together this evening and I knew he was staying in the Hotel Costa del Sol......easy for a Brit to remember !!!!


    At the next town we were split up by traffic or GPS so I continued alone through this desert until I reached Chiclayo, a very busy city, and found the hotel. In the foyer I met a British couple, Amanda & Jim, who had just spent three weeks travelling through Peru and had a while to go.


    In the desert the weather was warm-ish but there was a very strong side wind from the Pacific Ocean. This brought my gas consumption from 60 to 41 mpg. I reached the end on fumes !!!!!!!!



    Later, when Jeremy arrived,we went for a couple of beers to a bar but walking through the city we noticed massive lines of people outside of banks. I had seen this before in other places but can only think that, as it is the last day of the month, it could be payday !! Need to find out. On the advice of the hotel, to a Peruvian restaurant, and, we found...........Amanda & Jim sitting at a table already. A very pleasant meal and evening was enjoyed by all and the wine flowed freely. Coincidence......Jeremy also bumped into the 9 Bolivian bikers who I met at the Equator two days ago !!!!
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    Miles 211 Total 18, 418


    Wrote yesterday update upon return from the meal and struggled with the keyboard as the keys moved around. Poor internet so could not update the blog at the time and upload the pics. Woke up this morning feeling a bit "under the weather" but a cold shower helped. We were all going to meet at breakfast (Jeremy, Amanda & Jim) but on my way down the lift (elevator) got stuck between floors so by the time I was rescued they had all finished. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the Brits but have their e mail so will write. I think she also has my blog address.


    After trying to find Jeremy's room number I found him in the foyer and, as we have different routes and time scals, we said goodbye and I will keep up with his blog for his RTW ride.


    Once on the road, it was back into the desert and, like yesterday, the wether was mostly warm, sometimes cool, and very hazy. The Andes were sometimes just visible on my left but not clear enough to take a pic. On three occasions vehicles overtaking while heading towards me just flashed their headlights telling me to get out of the way. The last one was an ambulance !! There also strange vehicles heading towards me with the drivers wearing crash helmets and turned out to be truck chassis without the bodywork. Just about caught one on a pic.


    Othewise a straight run but the GPS sure takes me through towns via strange routes where some roads have been shut or built over.


    Met two French cyclists who are riding from Alaska to Argentina but were just about to make a detour up the Andes. These guys are tough !!


    Eventually past a hostel so turned around and here I am. Very basic, no internet or mobile service but at $8 ( £5.30) I cant complain. Should get to Lima tomorrow.


    Miles 251 Total 18, 669


    No internet at hostel so prepped an update, read and went to sleep early. Up at 06-15 and, after a very cold shower, on the road at 07-00 to have a good start. It was not to be !! After half a mile I approached a long line of trucks and, as the driver were talking on the road, I knew they had been there a while. I went down the other lane to get to the front but found the road blocked on all sides by cars, taxis etc trying to do the same thing. Hundreds of people and kids going to school were walking quickly past the traffic as it was quicker that way. Most drivers were not in there cars as they were at the front looking at the cause. I knew it was an accident and, when everyone ran back to their vehicles (I had been there from 07-15 to 08-15) we crawled forward over the dirt track to the side and I saw the cause of the mayhem. A truck on the wrong side of the road had collided with another, possibly the bus, but also possibly a smaller vehicle in between the bus and the truck as the bus was not too damaged and the front of the truck was grim. The cab was fully pushed back and flattened and, although the had not yet cut out the driver nor could I see any of him, there was blood everywhere. There was a couple of thousand people right up to the vehicles looking an taking pics. Once I passed that the line of vehicles on the other side was 2.8 miles long !


    After that it was desert all the way with the odd patch of green. It was cool and the haze that has been present over the last couple of days was still there and heavier at times. There is a certain smell present that is difficult to describe but it is not pleasant.


    Peru is improving it's roads and this one is good but they are doubling the number of lanes to two either side. Not much traffic so not sure why but the road works must have stretched for a solid 60 miles. Most scenery was hazy but there were some interesting sections but... the new camera will not focus correctly so the later pics are no good. Have played with it tonight and it still is not good.


