The Ultimate Ride - Brother and Sister Motorcycling Duo

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by UltiJayne, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    4,459
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    Enjoyed hearing from you guys during this sucky Winter season. Thanks for the entertainment :freaky
  2. esp41

    esp41 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    121
    Thanks for taking along on your ride. I enjoyed the honesty you put into your writing.
  3. NSFW

    NSFW ktm's "the tourist"

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,943
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    congratulations!

    awesome ride report and thanks.
  4. xfire64

    xfire64 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Enna -Sicily
    Congratulations. beautiful round :clap
  5. Red Herring

    Red Herring Gnarly Commuter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Victopia BC
    Wow Jayne & Phil, simply wow.

    LOVED the RR. So inspirational and motivating. Your story telling is brilliant, the both of you, and your pictures are wonderful!

    I look forward to reading the last little bits, and thank you for sharing!:clap
  6. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,991
    Location:
    South Texas
    A an entertaining RR! Thank you.

    We just need to know the last few weeks and events to complete it, please?
  7. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    It is with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye that I reluctantly announce that Cricket is FOR SALE.


    <dl id="attachment_7035" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 480px" data-mce-style="width: 480px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The best KLR650 in the world</dd></dl>

    Make and Model: 2006 Kawasaki KLR650
    Mileage: Less than 75,000km
    Location: Buenos Aires (within a week)
    Price: $3000 USD

    Special additions:

    • Tall windshield with laminar lip
    • Heated handgrips
    • Steel braided front brake cable
    • Aftermarket light and horn unit that allows one to turn off the headlight and push to cancel indicators
    • Volt meter showing battery voltage
    • USB ports (that sometimes work)
    • Handlebar risers
    • Steel footrests
    • Long shifter
    • Aluminum skid plate
    • Nerf crash bars
    • Highway pegs
    • Tool tube with OEM tool kit
    • Brake caliper protector
    • Top Gun spring on OEM rear mono-shock
    • Doohickey upgraded to Eagle-Mike part
    • 35L givi topcase
    • Happy trails racks for side boxes
    • Relocated blade-type fuses
    She drinks a bit of oil and desperately needs a new set of sprockets, but she is a brilliant bike!


    APPLY WITHIN.
  8. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,394
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    Just ride it back.
  9. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    4,459
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    Would hate to see you and Cricket part ways after all you've been through :cry
  10. UltiJayne

    UltiJayne Sister on a KLR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I'd love to ride her back, but I need to be at a friend's wedding in 3 weeks in Canada...

    Not allowed to leave a bike in Argentina for any amount of time, so Cricket has to be sold. Gives me a chance to decide what bike to get for my next adventure!!
  11. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    570
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Congratulations! :thumb
  12. sandsman

    sandsman I ride more than some and less than others.

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    Greenville, Tx
    Well, what about an update?
    :evil
  13. Kawi-Mike

    Kawi-Mike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    147
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    This has been an awesome RR. Thanks for taking us all with you. I hope Cricket finds the home she deserves!
  14. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Far, FAR overdue. How bout we start the catch up now then eh?
  15. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Time to start the catch up on blogs...


    From November 18th, when I crashed, to February 12th, 2014 I was based out of Cusco Peru. Waiting to heal. This was a frustrating time, but there was a lot of fun to be had as well. I got a "job" working bar at Loki hostel: always a good time. There were some more challenges and set-backs health wise. And some visits from old friends.


    My clavicle had not been healing well, the xrays would tell me.


    <dl id="attachment_7058" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Minimal to no new bone growth. Spine looks nice though!</dd></dl>



    I likely hadn't been helping out my clavicle much, since I was still using my left arm, albeit not for anything heavy. This held true until the day we head out to the country with our family.
    <dl id="attachment_7061" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Many rocks to be moved. I did what I could to help out right handed, and made for a great supervisor.</dd></dl>



    During all the rock moving, my instincts resulted in problems. While moving a wheelbarrow, Luis-Angel fell backwards into a hole.
    <dl id="attachment_7060" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">This hole.</dd></dl>



    I happened to be standing right beside the hole, so I quickly reached out to grab him by the collar. This stopped his head from hitting a log, but wrenched my left shoulder a bit in the process. Engaging in furthur actions like this would not speed my healing, so I decided to relegate myself to a sling to protect me from myself.
    <dl id="attachment_7062" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sling #1: thermal underwear edition.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_7063" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sling #2: Donated sling from Joadan edition.</dd></dl>



