Young Aussie biting off way more than he can chew : LA -> TDF

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by clumsy_culhane, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After a day completely off trip planning, practising Spanish and eating, today we went up to Pastoruri Glacier, at a frosty 5000m above sea level. Due to my lack of room on the bike, I don’t actually own any pants beyond my motorbike pants or jeans, so as always I hiked in my trusty running shorts! Cue lots of locals taking pictures of the loco gringo wearing shorts and vans…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I expected the walk to be harder than it was, it was really a 30 min stroll along a nicely paved path up to the face of the sadly shrinking glacier. In ten years it is projected to no longer exist due to increasing temperatures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    In retrospect I could have easily ridden the motorbike up, the road was washboard gravel most of the way up, but I doubt Marine would have enjoyed the trip! We part ways tomorrow as she is staying here for more trekking whereas I really need to get moving south, heading to Huánuco.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In other news my radiator is leaking again… that crash in Guatemala is the gift that keeps on giving. As I am going to visit the workshop at Around the Block in Huánuco I might pull the radiator completely out to get a better look, we’ll see how much coolant I lose in the ride tomorrow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. Moosietoo

    Moosietoo MooseMan

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Napa Valley USA
    Great photos... Hope you get your Rad sorted.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  3. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    No real updates, had two hard days riding.
    From Huaraz to Huánuco was supposed to be easy but Perú had other ideas. In total about five lots of construction or landslides, with the last 150km on gravel and detours slowing progress significantly! I dropped in to Around the Block in Huánuco where I hung out with Toby and a few of the guys, was good to talk motorcycles.

    Today was a tad over 300km to Concepción, just outside of Huancayo. I thought I was smart heading off at 6am,, but I was freezing in the rain and 4500m altitude. Any faster than 70 km/h and I really started to hurt. I had to get off every 50km to thaw out my hands on the engine casing. After Junín things improved and the last 150 km were cruisy.

    Continuing my push to Cusco, tomorrow's ride is 284 km to Ayacucho. Then two more days riding after that and I'll be in cuzco!

    Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk
  4. Normlas

    Normlas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    Congrats on your ride so far and thanks for taking us along! I'm hoping to do the same trip but have had a few delays and am still in NZ, finally heading for LA this week to pick up my KLR :)

    Happy travels mate
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  5. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good luck, you'll have a blast!!

    I just mapped a rough route through chile and argentina, looks like 10,000 km roughly if I go to Buenos Aires after hitting Ushuaia. Given I'll be entering chile around the first of December, that gives me 45 days or so, or 222 km per day. Seems doable, but I guess I'll be only stopping for more than a night in a few places!!

    Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk
  6. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Looks like the radiator is fine, it was probably just burping out the extra from when I overfilled it. Nothing much exciting going on, just still pushing into Cusco where I’ll slow down for a day, then ride to Macchu Picchu (dumping the bike at Hidroelectrica, walking into town). Here’s some pics from the last few days, one of the freezing, windy and rainy altiplano, and the other the part of the canyon I rode through today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lots of close calls with buses, trucks and cars today on the single lane road to Ayacucho. The firt 200 km was winding semi-paved road with huge dropoffs raises the blood pressure a bit, the final 100 km into town was amazing in comparison! Here in Ayacucho I had some trouble finding a hotel/hostel/hospedaje that had parking. Ended up staying at Hospedaje Mi Sueno. 25 soles for a room with hot water, and the owners insisted we try and fit the KLR through the doors. After lots of heavy lifting to swing the bike around bit by bit, we finally got it in!

