Virginia to Ushuaia on Dirt Bikes

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by chip8150, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    MS – Sunday, December 31st – Happy New Year! We said our good byes to our fellow travelers and wished them well on their eight hour hike to the Crater Lake. We enjoyed a pleasant 30-minute ride on the nice new curvy road to the same location. The sun was out and the riding was fairly warm. The elevation going through the volcano peaks varies of course but you can tell by how much the bike backfires when you let off the throttle if you are gaining altitude. I can also tell by my breathing. Even in Quito, which sits at around 9500 feet, I was struggling.
    We paid $1 per bike to visit the area of the Quilotoa Lake. The views were spectacular – breath-taking in two ways! There is a very well maintained trail that you can hike to the bottom edge of the lake going from 11K to 7K in elevation. It said it takes 30 min to hike down and 1.5 hours to hike back up. You do have the option to hire a donkey to ride back up. We opted for neither and to have a coffee instead. If your heart is already pounding out of your chest with no oxygen, why not amp it up with some caffeine?

    We met three other people who were from Boston and had rented bikes from Freedom in Quito. They parked beside us and we chatted for a few. One of them had purchased a paper mache doll and lashed it to the front of his bike. We had seen many of these attached to car roofs and truck grills in the past few days. Some are life size, or bigger and are outside of businesses. He explained that it is supposed to represent your 2017 and you burn it at midnight on NYE and it starts your 2018 fresh.

    When we picked up my bike in Quito on Friday, the owner asked if we were ready for NYE in Ecuador? He said it gets crazy and all the guys dress in drag. I told Chip and Ken I only brought one dress so they were going to have to fight over it. We all laughed…then.

    We left the crater and headed towards Banos. The riding was awesome! Sunny, dry, good road, and spectacular views. The valleys are filled with agriculture on super steep areas. Very interesting to see. Most of the fields must be hand planted. All the livestock have ropes and halters on them: Cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, llamas, alpacas. Sometimes the other end of the rope is tied to something, sometimes they are just dragging it behind them. Around 1:30 we decided to stop for lunch as we were in a city changing roads, it had begun to rain, and we needed to fuel up. We walked into a restaurant with five tables and took up two of them with us and our gear. We had “the special” which is the only thing available. We got a plate of sliced strawberries, an orange cream soda, a bowl of chicken foot and rice soup, and a plate of rice, potato, piece of chicken, one slice of tomato, one piece of lettuce, and a generous serving of “sauce”. It reminded me of a warm 1000 island. Total was $7.50 for all of us.

    There was dance music blaring from a huge speaker at the side of the road. We got back on the bikes in the rain and realized that we were going to have to head right into a group of guys dressed as girls who were stopping traffic and asking for money. We managed to get through them and pull a U turn to get headed back to where we wanted to go. Now picture this scene playing out over 70 or 80 more times in the next few hours. These groups of guys in drag ranged from children age 5 or so up to maybe 30 years old? They dance and yell and wave and stop traffic. Some people give them $ and some don’t. Some groups have ropes which they raise across the road. Others actually had long poles on a swivel that they would bring down and raise up. They were standing in front of huge tour busses and stopping traffic but the busses wouldn’t let them on or give them $. We used these large vehicles to help us avoid having to stop. We passed on the left, on the right, in between lanes, in the gutter. We charged the raised ropes and they would drop them at the last minute. I did graze somebody with a mirror/handlebar but they had their back to me and stepped into my path in their high heel shoes they weren’t used to wearing.

    This style of riding continued and then we came up on a volleyball game in the middle of the road, where the police were either watching or participating, it was hard to tell. Chip rode into the middle of the game, I followed. Chip turned around. Ken followed me. Then within a block, the helmet coms quit and that was it. We were separated. Ken and I were together and Chip was by himself. Ken and I followed his GPS and continued towards Banos. I was worried about Chip but Ken said Chip’s GPS would lead him in the same direction and they had been separated before. We all continued the 40k to Banos and then connected on What’sApp.

