VENTURING SOUTH on DRZ's

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Romanousky, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Why do you think I'm going to Bolivia? Actually, there are a number of reasons....you will see them all soon.

    You are crazy for doing that in a bus....never say never but I would never fricken do that....ever.
  2. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Much appreciate the offer. I just ordered some so hold off for now. Love to see the longtime lurker stuff. I do that all the time on lots of ride reports and have posted on very few. After how much I have enjoyed the feedback I will be sure to post more often.
  3. kentnothstine

    kentnothstine Been here awhile

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    Keep it up! Don't forget about the rest of us who wish we were there too:lol3
  4. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Never cease to amaze me Paul. With what you are doing I don't understand how you have time to read other reports let alone offer valuable information. I did reach out to the HU community however no response yet. Anyway, sprocket thing is "taken care of" but we will get to that later.
  5. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    The last few days have been hectic and crazy....I even ran over a drunk guy. :lol3 Anyway, I got a long 300 mil'er tomorrow and then I'll get back at this thing.
  6. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    I try not to think about you guys that much :rofl I'm going to be back doing "that thing" soon enough. :cry
  7. kentnothstine

    kentnothstine Been here awhile

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    It's just now getting nice way up here in Michigan, it's about the first whole week of nice days we've had. So, I have been dreaming about a grand adventure lots lately :lol3
  8. nmtrialsguy

    nmtrialsguy Been here awhile

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    Did Al notice? :ear :rofl
  9. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    That made me laugh out loud. :D
  10. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    So the biggest thing to do today was to find sprockets. Took my bike to Peru Moto Tours because the owner assured me that he could get me setup. Dropped off the bike at 9:00. I said I would come back at closing but he told me at 3:00 it would be done for sure. Then he asked if a 42 tooth rear would be okay (I’m running 15/44 which is a touch low but works just fine). I said 42 is fine if you use a 15 on the front….anything lower (ie 41,40,etc…) go to a 14 in the front. I paid the man a whopping $225 USD. Expensive but I have to so whatever. Right before I walk out he asks for the keys…why? “It might be easier to do the work down the street in the shop…….okay.?. I walk away and in ten minutes I return. The rear sprocket was $60….it got me thinking that this might be aluminum because of the price. I get back and the bike is already gone…obviously this was the plan all along. He assures me that it will be “acero” (steel). Okay, then I tell him that I want the front sprocket back….just to have a back up. He asks why a bunch of times and then I finally get him to admit what is going to happen. They are going to take my sprocket, cut off the teeth, save the splined portion, cut a new sprocket to fit around this hub, and weld it together. WTF? First, I don’t like all that heat input into a hardened piece of steel right at the teeth and doubt these guys know anything about quenching steel to the appropriate hardness, etc… More assurances and at this point what the hell can I do about it.

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    I show up at 3:30 just to give a bit extra and no bike in sight. Something about lunch this that and the other but it will be here at 4:00. Wait around and finally some Peruvian guy with a helmet that doesn’t fit and the mouthguard is up around eye level comes rolling down the street with my ride. I got a no name rear sprocket that was just a plate until they bored the right hole pattern and center bore. I got a front sprocket that is slightly inset and does not line up with the rear perfectly (which nobody would agree with me about). But I did get an RK O-ring chain. Bottom line, if I knew what was going to happen I could have picked up some cheapy sprockets and had a fab shop do all this work for borderline nothing and walked away with an extra $100 in my pocket but at least it is done. I hope the offset doesn’t hurt the chain too quickly. I will still make an attempt to get a Suzuki sprocket in La Paz, Bolivia.

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    Back to the apartment and we soon set out to buy our tickets to Machu Picchu. With that taken care of it was time to clean the air filter. First time of the trip and it was badly needed, I don’t think I have ever let a filter get this dirty.

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    Pretty soon it is time to go out and meet up with Stephi & Nina….some of the German girls we met on the boat from Panama to Colombia. A few beers and dinner later we end up at Nortons for more beer and then Mushrooms for more drinks. Al and I have to get up at 6:00 the next morning and I’m ready to go but the girls say no, we got one more game to play. There are about 40 cocktails of all sorts on the menu so you pick a number between 1 and 40, count down the menu, and order. I ended up with some whiskey/liquer drink in a martini glass and Al has something like a Daquiri. At midnight we said our goodbyes and I knew morning would be trouble.

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    This is over a liter of beer. THAT IS HOW BEER SHOULD BE SERVED

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    The game:

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  11. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Woke up feeling fantastically rotten and onto the road by 7:00. Not only did we have to get up early but we have a 6 mile hike ahead of us after the ride.