    In the last couple of weeks I have had major issues with the laptop ( Yahoo disappearing, then in Spanish, then back. Pop Ups, voices , a couple from adult sites but most in Spanish), GPS, camera, and the trip is taking its toll !!


    After 250 miles I arrived in Lima, capital of Peru, and it is a mad, large, busy place with driving as bad as the worst I have seen. This haze is worse here and you can feel and taste it on your tongue and my clothes etc are covered.


    While looking for a hostel I came across the Hotel Espana wher I park my bike in, what looks like, a stately home and have a large room with en suite for £13-60 ($20) and is right in the centre.


    I walked around the city this evening and the whole population appears to be out but it all appears to be very dark to me and the car horns never stop. There is even a Chinatown !! It is not a place I would return to.


    Tomorrow, further south and, I am sure, more desert.

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  13. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 355 Total 19,009


    Turned the bike around in the old, tiled hallway, asked the guys to open the large wooden doors and rode out of the hotel at about 07-00 and immediately into the Lima morning traffic. The city is large and the road, as straight as it was, goes on for miles and the buildings get smaller and of lower quality.

    The fog was worse this morning and was like that for a few hours. Even passing the coast was not worth taking a pic as it was so hazy. There was more traffic more most of the day and many miles of built up areas but, eventually, tha sky cleared a bit in the afternoon. I stopped to talk to two cyclists who were Tomas & ...well in English it is Jane, who are spending 6 months cycling around these parts. Very nice couple and, as they are going into the Andes, very fit !!


    There was a great area where the road climbed , the air cleared and the views, stunning,


    The road followed the coast all the way to Nazca where I climbed the tower to see two of the "lines". See if you recognise them. They still don't know who made them and how they are so detailed.


    Staying the night in Nazca in a hotel on the town square for $12 (£8) where there are Dutch & German backpackers.


    I have had time to think while riding through the desert and have decided not to go to Cusco & Machu Pichu as, this is a bit of a selfish trip and it would be good to bring Jayne to see it plus everyone has said that it deserves at least a couple of days not just one rushed day. Additionally, it is at least an 800 mile round trip through the mountains plus a couple of days there which would add 6 to 10 days. I am running out of funds so am heading to Chile and should cross into Northern Argentina then to Buenos Aires for my return home. I have seen plenty of my journey and have to leave some things to bring up back.


    And the bike needs an oil change !!
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    Tomas & "Jane"
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  14. hanksmybuddy

    hanksmybuddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    412
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Dave..... been catching up on your report. I've been on a 12 day ride up in BC last week so I'm a little behind. Glad to hear everything is going well and you are continuing south.


    Check out some of the Grizzly bear pictures I got last week. Ride Report here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=924086

    Be safe.... Park
  15. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 200 Total 19,209


    On the road after a breakfast of cheese rolls and melon juice and into the desert straight away. It was cool, murky and became murkier as I travelled south. Mostly long straight roads through the desert until about 14-00 when the road joined the coast for a second time (see the pics as the first are misty) and the road became fabulous. Twisting and turning, up and down, along the cliff edge for long periods it was what a coast road should be. An the mist mostly disappeared to make it even better.


    Quite long periods between towns so I fill up when I can. Once from barrels but I do NOT want to run out of gas out there !!
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    As I mentioned yesterday there are shrines everywhere by the roadside. You can see why in some of the pics. One truck I passed had run off the side of the road soon after I started but as the police were moving us on, I didn't get a pick. The second incident was a truck whose load had shifted and was being help up by wooden poles, and the third was a second truck that had run off the road again, Not sure why any of them happened but a quick lack on concentration out here can be disaster.


    Yesterday was a long day so, when I passed a hostel in a village at 15-40 I decided to call it a day as I do not know when the next one would be. Will start earlier tomorrow and, hopefully, get more miles in.

    [​IMG]The hotel
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    As usual, more pics on link below.
  16. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 301 Total 19,510

    I have seen more desert that T.E.Lawrence !!


    Asleep by 09-00 last night as the power was out about 20.45 and I needed to be up early. The hostel was also a restaurant so I had a nice meal of Tortilla (Spanish style ie. bit like am omelette), rice and French fries. It was also their living room so had three generations watching TV while I ate. Cold night, cold water only so for the first time in months I did not have a shower.


