Deaf Rider's solo journey exploring Americas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WhicheverAnyWayCan, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,737
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    My gf's brother and I celebrated our birthday at his mountain house with family and friends.. his birthday is on 20th and mine on 21st..


    After the birthday weekend, I took bus from Medellin to Ipiales where my bike was waiting for me at hotel parking lot.


    I was worried it would not start up because it has been sitting there since August 18th, but I was glad I was wrong because it fired up after three attempt.. I was relief.. took my bike to nearest Taller of Moto and had them changed front/rear tire. I supplied the tires and it cost me only 15.000COP (or $5). TKC-70 came off and TKC-80 mounted. I shipped still good TKC-70 back to Medellin and it cost 40.000COP


    The clutch was not right as it was giving me difficult to shift from 2nd to 3rd and it is impossible to get into neutral unless I shut down the engine and it will pop into neutral so I tried to adjust the clutch only to find that cable is almost broke off on the lever end. I went back to Taller of Moto and they looked up for a replacement but one was too long and other was too short. As a solution, they put in new cable and on the end you screw it with phillip screwdriver. Cost me 2.000cop to get that done and I was able to adjust clutch.. it was better and able to shift but still not satisfied.. at least I only need to ride 90 miles to Quito and then I can have it looked into.


    But you can not go to Ipiales and leave without visiting the Sanctuary of Las Lajas. So the hotel manager offered to guide me there on his 250cc Pulsar moto. We went to visit the cathedral and it is very beautiful.


    Diego, the mechanic, for Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental had a look at my bike and we went over few things I want him to get done. While I was waiting for my next turn (he needed to tend to other bikes for the group tour and etc) Court helped me call a client in USA to see if he was willing to be my mule bringing BMW clutch cable because it is $120 at Quito BMW but not available and it is about $52 in USA. After client brought it in, Diego got to work on my bike.. In meantime, I visited the virgin of panecillo using the scooter zooming through the city. I have never rode the scooter before so it was my first experience and it was fun.


    Diego informed me that he thinks the bearing on my steering head and front wheel need to be changed and that bearing in rear wheel would be ok for other 10,000 miles..


    After all the works was done.. changing bearings, checking valve clearance, new clutch cable & adjusting, new spark plug, new brake pads, fresh fluid in front/rear. Bike was good to go so I went to check out the Mitad del Mundo.



    I would have left sooner but I found out that my credit card, which expires on 7/2020, has been deactivated! I could not use it to pay Diego! Barclaycard has decided to send me a new card while I am on the trip (The card I had on hand was new last year!) Although I have another card, I prefer to use this one so calls were made and they had Visa process me 'emergency' card in Ecuador and shipped it via DHL. When it came, I was able to pay Diego then I was ready to leave. The next day, I packed my bike and said good bye. Pics were taken.. About 40km south of Quito, I noticed my bike was losing power and I became worried.. I was afraid that my bike lose compression so I pulled off the road.. and smell smoke.. it was coming from front brake.. damn! I waited 30 minutes for it to cool off before I rode to next gas store to buy water bottle and pour water on it. Water bottle was only 50 cents. I decided to go back to Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental and Diego was surprised to see me back so he knew something was wrong. I explained what happened. After troubleshooting, we found seals in caliper was bad but seals were not available.. Court decided to let me have one off his Husqvarna bike and leave mine with it.

    This morning, I left Quito heading to Chugchilan to check out the Quilotoa Laguna. I'm here at Mama Hilda's Hostal recommended by Ecuador Freedom Rental and I would recommend this place to anyone!


    Tomorrow, I am off to Salinas de Boliviar to check out the salt mines then to Baños after that..
  2. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    I woke up not feeling good.. My nose were stuffed and I had bad headache. Bad sinus. I had a good breakfast, which is included with the cost at Mama Hilda's hostal. After breakfast, I head out and the first site I visited was Toachi River Caynon. I was warned that it is so easy to miss unless you travel slow and good enough I almost missed it. What turned my head was when I saw a lady taking photo and I looked at rear mirror, I saw the sign it was no wonder you do not see sign if you are traveling south but you will see the sign if you are traveling north. I turned around and checked the site out. Then I had bunch of people checking out my bike and they took turn sitting on it taking pic. After they were done, they gave me candy, which I quickly popped it in my mouth to try and help with the sinus.



