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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mightymatt43, Nov 6, 2011.
What is with the Pink Eared LlAMA?
Just found the thread. You guys are sure having a blast! Will have to take an evening to go back through the thread. I like how the "lack of Spanish" was used to your advantage!!!
as always great write up, thanks for the time and effort.
Sweet deal! Found them just by the lyrics a few days ago and dl'd their album. thanks! keep on rr'n
Awesome! Did you do a spanish immersion course? or just found a private tutor? I have been looking into week long spanish immersion courses...
I can't believe that I missed you guys in Sucre. I was at the push cart race too. I probably walked right by you. Enjoy your travels. I'm in Paraguay now.
Matt, today I went to Sealy Cycle Service and met two folks you know, Malcolm and Darren. Darren told me about the continuation of the ural repair there a couple of years ago --- I never had a clue . . .
Anyway, I sent both of them the links to this thread and to the blog so maybe you'll be hearing from them soon.
No hablo . . .
RE the bribeable cops. What is it about law enforcement that attracts scumbags, lowlifes and ne'er do wells to it?
Keep on truckin' you two. A great read.
POWER Frey Bentos, POWER!
I suppose i answered my own question as i wrote it........
thanks dc. i have been on the computer side of a lot of RR - i have to say, i am loving being on the riding side! thanks for the encouragement and believe me when i say that kristen left the flowers on the bike until they finally flew off... in fact, i'm pretty sure we still have some hanging off the back...
i really wish i knew, i'm assuming that it has something to do with differentiating herds from each other? all i know is that Kristen is getting some ideas for our dog, bacon, that i don't think he is going to appreciate...
you are quite correct. i think we're hooked for life now. and the whole "lack of spanish" act isn't oscar-worthy mainly because it isn't much of an act!
the pleasure is always on this end...
i just listened through one of their albums on the road yesterday. really, really like "doomsday and the echo" - good rock. good riding music, actually...
because we lived in san antonio, there were a lot of places to choose from. we decided to go with a language school (they teach a lot besides spanish) and a private tutor. it was perfect for us because we only had a couple of weeks and we told her exactly what we wanted to learn (how to get a hotel, how to go through borders, how to bribe cops, etc). it was always great because she was bolivian and had a lot of good advice. i would definitely recommend it before coming down here - you don't NEED it, it's easy enough to act out stuff, but it has definitely made our experience better.
i am literally ashamed by this news. texans on the other side of the world at the same push cart race - how did we miss you!? hope things are well on your end. we're in peru at the moment, should be crossing to ecuador within the next couple days.
malcolm and darren are two really quality guys - i lost their card at some point and lost the chance to fill them in on what we were doing. thanks for passing that along...
the whole ural thing ended up being user error, i think. holing a piston is not an easy thing to do!
good to hear from you, sir! whenever we get back to USA we really need to meet up so you can check out our rig. i believe i owe you a burger or two for the advice you've given...
power, for sure, but i think the root of it is cold, hard $$$ . unfortunately, our cop problems are nowhere near an end. more on that soon...
Day 96-99 in South America: Copacabana, Bolivia to Puno, Peru
Very near the top of her must see list in South America, Kristen was eccstatic about finally arriving to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru. The Uros, a pre-Incan people, began living on islands made of bundled totora reeds for the purpose of distancing themselves from their more aggressive neighbours. Only a few hundred continue to live the traditional lifestyle (mainly for the purpose of tourism) as most have moved to the mainland.
We hopped onto a boat with a small group of curious tourists, all armed with big cameras with equally big lenses. As soon as I saw the rest of our group, I immediately began to dread what easily could be a zoo-like atmosphere when we reached the islands.
Thankfully, my fears were unfounded. Not only was the rest of our group very respectful, but the island we visited was full of people that were genuinely interested in giving us a window into their lives.
Our island, called Waca Wacani, was home to five families and 7 structures entirely made of reeds. Their way of life is primarily funded by visiting tourists, but its not a gimmick. They legitimately live out their lives floating on Lake Titicaca. The community of nearly forty islands share a school, courthouse, community center, and bathroom facilities all housed upon bundled reeds.
I should say that there was definitely a little push to purchase some of their handicrafts but it was definitely not as bad as it could have been. Considering the insight that we gained into a people that live drastically different than how we do in USA, it wasnt much a sacrifice.
The President of Waca Wacani:
As one final "treat", we headed out onto the lake via the Waca Wacani reed boat.
After experiencing the reed islands, I can definitely see how it could be an awkward and morally odd situation in different circumstances. Considering we were confined to a small space for several hours as guests in their home, we both found the Uros people to be gracious and had no problem going along with their desired flow of the tour. If youre squeamish, however, in situations where something is financially expected of you, this may not be a good idea...
