Going South on El Burro - Boliviaaahh

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TeeTwo, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    I hedged my bets for the ride today, a weather dependent decision to be made at Quiruvilca, stay on 3N rise up and on to Pallasca or head to the coast to Trujillo. Low cloud, heavy rain, thunder and lightening made the decision easy; head to the coast. The day was not a complete washout though, the first hour was decent and the descent into Trujillo dry and increasingly warm. It helped dry out the gear.

    They have an interesting and presumably traditional method of building homes and barns in this area. The 'bricks' are mud with some fibrous plant material to bind them, dried and laid with period rows of rocks, presumably for strength, then covered with mud leaving the stone visible Concrete and brick still dominate though.

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    There was a lot of evidence of mineral extraction, industrial scale hilltop removal.

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    Not all of the extraction was industrial scale, the gray areas on the hillside are spoil tips from small scale tunneling into the hillside.

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    Some nice lakes and lagoons along the way.

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    Stopped and had a quick look at the ancient pre-Inca pyramid on the outskirts of town but did not go into the museum or access the site, I needed to get cleaned up and air out the gear. Tomorrow I will stay on the plains to Chimbote before heading back to rejoin 3N on the road to Caraz via the Canon del Pato.

    Hotel I am in is good, bike secure but there are no restaurants close that remain open after 5pm, so I can't recommend it. Banana and carbs off the bike for dinner tonight, but I have my cerviche place in the GPS for lunch tomorrow before I head inland.

    Cheers. T2
    #61
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  2. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Great day to ride from Trujillo to Caraz.

    What I liked about Trujillo....everything got properly dried out. The joy of putting on a helmet that is not skanky and moist cannot be understated.

    The day started in the coastal desert, a nice change of vista, warm and dry. Delicious!

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    I stopped in Santa before heading west and met three guys at a juice bar where I stopped to grab breakfast. The guy at right started speaking Japanese to me, I speak a little bit myself, so he was floored when I responded in nihongo. Miguel, in green is running for Mayor of the town and chatted in Spanish and English, I now have a campaign badge of his and am probably eligible to vote. Tupac, an Incan name (apparently adopted by a rapper) said little. They were all local farmers.

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    The gals behind the bar couldn't make out what the heck was going on.

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    Route 12 west heads through a fertile valley before heading into the hills and the Canon del Pato…..
    #62
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  3. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    ….
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    I noticed a couple of small coal mining operations along the way, drift mines into the hill. A couple of guys were black with dust from head to toe. Further on there was a cloud of coal dust coming across the road, the pipe is visible dropping coal into a pile. The full sacks are ready to be hauled off. I could not see the mine entrance.

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    Staying at Hotel y Restaurant Business Rosh in Caraz. Checks all the boxes.

    As luck would have it I have met a Peruvian guy who has just returned from studies at Notra Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He has invited me to join him his brother and sister in-law tomorrow when they visit lake LLanganuco on the Yungay to Chacas road (106), which I am going to do. I had planned on riding it but two different sets of locals have said it is an issue because of the very heavy rain in the last week...it will give me a chance to have a look at the first part of the road from four wheels rather than two.

    Cheers. T2
    #63
  4. aak

    aak n00b

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    When I was in Ecuador, the 2 things that I remember most was the scenery and the local people I got close to.
    #64
  5. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    Accordg to an expert the caris is a 46 to 48 Mercury. It could be a 47 but the chrome strip along the door handle is too thin.
    #65
  6. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Thanks Bobbrecken, I knew someone out there would know the answer.

    Quite so. And with that let me introduce Guliver, his brother Cristian and sister-in-law isobel with whom I spent an enjoyable and educational day on Saturday.

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    Lake Langanuco is stunningly beautiful, a natural infinity pool …. P1060794.JPG

    Had my first cuy, (picante de) under the watchful eye of my Peruvian friends.

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    I believe I disappointed them in as much as I did not nibble every last morsel of flesh from the little bugger; the flavor was decent but it was a lot of effort for a little meat. Probably not to be repeated unless in dire straits. Guliver said it is very high in protein so you don't need much guinea pig to keep you going...just as well.

