Around South America accidentally on a blue 150cc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EvergreenE, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

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    Great post! Very educational!

    Thanks and keep it coming.
    #81
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  2. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

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    :clap:clap:clap
    Cheers!! In!!
    #82
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  3. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    This has been my favorite RR since I first started lurking ADV.
    Thank you for being an interesting person who is willing to let us live vicariously through you, myself sitting in an office in a factory with my beloved and farkled-out motorcycle outside calling to me.
    Keep being awesome, please.
    #83
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  4. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

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    Incredibly entertaining and educational report!
    And it gives me one more thing to be grateful for......That I've never suffered enough from melancholy to consider a snake skin and frog brew to ease my misery!
    #84
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  5. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    :clap:lurk
    #85
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  6. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    Incredible story of the Valle de Colca. I could see that being published in some airline magazine or other media for short stories.
    #86
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  7. Spud Murphy

    Spud Murphy Adventurer

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    great RR thank you cheers Spud
    #87
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  8. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Love it! More please.
    #88
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  9. lcnlcnx

    lcnlcnx 1.21 gigawatts

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    Wow!
    :lurk
    #89
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  10. EvergreenE

    EvergreenE Adventurer

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    Wheels coming up next:)

    Oh, but surely snake skins and frog faces are more promising than most Western remedies:) it's funny how most Andean medicine men, just like the shamans of the Amazon, do not see mental illnesses as illnesses at all-to them, being mad is being gifted; if you're crazy, then it's most likely the gods speaking through you. But sadness, according to the old man who was selling the medicinal frog brew, sadness eats away at the soul; melancholy and wistfulness makes you idle and restless at the same time, so you need the brew to stir your spirit up:)

    Anyway, more bikey stuff coming soon!
    #90
  11. Jager

    Jager Been here awhile

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    Lovely, lovely writing...
    #91
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  12. EtienneXplore

    EtienneXplore RTW Wannabe - One Day!!

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    Wow!
    This is the type of report that makes you want to leave everything and just GO!

    I cannot wait for the rest!

    AWESOME!!

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    #92
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  13. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

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    It's a damn certainty that snake and frog tea will not be addictive! So you have a good point about Andean medicine being more promising than western medicine!
    Have the shamans looked at the healing power of the motorcycle, yet? You might have something to teach them!
    See what I did there? How smoothly I worked my response back to motorcycles?
    This is a fun read.....keep it coming!
    #93
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  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Awesome !
    #94
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  15. EvergreenE

    EvergreenE Adventurer

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    My tablet typing skills are getting better and better :D

    Aside from all the horse riding, beer and corn moonshine drinking, and listening to the local stories, there was all sorts of bike riding and bike crashing as well.

    [​IMG]

    Blinkin the Valiant soon became the star of the valley because it was the fastest means of transport. There are some three wheeled bike taxis and a couple of cars and vans in Chivay, but most people living in the neighbouring Coporaque, Yanque and Maca villages rely either on horses, donkeys, or their own feet. Because I was 'their own' gringa, Blinkin soon became a sort of a communal bike-whenever I rode to Chivay, I'd usually bring Rocio's vegetables to the market or laundry to the river down below, give a lift to an elderly lady walking back from town, or transport horse feed and children to the fields.

    I explored the road along the Colca canyon and discovered that it would sometimes disappear under a landslide, a stream, a waterfall, or a rocky unlit tunnel where you'd have to honk in case there was someone on the other side-I never understood that system, though, because everybody would honk and go, and nobody on eiher side would wait and give way, so really, the honking was just a symbolic tunnel ritual, and you simply had to squeeze, push or smash your way through.

    [​IMG]


    I discovered the reason why Blinkin was hiccuping on the way to Chivay: it turned out the poor thing would need a little carburetter adjustment in higher altitude. What you had to do was just loosen this one screw a little bit, and then tighten it back up once you were back on sea level. Very basic and very simple stuff, but that, completed with expert tire kicking, made me feel like a very badass, very knowledgeable bike mechanic.

    [​IMG]

    I got cocky about riding again because the roads were empty save for horses, donkeys and foot trafffic; I got to know every twist and bend quite well, and I knew exactly where the landslides, gravel bits and springs were. So I'd go faster, or hands-free, or standing on the pegs (I saw the Dakar people doing this on Youtube and I thought it looked very cool); I became careless again, and that of course meant another lesson in common sense and humility.