    Even with the sling, I still developed a problem with a pin that seemed to be shifting within the bone. The pin made a tent out of my skin for days, and eventually poked through.
    <dl id="attachment_7064" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Tented pin skin.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7067" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">I made "shoulder doughnuts" out of gauze to try to protect the skin, but it was to no avail.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_7077" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Seeing what I'm currently made of: a pin pokes though.</dd></dl>



    I had serious concerns of infection, since that pin would make a stainless highway for bacteria to travel right into my bone. I went into see the surgeon Dr. Zaravia with my concerns, but he didn't share them.
    <dl id="attachment_7078" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">"Just keep it clean" he said. "Sometimes we leave pins sticking out of the skin for months"... Great.</dd></dl>


    I kept it clean meticulously, but for the first time I felt that perhaps this injury would really be the end of my trip. My thinking was "if it gets any worse, I'll have to bail back to Canada and a doctor I have some faith in". I was quickly losing trust in Dr. Zaravia. The pin was uncomfortable, and the new hole in my shoulder often leaked fluid and blood.
    Taking the local buses around town didn't prove any better for my health. While standing in the door well in a "combi-bus", I was unable to escape the rapidly opening folding door. It caught my foot and wouldn't let go, crushing it as I tried to fight back against the door.
    <dl id="attachment_7065" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">I was caught right in that non-existant gap between the door and the side of the step-well.</dd></dl>


    Jayne was yelling for the driver to close the door, but was countered by some other patrons trying to help but mistakenly yelling for him to open the door! In response, he did nothing. With Jayne pulling with all her might, I slammed my whole body against the door. Combined, the forces were sufficient to just move the door enough for my foot to slide out of the trap. Fortunately I escaped with only mild flesh wounds and nothing broken. No safety releases down in these parts!
    <dl id="attachment_7068" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">It didn't look much worse in real life, so I had to suck it up.</dd><dt>
    </dt></dl>
    But life goes on.
    After Jayne continued onwards with the boys after Christmas, I quickly found myself in need of something to do to fill my days. Having had a great time partying at the "Loki" hostel over a couple of nights with Josh and Jordan before they left, I inquired about working there. It didn't pay, only providing free stay and discounted food and booze, but it was something fun to do. Even with one arm in a sling, my days working in a bar when I was younger made it a pretty easy job.
    <dl id="attachment_7073" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Not all work was work.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_7074" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The famed "Blood Bomb": Vodka, grenadine and redbull.</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_7080" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Fire and alcohol, what better combination?</dd></dl>

    <dl id="attachment_7082" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Wilson tasked with painting the whole bar. The beginning of laser-firing dinosaurs and transformers attacking Machu Picchu. Makes sense.</dd><dt>
    </dt></dl>
    Loki Cusco is one of the largest hostels in South America with almost 300 beds! It is a party hostel through and through, so while a good nights sleep was a little tough to come by at times, there was always a good excuse. Great people to work and party with while I recovered.
    A second Christmas season this trip meant more mangers again, and Micro-Kelly couldn't resist. She sure loves those mangers!

    <dl id="attachment_7069" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Many more mangers!</dd><dt>
    </dt></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7066" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sweet baby Jesus's!!</dd></dl>

    New years would bring old faces into town. Great to have a catch up with moto amigos we met back up in Central America!
    <dl id="attachment_7079" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">New Years reunion with Heather, Oli, Tanya and Ernesto!</dd></dl>

    Hung out with Oli and Ernesto over the next couple days doing maintenance and drinking a beer or two. I had hoped that I might be healed in time to ride on to Bolivia with them, but it wasn't to be.
    <dl id="attachment_7081" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Common with the early new Gen KLR's, Ernesto had a pretty severe oil consumption problem. This oil "change" only ended up swapping out 500cc's of oil.</dd></dl>
    Ernesto was heading to Uyuni, Bolivia, to catch the Dakar rally. I really, whole-heartedly wanted to catch some of the rally as well. I figured if i was going to make a trip of it, I might as well go big, so planned a trip south to Salta, Argentina. There I would be able to reunite with Jayne and the boys, and also catch three whole days of Dakar! I worked at Loki for two weeks, then set course south... by bus.