    After passing Zumbahua getting to first point of dirty road going to Salinas de Boliviar, I was not feeling good and felt a little weak. There were dark clouds and the wind was blowing hard my bike was weaving sideway from the wind.. I made a judgment decision to stay on paved road so I re-routed to Baños. When I got to Baños, I found the hostal, La Posada del Arte, and spent the rest of afternoon/evening sleeping.

    When I woke up in the morning, my throat was sore and I had minor fever feeling. Chill one minute then hot the next minute. So after breakfast, I went back to bed and slept some more. At 1pm, the rain let up and sun started to come out. Remembering what the owner told me, best time to try and catch a speculating view of volcano mountain is between 4:30pm to 6pm when the wind blow clouds out of the way although 20% chance of seeing good view. I forced myself out of bed and had a quick lunch then I rode out.

    First place I went to was to check out Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron) and you want to go to Rio Verde to see it. Exit to get there can be a bit tricky but I found it even though there was not a sign. I had to stop and ask for direction then the guy told me go down that ramp.



    You take about 15 minutes hike down and you see few signs and entrance like this:





    I was given ticket to walk the suspended bridge.. it was a little terrifying and it did not help that my head was a little light from the sickness. I give it a thumb up experience!



    Total cost was $1 for parking and $1.50 for admission to visit Pailon del Diablo.. I recommend it!

    Then I head out to check out Casa del Arbor. It is well known place and published in the national geographic according to the sign I saw there. The road to get there is really narrow and last few miles is just interesting that TKC-80 doesn't cooperate well.







    A little cloud on cap of the volcano mountain but still get enough of it..


    $1 for parking and $1 admission. I highly recommend the place when weather is nice. Here is a video:
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  3. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    I wake up feeling somewhat better but still have sore throat. After breakfast, I head out leaving Baños. There was a overcast but no rain when I rolled out. Making my way toward Macas, I was expecting couple of Laguna and snow capped Sugnay mountain. Unfortunately, weather worsened as I progressed toward Macas I can not get much of visibility from the road. On many occasion I would run into rock slides and few mudslides but not enough to shut down the road. It rained here and there it was not much of a photo day. Never saw the sugnay mountain due to clouds.





    As I progressed toward Macas, I noticed that the vegetables are changing into jungle type. That would be the first for Ecuador for me since Colombia and the climate changed from cool to warm with some humidity. I found a cheap hotel for $12 a night with sloooow wifi. Ate at Tishos's Pizzeria restaurant. Tishos is an Ecuadorian that for few years lived in Philadelphia and when he came back to Macas, started his own italian restaurant. I had a personal pizza and orange fanta for $6.50.
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  4. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Woke up feeling better but still battling with sore throat. There was a pharmacy near the hotel so I went to get sore throat medicine. 4 tablets for under $1. Gotta love the price of medicine in Latin America.. they are super cheap than USA!

    Riding out of Macas, I met with first police check point and was flagged down. I showed my passport and they were satisfied then I was on my way. Well, between the border of Ecuador to Macas, I ran into maybe 10 checkpoints and was flagged once. Today, I would see 10 check points and flagged every time! Probably not my day, but then no complaint because it may be helpful down the road especially if I was to go missing. You never know. One checkpoint, police- the jefe was real asshole but one of the lesser guy were helpful explaining that I am deaf.. can't talk can't hear. The jefe changed his tone real quick then gave my passport and document to the lesser guy who were friendly to me and was curious about stuff on my bike.. I answered all his question.. we shaked hands and I was on my way. One checkpoint, a cop knew about deaf and although he doesn't know sign language, he tried to communicate with me with a smile on his face and bid me good day.

    I passed the site of Temple of Amazonia and turned around to come back to check it out. It seems to deteriorate but some part is being worked on. I couldn't make out some signs.









    Court gave me the route for each day to do. For some reason I assumed that my GPS had calculated the route designed by Court, but that didn't happen. I missed the turn point and went about 33 miles south. I would meet a rockslide that prevent me from going further.



