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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by V@lentino, Sep 20, 2013.
Thanks for the up date.
You lucky man! Precious cargo indeed. :dllama
Can't keep a good man down says Jimmy Ciiff, huh... please apply same to a good woman.
Our initial defeat lost to the Andes' weather just gave us more resolve. Hence, we decided to make the 425km ride form Nazca to Abancay in one day, all we needed was a a bit of determination, nothing that Jackie and Valentino can't handle; If neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen, well neither than will it keep J&V of making to Cusco; That and a full tank of expensive low octane Peruvian "gasohol"
We hit the turnoff heading East at 0912, we would be in Abancay 427 km later at 1725, only stopping for a quick 20 mins general nature brake. Departing altitude 236m ASL @ 87F, arrival 2035 @ 64F. Highest point top of the the Lama land plateau at 4635m @ 37F. The ride was mostly a little south of east. We had sun for the first 150 km, until we reached about 3500m, then rain, some sleet, and hail at our highest point about 50km of it. Then rain, fog, and cold until we started to descend on the valley that sinuously took us the last 150 km to Abancay, the "low valley sits at around 2000 metres and it got as warm as 74F.
It was the most demanding and rewarding riding we have done in the trip so far, we dodged countless animals on the road, zigzagged through too many landslides to mention, some just a few rocks on the road, others with boulders the size of small cars. Chased by at least two dozen dogs. The vistas were simply amazing, definitely the most splendid of the trip to date.
I have place the pictures in chronological order, of course there are very few during inclement weather, the camera is not waterproof but the sky paints the mood accurately.
Come take a ride with us from the desert to the Andes
J&V out, tomorrow we take you to Cusco...
Made it to La Paz from Cusco-Puno and Copacabana, on the shore of lake Titicaca, here for 3 days lots of pics to share now that we have a decent internet connection.
Fabulous pix and good writing continues! I'm enjoying the RR immensely!
Glad to hear you are still following along, sometimes even with a decent hit count, we wonder if there is still someone out there. Our internet connection is not as good as I thought, 0 pix uploaded overnight
we're out there
We are here.
Jackie n' V@le,
Yous guys got lots of views and 5 deserved stars.
I check this thread twice aday at the least and it is generally on the 1st page of RRs.
Looking forward to more pictars.
Hope to cross paths later this week. Ride carefully.
I'm here as well...! Waiting for the last news, views, point of views and, of course, pics...
huhhh you guys just made Jackie feel all warm and fuzzy, a little positive reinforcement never hurts.
Now if I could just manage to upload more than 1 pix at a time I could let you know what's going on.
We are following along, as well, even though we don't comment much. Continued safe travels to both of you!
Don and Debbie
All Moto Tire
The road through the Andes has been cold; what do you expect when riding between altitudes of 4000-5000 metres? Apart from a few isolated showers or rain spells for 40-50 km, we have had little rain. After Abancay, Pe, it was generally dry and not so cold, approx. 48C, nothing Canadians arent use to. Abancay was a two days stop because for about 36 hours my best friends were Ms. Crane and Mr. Imodium, ahum
The ride to Cusco took us just about 3.5 hours, we dodged more landslides and animals, but by now we are quite use to them, and it is not muc different than dodging pot holes, and falling pieces of bridges when youve learned to drive in Montreal during its ever changing Winter.
Cusco was a nice surprise, quaint and although touristy not overwhelmingly so, many churches and colonial vestiges. We declined to visit the Chu, close to $400.00 for both of us for the train ride and entry fees, or the optional ride through mud around Cusco to Santa Teresa, and 10 km hike on the train track. Plus, with good chances of rain and overcast, the vista might not be so great. Machu Pichu will be for another time, no worries when you subscribe to the marry-me fly free program. No regrets
We bought some cool Alpaca beanies and ate great Arabic food. The San Pedro market is the nicest market we have encountered in S.A. so far.
Of course mounds of detritus were present both at the entrance and exit of town, so Peru remains par for the course on the waste management front. Ill have more to say about that as I pontificate further on Peru, Lima, and Miraflores when I can upload more pix.
Cusco to Puno was our next ride, destination Lake Titicaca; about 145 km from the Bolivian border. Busy, and generally dumpy border town where we only spent one night. By that time we were more than ready for a Bolivian change. Funny enough many of the reckless Peruvian drivers we spoke with told us:
Ten muy, muy cuidado en Bolivia los controladores son locos y peligrosos.
Yeah right! After the crazy Peruvian we where ready for anything, bring it on Bolivia
The border was a cinch, out of Peru in 10ms, into Bolivia in 25ms and there were two people ahead of us at aduana.
There we bumped into a German couple; Siggy and Linde. We first met at the Panama House hostel waiting for the Stahlratte, and later rode in Colombia together. It was great to see familiar faces, and I think we will be ridding south together for a while.
Our plan was to spend a couple of days in Copacabana to take a boat trip to the famous floating islands to visit the Uru people. Only to find out that the trips going to the floating islands were all leaving from Puno, Pe; funny enough our German friends had made the same mistake, assuming that we could depart from Copacabana.
Instead we visited La Isla del Sol doing a 12 km trail hike from the Northern shore of the island to the southern pick up point. Albeit demanding due to the altitude and the climbs, it was an amazing, sunny and clear day with incredible vistas of the lake and its landscape.
Heading to La Paz was a breeze, less than 125 km. We however found out about the screwy gas policies in Bolivia; foreigners pay a premium, general price is about 3.95 Bolivian Boliviano, or about $.65 cdn per/lt, and the foreigner price jumps to 8.95 or $1.45 per/lt. This is for the 90 oct so still cheaper than what we would pay for same in most places in Canada. Although I dont know all the socio-politico-economic behind the fuel prices/ regulations in Bolivia, I have no problem with paying for a un-subsidize price when I do not pay taxes in that country.