    Motorcycle Minute:
    Jugs. Oh Jugs what did I do to you?!
    <dl id="attachment_7090" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Curves in all the wrong places.</dd></dl>
    My crash had broken a lot on Jugs, much more than one minutes worth, so my next post will fully update you on the recovery of Jugs.
  16. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,991
    Location:
    South Texas
    Thank you for continuing the report. We were left hanging for a while.
  17. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    There is no video of the crash, but from the photos, road gouges, scratches and missing pieces, I've deduced that Jugs did at least one flip down the highway. Likely several. This would require some repairs. (Link to the video I took talking about it all, damage chat starts at 4:40 Video 1 day post crash)

    <dl id="attachment_7099" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rough shape after some moto-gymnastics.</dd></dl>Once I escaped the hospital post-surgery, the first step was to get Jugs out to Pisac. There we would stay with Sandy and Sandra Hart.
    <dl id="attachment_7120" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Another truck ride for Jugs, this time in the Hart-mobile.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7119" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Off the easy grass ramp, I rode jugs through the yard. It didn't quite feel right, but then neither did I.</dd></dl>
    The first step was to strip everything down.

    [​IMG]


    Once the bike was striped bare, I discovered there were broken and bent parts, but nothing unrepairable or unreplaceable.

    <dl id="attachment_7122" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Bent Handlebar</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7121" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cracked air-box and broken air-box door.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7123" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Bent up ammo can (post bend and re-weld)</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7108" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Yet another broken windshield. I took the hint finally and didn't replace it this time.</dd></dl>
    While doing the minor repairs on Jugs, Sandra kindly helped with my personal repairs providing Bandages and taking out my sutures.

    <dl id="attachment_7110" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Nurse Sandra works on Nurse Phil</dd></dl><dl id="attachment_7111" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Great health care staying with the Hart's!</dd></dl>
    Back to working on Jugs: the whole front end was bent and needed a stern talking to.

    <dl id="attachment_7109" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Removal, straightening and re-painting needed.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7113" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Mid stern talk.</dd></dl>
    The smashed gauges took a full day to puzzle back together.

    <dl id="attachment_7105" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">My gauges were thoroughly smashed. The tachometer chip board was unrecoverable, but everything else was repairable with JB weld and ductape...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7124" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Broken glass? No problem. Repairs sponsored by pepsi-cola.</dd></dl>And then I notice the frame...
    <dl id="attachment_7101" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">That's just not right. Wait... actually that IS to the right. Oh dear.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7118" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Where the sub-frame connects also has a bend/dent.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7115" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">More cracked paint.</dd></dl><dl id="attachment_7116" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">More paint cracks still.</dd></dl>

    The gauges, the bent bar, the airbox, even the boxes and fairing I could fix or have someone else fix nearby and easily. But the frame... The frame needed more work than I was capable.Fortunately my friend Chester from the hostel in Pisac knew of a good mechanic in Cusco. A phone call and 2 days later the mechanic made a house call out to Lamay to check out Jugs!!

    <dl id="attachment_7125" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">2.5 hours round trip by bus on his Sunday day off to come house call Jugs. Brian could fix the frame for 300 soles (120$)!</dd></dl>
    My challenge now was to get Jugs back to Cusco. The Harts were busy with their charity work and their truck wasn't available, so I set out to find some wheels for my wheels. After several hours of asking around in the rain, I waved down a 1 ton truck who happened to be heading to Cusco in the morning. Perfect. The next morning I called first thing to confirm, then head to Lamay before the sun was up to rendezvous with the truck. 45 minutes of waiting later, I tracked down a phone to find out that the truck driver had changed his mind and wasn't coming anymore. Fantastic. Oh Peru, where truly "Anything is possible, nothing is certain".


    I searched all morning and afternoon turning down offers from station wagon taxis who were both dreaming if they thought it would fit, and too expensive. I found Richard and his pickup in a gravel yard. 2 hours later we had Jugs loaded and on our way to Cusco.
    <dl id="attachment_7126" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Another day, another truck ride for Jugs.</dd></dl>
    70 soles (25$) and an hour later, Jugs was dropped off at my mechanics shop.