    We stayed in different hotels and met up for dinner. The town was crazy with people in drag, kids in costumes, lots of people with masks. Everyone begging for $. It was pouring rain but that didn’t seem to dampen any spirits. Fireworks were exploding constantly and in very public and crowded areas. Roman candles going off being shot towards windows in buildings. People were carrying around their dolls now. Chaotic looking to an outsider and we had a prime spot at a pizza place on a corner which faced a park where a lot of the activity seemed to be taking place. We threw in the towel by 9. Ken and I walked back to our hostel, about ½ mile, in the rain. Chip was only 2 blocks away.

    We heard a lot of fireworks and explosions at 11:45 but then that was it. We didn’t see any fires or hear any shenanigans. Slept great and are ready to head out again. Only today it is raining from the very beginning. Headed to Tena.
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    goodbye to our great hostel

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    Goodbye to our hiking friends

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    Crater Lake

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    Amazing view

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    Guys from Boston and their effigy to be burned for the new year

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    Mario? Why?

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    Donkey from Shrek?

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    Random street action - drag and costumes

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    Chaos in the street with a giant creepy clown effigy to be burned

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    The grim reaper on stilts

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    The Grim reaper's bride
  2. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    MS – Monday, January 1st – Happy New Year for real now! This morning we met up at our hostel at 10AM. We took off in the rain and headed out for Tena, our destination for the day. We rode through the Banos area passing all the zip line tours and giant swings that are offered for tourist pleasures. Not a lot of action on the morning after the big party and the cold rain was a deterrent as well. The streets seemed extremely clean and picked up considering what we had experienced the day before. Neatly placed bags of trash lined the sidewalks. There were some smoldering fires here and there with remnants of doll arms and legs sticking out that were disturbing. Then a small parade of 6 or so vehicles came towards us. Each filled with people still in drag or costumes. Some sitting on top of the car roof, others in the back of trucks. The final one had a creepy clown on top and that was all I needed to see. Glad that NYE is officially over!
    We continued in the rain and we started descending in altitude out of the volcano mountain region and into the Amazon valley. We passed tons of waterfalls and crossed many bridges over rivers. All of the rivers were flowing fast and looked like chocolate milk. We pulled over once for a look but the rain had all the camera lenses fogged up so we kept riding. The trees and foliage are thick and there is a true jungle feel. We stopped for lunch on the side of the road around 1PM. Today’s lunch was superior. We actually had some options. Ken and I had fried tilapia and Chip ordered chicken. We were served a pitcher of juice to start. Then we were all served a bowl of soup filled with hominy and one potato each as well as a large slice of stew bone. The section still had skin on it. I’m going to guess it was pork leg. It came with a quarter of a lime to squeeze over it all. It was delicious, especially on a cold rainy damp afternoon. Our lunch plates arrived and Chip had a HUGE piece of chicken (boneless) that made up for yesterday where the luck of the hatchet wasn’t kind to him and he drew the short straw with a back piece. He also had French fries, rice with ham and vegetables mixed in, and stewed beans. Ken and I received whole fried fish, plain rice, and tostones (smashed and twice fried plantains). The table also received two bowls of purple onion and tomato pieces marinated in a vinegar based sauce. We were in no hurry so we enjoyed it all to the tune of a bill of $10 total.

    We rode the remaining 40k or so into Tena and pulled over to get a “pin” on the map of our hostel. It was advertised as “one mile from town with a view of the city”. That would be one mile straight up the side of a mountain. At one point, following Ken, we got to the top of a very steep road and turned left, only to discover it was a divided road with a median and we were headed into oncoming traffic. Details, details…I had to back down a little on the steep road to get turned around and headed in the right direction. We arrived just fine and the view is amazing. Lots of birds, big and small, that you can see and hear from the back patio area and from our rooms. We saw a cool hummingbird in the garden.