Where the BS starts is that 7 out of 7 gas stations we stopped at between Copacabana and La Paz simply refused to sell us gas, claiming that they did not have the international receipts to complete the transaction. I had more than ¾ tank, but Siggy was running on petro-fumes, by the time we made it to downtown La Paz and found a gas station close by, he filled up with 32.647ltrs.
We spoke to the gas attendant in La Paz, and a couple of cab drivers and they all told us the same thing:
All the stations have an obligation to serve all customers; the prices may vary a little for the foreigners as function of the currency. The price should be posted although they generally are not but figure a mark up of about 215%. The cab drivers further told us to use leverage 2 ways, if they say they dont have receipt, say you will pay for the gas but at a reduced price; maybe 100%-150% mark up as opposed to the official foreigners rate. If they plainly refuse to sell, inform them that you have noted their address and that you will make an official report to the hydrocarbon agency, and that it will put their business/livelihood in peril.
We would spend 2 days/ 3 nights in La Paz, interesting place, bustling to say the least. Siggy visited the local Motorrad shop to make sure his bike was running smooth, and I put a new tire in the back, the choice was limited, but considering the road ahead I picked the Pirelli Scorpion rally. After 18000 km I could probably have done another 2000 km on my Heidies K60, but since they had the tire and the price was right I decided to make the change. I figure we have about 8000km to go which includes the Carretera Austral and Ruta 40, so the Scorpion should be just what the doctor ordered.
Honestly no significant difference between Peruvian and Bolivian drivers; neither have anything on the Deli and Mumbai motorists. If given the choice between good brakes or a loud horn, you just might want to choose the latter.
We have many more photos to share but I need a better connection to upload all of them.
Tomorrow we ride to Sucre; long day ahead close to 600km
I admire your altruistic approach to Bolivian fuel costs - it's a refreshing perspective
Out of curiousity...
What would you have added or left behind from all the gear you brought from Canada, knowing what you know now?
PS: Tuesday's forecast calls for snow in Victoria
We have used everything (equipment-wise) we have brought. The camping gear seldom, but I plan on using it for the carretera austral and Argentinian stretch of the trip, and it boils down to 2 mats, 2 sleeping bags, and tent.
What really helped was the shake down trip we did to Baja in fall 2011, and going to the Horizon Hubb weekend in Nakusp last August with all the stuff we intended to take for the 6 months trip was really smart.
I think doing the exact same trip I would have left the fishing rod behind, apart from the fact that it broke at 4 different locations, BTW I am very disappointed about the quality of the gear from http://www.jansen.mx/jansen/index.php, I did not use it that often. We already mailed the reel back to BC.
But I digress....
I would like to be carrying a Mac air instead of the "older" and heavier Macbook, but after 8 years, a few upgrades, and over 100000 km it still works great. So that's just being capricious.
For the first time since we left, I filled up the 2 ltrs TT gas can, this is probably overkill but after the Bolivian gas episode a couple of ltrs might be just what you need.
I do have a lot of tools with me but they are neatly tucked in a roll tied with large pipe clamps on the front light bar and with all the weight in the back 10-12 lbs of tools in front are ok.
The only spare I carry is a EWS antenna, fuel pump controller bypass wire, H7 bulb, and oil filter.
I also carry a Gorilla tripod which I have seldom used, but I would take it again. I do regret not carrying my DSLR with me but in hindsight it was the right decision, for the next long trip I would get a more capable small size camera and still keep our Cannon Power Shot SX260.
I think our kit is pretty tight (for us). We met several other couples on big bikes, and even single guys who are carrying a lot of stuff for a similar trip.
I will do a full gear and equipment review at the end of the report.
We are spending our second night in Sucre, tomorrow heading for Uyuni and the Salar.
I am not even going to attempt to load pix the connection is completely bogus.
Thanks for checking in, we can wait for pictars.
Rode from Sucre to Uyuni yesterday. The town is a real s#!t hole. But the gateway to the Salar.
The ride from Sucre was very scenic, it reminded us a lot of the American Southwest. And we only had a couple of thunderstorms and hail for less than 10 minutes, the weather is improving as we keep heading West.
We rode the track to the Salar, but this is not the ideal time to go. When you get to the gateway, it is already flooded. Not very deep, 5 inches at a few spots, mostly 2 inches everywhere else, but no way I am taking the bike for a warm NaCl bath.
Will have lots of pics to upload when we have decent internet.
Tomorrow we head to Ollague and the Chilean border
Glad to hear you are well and still on the move. RIde safe, looking forward to more photos and adventures.
Made it in one piece more or less to San Pedro de Atacama. I think I might be able to upload a few pics in the next couple of days, amazing roads and scenery
Finally able to post an update. The next few posts will be pics heavy, we have taken tons and a few came out nice.
After leaving Abancay and minor stomach aches behind, we headed for Cusco, for our last stretch of riding through the Peruvian Andes. Lots and lots of hazards on the road, and more crazy Peruvian driver. This is the price to pay for amazing scenery. We were lucky with the weather and although we did get some cold rain, it was intermittent and despite the constant cloud cover, Jackie was able to come up with a few decent shots.
It's still pretty cold high in the Andes
Never let your guards down
I can't get over the greens
Always lots of traffic on these Peruvian roads
Where the river runs wild, talk about colour contrasts
This little guy was a a bit camera shy