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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    Hi JC,

    Ahem….well, it was supposed to be on a battery tender and to be started up weekly while in store.....when I collected it from the store it was sandwiched between other bikes and had a nice patina of dust....so no is the answer to your questions. I carry a lithium power pack in case of a flat battery so could have dealt with that issue had it arisen, next time I will add fuel stabilizer.

    Thanks for following along.

    Happy to see you back L2D.

    T2
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  2. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    So Sunday I headed off from Jauja to Ayacucho using 3N connecting to 3S. About 10% gravel along the 200 mile trip. Usual great scenery.

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    I was getting a little peckish as us Brits say, so stopped at a roadside stand to pick up a couple of avocados to chow on (no toast just with crackers - I ain't no millennial :-)) ...and as I pulled up the lady in the light top yelled to her co-workers inside 'Un GRINGO!'. My reply "Si, yo soy un gringo, pero con efectivo!'. We joked around a bit, she was blowing kisses much to the amusement of her older buddy. When it came time to pay she said they were free....but I insisted on paying the market rate - 2 sols, 70 cents..... which resulted in being given a podded fruit that you split open and eat the pulp, spitting out the huge black pits - don't remember what it was called but it was a long run for a short slide, a bit like the cuy. Still, it was a new experience, a very nice gesture and a fun interlude to the ride.

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    Hotel Illari Wari Sauna was home for the night. Nice room, decent price and secure parking for 10+ bikes if you are travelling with friends. Good restaurant choices close by, I ate at a seafood place not 50 yards from the hotel.

    Made a 6am leap out of Ayacucho to avoid the Monday morning traffic, cleared town in 20 minutes, so it was a good decision I think. It was 9 hours and 220 miles to Nazca, several routes can be taken, I opted for 30D up and over the high plains.....it proved to be motorcycling nirvana. Sealed surface for the most part, elevation changes, lush wide valleys to roads clinging to the cliff face, switchbacks, high plains and ending in desert. Highly recommend this road to others, it had it all unless you want a pure dirt ride. For sheer daily variety riding in Peru should be measured in dog time...one day is the equivalent of 7 days anywhere else I have ridden.

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    …...
    #82
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  3. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Hostal Buen Pastor has good rooms, the bike is in the lobby and it is one block from the main square. Recommended. Of course being in Nazca it is mandatory to see the lines and to do that properly you need a fly over.

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    ……..
    #83
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  4. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    …..the geoglyphs won't be new to anyone but here are a couple of my photo efforts..

    The astronaut.

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    ….and the humming bird.

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    Perhaps less familiar will be the cantalloc aqueduct system, built by the pre-Inca civilization to supply water to their city, now in ruin as seen from the air.

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    Nazca was a great place to visit, good choice of restaurants (cerviche the first night, steak tonight NO rice, chicken or fries, more of that in my future no doubt). The steak demanded I try a Peruvian red wine, I was a bit hesitant as I have never seen a bottle of Peruvian wine before but I gotta tell ya, it was pretty darn good and made a change from cerveza.

    Heading back east tomorrow with a stop along the way to my next destination, Pisac. The hotel owner in Huaraz recommended I go there rather than Machu Picchu (which I plan on seeing with wifey later on this trip). Pisac is MP's junior cousin and so attracts fewer tourists, but is easier to get to so I thought I would give that a shot.

    Catch up with y'all in a few days.

    Cheers. T2
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  5. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    I forgot to mention that I dropped a short video into google drive shot along 30D...might be of interest. Used the link tool so it should be a clickable link....and I don't think a Google account is needed to access it, but I have one obviously so I can't tell.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=11AaUgSHf2WW5Qd5DBYdAIYdHFMug7C3H

    T2
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  6. Balanda

    Balanda No, I don't believe I will

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    Really enjoying your travels along the Andes. It’s an epic landscape that changes all the way. If you’re going through Bolivia to Chile, I can recommend the journey from Uyuni to Calama ; I back packed that way last year and wished I'd had a bike. Incredible scenery, great road, and San Pedro de Atacama is a fantastic destination in the high Atacama beneath a row of volcanoes.

    I’ve almost convinced myself to . . .:hmmmmm
    #86
  7. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    And this is one of the things I truly love about adventures such as yours, likely 5-10 minutes out of your day, but something that leaves a lasting impression and my guess is one you'll reflect on well after the trip has concluded. Really, really neat @TeeTwo :thumb

    The pictures from your ride out of Jauja to Ayacucho are fantastic, and the flight you took to view the Nazca lines - wow.

    Looking forward to the next installment :nod :nod
    #87
  8. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the feedback and the route recommendation. I was trying to decide whether to take the route out of Bolivia you recommended or south via Tupiza. Think I will opt for Calama if the locals thumbs up on road conditions.