    We visited the town of Yungay, the pathway to the lake and route 106 and a town that was wiped off the map on May 31st, 1970 under an avalanche of snow, rock and mud, triggered by the Ancash earthquake. 20,000 people lost their lives in this town alone, buried under 20-30 feet of debris, most bodies were never recovered. We walked around the old town, under our feet and a national cemetery. Below is an Ancash Express bus caught in the wave of debris. The floor of the bus points to the sky, the cab buried in the earth, a twisted mess, the seats still visible, the mud and rock still embedded in the frames.

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    A sorrowful place.

    Near the lake I stopped and chatted to a fellow inmate making his way to Chacas over route 106. Chad (Neversurfaced) is riding his Africa Twin down to Chile. We chatted near the lake for a bit, under decent skies. Half an hour later as he headed into the mountains the heavens opened....I was happy to be in a cage, though the road to the lake was in decent shape. I was to meet up with Chad the next day on route 107, a paved road through the Cordillera Blanca, he shared his story of the day.....

    T2
    #66
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  7. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Sunday I suited up and elected to take 107 to Chacas, then head south to Huari.

    As I made my way up the Pacific side the cloud cleared to give sight of Mount Huascaran, the highest peak in Peru and the source of the destruction of the village of Yungay.

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    When the GPS looks like this and the road is well-paved you know you are in for some fun.

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    The tunnel on the Continental divide is at 15,538ft. A couple of local riders were up there. A little cloud up there on the Pacific side, on the Atlantic side the cloud cleared and the mountain tops and glaciers were visible.

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    more pictures follow...
    #67
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  8. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    ……

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    Nirvana or what?

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    I met Chad on my ascent on 107. We stopped and chatted for a while. Reluctantly I had decided not to ride 106, the warnings from the locals and the rain the day before had me spooked. Chad got through but said it was foggy, snowy at times and a mud slugfest. He aided a motorist stuck in a partially cleared landslide. That is more adventure than I want... so I was happy with my decision. Ataboys to Chad though.

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    Lunch in Chacas then another 60 miles, unpaved, muddy at times and made more interesting by heavy down pours and thunderstorms. I didn't care the morning was a 1000% payoff.

    Staying at the Hotel El Parque, on the main square, though the entrance is just up a side road. They have a cochera two blocks away, the bike is secure and covered. What luxury.

    Cheers, T2.
    #68
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  9. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Just read through the last few updates, well done @TeeTwo! Really neat you met up with a local returning from Notre Dame and ended up spending time with him and his family, part of the adventure that always leaves a great impression. Not sure I could have chowed the guinea pig, but would have tried had I been there - good on you for doing so.

    The trip up through the mountains looks spectacular - great shots of the pass, glaciers, and roads.

    Keep the sticky side down :-) :-)
    #69
  10. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Glad to have you along l2d.

    Hung in Huari just for a day of doing not a whole lot but chillin' and catching up on emails, the blog I'm running for family and friends ..oh, and doing a little bit of paid work over the internet. I still have a little consulting going on the side...paid for the cuy, those things aren't cheap by Peruvian standards.

    Today I ran south down the valley from Huari before heading back up into the Cordillera Negro. Good road for the most part, a couple of hang ups for road repairs where the river had washed out the road...a little rain as I neared the tunnel marking the divide. Elevation peaked today at ~14,500ft, the views were again very good and changed once on the Pacific side.

    Staying in Huaraz tonight, at the Maria Pristina Inn. Nice room, good price, secure covered parking on site (for 1 or 2 motos). Jorge is a great host, nice hot pot of mate delivered to the room on arrival. Speaks a little English.

    Some of the smaller towns I've stayed in had a pulse, some didn't; Huaraz has a heartbeat and makes for a pleasant change of pace. Super cerviche dinner....picked at random in a town full of choices.

    Today's photo offering...

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    The main plaza, with the old church under repair/rebuild.

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    Cheers T2
    #70
  11. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Thursday I made my way to Huallanca from Huaraz. 3N south to the Carretera a Pastouri that swings east to Huallanca. A decent paved road for the most part that rolls through a variety of countryside; wide valleys, rolling hills with nice views of the mountains. The day was dry- love it!