    <dl id="attachment_7132" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jugs towers over all the other bikes at the shop</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7130" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]</dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">In the shop</dd></dl><dl id="attachment_7141" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Recently freed from chains and bondage required to bend the frame back straight.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7129" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jayne came in to inspect the work</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7133" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Brian and his star employee</dd></dl>
    It took about two weeks for all the work to get done. Lots to dismantle and re-assemble. Lots of chains and hydraulics. I took the opportunity to use the shop space for the repairs I was able to complete myself, along with some maintenance. Brian was warm and welcoming to my presence. I really lucked out finding him to do the repairs.

    <dl id="attachment_7134" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Near impossible to get out after 30 000km of riding untouched. Do your bike a favour and do your scheduled swing-arm maintenance!</dd></dl>
    With Jugs nearing completion, I head to Lamay by bus to pick up my repaired riding gear. Only took two weeks longer than she originally quoted!
    <dl id="attachment_7138" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px;" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Two weeks late, but she did a solid job on my jacket and riding pants. Hours of work (once she started), cost just 40 soles (around 13$). Sure beats buying new stuff!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7140" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Happened upon Sandy along the road for a catch up. Really enjoyed meeting him and the family during my time of need.</dd></dl>
    After a couple weeks in the shop, once the frame was straight and I felt ready to go, I re-assembled the final pieces and did a test ride out to the sacred valley. I paid Brian the 420 soles (170$) I owed for the work (300 for the frame, 120 for a new handlebar). At that price: basically two hours worth of labour at any shop back in Canada... I shook his hand and set off on my ride. The ride was long enough to be a good test, and also allowed me to stop in and pick up my boxes from the welder that was out that way.

    <dl id="attachment_7136" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Last minute check over before the ride I found my adjuster plate for the top box was also bent. Quite the end over end flips Jugs must have made.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7137" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Sacred for a reason. Beautiful day for a ride out to the valley!</dd></dl>
    The ride took me a couple hours and included a good argument to get my boxes back. The welder had mostly finished the job on my pannier boxes, with a few bends left to be hammered out, but he wasn't around. His wife/guard dog was home, but she didn't want to let me pay her and take my boxes, saying I should come back in a few days when my welder returned. I had been through this once before with her when checking on the boxes a previous visit. That encounter ended with her closing the door and locking me out. Not going to go through that again, I handed her cash, took the boxes and left. The door slammed behind me. Glad I didn't forget anything. Back to the test ride.


    The test ride was successful in that Jugs was behaving well and I was able to retrieve my boxes, but it was a failure in the most important test: My shoulder hurt. I tried to ignore it, I tried to position my arm differently but by the end of the ride I had to rest my left hand on my leg for long stretches. Only when I had to use the clutch would I really put my hand back on the bar. I would later find out that this was because the pins had shifted, no longer holding my clavicle tightly in place. Jugs was now ready, but I was not. Isolating my shoulder to a sling for a month was my future, while Jayne would continue on without me. I insisted that she go on since there was a real chance that my trip was over and I would have to head back to Canada to heal there. Time would tell, and having her wait with me was a waste of her time.


    For now, Jugs was healed and would be waiting for me whenever, if ever, I was ready. Until then I just had to eat calcium supplements, chew calcium rich coca leaves and kill time. And kill time I did. Next up: Drinking my way to a healed clavicle, with a trip to the Dakar to boot.
    <dl id="attachment_7142" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px;" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Jugs at the ready. She'll wait a little while.</dd></dl>
  18. GSBruce

    GSBruce Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Please keep the report coming. You two have one of the more interesting reports on here. It appears you are both in Calgary now - I wonder how the tedium of standard civilization goes down for seasoned adventurers?
  19. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Thanks GSBruce!

    Well, it's less tedium than I had feared, but certainly more than I have experienced in the past 20 months. And I haven't started back at work yet :wink:
    There's something to be said for feeling a little bored, and resolving that boredom by riding 400km away to another town to change the scenery.

    Phil
  20. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    I was stuck in Cusco waiting for my clavicle and rib to heal. The Dakar was soon to start and broken shoulder or not, I wasn't going to be this close and miss it. So I took a bus to Salta, Argentina for the Dakar and liked it there so much I stayed a couple weeks. But taking a bus is not the same as riding a moto.


    <dl id="attachment_7186" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The bus was very late, and very wet.</dd></dl>

    I don't like working to other peoples schedules anyways, and not the greatest way to start a journey, but the comfy seats brightened my night.