    We went out tonight into the town. We took a taxi down for $1.25. Well worth it. We walked around and saw a plethora of Christmas lights on a foot bridge that they have over the river. There was plenty of street food available. “Meat” on a stick of several varieties and grilled corn seemed to be the most prevalent. My personal favorite is a hot dog on a stick cut into a curly fry shape to make it appear fancier. Then you can hold it off to the side and drizzle it with whatever your favorite condiment is letting the excess fall to the ground. We ended up at a pizza place that took forever but the pizza was good once it arrived. We walked around the corner for ice cream while waiting to hail a taxi. It was ok but seriously nothing beats the choco-banana pre-packaged we have been enjoying all over the country.

    Headed back to Quito tomorrow. Hoping for a great last day of riding. The end of the trip for me and the boys need to keep heading south.
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    Our lunch soup

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    Chip's pollo

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    Mmmmm fried tilapia and tostones

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    view coming into town - doesn't do it justice

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    View from our hostel

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    Great view of Tena

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    City sign down by the river

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    People lighting sky lanterns tonight
  3. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    MS - Tuesday January 2nd. We woke up in Tena, in the Amazon, to the sounds of the jungle, literally. The sounds kicked off about 4:30 AM. The birds, lots of them.
    Monkeys? Something that sounded like an owl? The hostel had some screens and some just open windows, no AC. Surreal to lay in bed and hear all that noise. We went to the back patio in t-shirts and bare feet to have breakfast around 7:30 AM and watched a number of hummingbirds in the gardens and surrounding trees. It was already 70 degrees.

    We packed up for our last day of riding together, fueled up, and headed for Quito. The map indicated two highways 45E to 20N, about 200k. The symbols look the same as what you would see in the States used for an interstate. The road went from a cement two lane road with a middle line to a narrow strip of asphalt with no markings. Occasionally crossing bridges made of metal plates spanning rushing muddy waters. S-turn after switchback after curve we wound around the mountains. The riding wasn't particularly fast but definitely fun without rain. At one point we passed a lengthy red sign in Spanish which had a number of exclamation points. Ken said from behind that he thought that meant the road was about get bad. Chip confirmed from the front that was true. Just mud and rocks and gullies and potholes. Good thing we were on dirtbikes! We passed a semi delivering bottled water with completely open sides coming the other way slowly picking his way through the holes and cracks. In less than 10 minutes we were back on tarmack.

    The views were impressive. We dropped to 1000 feet and were deep in tropical jungle. Then we rode all the way up to over 13000 where we were snowed on! We stopped at the top to close vents and gear up for maximum warmth. We passed dozens of impressive waterfalls on both sides of us and would take a curve to see giant snow covered peaks in the distance.There were various signs indicating llamas, armadillos and maybe an anteater? At the top of the pass, there were multiple signs telling us to look out for bears crossing but we didn't see any. We rode arounds lots of rocks that had fallen in the road and several mudslides. Chip said he felt Ecuador had the most dramatic landscape yet on the trip.

    Getting close to Quito we could see the smog over the city socked in by clouds hanging out at nine and ten thousand feet. We hit the city traffic just right about two o'clock. It turns to gridlock with police on every corner directing the chaos by four. Within a few kilometers of our hotel I chickened out on crossing in front of a moving bus to make a right hand turn and lost Chip. Ken and I caught up with him at Freedom Bike Rental in 15 minutes. We turned in my rental and the guys looked over Chip's bike that was running rough from all the change in altitude and potentially suspect fuel. Hopefully some carb cleaning and adjustment will do the trick.

    300 miles. Andes to the Amazon region with lots of volcanos thrown in for good measure. Two days of mostly rain and two days of mostly dry with some flurries to make it interesting. We finished the same way we started. Sushi for dinner a few blocks from the hotel.

    Headed to the airport at 5 AM this morning and the guys we're going to hit the bricks early too. I'm back in the States now, flying through Miami. I hear its single digits at home. Boo!