    I found that there is a detour, although not advertised, to go around the village south so I bypassed and then when I get to the turn point that my GPS intended to lead me. Unfortunately, it was closed due to road construction. I got there just before 12noon and the guy told me I could get through after 3:30pm. Not before. I asked if the road was good. He said it is being worked on (thick gravel) but that getting to Cuenca would be about 2 hours. So I looked at the GPS and realized that I had missed my turn off as designed by Court so I back tracked.

    On correct route, the road were very speculating despite clouds. I got few pictures taken..





    I got to the point where the turn off is to get on dirty road. I wasn't sure if it is planned or not but I proceed. I got to the point where I was supposed to turn right but it was blocked with 'Privada zona" I assume that the owner got tired of people using the road and blocked? So I proceed to the left only to get to dead end because they are building a new bridge. At the same time, my fuel light came on so it must be a sign to stay on paved road.



    Back on paved road, I lucked out with fuel store about 12 miles later and top up 3.4 gallons. It seems that my bike would have fuel light coming on when it gets half? I think my bike has 5.1 or 5.9 gallons of tank. It started to rain the rest of way to Cuenca and there was a rockslide that caused few miles of line but on a bike you can just pass these traffic. I got to my hostal at 6:30pm a little wet. It was a long day after leaving Macas at 9am.
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  5. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    I spent 3 nights in Cuenca.. nothing much to report but getting much of needed rest and feeling 100% better. No sore throat, no fever, etc. All good. On 3rd day, weather was so nice I went out for a short stroll.



    Probably the tallest tree within Cuenca city limit:








    Iglesia del San Alfonso


    A little fun fact.. according to GPS, the highest altitude I have been to is 8,790ft. Bike felt a little underpowered at 5th gear when climbing..


    I have another day on my route plan.. I am supposed to head to Zaruma tomorrow but I took decision to go to Macara and get a room at hotel there. Then I'll enter Peru and allow myself some time to explore part of Peru before getting to Lima on Nov 29th because my girlfriend's plane will land at 2pm in Lima. If I get in Peru on 19th I have 10 days to explore and I don't want to be rushed. The plan is to head to Chiclayo and spend 2 nights there then down to Trujillo and 1 or 2 nights there then ride the Canon del Pato before checking out laguna and lake then ride out to Lima. I'll probably camp there and enjoy the nature there.

    More later,
    -Ken
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  6. CourtRand

    CourtRand Been here awhile

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    Jul 14, 2009
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    Glad to see you enjoyed the route. We look forward to seeing you back in Quito one day!
  7. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    Great report. Glad you're feeling better and rolling again.
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  8. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    :thumb Glad to have you following me in here too. I'll be seeing you guys again!
  9. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    Thanks!! I'm glad it didn't take long.
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  10. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
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    I had a early day. It is just one of these "once in a while" moment when you just wake up before the alarm clock goes off. I woke at 6am and had already packed the night before so I just put my motorcycle gear on and I'm off. Well, I was the first person that woke up at the hostal and had to wake up the overnight guy at the office. It took him about 10 minutes to wake up before he had to go to owner's room to get the key to open the gate so I could roll out.

    I got to Macara, the border town for Ecuador, at 11am and I decided to just keep going. First thing first was filling up gas before exiting Ecuador and there were 4 long lines at gas store. I decided I didn't want to wait so I cut line when the next motorcycle fill up since all I need to do is park next to him. After topping the tank, I rode 1 mile to the border and was a little confused because new building is being built, new road is being paved. It looks like they are changing the direction of how people will enter Ecuador. Aduana and Immigration is in a shipping container right next to each other. Took me 10 minutes to turn in bike permit and stamp me out. Immigration officer called police over to look at the picture of me on my passport and look at me because the photo is almost 10 years old and I had a goatee on but I don't have any now. Not sure what that is about but probably just to amuse themselves for a moment.

    I ride up to the immigration and aduana of Peru. Few minutes with immigration guy then about 15 minutes with aduana guy who look like he is in his 60's and had me help typing all the information into computer for him. Only thing he did was submitting the info, print out couple of paper and signed/stamped the form then gave it to me and pointed me at Soat sign. I walked over to Soat and kept eyes on my bike in distance because I read story on iOverlander about how tank bag was stolen instantly in front of corrupted police officer. I was a little confused when the soat lady proceed to fill out soat form with her handwriting and tear document into 3/4 with me keeping 1/4. $33 USD. Same lady also exchanged money saying it's 3sol for $1. Knowing she is a little expensive but almost $6 is probably easier and cheaper than ATM that's probably miles away since I can't see any ATM. I gave her $30 to get 90sol when it should be around 95sol.