    <dl id="attachment_7187" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Comfortable seats with legroom for the win!</dd></dl>

    This seat would be comfortable only for a little while. The bus broke a few hours later just before sunrise, so we had to wait for a replacement.
    <dl id="attachment_7188" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">By sunrise, my comfortable seat had come to an end, and we switched to a replacement bus on the side of the highway.</dd></dl>

    The replacement bus was late to Puno, so of course we missed our connecting comfy bus. Kudos to the company that only an hour later they had found us a new bus, a new OLD bus without comfy seats at all. This old bus took me to the border of Peru and Bolivia.


    At the border I hoped to switch passports from travelling on my Canadian to my UK passport, figuring it would be easier at this border than when it mattered in Argentina. Entering Argentina on a Canadian passport costs 100$US. UK passport is free.


    <dl id="attachment_7196" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Trying to swap passports proved difficult, especially with the time limits imposed by a waiting bus.</dd></dl>

    Leaving Peru was easy: stamp stamp see-ya. Entering Bolivia with an empty UK passport was not. After flipping through the pages and seeing no stamps, immediately the border officer asked if I had another passport. I said "yes", but when I asked to be stamped "in" on my UK passport instead, the officer shoved my passports back into my hand, pushed me aside and helped the next person in line. I was relegated to last. "Fair enough" I thought. But when the line was gone and it was my turn once more, the officer wouldn't budge. As I tried to convince him and gauge the possibility of greasing the wheels a little, my bus driver ran over to see what the hold up was. "Oh you can sort your passport stamps out at the immigration office in La Paz" he told me. The officer agreed and took my Canadian passport. Stamp stamp see-ya.
    <dl id="attachment_7192" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Crossing Lake Titticaca, everyone has to get off the bus and take a separate passenger boat for safety. I thought this was a scam to get more money...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7194" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">...I was the only one who felt this way. The bus rocked heavily with each wave the barge encountered, sufficiently convincing me that a full bus would likely capsize and kill us all. I saved a full 30 cents though.</dd></dl>

    It was a pretty, but slow bus ride to La Paz. And possibly it would have been possible to sort out my passport stamp issue had my original bus arrived on time to La Paz. However my fourth bus of this journey was very late, and the immigration office was long since closed by the time I arrived. Waiting until morning for the office to open would mean not making it to Salta for the Dakar, thus defeating the main carrot for the trip. Reluctantly, I set off on the next 17 hour long bus ride to the border at Villazon-La Quiaca: The worst border in the Americas.

    <dl id="attachment_7153" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Villazon had the longest border line I had encountered yet. 7 hours!</dd></dl>
    And that was 7 hours WITHOUT importing a motorbike! It was nearly sunset by the time I finally made it to the window. I had taken these hours to inquire with some Bolivian Border guards in the street about getting an exit stamp in my UK passport. Eventually I found a border officer who would acquire one for me... for 300 Bolivianos (about 50$). Half the price of the Argentinian Visa, but not guaranteed to work. I could see the Argentinians questioning why I only had an exit stamp and no entry stamp, then making me pay for the Visa anyways. In that case, I would be doubly screwed, since my Canadian passport also barely had 6 months left before expiry (didn't think the trip would take this long...). I could get into Argentina with it, but I wouldn't be able to re-enter Bolivia or Peru with less than 6 months remaining. I had to go back to Peru to fetch my bike.



    After hours of internal debate while melting in line, I decided to just try my luck at the immigration windows. First I tried pleading for an extra exit stamp at the Bolivia exit window. No dice. I explained my case, made jokes, even begged. They smiled, but still said "no". In the end it wouldn't matter.


    At the Argentina entry window the young man took my passport, read it, then stared at it for awhile. Then he asked where I was born. "Calgary" I said.
    "What country is that?"
    "Canada".
    "Then you need to pay".
    "That can't be right. I am a British Citizen as you can see by the passport, where I was born doesn't matter".