    [​IMG]

    Next update will be post-Machu Picchu I hope! Going to try and walk up/down to the site and back to Hidroelectrica in one day to avoid spending too much time in the tourist trap.
    SnipTheDog, #1Fan, roadcapDen and 6 others like this.
  7. Waratah67

    Waratah67 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Springwood, NSW
    Just caught up with this thread, its a great story and photos. Thanks for making the time to share it with us.
  8. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    No worries thanks for reading!!
    _________________________

    I had a great ride into Cusco yesterday! The sun was shining (for the start at least), and 30 minutes in I met a fellow Australian who had bought a bike from Around the Block and had just started his trip south. Owen is going all the way Ushuaia and then up to Alaska on a 250! Initially I thought he was a local as the bike has Peruvian plates. We exchanged details and I went ahead as he has only been riding for a few months so he was taking it slow.

    [​IMG]

    Two hours later at a construction stop, I see British Colombian plates – sweet! I pull up and Richard is on a KLX250. We then burn through the next few hours, switching the lead and generally riding a lot faster than we should. It was great to carve up all the curves with another person ahead/behind and trying different lines to see which is quicker.

    [​IMG]

    Richard had met some other bikers in the last month and we rolled over to the hospedaje – Now we had five bikes, another Australian on a KLR and his British girlfriend (riding on a little Yamaha she bought after they met, she had never ridden a bike before!) and a Colombian guy who was great to practice Spanish with. Owen is staying in a party hostel which isn’t really my style. We spent the night talking bike stuff and fixing Heidi’s bike as she needed a new chain/sprockets.

    [​IMG]

    Today I spent all day in the Honda service centre in town pulling the bike apart, flushing the coolant and getting the radiator repaired. After walking around the moto shop area for over an hour and finding no radiator repair places, I saw on iOverlander there was a lawnmower/generator workshop that apparently had a great mechanic. He took one look at it and went to work scraping out the tiny fins to find the crack in one of the main tubes.

    [​IMG]

    We found the crack and I initially tried JB weld but it didn’t stick real well. We then tried this epoxy putty stuff after drying the radiator with a heat gun and totally filled the surrounding area in the hope the vibrations would be dampened somewhat as the crack is right next to the radiator mount. Buttoned it all back up and so far no leaks on the drive home! Tomorrow I’ll ride to Hidroelectrica so that will be the real test. Its amazing how much the enjoyment of riding can be dulled by stressing about some little nagging thing, I’m looking forward to not staring at the temperature gauge constantly!

    [​IMG]
  9. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    [​IMG]

    How to visit Machu Picchu without going broke :

    [​IMG]

    Step 1 – Ride your motorcyle the 240 km from Cusco to Hidroelectrica, enjoying the epic scenery and dodge the collectivo’s on the last the 40 km dirt section (30 soles for fuel)

    [​IMG]

    Step 2 – Park your bike undercover at a guys house for the night (10 soles)

    [​IMG]

    Step 3 – Walk the ~11 km from Hidroelectrica to the town of Aguas Calientes. Make a doggo friend to make the walk more enjoyable (free).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 4 – Stay at Sumaq Wasi hostel (20 soles) and eat dinner at the market with the locals (8 soles)

    [​IMG]

    Step 5 – Get up at 4:30am and walk up to Machu Picchu, making sure to beat the bus and the crowds by walking up in under 50 minutes (free).

    [​IMG]

    Step 6 – Enter Machu Picchu with ticket (152 soles) and enjoy your free time up there with the other fast walkers before the hoards come. Take lots of pictures then leave as soon as possible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 7 – Feel smug as you walk back down to Hidroelectrica, arriving back around 9:30 am (free)

    [​IMG]

    Step 8 – Ride back to Cusco (30 soles), safe in the knowledge you visited Machu Picchu without paying too much for anything apart from the entrance ticket!

    [​IMG]
  10. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,136
    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    Step 9: Take a nap,
    Very cool. I'm saving this info for future reference.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  11. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,144
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Left out a step that I would need.
    5a. During 50 min walk at altitude, get passer by to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  12. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yup riding to Puno today I was struggling to keep my eyes open!