    I ride on.. the first 20 miles wasn't bad except that it was warmer than Ecuador but I was a little annoyed with goats kept crossing the road just as I was getting closer. It happened 4-5 times and I started to wonder if the goat has a owner?? What if I was traveling in vehicle is it free for taking?? Could make some money selling meat! (joking!)

    I got to first aduana checkpoint and they wanted motorcycle document so I gave them registration, permit, and soat. They checked the license plate and was satisfied so I roll. I hit the bumper (or humper) and I noticed that bumper is here and there just as often as it was in Mexico. I hate bumpers especially when it comes in different sizes! The wind start to pick up and my moto would weave left to right because wind is blowing hard against side of my moto.

    I get to Piura, the first city in northern Peru on Panamaerican highway. The road is really horrible! Add in various size of bumpers with some bumpers hitting the bottom of my moto and that has me worried. Add some crazy and some idiot drivers in tuk tuk and car.. It was a bad combo. I was glad to get out of Piura even if that mean dealing with annoying wind for next 100 miles.

    Fuel light came on about 20 miles before I get to Lambayeque, a town just 7 miles north of Chiclayo so I decided to just fill up when I get to first gas station on my right so I can easily get on the road assuming I would again deal with crazy and idiot drivers. My theory was correct as I weave my way through bad road and unorthodox traffic for 10 miles to the hostel I wanted to stay in Chiclayo.

    One thing I really noticed when I get into Lambayeque is that I see piles and piles of trash, bricks, and blocks stacked next to each other. Trashes are on side of the road and street. I see driver toss paper out of his window as if it is OK! :uhoh

    I stayed at Hostal LLampayec. I recommend the place. Good value for the price at $28 for two nights. Room was clean with private bathroom and decent TV. Plenty of room to park your moto whether traveling solo or with group. Owner write english good and he was helpful in finding me lubricate for my chain.



    I walked around a little in Chiclayo hoping to find some interesting place and also needed to find ATM so I can stock up with sol currency for upcoming places I plan to travel. Well, I see a lot of trash everywhere. I could smell odor from some trashes and I saw a dog rubbing his head inside trash bag I was a little worried he would suffocate himself but I see that there was food inside trash bag. I saw a guy walk out of his house with trash dropping it on street in front of his house then he changed his mind and picked it up then walked cross the street and drop it off on other side before walking back into his house. How neighborly! At this point I decided I didn't want to explore Chiclayo so I bought Peruvian rum and coke then hang out in my room watching some NFL football and had few drinks.

    I wake up, paid for the room, and roll out. New odor of the day beside foul stench of trashes is burning smokes. Everyone is up and about. Traffic is busy. I weave through the traffic heading south out of Chiclayo. I am 10 miles south and I still see piles and piles of trashes. New derbies I see are body part of cars and lot of windshield scattered.. Smokes everywhere from burning trashes it is difficult to breath and it bothered my eyes some. Visibility is ok, though. Here is pic from the road about 10-12 miles south of Chiclayo. One from the road and one zoomed in.




    Sickening to see litter and trash everywhere all the way from Chiclayo to Chimbote! One thing that worried me is that in between is a pueblo that is capitol of of growing rice. I hope rice is safe to eat in Peru!

    In a pueblo north of Trujillo, there is a road construction and they put the wrong sign on north part that is supposed to be put on south part. I would figure it out when I got to the roundabout at south part but nonetheless, I enjoyed getting lost for a while because it was a change of scenery. No trash and no wind!



    South of Trujillo was more desert and more strong wind among Panamerica highway. I noticed farmer trying to start growing crops on sand. They were setting this up to try and block high wind so they could plant something in between these. Kudos to them for making effort.