    ...and it sounds like you are squaring up for a Nike moment and will 'Just do It' :wink:

    T2
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  9. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    It was in the mid 70's F when I bailed out of Nasca at 8am, quickly gaining altitude towards the high plain. As the sun gained strength it did battle with the altitude and temps only dropped into the mid 60's until about 9.30am when finally altitude took the honors as the temperature crashed into the low 50's and stayed there while crossing the plain.

    Some nice lakes up on the altiplano and large herds of alpaca and llama.

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    The drop back down into Chalhuanca wasn't bad either, the landscape and the roads. Found a nice lunch spot...(with not too much trash lying around)
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    …….
    #89
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  10. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The night was spent at the Hotel Plaza, 35 sols, the room was OK, water hot and with a secure parking area...but the host had the personality of a diaper rash. It was on the main road so easy to find.

    Made another early start but caught the rush hour in Chalhuanca.

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    Ran into some road construction, a long line of traffic which I rode past to get to the front …. the lady said it would be another 5 minutes. Not sure how long traffic had been accumulating but the honking of horns started up shortly after I arrived. Not sure what the other drivers expected her to do.....

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    I was looking for a place to grab lunch when I saw a couple of touring cycles, loaded up. 90% of the time loaded up cycles are being peddled by Europeans, and so it was. I stopped and spent a nice hour visiting with Robert and Kat over lunch. They are from Germany and had been cycling up from Ushuaia since December, except for an 800km interlude by bus up to Santiago to replace must have items (like a tent and clothing) after they had their luggage ransacked and items stolen.

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    As liv2day commented such moments on a trip provide very durable memories.
    …….
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  11. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Cusco traffic was the pits and I'm pleased to have decided to stay in Pisac. A good view of the town and the Inca terraces which the town is known for greets the visitor about a mile out of the village.

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    Pisac is quiet and aside from the locals is frequented by young and not so young western hippie types. The local restaurants reflect their presence with organic quinoa salads, lentil burgers and other offerings unpolluted by the vulgar notion of animal protein. In 10 years I think it will have taken on the feel of a hip Colorado ski town. However, since I enjoyed wandering around the freshly cobbled and paved streets, have my eye on a couple of organic 'roasted in-house' coffee shop hang-outs and the overall general vibe I am conflicted on whether to be delighted or disappointed with the changes that are coming to Pisac. There are still some hold-outs from the progress in gentrifying the place...

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    ….and one should never let infrastructure improvements get in the way of putting your roof on.

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    Hostal Wilcamayu is home for 2 or 3 nights, checks all the boxes and the bike is in the courtyard outside my room. Nice not to have to schlep bags up stairs for a change. Visiting the Inca site tomorrow and then may hang out for another day just chillin with the hippie crowd.

    Cheers. T2
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  12. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

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    Having fun following along. Good recommendation on the Uyuni to SPDA option. It’s a long but pretty ride. SPDA is a tourist trap but the landscape is stunning.
    Depending on your off-road comfort level, the lagunas route south from Uyuni is also stunning but sandy with no fuel.
    When you get to SPDA I would really recommend riding up through the Paso de Jama, past the salar de Tara back into Argentina. The riding in the north of Argentina is incredible.
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  13. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the route suggestions powderzone.

    The lagunas route is the in and out that passes the Arbol de Piedra? The heads up on the nature of that road is helpful. I might dip my toe into it. I'm not a lover of deep sand having spent time on sandy trails in Utah on my R12GS, became expert in picking it up from naps. That is my biggest concern being solo, picking EB up at altitude. It is lighter than the BMW but the center of gravity is higher so it kind of evens itself out.

    T2
    #93
  14. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

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    Yes, that’s the route...except it is actually a through road to the south of BO thru the Eduardo Alvaro’s Reserve (Salvador Dali desert) and pops out at a border crossing east of SPDA in the Paso de Jama.

    There are actually 3 lagunas routes but the middle route running south from the town of Alota (on Rt 701) is most commonly used by the over lander 4x4 operators out of Uyuni. It is mostly ripio but also has some sandy sections that can catch you out. There will be 4x4’s travelling through there so you can get help if needed.

    The western route passes Arbol de Piedra, is a bit more remote and sandy. It is also stunning and runs right through the stretch of volcanos that border Chile and BO. It merges with the middle route just south of Lagunas Colorado. Don’t use google maps to figure this out - they aren’t accurate. PocketEarth or MapsMe are quite accurate.

    Please bear in mind that there is limited fuel available between Uyuni and SPDA no matter which route. Google says fuel is available in Olleague (if you go via Calama) but I didn’t see any so count on zero fuel from San Cristobal (about 100 km SW of Uyuni) to Calama. You’ll need a range of 450km at least to make it...more if you plan to out/back to Arbol Piedra. The lagunas route has zero fuel until SPDA plus you’ll need food, water and a warm sleeping bag.

