She's got this crazy idea- exploring the 3 America's solo, for better or for worse...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hewby, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    I have to say I was inspired to write this for a friend who posted this picture on her Facebook stating she wanted to be the guy, not the bike! Funny as.
    <a href='http://www.iruntheinternet.com/01459'><img src='http://iruntheinternet.com/lulzdump/images/motorbike-bed-cuddle-guy-snug-13358311994.jpg'></a>
  2. AugustJane

    AugustJane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Fantastic RR :clap:clap:clap

    the journey you have made is inspiring, as is the way you have adapted to the challenges and embraced the moment.
    Love the photographs, they tell a full and colorful story and look forward to seeing more.

    linda
  3. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks Linda Glad you are enjoying it. Now i just have to get back into the habit of posting :D
  4. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,305
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    :nod :D
  5. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Two weeks with Huzar disappeared quickly. It was brilliant to have him along, but I have to admit it is a difficult task for someone to parachute into a trip like mine and adapt straight away, as I think others in our situation will also attest to. Your schedules are different. Your ability to deal with life on the road is different, what phases you is different. Your understanding of the country, the language, the people and the culture is different. Your energy levels are different. Your budget is different. Even the roles you take on during the trip are different than if you both started traveling at the same time. Having ridden pretty much solo throughout the trip, navigating and decision-making, working on my bike, doing everything basically alone lead to some adjustment for me. Seeing how others travel as couples it&#8217;s hard to fall into that, even though that is what I wanted, when you know that soon you will be on your own again. His bike being rented was not set up how he wanted, nor was it treated as it was doing the long haul. Mine on the other hand, while set up comfortably for me, needed the ongoing attention and care that it deserved as my trusted steed for many, many more miles.

    And so saying goodbye to him at the airport in Arequipa my heart was in turmoil. I walked the streets and tried to numb the spinning. Later in the evening Carlos, the wonderful Columbian I met on the boat, rode past me. I checked him into my hotel and we spent the evening sharing road stories. He wanted me to join him and Joop (also from the boat) riding through Bolivia. I thanked him but declined. My bike was in the mechanic for a few days getting the windscreen repaired, and really I needed some time for me.

    The next evening I met up again with Alison, who had also just dropped her boyfriend off at the airport after a similar two-week experience him renting a bike and traveling Peru, midway through her trip to Ushuaia. It was brilliant to talk, to relate, and to have another to try and quell our spinning heads and wringing hearts. We both needed time to process.

    While I will not write about our time together, as he has given me a break and posted a ride report , I will leave you with some pictures of our travels


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8423105609/" title="DSC00703 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8501/8423105609_0deb15ff55.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC00703"></a>

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    [​IMG]
    and the best way to eat Cuy/ guinea pig...
  6. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    A few days in Arequipa were spent regrouping; cleaning and sorting, visiting the market and generally taking things easy. Then as my bike was getting ready to go, Alison and I decided to ride together into Bolivia.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437383434/" title="DSC01676 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8511/8437383434_e0ef61a897.jpg" width="333" height="500" alt="DSC01676"></a>

    Peru, the home of the Potato

    After wrangling over directions and plans for a bit, going back and forth with where we were planning to go next, the decision was almost made by my bike taking so long to get out of the mechanic. I had left it at Peru motors after being told by the owner they could fix anything, and after a quick telephone call to be told to come at 10 to pick it up, I arrived at 11 after a street protest blocked my way, to find the bike not ready. The new windscreen had been cracked when the mechanic put it in. He asked if I wanted him to solder it to stop the cracking. Then I found my rack, which I had asked to be tightened, in pieces. He told me he couldn’t put it back together. So I put it back together. Finally I was told that when changing the oil and the air filter, he did not have the parts to replace them so he just cleaned them and put them back in. I was furious. I had specifically given him both new air and oil filters to install and left them on my bike handle bars. I finally found them strewn on the chaos that was the floor of the shop. I went to pay by card as I had asked a few days earlier if it was possible, and no today it was not, as it would be recorded as a receipt and they would have to pay tax on it. I had hardly any local currency left, so I had to pay with my precious US dollars. Thankfully they gave me a discount but by this time I wanted nothing more to do with Peru Motors. Nor would I ever recommend them to anyone else. Eddie is a lovely guy, but the mechanical work he did on the bike was almost worthless. I also later heard plenty more horror stories. I was hot, frustrated, and it was already 1pm. Alison and I had a quick chat and our decision on where to go next was made. Bomb the highway back to Puno, to stay in little cabins with fires recommended by Carlos.


    I started riding and there was something wrong, my bike was scraping on everything. I stopped and found the preload set on the loset level. Eddie trying to help me out with my hight on the bike! Thanks but I have ridden this far, and I know what works. I tension it up again. Alison is also dealing with strange front end problems after having a tire installed by them, we ride on cautiously wondering what has happened to our bikes...