    I got to Chimboyte and found first hostal, which was pretty good considering for 30sol a night. I was so exhaust from riding in strong wind I snoozed off before Monday Night Football start. I managed to catch short part of the game with Atlanta Falcons scoring the TD extending score to 2 scores game before end of 4th Quarter so I turned the TV off.
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  11. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    At 9am, I roll out of hostel in Chimbote. The plan was to ride out to Caraz where I booked a hostel for 2 nights. That mean riding through the Canon del Pato route. Canon del Pato is supposedly to be one of dangerous roads in Peru. I rode back north getting to Santa where I could not find a decent place to stay but it was only 5 miles north of Chimbote. Weather was overcast just like yesterday morning when I left Chicloya but the difference was that there was no smokes. When I get on P12 and head northeast, there was much less trash and no wind. Nice change! Passing through few pueblos, it gets real quiet for a while until I get to Chuquicara where the road split. For strange reason, my GPS could not calculate the route from Chimbote to Caraz so I stopped at the store for some water and snack. I asked for direction by typing "Canon del Pato" on my cellular and showed it to the guy. He gestured straight ahead, shake finger no to turning left. I understood him and shake his hand thanking him with a smile. Back on my moto and ride, the road reduced from 2 lanes to 1 lane after passing the bridge on left.

    As a deaf rider, it raises some concerns. I am deaf and that mean I can't hear any horn blasting ahead of me. How do I know if there is vehicle coming through the tunnel or around the sharp tunnel that you can't see because of the wall. What happen if I meet the vehicle in the tunnel with zero room to get through? I have saddlebags and what if it gets tangled with bumper or the rock on the wall? It's more risky than rider who can hear. So I have to plan for 'exit' strategy every minute as if I am going to meet vehicle. I have to ride slow than most normally would so I can hit the brake and come to a full stop more quickly.

    There was two close calls at the tunnel. Going through the three tunnels, I met a semi after the first tunnel but thankfully he stopped in between the first and second tunnel, and there were a little room to slip past to his side and wait for him to proceed into the tunnel allowing for safe passage into second tunnel. Second one was when I was getting out at the end of the tunnel and there was a sharp curve at end of the tunnel I met with semi pulling two trailers that was going at little faster speed than the first semi, but there was room for him to weave to his right and getting into tunnel while I swerved toward the white line and wait for him to clear. Got it all on video.

    When the lane returned to two lanes, I knew I made it out ok and didn't really think it was "dangerous" because the road was paved all the way except for few sections, which was in pueblo anyway. Comparing it to Trampolin del Diablo in Colombia, I am going to give it to Trampolin del Diablo. But there is one small section on Canon del Pato that could give you the vertigo feeling and that is in pueblo Huallanca where you start your way up the switchback with blind curves and steep edge.

    Tomorrow, gonna check out Laguna Paron.
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  12. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Hola Ken, will get back to your travels after USA's Turkey Day. La Familia is here so have to house them!

    Adios, ELMER
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  13. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    It took a lot of effort to get here that the view was worth the risk. The road up here was treacherous and I had few close calls from falling down or going over the steep edge. According to my GPS, the highest I got to was 13,745ft. I enjoyed the speculating view today.



    I'm trying to upload unedited clip to youtube and hopefully it will be done uploading soon before I head out in the morning. I'll let the video tell the story itself it was not easy getting up here that the reward of this beautiful scene was worth it!

    Note: I tried going with large size photo using smugmug (my photo is much larger than large size designed by Smugmug but for some reason all my photos are still small I don't know why? :dunno
  14. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Happy Thanksgiving day! That's two years I haven't had turkey meals. :)

    If you got 36 minutes to kill and doesn't mind watching unedited video of my traverse on treacherous road to the laguna where I get to see god's beauty, Laguna Paron. In my opinion, this road make Canon del Pato look like nothing to it. Sorry no music.. I am deaf so I don't hear music and I wouldn't know how to add or choose one. Enjoy!

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  15. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    On my list for my trip north! Thanks for sharing!
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  16. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Hello from Santiago, Chile! I've travel fast and not really had time to be on internet.. Actually it was hard to have access to internet or WIFI, and when I had access, it was so slow anyway. I'll try to get my RR up to date.
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  17. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    After visiting Laguna Paron, I tried to visit Laguna LLanganuco, but the search for hostal or hotel was no dice. For some reason, hotels want $200-300USD and hostal weren't friendly to bikers. I found one hostal but they weren't willing to let me park my moto in their garage so I head out to Lima. Few pics along the way..