    A big thanks to my amazing husband and our tolerant friend Chip for letting me crash their adventure. It.Was.Awesome. Guest blogger, signing off.
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    Leaving the Amazon in Tena

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    View from a roadside stop

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    View the other direction

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    Cool stairway by the side of the road

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    Shrine alongside the road

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    Stopping at the top of the pass to gear up

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    Back at Freedom Bike Rental
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  4. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    Ok folks, that's almost got things caught up. Except that were currently 480k down the road from Quito, and my wife is now back home in Virginia. Looks like you'll have to put up with the ramblings of Chip and myself from now on.
  5. fredz43

    fredz43 Long timer

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    Just a quick thank you to MS for the very interesting, well written blogs with beautiful pics. You done good, young lady! Sounds like you had a great time with the guys and we all enjoyed reading about it.
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  6. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Nicely written. Thanks for taking the time and posting. Cool to see first-time reactions to all that. Brings back memories but no way I'd remember it all to write down!

    La gente come bien allá no?

    Guess you got back just in time to enjoy this lovely cold snap. :bluduh Went up to Walmart today (wed., it's officially tomorrow now) but we plan to be holed up in the house until next week after the 40 hours of windchiils below zero Aubrey's calling for. :vardy The only way to survive is to think of times in Ecuador. Hope you don't have any frozen pipes!
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  7. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

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    yes, there is a noticeable difference but we'll survive! :y0!
  8. fredz43

    fredz43 Long timer

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    Well you guys are doing great also and we all appreciate going along for the ride ,especially when my outside temperature readout is below 0 this morning.
  9. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    The latest blog entries are great. I've visited a few of the same places in Ecuador and you've got me jonesing to go back. The whole journey has been fascinating so far and I'm looking forward to the next installments. :lurk
  10. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    Its me again. I hope everyone enjoyed reading my wife's blog posts as much as I enjoyed not having to write them. I really loved having my wife here to share some of what this adventure is, she got to see the real behind the scenes of what a trip like this is. Some call it a vacation, and it is, but its also much more than that. Every day is a bit of a struggle as to what to eat, where to go, where to find gas, finding a place to stay that is somewhat livable for the night, and the constant question of "what did that person try to tell us?". For some reason, Chip and I always find ourselves on not quite so relaxing vacations, be it riding motorcycles across distant continents, or rowing heavy rafts through the famous whitewater of Grand Canyon for weeks at a time. Marybeth has been on many trips that don't involve relaxing on the beach as well, and a couple that do. Someday I hope to be able to take a long distance bike trip with her, because as she proved over the last week (no surprise to me), that she can handle travelling with a bike in the chaos that reigns outside the borders of the US.

    Wednesday morning after kissing my wife goodbye as she headed to the airport at 5am, we decided to load up and try to beat the traffic out of Quito. Our earliest start for a long time as we were on the bikes just before 6am, making our way through town. All our GPSs seemed to conspire against us, by either not finding satellites, taking us through tiny winding streets, or just saying that there was no route possible. Eventually we exited the city on the southern side and headed down the open road, bordered by distant snowcapped mountains on either side of the valley. Being so close to the equator doesn't guarantee warmth, it was in the low 40s most of the morning as we rode, even though the sky was clear. Eventually we became separated in a town when my nav sent me off the main road, and Chip didn't see me go left. I enjoyed some nice twisty roads through farmland and later turned back onto the main road, only to be directed off it again to go through an even smaller town and back onto the main. As I was riding by myself, I kept thinking that something had to be set wrong on the GPS and I should stop and check it. Right about then, I looked over at a gas station and saw Chip fuelling up. A handful of brakes got me into the station where after gassing up, we went through my settings and found the problem, shortest route vs fastest route. After that it was all gravy all the way to Cuenca. After checking into our hotel we caught up with another rider who is heading to Argentina as well. LoneStar doesn't need an introduction to the ADVRider crowd, many people read his trip report "LoneStar's Adventure to South America" ourselves included, so when we saw the chance to meet up with him we took it. He's been having bike problems, and sitting in that town for about a month getting the bike repaired. An evening of swapping stories with him and another rider made for great entertainment, hopefully we'll meet up with them again in the future.