    Riding through town it is very typical at all the red lights to split lanes up to the front. This time we were driving between the sidewalk and vehicles. Creeping along because the cars are encroaching and there is a man lying on the sidewalk with his legs in the street. He is obviously blacked out and has a pile of vomit in his crotch. I miss the legs with the front but I have to cut back to dodge a vans side mirror and sure enough…bump bump…drove over his legs. Behind me Al said he didn’t even flinch. Continue on!

    First thing to hit was Maras to see the salt mines about 30 or so miles out of Cusco. Cool pools covers a mountain side where the naturally salty water pours from the mountain side and is directed into these manmade pools where the water eventually evaporates and the salt is harvested. Very original sight.

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    Al did not dress or pack appropriately for this venture and was soon freezing his ass off. Solution: Put wool socks on his hands for gloves, then slide into his cashmere sweater for additional leg warmth. Pretty fun watching this guy roll down the road.

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    From here we dropped into a river valley and followed it for a bit until the climbing began. The pass topped out just shy of 14K but it puts you right next door to an amazing snowcapped mountain. Quite chilly up here but not as bad as the Alpaca pass to Abancay. Lots of mountain bikers take tours up here to drop off the backside of this pass because the road is incredible….like most mountain roads here in South America.

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    Hammer down this and nearing the bottom we hit construction. I didn’t get a photo but it had times when vehicles were allowed to pass (6-7, 9-10, 12-1, and 6PM to 2AM). Luckily we showed up at quarter to noon so we didn’t have to wait long. This may pose an issue tomorrow on the return trip.
  12. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Turned off the highway for Santa Teresa where the road turned to mud. First thing I see is a hump in the dirt that I have to floor and nail, as I approach I see the mud puddle on the back side, pin it thinking I might be able to clear it, not a chance, POW, at least 12” deep and right into the center my feet are now soaked. Screw it, it’s warm down here.

    Continuing on the road get a bit sketchy. Gravel, shear drop to a river valley that has to be 800 ft or so down. Sweet! Grabbed lunch in Santa Teresa and then off to Hydroelectrica. This is as close as you can get to Machu Picchu by automobile (yeah, you can’t drive there).

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    From here we locate Elico Escobar. Fritz (Pork & Corn) told us about this guy and how you can leave your bike and gear while you hike in. He was ecstatic to see motos and I showed him a picture of himself on the internet which he loved. He showed me card of Fritz and his bike which he kept pinned on the wall. Really nice guy.

    Drop the bikes, change clothes, and head for the 6 mile jaunt to Aguas Caliente. This is the town that is located at the base of Machu Picchu and caters to all the tourists (hostels, hotels, restaurants, all EXTREMELY overpriced, etc…).

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  13. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    The hike in is fantastic. Everyone says 2 hours but plan on 2.5 at least. We had a good pace and took very few photo breaks. You just walk along the train tracks and gawk at the mountains…..mountains aren’t even the correct term. These are skyscrapers made of stone. Flat stone faces that shoot out of the ground upwards of 2,000 feet. That is a guess but I doubt it is far off.

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    This is the train that you do have the option of taking if you don't want to walk the 6 miles:

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    Even got to smash some coins by the passing trains:

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    At some point along the tracks we ran into a group of 5 hungry looking dogs. This thing appeared to be the ring leader and he was one ugly SOB. Bald except for a mohawk and a few long wiry hairs protruding from his leathery skin. Kept coming up to smell us and I just had thoughts of rabies going through my head:

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    We arrive just before sunset….locate our hotel. They don’t have our reservation. Long story but we had to find a new place. After killing all the enormous spiders we sacked out hard. Not even a beer.

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  14. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Up early and given the fact that we need to be back to the bikes by 11:30 we opted for the bus up to the Machu Picchu entrance. A short bit of hiking after getting off the bus and all of a sudden you are staring out at the picturesque ruins of Machu Picchu.

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    The imported lawn mowers to keep the place tidy:

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    Surrounded by epic cones covered in a mixture of bare rock faces and enchanting jungle vegetation. You guys have seen the pictures, it looks just like it….not disappointing in the least. I would say that the only thing you really can’t grasp from photos is the shear drop on either side of the ruins. Literally straight down to the river valley floor. Gave me a bit of vertigo just standing on the edge.

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    I’m really not much into ruins of ancient times but I will say that the stonework is in exquisite condition.

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    Whomever resided in this adobe had a nice view:

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    Made our rounds through the ruins and then headed back to the ground floor for a fast paced 6 miles back to the bikes. We actually jogged 2 or 3 of these miles and were able to finish the 6 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes.

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    The bikes and gear were safe and sounds in the hands of Elico. He wants us to send as many motos as we can his way. Very happy to be taking part in our adventure. Super guy!