    In Lima, my girlfriend flew in and we spent a week together exploring Lima.

    Plaza of Armors






    Circuit Magic of Water






  18. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    It would not be proper not to have something origin of North Carolina when it's available in other country:




    Ruins:


    We went to visit Parque de Amor:




    And near Parque de Amor, there was paraglide site:


    This restaurant is visible from top of the cliff where Parque de Amor is, and we had considering eating there but the price was just way too out of our budget:




    After Claudia and I said our goodbye, I head out to Nazca on my way to Cuzco. I check out few of Nazca lines but I can not help but to wonder if it is really real or just some BS??


  19. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    As I head out of Nazca going to Cuzco, I was passing a van and then my moto started to fishtail on the back.. I pulled over and found a flat tire.. crap! So I took tire off the moto and tried to get tire off the rim but it wouldn't budge.



    Well, German couple in California registered vehicle came to a rescue. They were willing to take tire back to Nazca, which was only 10KM away and I gave them 70,000 Peru pesos.. about 2 hours later, they came back with my tire and showed me that the tire tube went bad.. the air valve ripped off the tube so that is why it was letting air out. I provided a spare tire tube to change with so I don't have any more spare tube for rear tire going forward. It cost only 10,000 pesos to change tire and the couple refused my pesos for gas. They even gave me 2 liter of water bottle and made me excellent tomato & avocado sandwich.. it was so delicious!!



    Also, while I was waiting on my tire, Tom on a 250cc Honda CRF stopped to check if I was ok and I told him I was good just waiting on tire. He told me he was heading to Cuzco that he would see me later.. Sure!



    After trashy litters of Northern Peru, traveling through Southern Peru is beautiful and gave me some mix feeling about Peru.. Here is speculating view of Peru..


    First Llama I saw..


    100km later, came to this beautiful laguna with many llamas


    More beauty of southern Peru



    While in Lima, I was searching for ticket and well as lucky has it, there was Black Friday sale on purchasing train ticket to Machu Picchu so.. I paid round trip ticket for under $90. Then when I got to Cuzco, I went looking for ticket office of Machu Picchu to pick it up but it was closed even at 4pm on Thursday! Then I went to PeruRail to inquire about exact location of the train station and the manager checked my MP ticket to find that it was cancelled. WTF! But he said that we could process it in the office so we did that. Then he said that he can help me get transportation from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo for less than 40,000 pesos... So we arranged for that to happen. 40,000 pesos for transportation from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo, round trip ticket $85, and MP ticket $47.





    I hiked about hour to the Sun Gate without stopping for rest.. the view was so speculating from here
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  20. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    (Continue)
    Back down to the base..


    In my opinion, to get the maximum visit of Machu Picchu, I would purchase train ticket for 2 separate day. Do it like this:

    Day 1: Train from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo to Agua Calientes (Machu Picchu village) and check in hostel or hotel in Machu Picchu village.
    Day 2: Tour Machu Picchu for 6 full hours from 6am to 12noon then take afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo or Cuzco.

    Although my ticket was for 6am-12noon, I end up arriving at 9:45am and had until 12:30pm to tour MP.

    I'd be happy to give more details in PM if you want to inquire..

    Anyway..



    Somewhere between Cuzco and Puno


    Welcome to Bolivia


    The bullshit border crossing on Bolivia side end up taking almost 3 hours.. I really don't feel like elaborating about this here but paid only $160 for visa fee and got in.. because it was dark, I had no choice but to settle on what is probably the worst place I ever stayed in this whole trip.. At least they were willing to let me park my moto in their lobby..




    I didn't bother to shower or brush my tooth. Was glad to get out in the morning..

    In Leon Mexico, I went to Motofiesta 2016 and this fine young man was presenting his plan to ride around the world on the KLR.. well, about a year later, I run into him here in Bolivia.. and we exchanged contact info.. His name is Bernardo Logar.


    I check out the archaeological site, Pumapunka, at Tiwanaku. Court Rand got me hooked on Ancient Aliens tv series and one of the episode was talking about how the stone was cut precisely for a pre-historic tools and that even with our modern tools, our diamond blade could not cut the stone as straight as this.. I found the show fascinating that I had to check the site out myself.