    This stumped him a little, and he went for his supervisor. Him leaving the office with a still very long line behind me didn't help my popularity with the crowds. They were pleased when I was taken aside out of their way when the supervisor came over. But he gave me the same answer. "You must go back to Bolivia, find an internet cafe and pay online". I argued, politely, but I argued for a long time. Basically: "I have dual citizenship. Right now I am choosing to be from the UK. You would do the same if the difference was 100$US and possible problems with onwards travel on an expiring passport... By law I am a UK citizen... This has to be a misunderstanding of the rules... yada yada yada". That I was arguing in Spanish might have helped sway things. Eventually, the supervisor told me to wait and walked off into an office. 10 minutes later he returned, flashed me the page on my UK passport that had been stamped and ushered me away over the border without saying another word. (For the record, I was in the right and should not have had to pay... but entering on a passport without an exit stamp from Bolivia probably should have given me problems.)
    <dl id="attachment_7156" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Not at all the fight I had expected, but I won so stamp in hand I was free to leave the hell that is the Villazon border!</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7157" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">This poor Argentinian kid was having worse problems than I. He had left 3 years earlier on his moto to travel South America and was making his return home. Argentinian law says that if you take a vehicle out of the country for more than a year, you have to pay import taxes to bring it back. Argentina import taxes are incredibly high. The kid was broke and just trying to make it home...</dd></dl>

    Post border fun I had bus problems again, as my bus ticket that I had specifically asked and paid for to be non-stop: had a 6 hour stop-over in the middle... of a 7 hour bus ride. Argentina wasn't wooing me well.
    <dl id="attachment_7159" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Also included: An hour long roadside military search of the bus.</dd></dl>

    I finally made it to Salta at 5:30 am after 3 days of travel. I got to the hostel just outside of town, checked in, and promptly slept through the first day worth of racing of the Dakar around Salta. Nuts!


    The problem with the Dakar rally (from a spectator standpoint) is that the Rally is made for the drivers. As such, they don't release the route or timing of the spectator areas until the evening before each stage. This keeps the route secret from the drivers... but also makes it exceptionally tough to plan for, especially when you don't have wheels of your own.


    When I did wake up, I was warmly greeted by Jayne and all the bikers in her new gang. None of them had made it to catch the days stage either. This would prove to be the common theme, with none of us actually seeing any live racing at all. I will have to do the Dakar again sometime.
    <dl id="attachment_7162" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 802px" data-mce-style="width: 802px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">We made it to the Dakar festival grounds to watch some riders ride across the stage... but not what I came for.</dd></dl>

    The hostel there was fun and I decided to spend 2 weeks in Salta. The lower elevation, thus more oxygenation for my healing was a draw, and the nicer weather and pool didn't hurt. I started work at the hostel, another of the Loki chain, and it was a blast.

    <dl id="attachment_7165" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Pikachu and a leopard run the bar</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7166" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Not the worst job around.</dd></dl>

    Nearing the end of my stay, I visited a hospital for a follow-up.
    <dl id="attachment_7168" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Fellow moto crasher and sling-buddy Joe, with his lady Jen, also in for a check-up at the hospital.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7169" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Improvement! The doc said he could pull the pins and I could get moving!</dd></dl>

    While certainly not healed, the bone was starting to heal. The Doc thought pulling the pins was the right move, but in the end I didn't get insurance approval in time to have that done. I had managed to get a coverage extention and didn't want to mess it up by having procedures without prior approval. Probably for the best that I didn't have the pin out then. But this did mean that after a long month of being stuck in a sling, my left arm could once again taste sweet freedom!

    <dl id="attachment_7198" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The best game mashup ever invented</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7171" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">What better way to celebrate freedom than an epic win of beer-pong-flip-cup?!</dd></dl>

    For whatever reason I took very few photo's while in Salta, but here is a small sampling of all the good people I had the pleasure of hanging out with there.
    <dl id="attachment_7172" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dan dreams of all the things we could be doing if it wasn't raining.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7217" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 610px" data-mce-style="width: 610px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Eva the receptionist experiences my culinary masterpiece: rare peanut butter on chocolate chip cookie.</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7216" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Cultural exchanges can be enlightening: Hailey, Nicole and Renee taught me that just by saying "Kegal" you can control nearby ladies into contracting their nether regions. Fact.</dd><dt>
    </dt></dl>
    Many a night at the hostel would last till the wee hours of the morning drinking with such new amigos.

    <dl id="attachment_7164" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">One thing that never, ever gets old: sunrises...</dd></dl>
    <dl id="attachment_7199" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">...nor Sunsets.</dd></dl>

    The sun would set on my time in Salta sooner than I might have liked, with my rapidly expiring Peruvian temporary motorcycle import docs beckoning me back to Cusco. This involved more bus rides. And my first robbery.
    After a non-eventful night bus ride back to the border town of La Quiaca, I found myself walking towards the Villazon border-from-hell at around 5:30am. While walking, I struck up conversation with a Bolivian guy also walking to the border. I bemoaned how long the border took on the way in. He agreed, and said he had heard of another nearby crossing colloquially called "the White House". He asked a guy walking the other way about the border wait.