    This morning we loaded up and headed to Macara just shy of the Peruvian border. It was a long day of 380k, but shorter than yesterdays 480k, mainly high altitude twisty roads and hills. Beautiful views, and some not so pretty sights were the norm for the day. I don't like to talk about roadkill in this setting, but today it just has to be brought up. We came over a hill and there was the largest smear of blood I have ever seen on a road, I swerved into the other lane to avoid as much of it as I could. It was blood like a river, my first thought was what could have made such a mess, then I saw a large bus, and a horse, or what was left of a horse. Most animals are left either tied up, or free to roam in this country, and apparently this horse had roamed to the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody was hurt, other than the horse, so we carried on with our journey, knowing that our English would not be helpful to the situation. Later on we passed a second horse laying dead on the road, quite strange. A few miles past that we saw some other riders on BMWs heading the other direction. I waved, and later wondered if I should have tried to warn them, but I couldn't think what the international hand signal for "theres a dead horse in the road" was, and everyone that rides down this way has their head on a swivel and is ready for anything, that's how you survive down here because anything can happen. Just ask the guy sitting along side the road looking at his truck that was against the guardrail, missing the back wheel. You spend the day dodging people, taxis, trucks, busses, dogs, chickens, pigs, goats, cows, horses, rocks, parts of road that have fell off the mountain, and parts of the mountain that have fell on the road.

    Now we are in our hotel in Macara hoping that the repairs on LoneStar's bike were successful and they make it to this town today. If not, we will probably meet them at the border tomorrow to begin our journey into Peru. Cramming two days into one report, and being out of practice at writing, it will get better, someday, maybe. A couple pictures to finish it off, no horses.
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    Farmland picture from on of my detours


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    Looking down on the cloud at 11,000ft



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    The switch to turn on water to our shower, safe enough
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  11. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Cool.
    :hmmmmm Macara, not La Balsa?
  12. PaisaMed

    PaisaMed Adventurer

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    Phil, Joseph, and I arrived in Macarena last night at 9:30 after a long soggy day of mountainous riding. We didn't see the horse raodkill but only a cat and a rat. Joseph's bike seems to be functioning well. We should be hitting the border after breakfast.
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  13. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Buena gente, acompañadolo.
  14. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile

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    Chip/KShow -- I just sent a PM about hot-seating one of your bikes if they can make the turn and head back North without too much maintenance/mechanical drama. :-)
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  15. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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  16. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    Price for my bike is $1000, bring it back to me in Virginia, and I'll buy it back for the same.
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  17. chip8150

    chip8150 Adventurer

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    Into Peru

    So this morning we are currently in Chimbote, Peru after riding yesterday from Chiclayo. We had crossed the border from Ecuador at Macara on Friday morning. So far northern Peru has been fairly desolate - with the massive sand dunes being the only interesting feature. Chiclayo was an ok city with an attractive centro park square, but mostly northern Peru is pretty trashy. In that there is trash everywhere you look. I'm sure it will get better as we get closer to Lima and into Pisco and Cucso where most tourists visit. I guess we will find out.

    Looking back, I have to say Ecuador really surprised me. It is a beautiful country with a climate similar to Colorado. I wasn't expecting mild daytime temps and cool nights right at the equator, but the extremely high elevation of the country dictates this climate. Until reaching the border town of Macara (elevation 1,500ft.) we spent most of our time between 3,000ft. in the Amazon and 10,000ft in Quito. We also traveled over many mountain passes over 13,000ft. I knew Ecuador had very high volcanos and mountain peaks but didn't realize that most of the country is at high elevation. Ecuador so far has been the most dramatic landscape experienced on the trip, with southern Colombia coming in close second. And the Galapagos Islands (also part of Ecuador) were just completely off the hook in terms of awesome places to experience. Ecuador is also big enough that we didn't really scratch the surface in the two weeks we were there. Someday I'd like to go back, rent a motorcycle from Freedom Rentals and explore more of it.