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    There is mining activity near Huallanca, the Minera Santa Luisa; zinc, lead and copper I believe are extracted. As testimony to the amount of rain the area has had the 3N had been completely washed out and a temporary road built 50 ft above the old. The 'new' road had subsequently been washed out itself. I was hung up for about 30 minutes while the gap in the road was filled. So unsure of the stability of the repair the contractors made the passengers disembark from the white minivan at the front of the line and cross by foot. It was a very bumpy crossing and portended events yet to come on Friday.

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    Stayed at the Hotel El Pueblo. Pricey by Peruvian standards, but it is *** (deservedly) and they only had a double room; Huallanca seems to host a lot of mine visitors and also the road repair crews which effects supply; can't blame the owners for making hay..... At first they said they had no rooms , not thinking I would pay the 80 sols, then they hemmed and hawed about parking, but they have a decent sized lot that easily accommodated the bike. All was well.

    T2
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  12. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The power went out at the hotel at 8am. The thunderstorms that had raged for most of the night, deluging the area, had ceased. A gang of men with shovels clearing storm wash from the main road out of town set the tone for the day.

    Even the small creeks were running, the vados full.

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    3N to La Union, 20 miles north, was a mess the entire way. A landslide was being cleared, they had been working for a while, the delay only 30 minutes or so. At La Union I opted to take the southerly V to Huánuco, using HU-109 to HU-110 rather than stay on 3N. The first 10 miles were freshly paved followed by a dirt road in reasonable condition.

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    Unfortunately, on HU-110 near the town of Rayapata the road was gone, washed out entirely. Walking uphill to take a look the 75 yard approach consisted of soft storm wash, threaded with 10-12 inch gullies of water with large rocks in the base I came upon the 10ft water crossing, not deep, but running fast.

    As observed on other occasions a local was on hand to 'make a pathway and aid the traveler for a fee'. With a 30-40 mile return to 3N at La Union, help at hand and seeing a car make the crossing, just, I gave it a shot. About half way up the rear began to bog and dig a hole, with my natural inclination to stay the side of the rock face rather than the chasm I picked the wrong line, regained traction, the front wheel hit a rock and deflected me into a deep gully by the rock face. The bike was basically upright, but was not going to make it out under power. A helping push, bike in first and feathering the clutch and throttle we pushed the beast out of the gully, up and across the water. Uphill of the water crossing it was muddy but rideable. 10 sols, possibly the best value I had for that sum!

    I met this group a couple of miles on the other side. My thoughts wandered --- one horse power and four points of contact would best El Burro, at least with me in the saddle! Still I made it to Huánuco, Around the Block Motos and Hostal Baraka.

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    Unloaded the bike, got into civvies and went to Around the Block Motos to get my storage paperwork completed, the bike was cleaned up, we checked the vitals (bearings, pads, chain etc - all good) got the oil and filter changed (I carried the filter and crush washer the Honda 4T 10W30 I use is available locally) so El Burro is already for my return late April to enjoy (I hope) the dry season on the next leg of my three part adventure.

    I travel to Lima on the overnight bus tomorrow night and head back to the US on Wednesday. Plenty of slack time given the unpredictable state of the roads up in the hills this time of year, plus a chance to spend a few hours in old town Lima

    One final post on this the first leg of my travel on El Burro down south. That will come from Lima and for those that like stats I will tally up my fuel usage, MPG, fuel cost etc.

    Cheers. T2
    #72
  13. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Damn, that's nuts :eekers. Not sure I'd want to be the driver stuck in the minivan when the passengers were told to cross by foot.
    #73
  14. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Quite the way to end the first stint of your adventure, water crossings always look fun in videos, not always the case when you have to make your way across 'em in a remote area.

    Looking forward to seeing pics from your time in Lima and then following again when you kick it back into gear in April :thumb
    #74
  15. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The bus with the lie flat seats leaves Huánuco at 10.40pm and spends the next 9-10 hours descending from 6,000ft to sea level. The seats are comfortable, no doubt about it, but I found sleep hard to come by. The road surface, the frequent sharp slow downs and bouncing over topes and the typical curvy roads contributed to a fitful night. Still, for USD30 and arriving early before 8am, safely, well complaints should be limited.