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    Ripped up the offroad section all the way back to Santa Teresa and then started on the pavement. I had my backpack/camelback strapped to the back of the bike (same as on the way here). We hit all the speed bumps at about 50mph but on one of the few remaining an unfortunate accident occurred. Backpack came loose and right when I landed off the bump it flipped underneath the bike, locked up the rear wheel, and I slid for about 200 feet. Kept the bike upright but it made tatters of my nice camelback. Ripped off one of the shoulder straps, tore off one of the zippers and chewed a hole through my nice Kuiu pants that I love….right in the crotch. Now I gotta “hang to the left”. Also ripped off one of the side pockets that holds my water bottle. Crap! We passed a Peruvian ADVrider so he came up on us after this incident and immediately stops, pulls out the video camera, starts shooting and speaking Spanish. I’m sure it how something to do with dumbass gringos.
    Resituated we made it to the construction zone with 15 minutes to spare. Of course nobody was working…it’s May Day! Hoodathunkit?

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    Instead of doing all the switchbacks we cut straight up through the soft thawed out tundra like ground:

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    This kid was throwing pigs off this embankment. Not sure why but for good reason no doubt.

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    Well, now as you may recall, we have a Cuy festival to get to. At 4:30 the party was in full swing. They let us drive our bikes into the carnival area and navigate through throngs of people to find a parking spot. Lots of funny looks at the only two white guys in this little village full of Cuy eating fanatics.

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    Stumbled into a group of very drunk locals who wanted to chat us up to no end. Finally they helped us order a plate of the famous Guinea Pig and we dug in. It was served with some kind of intestine filled with vitals, a pepper filled with diced veggies and cheese, corn on the cob, and a large rat on top. Not even hungry at this point we just ripped apart the Guinea Pig and ate as much as we could and got the hell out of this party. The Cuy was delicious, not a lot of meat there, a little bit tedious with lots of small bones, but delicious none the less.

    Wheelbarrow full of BBQ rats:

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    Stormed back into Cusco where we just relaxed and prepared for another big day of riding.

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  15. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Very nice work on the Macha Pichu Pics. Well Done!

    As I'm sure you've noticed ... there are tailor shops everywhere in S. America. Mostly Men doing the work. Perhaps your Camel Back and Pants can be repaired .. or made usable?

    I used their services many times in several countries. Be sure to bargain or you will pay the "Gringo" price. I always liked to use an intermediary ... like a girl from the Hotel or Hostel or a kindly Abuela.

    Often they know a good tailor who is skilled and reasonable. Custom made clothes still made and most all do repairs.

    Good luck, hope you can get things repaired. You may have to go out and find the correct fabric ... but they can probably sew it all up good as new.

    Suerte!
  16. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Thanks. They did turn out pretty good. Obviously I"m not a professional with a camera so i was happy to get some decent pics of the place.

    You are correct, lots of tailors. If it was easy to find the right fabric i would probably go this right. But since I have a leatherman, safety wire, and duct tape, I know have a useable backpack. Pretty easy to sew with safety wire.
  17. 46Harley

    46Harley not soon enough

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    Great pixs!
    Whats the story with the 3 or 4 roofed buildings on Machu Pichu?
  18. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Not real sure. They look like original buildings that had new roofs built for them. I stepped inside one of them and it had a bunch of lawn care stuff including a few weed whackers.
  19. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Got up and immediately checked on my sprocket/chain after the big ride out to Machu Picchu. Steel dust and the sides of the teeth are glistening. F*$%@. Shoot down to moto avenue and quickly find someone to pull the sprocket and I help to make the right space adjustment, etc… looks good for now, time will tell.

    This guy helped with the sprocket adjustments:

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    This sign made me laugh:

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    Rode to Puno on Lake Titicaca. Really happy to be back on the road but it was not very fun. Very cold temperatures on this elevated Altiplano with little scenery and straight roads. I didn’t even bother to take many photos. The only cool thing I saw was miles of fence line built from rocks. Interesting because the width of the “fences” are a single stone.

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    Thus far not really impressed with the lake, or Puno for that matter, at this point and time. Hopefully it will reveal a nicer side in the morning. Of course our room is upstairs and right on the street front. What is with these people and their damn horns. Just constant honking down the street for no apparent reason. There isn’t even any traffic. If you are on the sidewalk they just blast the horn to let you know you shouldn’t blindly step out in the street because they are coming through. Multiply this by about 10,000 and you want to just start throwing rocks.

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    By end of day the sprocket and chain are looking much better. No more metal flakes.
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  20. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Get out of Puno and pound pavement lakeside for a while. The lake in this section is much nicer looking but still not spectacular. Just a really big lake at 12K feet and rather chilly.

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    Just think Beavis & Butthead....Titicaca!

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    Made it to the border by about 10:30 and exited Peru in a matter of 20 minutes. Didn’t cost a dime.

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