    Back to Peru - As Ken mentioned earlier, we had met Lonestar (Joseph) and Ward in Cuenca and met up with them again for the border crossing into Peru. The crossing was pretty straightforward in getting stamped out of Ecuador and handing in the bike paperwork to Aduana (customs) proving we took the bikes out of the country. Coming in to Peru the process was simple in getting stamped in through immigration and completing the bike paperwork, however, we were held up for several hours at the Aduana due to Ward's paperwork not matching up on his names (he goes by his middle name and one of his documents reflected this). Unfortunately he was ahead of us in line so we all waited until they could sort it out. The locals behind us in line were getting restless so eventually they booted him to the side and started processing the rest of us while waiting for instructions from the home office, probably in Lima. Since Ken and I are on small bikes and the others were on larger, faster bikes, we took off while Lonestar and Phil waited on Ward. Phil is a retired guy living in Ecuador that Ward had met in Medellin and decided to join him down to Ushuaia. Phil later got separated from them shortly after the crossed the border together once Ward was cleared. I guess Phil got pissed thinking they left him behind and turned around and went back to Ecuador. So forget about Phil because he is gone. The riding has been pretty crazy in Peru - especially through the towns. The traffic has no order to it and lanes do not really exist. We have been passing on the left, right, sideways, etc. just to get through the mess of traffic. We got spoiled in Ecuador where the drivers are much more civilized. I can't imagine what Lima will be like - probably pretty terrifying!

    The last two nights we spent having dinner with Lonestar and Ward shooting the breeze and sharing travel stories. Lonestar rode up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska last summer so I was very interested in his stories. Our hotel here is just ok, but has secured parking, internet and a seat on the toilet so checks the important boxes. Today we are planning to ride to Huaral - about an hour north of Lima to stay with one of Ken's cousins that has been living there with her family for several years. Then we plan to visit Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines and hopefully catch up to the Dakar race in either southern Peru or Bolivia.

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    From the hotel in Macara.

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    Lots of desert in northern Peru



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    Is this a passing lane?



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    More desert.
  18. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    We're rocking, rolling, and wrenching, chasing Dakar and trying to see the sights. Been low on data speed, but we will get some more updates out there.
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  19. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Cool.
    Estamos esperando.
    :D
  20. KShow

    KShow Been here awhile

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    'm writing this on Thursday, from a bus, somewhere high in the Peruvian mountains, on the wrong side of a massive landslide.

    We started out our Sunday morning in Chimbote, Peru. After a light breakfast with fellow motorcycle travelers, Joseph and Ward, we went back to our rooms and started to pack up our gear, we carried the bags out to the parking area and since it was still shady and not too hot so we decided to do a little wrenching before riding. Chip's bike has been running poorly, as usual, so after lubing the chains on both bikes I opened up the carburetor on his bike for the,,, honestly I have lost track of how many times I have opened this carburetor. This time the culprit was a bad o-ring. After replacing the offending part, I reset the float level, then put everything back together, started the bike and tuned the idle mixture. Finally things actually sounded pretty good again, hopefully it lasts this time. After saying goodbye to our new friends, who were heading north towards the mountains, but wanted to hang out a bit to watch the mechanical circus. We finished loading our bikes and ventured south towards the desert, stopping for gas shortly after leaving the hotel. Continuing down the highway that ran along the beach, Chip's bike was running good, but the pinging has returned under full throttle acceleration. Next gas stop he filled the tank with high octane gas and it got rid of the ping but then the clutch started slipping under heavy acceleration. It really never ends with this bike. In fact, jumping ahead to Wednesday, the headlight stopped working. While we're adding to Chip's list of equipment/gear failures, go ahead and toss in his helmet comm that fried out in the rain the other night, and his riding boots that leak badly enough to actually pour water out of them at the end of the day.