    Uyuni to SPDA via Calama can be done in a single day but why rush. It’s a long ride. The roads on the Chilean side are wonderful. Lagunas option is 2 to 3 days on a big bike.

    Either option is stunning. You win either way.
    #94
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  15. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Thanks powderzone. It will be another 3 weeks till I get to decision time, so I will ponder, though as you say there is no bad choice, it is all a special experience. happy and grateful I have the chance to do this adventure 9as you obviously have).

    T2
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  16. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The challenge after visiting the ruins at Pisac is to figure out which pictures to add to this report. Since it is supposed to be motorcycle related and not a sit down with granny to look through vacation photos. To future travelers that might read this suffice to say that it was an experience to be recommended. I took the taxi (from the village side of the bridge) up to the main entrance at a cost of 30 sols, it saves about a 1,000 meter climb (which can be done from the village starting above and to the left of the main square) lungs, and knees. I chose the easy option and walked down after touring the site. A few blushes on my part though, on my way down I met an Aussie couple in their 70's who were making the walk up, though they looked a little knackered and were only 40% of the way up. Well enough waffle, here are 6 photos that I hope capture the place and are in sequence from the entrance to the walk out.

    The main and most often photographed terrace, with ruins center/top.

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    Terrace irrigation, still running with water and keeping the terrace below green..

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    A tunnel cut through the rock to access the best built, and I presume, the wealthiest/government area of the site...

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    ……...
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  17. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    There seemed to be 3 levels of building quality, local stone held together with relatively wide bands of adobe cement, local stone that was tight fitting with very thin, if any, adobe and cut red stone that must have been imported, very tight fitting that the Inca's and Machu Picchu is famous for....and that is what you see in the main area in the picture below. This was a relatively small area of the overall site.

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    Even Inca's had the occasional quality control problem it would seem. Perhaps they sent the apprentice stone masons here before letting them have a crack at MP.

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    The entrance ticket was a 'partial' and gives access to an additional three sites within about 30 miles. No expiry date on that as far as I can tell.

    To avoid moderator sanctions (:wings) here are a couple of moto shots, the first taken as I wandered the village. About the best on road example I have seen.

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    The sticker on the front end said 'Cima Racing', I'm not sure about racing this 300cc thumper 3 wheeler...but that seat looks comfy. There were two jump seats, one either side of the driver, and with all that luggage space the whole family could do a moto RTW :rayof. How long before that happens, eh?

    And here is my moto parked in quarters for the stay here. Nice courtyard area.

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    The water bottles had been tossed down by the cleaner to the upstairs rooms and were collected up later.

    Not sure if I will hang tomorrow or saddle up.

    Cheers T2
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  18. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I wouldn't worry about that. For me, visiting ancient sites is one of the main purposes of adventure riding.
    The temple of the sun (Intihuatana) at Pisac is a wonderful site, in its imposing position. And excellent Inca stonework.
    Interesting what you say about the town, it must have changed considerably since I visited 25 years ago.

    Cheers.
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  19. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    For the first time on this leg of the trip I left in a light rain. After an hour the precipitation stopped and the ride over to Chivay proved to be a lot of fun. Picking up 3S to Sicuani then cutting off onto PE34E then CU-133. About 70 miles of the 240 were on unpaved roads, some of PE34E is well paved and also proved a lot of fun with tight combination turns and some good sweepers.

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    Coming over the altiplano on 34E I set a new personal best altitude of 15,741ft, but it wasn't without a few scary moments as a severe thunderstorm formed. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good and my route skirted the worst of it, about 5 minutes of rain and lentil sized hail, a few miles to my northwest it was getting hammered with a lot of lightening and a hailstorm. The white you see on the hill is a covering of hailstones.

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    It dried out and the rest of the ride was decent until about 10 miles from Chivay where it started storming again.

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    Chivay is the primary entry into Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world and the site of Cruz del Condor.

    ……..…...
    #99
  20. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Rumi Wasi was home for the night, checked all the boxes and a short walk into the center of the small pueblo.

    Rumi's bathroom was a little tight to say the least, it would be possible to be brushing teeth while seated and curling ....well you know what ...eeeewwww.

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    Leaving town at 7 am I was greeted with a crisp clear sky, I bought the 70 sol ticket and headed into the canyon. One of the local volcanoes was belching some smoke and steam

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    The town of Maca, which is on the way to the Cruz del Condor, celebrated an Incan warrior defeating a Spaniard. They may have won a battle but they obviously lost the war.

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    ...and then it was onto the condors. What magnificent birds; I was lucky I saw many ….

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    …….