    Hotel Continental in old town Lima is a definite step up from the hostelries of the last 8 weeks. USD43 a night, inc. breakfast in the downtown of a capital city, 3*, I will take it. I booked two nights but I have since found out that they allow check-in from 9am...oh well. It was a pleasant thirty minute walk from the bus station, not all the streets were the nicest but it was good to stretch the legs; I checked in and showered and grabbed breakfast before they shut up shop at 9. Transfer is arranged from here to the airport tomorrow night, 70 sols is pricey by local standards and it can be done cheaper....but I am on a trajectory back into my 'real' world of prices!

    Of the three capitals I have visited on this trip so far Lima tops my list, at least the old town. Busy, yes, but it has a calmness, openness and generally good upkeep that Quito and Bogota could only match in small sections of their old towns. Noticeable that Lima doesn't have guards at the front of every store.

    A few pics to give a flavor. I'm not going to do a whole lot of touring 'cos the good lady back home and I will visit later this year.

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    So that about wraps it for this leg of the journey, thanks to those who have followed along, I hope to attract you back for more mutterings towards the end of April.

    So a few stats and musings since starting the journey on January 5th:

    Numerous dog attacks, all failed to land a blow...so far. Me and them.

    One fender bender - literally.

    One unplanned swim, face down in a slimy Peruvian vado (I still can't entirely shake the fishy smell).

    4,419 miles, though I am probably missing about 70 miles after the instrument panel fused out following the vado 'piscina' incident.

    58.4 gallons of gas at a cost of ~USD163.

    Averaging about 75mpg - the CB500X is frugal when well tuned and driven conservatively (on many of the roads any other choice would have been missing the point of being here, IMHO). This gives my edition of the CB500X a range comfortably over 300 miles.

    El Burro particularly liked the pure gas, 'unenriched' with alcohol, in Ecuador; I liked the prices USD1.85/gal for regular.

    CB500X Rally Raid Level 3 - did the job well. Nothing rattled loose, nothing broke or leaked and it is all set for the next stint. I missed the horses from the BMW R12GS on the uphills at high altitudes, EB puffs a bit over 13 or 14,000 ft when twisting the throttle.

    Garmin with OpenStreetMaps has worked well 95% of the time; it does send you the wrong way down one way streets occasionally. I switched to maps.me for the last couple of miles in town on a few occasions and always used it when needed on foot.

    Oh and oodles of fun....I will be back for more.

    All for a few weeks. Regroup in Huánuco April 26th.

    Cheers. T2
    #75
  16. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Thanks for the Great RR! Signing off.
    #76
  17. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Safe travels back home and hope that your return trip to Lima doesn't involve any drama or issues. Enjoyed following along and look forward to seeing what you report in the next stint :thumb
    #77
  18. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Arrived back in Huánuco on Friday courtesy of the ATSA commuter flight from Lima. It is not the first time I have had a hand written boarding pass, but it is the first time I have been weighed at check in. The thin air effects lift and engine power of the prop plane so they limit the load. If future ADVer's take this flight just know that the limit for checked bags is 10kg, not a lot of stuff. It bested the 9 hour coach ride for sure.

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    El Burro fired up first try after being pulled from storage, though it needed a lot of throttle blips to keep from stalling. Flushing out the gas in the line perhaps; after 5 minutes idle was back to normal.

    Met Toby, the co-owner of Around The Block Motos who took care of the paperwork and storage. Knows his stuff about Peru and gave me a couple of good tips.

    New fender fitted, stickered with the Peruvian flag and loaded up we were both ready to head south on Saturday to Jauja.

    Nice 200 mile ride down 3N and 3S, traffic was light once I turned off 3N leaving the Lima traffic to head east. Good roads for the most part made for an easy start to the second leg of my journey.

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    Jauja is small but lively in the center, with an interesting church dedicated to the poor. Not quite Ipiales, but more decorative than most of the churches I have seen in Peru.

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    Casa Jauja is home for the night. Checks the boxes, decent price though the hot water is not the greatest.

    Cheers T2
    #78
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  19. Juan Cruz

    Juan Cruz Just riding

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    Hi TeeTwo!
    First of all, congrats for this trip and RR, is my mandatory pre-work reading, so thank you :clap


    One question, did you leave the bike with a battery tender/charger? or fuel stabilizer?
    #79
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Great to see you underway again, @TeeTwo! Always a good feeling to have the bike fire on the first attempt, especially after having fuel hang in the injectors, etc, for a while.

    Safe travels as you continue your adventure, looking forward to following along again :ricky :thumb
    #80