    I was surprised how hard people were going, it was very much a race to the top with people dropping off as their hearts exploded!
    Turkeycreek likes this.
  13. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,144
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    I lived at over 2600 meters for 30 years. I moved here in Sonora then went back to visit 6 months later. All my altitude conditioning and acclamation was gone. Sad.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  14. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yup you lose it depressingly quickly, I'm sure after a few days in San Pedro de Atacama the Sico Pass will take it out of me!

    ___________________

    Leaving the other overlanders was hard but I had to get moving into Bolivia! A long cruise to Puno where I crashed for the night, then next day I pushed for the border. For tourists, Puno is mainly used as a stopover point between Cusco and La Paz, and also for the tours out to the lake where you can visit floating villages, which I had no real interest in.

    [​IMG]

    After easy border crossing (with a refreshingly friendly Aduana official on the Bolivian side) and I was into Bolivia, my 12th country! At first, it was the same altiplano landscape that I’ve been cruising through for the last few days, but when La Paz came into view I felt like I had entered Bolivia proper. La Paz is absolutely massive! It took me more than hour winding through insane traffic to arrive at my hostel, by the time I did I was pretty frazzled from all the crazy moves I had to pull off in order to get anywhere.

    [​IMG]

    Here in Bolivia red lights are merely suggestions, and if you don’t go through them you get beeped (or nudged!) from behind, making it stressful knowing when exactly to drive through them and when not to. Here every centimetre of space is up for grabs, and pedestrians are just as crazy. I nudged a few myself as they walked out with reckless abandon in front of me – initially I expected a lot of abuse but it must be the norm as they merely looked annoyed then continued on their way, cutting off buses and cars.

    [​IMG]

    I’m already ready to leave this big city and so tomorrow I ride for Oruro, a halfway point between La Paz and Sucre. I’m looking forward to relaxing for a few days in Sucre which is known as one of the prettier and more chilled out Bolivian cities.
  15. J.Luis Vázquez

    J.Luis Vázquez Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    373
    Location:
    Jeráhuaro de Juárez/ Los Azufres Michoacán
    You lost this condition in 100- 120 days due the life of erythrocytes, when you live at high altitude, there is less oxygen in the air, so to compensate this the body supplies the blood with more erythrocytes to carry more oxygen, at lower altitude the oxygen transport is more efficient due there is more in the air, so the body needs less erythrocytes, and when you go back to high altitude, well you know the effect, I got the same condition after living in the coast for 35 years moved to 2500 meters above sea level a couple of years ago.


    Enviado desde mi iPad utilizando Tapatalk
  16. Byah

    Byah Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Australia
    jeeze those photos of La Paz look crazy!!!
  17. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,144
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    It is amazing how fast you lose the conditioning. The other bad effect is that there is more oxygen getting to my brain now and now I think too much:lol3

    But Chris, do watch for signs of altitude sickness. It can happen to anyone at any time above 2400 meters. Do a little research on it.
  18. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,136
    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    The adage I've heard is: if it's higher than 8, wait. (meaning 8k feet)
  19. J.Luis Vázquez

    J.Luis Vázquez Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    373
    Location:
    Jeráhuaro de Juárez/ Los Azufres Michoacán
    Yes, indeed, the advantage is when you go for a few weeks to the coast, your blood carries more oxygen and you feel better, this is why the top athletes go to High altitude training centers for weeks prior to competition, they took a little advantage, but I guess since everybody knows this, all of them do the same, here in Mexico there is a nice training place not far from Mexico City: La Malinche or Malintzin, named after a famous woman given to Hernán Cortés as translator over time she become more than just a translator.


    Enviado desde mi iPad utilizando Tapatalk
    dwj - Donnie likes this.
  20. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    18,890
    Location:
    North Carrollton, MS - Traveling on the Moto

    There is an old Hacienda between Iguala and Taxco that Cortez give to their son, or at least that is what they claim. It is currently a college of some type. It is also a place many forks go for special Photo sessions. We were there for my Mexican daugter's pre-marriage photos.