    There were a couple areas that had good views and places where we could ride out across the desert sand to overlook the ocean so we took advantage of one of the great view points to do a few photos and take a little break before we headed on south to go visit my cousin who lives near Lima. As we rode the highway along the beach I started seeing large chicken houses built right on the sand. They were probably 50 by 500 feet long they had their own water tanks and feed thanks and were usually in groups of 10. There had to have been over a hundred chicken houses in this area along the beach. I thought it would be kind of weird to check your chickens then walk out onto the beach. It makes me wonder if "the foolish man built his house upon the sand" also applies to poultry farming as well. I think I'll continue raising my chickens in houses built on Virginia dirt with plenty of rock in it, as for the wise/foolish thing, let's not get into that one today.

    Christine and Simon live about an hour north of Lima. We arrived just before dinner time which is usually not a bad time to show up, so after dinner we spent time sharing stories of travel and growing up in Virginia before heading off to bed. The next morning after a good breakfast we decided do a little more work on the bikes because I had noticed my front wheel will starting to squeak, and I was hoping it was not wheel bearings going bad. Once I tore it apart I found that the speedometer drive hub was starting to seize up so I added some more oil to try to get things freed up with less than perfect results, so I figured it would be failing soon. (and it has, just outside of Cousco) As we were working on my bike the children were playing around with Chip's bike, touching things and moving things, when one of them realized that the brake pedal would not come back up after they pushed it down. That is how "we" diagnosed Chip's rear brake pedal pivot was rusted and had been sticking when he used it. So we tore it apart, sanded it, greased it, and put it back together. Now its working is good as new, or as good as these things tend to work in this situation. Once the bikes were squared away, I walked around the farm with Simon and learned some of the challenges and processes of farming in South America. I have to say I am not jealous of the farmers down in this part of the world, there is very little machinery and lots of work that is done by hand. After the tour was over we went back to the house finished loading our bikes and said our goodbyes to Simon, Christine, and 8 of their 9 children. The plan is to head further south, chasing Dakar Rally that had started just two days before, in Lima.


    After weaving and winding our way through the horrible traffic of Lima, we made it to the city of Pisco, down by the beach. this town was also another stop of the rally. As we were sitting in the middle of the town square, next to our illegally parked motorcycles, the city police pulled up next to us and started a conversation. Luckily, these were very friendly police, my favorite kind. They were asking where we were from, about the bikes, what food we liked, what we thought of Peru, and if there was anything we needed. I told them I would like to find a hardware store to pick up a tool that I had been wanting for the motorcycle. So they had us follow them through town and took us to the store where the younger cop walked in with me to help me find what I need. Meanwhile Chip went into a neighboring paint store to purchase some rust remover and primer to combat the corrosion that was attacking his motorcycle.We were both successful in our missions and the police asked if there was anything else they could do for us. They asked where we were staying, we told them we did not know yet. The older policeman said he knew a place and for us to follow them again. He took us to a hotel that was under construction,on a street that was also under construction. They had a nice room that was ground level in the courtyard where we could park our bikes right and front of our room door. Since we still had plenty of daylight we decided to do a little more wrenching on the bikes. Chip started sanding the rust and preparing to paint, while I worked on my turn signal that had quit working as we entered South America. Not that it was a problem because most people in this continent are unfamiliar with operating procedure of turn signals in a motor vehicle. It mainly seems to be the lever that they may bump as they are throwing trash out their window while driving down the road on their cell phone. By the way, Peru is the trashiest, most polluted, worst driving country we've driven through. The cities and areas around them are disgusting. I try to portray things in a positive light, but sometimes you just have to call a spade, a spade. At least the mountains are beautiful.

    Bike work finished, and freshly showered, we walked into the main part of town and found a nice restaurant for dinner that actually had really good service, something that is also rare in this part of the world, but it is appreciated when you find it. After dinner was over it had become dark and since we were quite a ways from the hotel we opted to hire one of the little 3 wheeled taxis, that we have seen all over town, to take us back. So we wrapped up another good day and are preparing to head into the mountains tomorrow for the Nazca Lines then eventually Cousco and the famous Machu Picchu.



    No pictures at the moment