    We had both ridden parts of this road before, her more than me. But this time the mist did not exclude my vision of the altiplano. Amazing high country.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437365512/" title="DSC01681 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8189/8437365512_fd7bba946c.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01681"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8436279391/" title="DSC01687 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8225/8436279391_fcb36d3a2f.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01687"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437351588/" title="DSC01697 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8077/8437351588_8fd9363a14.jpg" width="500" height="254" alt="DSC01697"></a>

    Then the black clouds gathered and we stopped to load up on clothes and snacks – watching the storm beside us cover the mountains in snow. Brrr…
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437359602/" title="DSC01690 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8437359602_fb9f7f75c4.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01690"></a>

    After a little bit we headed down into it hoping the worst of it had past.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437356096/" title="DSC01694 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8491/8437356096_496b557a56.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01694"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437353652/" title="DSC01695 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8052/8437353652_6f496b0a2a.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01695"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8436277725/" title="DSC01688 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8504/8436277725_194db3d4ce.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01688"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8436272237/" title="DSC01698 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8078/8436272237_948f867a7c.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01698"></a>
    The road was covered in slush and we past two accidents on the road involving huge trucks colliding into cars. I was thankful we had waited as we had.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8436254633/" title="GOPR3800 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8468/8436254633_2144880fd9.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="GOPR3800"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437335230/" title="GOPR3801 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8502/8437335230_66659acc40.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="GOPR3801"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8437332954/" title="GOPR3803 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8054/8437332954_954423d5d8.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="GOPR3803"></a>

    This time we went back into Julica instead of attempting the ring road of crazy mud, that most of us had attempted before. In the traffic I was hit in the back by moto taxi, knocking me to the ground. He simply pointed and laughed, Alison almost punched in his window before she helped me lift up the bike and keep going through the crazy traffic.


    As we reached Puno the rain kicked in and darkness descended. Our vision was reduced dramatically but the thought of an open fire kept us on the road another 20km to reach the cabanas. We arrived and the placed looked closed. We were cold, wet and hungry. Finally after much searching Alison was able to find one of the workers and we pulled the bikes in. I dropped mine on the wet stony entrance, the crack in my windshield splitting the windshield into 2 pieces. !@#$
    The lovely man did not have a cabana left with a fireplace, and told us that the hot water would be ready for a shower in 2 hours. We were devastated. He came back later with a thermos and tea to help us warm ourselves and we cooked up our dinner not on the fire as we had hoped, but on Alison’s camp stove (as my usually fabulous MSR dragonfly decided to choose today to stop working!)

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8436248429/" title="DSC01699 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8053/8436248429_d77d7e666e.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01699"></a>
  7. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,305
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    When did you capture this one of me? On Isla Taquile? I must have been distracted by something else, as I have no recollection of this girl sitting down next to me...
  8. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    This was the girl that sat down next to you while I was taking a photo of you, then asked for money for photo bombing!
  9. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,305
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Ah, yeah, that one :lol3
  10. Merlin III

    Merlin III Lone Wolf-No Club

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,805
    Location:
    Maine
    So, did you give her any money?
  11. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    No. I am no into trickery. Generally they advertise for a photo or if you really go into their space and take one, ok. But this was different. I was taking a photo of him and she came and sat down into it. So no.
  12. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,126
    Location:
    Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
    Great pictures.

    It's nice to be able to put a face with huzar since we've all heard so much about him.
  13. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,614
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    The way you write, we can feel your anger at incompetent mechanics, your cold riding through the wet , your disappointments and at the same time the feeling that this is where you want to be and what you want to do. Your writing is from the heart. Thanks one more time for keeping the RR going.

    Abrazos!
  14. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks Tom. It was also anger at myself for being lazy as I could have done a better job on all counts. And yes the journey has been hard. But it is exactly where I want to be. Now off to join the marching bands in the street!
  15. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,492
    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala

    Isn't that all that matters ???:rayof:rayof
  16. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Yep! Delicious meal tonight Julio. Sadly it is not one that I cooked but I toast to you. And all the lovely people that have helped me on my journey!
  17. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    wet coast, bc
    Hewby:

    I am finally caught up so I can now keep up with you in real time

    I love the gentle way you write and "words from the heart". I thought I recognized your bike as it used to belong to my riding buddy down to Oregon a couple of years ago.

    I am also glad you are safe and sound after all your mishaps. Keep riding and reporting back,

    and I know you will ride safe and take care of yourself

    bob
  18. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks Bob. I will keep it as close to 'real time' as I can within a week or two ;)
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,298
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    great posts. Love the pictures. So glad Marcin came to experience some of your journey. Cheers.