Seeing as we had been staying in some pretty mediocre places for cheap over the past couple of weeks, we decided to splurge for one night on a really nice hotel right on the lake. That night we ate at the hotels fancy restaurant and found ourselves with food poisoning a couple of hours later. Considering the state of the places we have been eating throughout South America, it is amazingly ironic and I legitimately laughed as I huddled over the toilet. Being sick took its toll and we were urged to stay a few nights - not great for the wallet.
At least the hotel had a herd of llamas.
It also had the highest conglomeration of white people weve seen thus far. The hotel was definitely a major hub for tourists. Because Lake Titicaca is so high in elevation (12,500 ft), apparently this was necessary:
One last thing about our first couple of days in Peru.
As I began the process of entering the country at the border while Kristen watched over the bike, I could tell things were going to be very different. It was like both the immigration and customs agents were desperately trying to find something wrong with our papers. After fighting through for about 45 minutes, I was escorted to a police station. I later found out that I could have excused myself at this point as this step was not necessary, but seeing as I didnt know, I was treated to an interogation. Just when I thought all was well, I was asked for my insurance. I handed over our insurance for the USA and told him it should cover us in Peru as well (not entirely true) but he wasnt having it. I sat around for another 10 minutes or so while he put on quite the show of pleading with his commanding officer, trying to find a way to help me out, etc, until he finally told me that if I slipped 50 Soles (about $17) into a folded piece of paper on his desk while he looked the other way, we could leave. Seeing as it was too late to pretend like I didnt understand any Spanish, I eventually gave in and slipped him some cash. 10 Soles did it.
Defeat. Its all part of the adventure, I suppose.
sure it is...just run your engine very hard when its dangerously low on oil and voila:
Aah, yes, corruption. One of my least favorite aspects of traveling or living abroad. I've always wondered if it's just the Americans that are targeted. My family left Ireland a generation too early, otherwise I'd have an Irish passport -- I have it on good authority that it does make traveling in Europe easier and nicer.
That, and food poisoning.
We had more than our fill of both when living in Mongolia. I got poisoned bad at a chi chi (relatively speaking) Italian restaurant. I thought the soup was just waaay too salty, I didn't realize that they were masking the flavor of meat that had gone savage. I was sweating & hurling & shivering so bad I pulled muscles in my back.
i can see the same photos over and over again - and feels like i'm seeing them for the first time, every time.
how did you finance the trip? did you invent google? mark zuckerberg's right hand man?
i financed my gtl on the alaska trip with credit... so i'm looking for a job now to make that money in time for my monthly payments!
Slight thread hi jack. Irish passports DO help. I was busted for a traffic offence in france a year or two back. Three surley looking blokes in a squad car escorted me to a garage forecourt to give me a bollocking. They said 'EEEnglish' with the same feeling behind it as saying 'peeeeeg-dog'. I climbed on my moral high horse and said with utmost disgust, 'No, Ireland' And waved the passport under their noses. 5 minutes later we were all friends and talking about U2. /thread drift.
Matt, I noticed an aluminum box between the bike and the tub, it houses a car battery right? Could you please tell me more about this set up? Does it completely replace the bike battery, or is it wired in parallel? Why did you choose to do this, and does it work (would you do it again)? Any issues with this set up?
check out this beauty:
i think in our case, the fact that we're light skinned and riding a BMW puts a huge target on our backs. i'm actually okay with it. it's a bit of a hassle but it's pretty funny to act in front of the cops. for the most part, it's been light-hearted on both our part and theirs. all part of the adventure of traveling abroad.
your food poisoning bout sounds pretty wicked. ours was not that bad this time - only out one end, if you know what i mean. i have, in the past, had something similar to what you describe - in college, i had the misfortune of eating some frozen shrimp that had thawed and refrozen...
i actually invented the internet. i don't know if you've heard of it but it's kind of a big deal...
well i guess i know what i need to do - try out for U2?
Yeah, it's a car battery that has completely replaced the bike battery. i think we could have gotten away with just sticking with the original but there were enough aux lights and additional electronics that it just made sense. it turns out that the first auto battery went bad for some reason - i don't know if the bike's alternator just can't keep up but it completely died on us. the new one we have seems to be doing well but i guess time will tell. my only real beef with the setup is that it's a bit low on the rig - a couple of water crossings we've been through have gotten a little too close for comfort.
damn, you got me beat on that piston....you really did a number on that puppy...did ya have other internal damage?
as for your battery issue, I'd be willing to bet that BigBoi's alternator just doesnt have quite enough oomph for all the lights plus keeping the battery charged. You might consider a deep cycle (aka marine) battery, which are designed to be fully discharged without it killing the battery the way a normal car battery does. As far as the water crossings go, as long as the battery is sealed properly, I dont think it'll be much of a problem.
Keep on keepin on you two...you're living the dream most of us have.