    One evening, I was riding back to Coporaque after visiting my regular haunts in Chivay (a little cafe which had the best wi fi, the cactus fruit and goat cheese lady in the market, and a corner shop that sold cigarettes, bridles, and chocolate). It was getting dark and chilly and I was in a hurry to get to the warmth of Rocio's kitchen; I came out of a familiar corner downhill, but the road wasn't empty this time-there were two vans, one trying to overtake the other, the other speeding up; before I realized what to do, suddenly, there was a third van coming from the opposite direction, everybody slammed their brakes, and so did I, only, in a moment of panic, I forgot to use the front brake and slammed the rear one as hard as I could. Blinkin's tail went all wobbly and I crashed, Blinkin sliding to the right, and me rolling to the left. The van drivers didn't notice -or didn't care-what was happening behind them and drove off; I sat up slowly, decided that perhaps nothing was broken, stood up, and hobbled over to pick Blinkin up. Blinkin was fine save for some scratches on the handlebars and tank and a broken mirror; I had shredded my jeans into ribbons, lost a good amount of skin on my leg and arm and obtained a deep hole in my knee.

    [​IMG]

    Swearing, sobbing and mumbling indignantly in my helmet, I slowly rode back; Rocio cleaned my wounds with some herbal concoction and iodine solution which stung like hell, a bunch of French backpackers gave me some very wonderful painkillers, and senor Chocolate stomped about shaking his fists and swearing he'd find the *malditos* van drivers and teach them a lesson; Bach the family dog licked my hand, Ruby gave me a hug, and I concluded that everything was okay after all, only maybe jeans and a t-shirt weren't exactly a very good choice for riding gear, and maybe use both brakes next time, and watch where I was going, and don't go wide into corners if it's hard to see what's on the other side, and never, ever trust a Peruvian *collectivo* driver.

    [​IMG]

    I also had a taste of how the Peruvian bureaucracy worked, and decided that it was so hilariously absurd it was in fact rather entertaining. The Nazca shop where I bought Blinkin had assured me they'd send me the number plate and bike papers; they never did, so in the end I had to go to Nazca by bus and pick everything up myself. In the meantime, I rode Blinkin without the plate and never thought much about it, just like I never worried about my driving licence (I only had my car driver's licence). And then I got stopped by a very grumpy policeman in Chivay; he told me I wasn't allowed to ride without the number plate and 'tarjeta de propriedad', a card which proved ownership and which should have been issued when I bought Blinkin. I explained to him that the Nazca shop people said it was ok to drive plate- and paper-less for three months as the bike was brand new, but the policeman wouldn't hear of it and told me I would have to pay a fine, and if he saw me riding again he would impound the bike.

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't at all sure whether it was the Nazca shop or the policeman who had the wrong information; if it was the policeman, then the Nazca shop people lied to me, and if it was the Nazca shop people, then the policeman just wanted to extract a bribe from me, and if it was neither, I was still in trouble. I tried to find out by asking people, but everyone had a different theory; Google found tons of documents in Spanish which may or may not have been relevant; my friends from Arequipa all had contradicting ideas, so I gave my quest of figuring it out up and decided to take a different approach: go on the offensive, pretend to be an utterly clueless fool, and hope for the best.

    And so the next day, I rode to Chivay and went straight to the police station demanding to see the *comandante*. I had my best Sligtly Startled And Benevolently Moronic Disney Bambi expression on, smiled very pleasantly and blinked a lot as to emphasise my utter helplessness and infantile idiocy; the police chief turned out to be a very tall, proper and merry gentleman with the most fascinating moustache. He listened patiently to my blabber in broken Spanish about being told stuff by the bike shop, and different stuff by his policeman, and how was I, a clueless tourist gringa, know what was what, and could he maybe let me know where the matter stood, and what should be done about it. The *comandante* was most acommodating; he said that the law wasn't precisely clear on the matter, and rather open to interpretation, but he was willing to iterpret it in my favour; he typed up this very official, important and awesome looking paper on his typewriter, put a few menacing stamps on it, and signed it; the paper basically said that I was permited to ride Blinkin in the Colca region without the number plate and appropriate papers for another six months. I thanked the police chief profusely and left feeling victorious.

    As time went by, I noticed I was taking longer and longer rides on Blinkin every day, hesitating to turn back to Coporaque heading up the mountainside instead and staring over the horizon. And so, despite the local hospitality, I got itchy feet; and then suddenly, it was time to go.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to head for lake Titicaca this time around, take my time, and figure out what I was going to do next. After saying many goodbyes and promising to keep in touch, I packed Blinkin again and headed eastwards, destination Puno...
    #95
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  16. MaddBaggins

    MaddBaggins Having a beer

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    Loving this report!
    #96
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  17. markxjr

    markxjr Been here awhile

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    i have not been on ADV for a while and this is the first ride report i come across and it is. . . Awesome. :-)
    #97
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  18. Vanishing Point

    Vanishing Point Lengthy Member

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    Very well written. Very interesting. Keep up the excellent report !
    #98
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  19. Famous

    Famous Goin down hill fast

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    Looking forward to more of this

    The lessons learned from the pain brings back memories to many Id say
    #99
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  20. SavannahCapt

    SavannahCapt Long timer

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    Your description of carburetor adjustment makes me laugh at myself when i think about all the money I've spent and articles I've read on the subject. :lol3
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