    Sara
  20. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    I cross into Bolivia alone as Alison has gone back to Puno to try and get a cheaper visa, on advice from the lonely planet. (It wasn&#8217;t worth it for any Americans out there reading this, and they sent her back to the border!) .
    I had heard that getting gas in Bolivia was difficult as a foreigner, especially at the border regions, so I decided to fill up close to the border. As all of the petrol stations I tried did not have 90, only a poor 84 octane gas, I kept moving onto the next one. Until in desperation close to the border I ended up buying fuel from a man with a bucket of gas outside his house!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457768739/" title="IMG_4011 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8510/8457768739_1431de78cf_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="IMG_4011"></a>

    Crossing the border into Copacabana I met with my first negative. All the people at the border were great, the paperwork took just minutes, but then as I was about to leave a policeman came out and told me to come into the station. They explained that I needed insurance to enter Bolivia, and no, my Peruvian insurance that I had been lead to believe was good for Chile and Bolivia, would not cut it. &#8216;But&#8217; he explained with a slight grin &#8216;you cannot get insurance here, you have to buy it in La Paz. But to get through the border you will have to pay me money to sign you off, or I will send you back to Peru!&#8217; I pretended I did not understand his Spanish. I played dumb for ages. But it did not work. He slammed his fist down on the table &#8216;Money&#8217; he said in English. I put down 20 Bolivianos (about 3 dollars) &#8216;Esta muy poco, una mas&#8217;. (This is very little, one more&#8230;) I put down another 10B and walked away feeling angry and sick. I have had such wonderful interactions with Policemen over the entirety of this trip, and this was plain wrong. Not much money, but not a nice way to enter the country.

    With my music turned off I started to notice a strange sound. I looked down and my chain was flapping. I guess it was something to do with the change of the preload. The sprockets still look good. Its 8 km to go so I head onwards, before looking to tighten it overnight.

    I travelled on into the little town of Copacabana and found camping at a hotel where had arranged to met Alison. Just as I had pulled in my bike and dealt with it falling over in the soft ground with the help of three of the grounds men, she arrived.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457782843/" title="IMG_4035 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8388/8457782843_f06e8d1a07_c.jpg" width="800" height="398" alt="IMG_4035"></a>

    We had landed in the town on the start of a dancing festival and went into town to see the sights. It was a crazy conglomeration of marching bands, and marching dancers, going round and round the town.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8455253652/" title="DSC01703 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8387/8455253652_4a46d3c40f.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01703"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8454161227/" title="DSC01717 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8454161227_924d77153e.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01717"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8454168905/" title="DSC01761 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8381/8454168905_9ce513018e.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01761"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458879522/" title="DSC01780 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8458879522_ce515262bf_c.jpg" width="800" height="472" alt="DSC01780"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457776741/" title="DSC01772 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8107/8457776741_8553ec604c_c.jpg" width="534" height="800" alt="DSC01772"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458881420/" title="DSC01802 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8106/8458881420_30477380d7.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01802"></a>

    After hours we asked what time the dancing would stop. It lasts three days was the reply. We went to bed to the sounds of the bands fighting, with a song on repeat. Only the heavy rain in the depth of the night could silence them, but not for long.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458883500/" title="DSC01819 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8242/8458883500_57067a3c71_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="DSC01819"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458884444/" title="DSC01821 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8100/8458884444_ee4097497b_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="DSC01821"></a>

    We woke in the morning to a little sunshine and of course the sounds of the marching bands. Packing up we headed out of town to another police block. We went inside and they were trying to get us to pay to pass. The writing on the ticket said it was a receipt for sanitariums or something like that, I claimed we didn&#8217;t need it, and after a little wrangling we got back on the bikes without it. We headed off on some beautiful roads and then down to the ferry.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457786449/" title="DSC01834 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8508/8457786449_925a0358fa_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="DSC01834"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458889402/" title="DSC01835 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8226/8458889402_59495fc0d7_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="DSC01835"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457785603/" title="DSC01830 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8234/8457785603_2133d1825f_c.jpg" width="800" height="534" alt="DSC01830"></a>

    It was pretty daunting getting our bikes on in a way that we did not have to turn around on the wooden boards.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457787829/" title="GOPR3812 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8457787829_bbef7da9a7.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="GOPR3812"></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457790143/" title="DSC01838 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8086/8457790143_7b00542868.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01838"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457790737/" title="DSC01843 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8457790737_94a5136467.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="DSC01843"></a>


    Yet again Police stopped us on the road. I was starting to get worried about Bolivia. This time they said it was for speeding. &#8216;Its 80km maximum in Bolivia &#8216; they informed us pointing that their speed cameras and our clocked speed of 96km. We argued that we had not seen any signs informing us of such, apologized profusely, and they finally let us go.

    We headed past some beautiful mountains


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458895618/" title="DSC01851 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/8458895618_1691f418d0_c.jpg" width="800" height="241" alt="DSC01851"></a>

    We finally made it La Paz after dealing with some awful traffic. Trying some recommended hostels that were all booked up, in the midst of 3 lanes of traffic madness, Alison spotted a hostel with a drive in courtyard. We pulled across the lanes and found a cheap dorm bed for the night at Pirwa hostel.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8458897594/" title="GOPR3815 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8532/8458897594_1486134b21_c.jpg" width="800" height="320" alt="GOPR3815"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8457796897/" title="GOPR3816 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8370/8457796897_7cdb350db8.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="GOPR3816"></a>