    The days ride was all through desert, some along the coast where it was very misty, some nice hilly curves bit mostly straight long roads through.......sand !


    Met two Brazilian guys heading north on a Honda 300 and a Yamaha 250 Tenere (never seen either of these before) who are riding through Argentina, Peru, Bolivia then home. Nice guys.


    Apart from that a straight run to Tacna which is only a few miles to the border with Chile. managed to get the long awaited oil change (and filter) done just up the road and they only charged for the oil at $25.


    Lady in hotel who said the bike was very safe outside as there was an armed security guard changed her mind at 19-00 and decided to place it in a garage 300m up the road. She promised I could get it at 07-00 in the morning.


    Tomorrow, Chile and more desert !!!

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    Barbed wire to protect the trailer ??

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    Riding into Tacna
  17. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 191 Total 19,701


    Border day so up early, collected the bike, 23 miles to the scary place and........I was through in 45 minutes !! Everyone was great, friendly and the guy who issued the Temporary Import for Chile is a biker so he was exrta quick.


    No bank there so headed for the nearest town, Arica, to find an ATM. The first, according to Garmin, was not there but as I passed a supermarket, I noticed a Santander machine so went inside. While there bought water and a few bits and a lady, who arrived at the checkout the same time as me, let me go first as I only had a few things. Once outside I started placing the food on the bike and a car stopped in front of me....it was the lady from the supermarket and she asked me to follow her as her husband is a biker and she would feed me. So I did.


    They were a great couple, fed me with sandwiches and cold fresh juice and he showed me his bike, a Honda Transalp, and photos of his last trip across the Atacama Desert. They even gave me a great map of Chile which shows gas stations which really helps. Thank you very much as you made my start in Chile great.


    After that it was 160 miles of desert but with some spectacular scenery. Had to go through about 15 miles of roadworks on the mountains though which was mainly gravel. Atone point I went through a sand (or dust) storm which made visibility very poor. Only lasted 15 mins or so so not too bad.


    Second half of the ride was flat and straight roads as the temperature rose but it was dry heat. I have red before, it is better to ride such roads early in the day as the winds are strong in the afternoon. This has been the case lately so will be on the road early tomorrow.

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    Sandstorm
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    Long roadworks.
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    Great name.
  18. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Miles 252 Total 19,952

    Knew I had a long day in the Atacama Desert today with 206 miles between fuel stop so was up ear;y, had a chat with Jayne on Skype then to gas station to get extra bottle of gas. Total of 10 litres extra as the consumption can vary depending on how hilly the road is and the wind. As it was the tank itsekf had about 30/40 miles left by the time I arrived in Calama, the first gas stop. Up to that point the road had been mostly level level and the wind did not cause much of a problem as, at a cruising speed of 55, I was getting 65mpg (UK gallon). Yes, II could have gone much faster but I did not wish to waste fuel and, for some reason, there were 80 to 90 shrines at the side of the road for people who had died there. I only saw about 30/40 vehicles on that stretch so I cannot understand why the accidents happen. They are straight roads so I guess people fall asleep. See the pic of the truck. Some shrines are for multiple victims.


    After Calama the road rose to 3500 meters (11,500 ft) and grew very cool after all the heat lower down. I was now chilly in Chile ! The scenery improved also and was colourful and stunning. As usual my pics cant do it justice you will just have come and see for yourself.

    Ended up at San Pedro de Atacama which is a tourist town for all the local scenery/sights ie. volcano, valley of the Moon and, of course the desert and the clear skies at night. I have not seen one cloud all day. This is the driest hot desert on Earth. The town is small, all building are single storey, has narrow roads...some dirt and plenty bars and places to eat. Nice !!

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    Nothing on the roads.
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    Pics a problem with internet here so will try later.
  19. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    868
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Hey Dave,

    I am sitting here at Dakar Motos reading the guest book and saw your entry. Pretty cool! :clap
  20. davey1212

    davey1212 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Well, I hope you are adding something in it yourself. Have just placed a congrats to your thread so hope you are comfortable there and looking forward to getting home and, as everyone said to me, planning your next trip. When do you fly home ??