    "Terrible, 4 hours. You would do best to try the White House".
    Asked another two guys the same question, both answered the same thing: "The White House is better".
    To top it off, the last guy we asked offered to lead us there. Nice guy. Love meeting locals who know these little tips. Especially given how long the border crossing was the last time.


    I followed the two guys along beside the road until we head down a well worn dirt path into a ravine. Another guy was following not far behind "also going to this White House crossing" I thought... "or perhaps they are all going to rob me down in this ravine". I palmed my leatherman just in case, but figured a) I wouldn't be able to fight back well anyways given my arm has only been out of a sling for 2 days, and b) I didn't really have much on me worth stealing, so if this adventure went down that way it wouldn't be a big loss. Plus, I still thought that they could just be friendly locals who really did know a faster crossing. I was interested to find out.


    At the bottom of the ravine, a flashlight came bouncing towards us along the waters edge "Stop, Police!". One solitary officer came up to us. We all stopped. He showed us his "ID" that was poorly laminated paper with a grainy photo and large red lettering saying "POLICE". Ok then, I'm probably getting robbed.


    He asked for our ID's, which the other three men already seemed to have at the ready. I offered for the "officer" to look at my passport, but when he went to hold it I pulled back. "You may read it, but I will hold it" I said, "I've heard of Police robbing tourists like this."


    The "officer" didn't like it, but accepted that I wouldn't let him hold my passport. Then he asked to look in our bags for contraband. A quick search of the other mens bags, followed by an in depth look through mine. I squatted down so close our heads were nearly touching so that I could see exactly what he was doing. Nothing really worth stealing in my bag anyways. Then he said he needed to check our money for fakes. Ok then, I'm definitely getting robbed.


    Fortunately I only had 110 Argentinian pesos (less than 10$) on me. I'd spent the rest. The "officer" was upset, repeatedly asking me "are you sure you don't have any more?". "Yes I'm sure" I replied, getting more hostile each time. Then he gave me a pat down. The Officer insisted I put my camera from my pocket into my bag. I resisted, saying that was ridiculous and unnecessary. He insisted more than I resisted, so I placed the camera in an internal zippered pocket in my bag and zipped the bag closed too. The "officer" patted me down again, then wanted to take another look in my bag. I resisted again, but by this point I figured the other men must be in on it, so kicking the officer over and running might not go down very well. I again watched closely as he dug through my bag once more. But that was it for me, I grabbed my bag and said "if you want to search me more, it'll have to be somewhere that isn't a ravine". He said "Fine, get going then!"
    I walked 5 steps then stopped.


    I really wanted a photo of these guys. I opened my bag, unzipped the pocket... to find that my camera was gone. One armed or not, I exploded in rage and ran at them "Where's my Camera?!!". One guy quickly handed it back to the "officer", and the "officer" said "here it is, you dropped it" as he handed it to me. Riiiight, I "dropped it" and you are a "police officer". The men then scurried off together, into the darkness. By the time I snapped a photo it wasn't too incriminating.
    <dl id="attachment_7201" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 810px" data-mce-style="width: 810px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt">[​IMG]
    </dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ravine Robbers in the night. "Policeman" on the right.</dd></dl>

    The whole boondoggle took about 45 minutes. As I walked back up out of the ravine, I checked for my cash to find that it had indeed been taken. He was quick with skilled fingers. I had been watching the whole time like a hawk. A short walk to the real border would reveal that not only was there no 4 hour wait; the border didn't even open until 7 am! It was then I realized that all told there had to have been at least 6, and likely 8 men involved in a semi-organized heist. Each guy walking the other way who mentioned the non-existent "White house" border crossing had been in on the scam too. An organized heist which netted them 10$, 1.25$ each. I'm happy to have wasted their time I suppose.


    A couple weeks later I would (sadly) end up crossing at the same border again. I figured the robbers were organized enough it likely wasn't their only time pulling that stunt, so I mentioned it to the Argentinian border police. The police response: "Yep, there are bad people around. Watch out for that."


    Thanks for that.


    Moral of this story: Don't take buses while on a motorcycle trip and you won't get robbed.

    Kegal.