Going South on El Burro - in Peru

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

  1. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    So Saturday, day 6 with wheels under me, ended up in Palmira. A lively run from Filandia, a good part on a divided highway (the Pan-Am I think). It was refreshing just to be able to set the throttle hand and trundle along at a steady pace rather than the frequent bursts of throttle to pass trucks and the total concentration needed up in the mountains.

    But of course trucks there were, laden with the produce of the area, sugar cane. The longest of which was hauling five connected trailers.

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    The sign "...largo" (long) can just be seen ...no $hit Sherlock!

    The development of the sugar industry is presented very well at the Museo de la Cana de Azucar, just 5 miles or so outside of Palmira. A series of sugar production displays from the late 16th to the early 20th centuries, all set in a beautifully manicured garden. If botanical gardens or industrial heritage are your thing it is well worth the modest detour to get there and the COP10,000 ($3 USD) to enter. Park near the ticket office and they will keep an eye on the bike. I walked it in 90 minutes. As you can see the Colombians did a nice job, though the info is all in Spanish.

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    The first week of moto travel will conclude tomorrow with a short hop of 80 miles. See you from la ciudad blanco, Popayan.

    T2
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  2. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Followers of threads in South America will be familiar with Popayan, the White City, named for the color of buildings in the old town.

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    Being a Brit I was interested to learn from Wiki that the clock in the tower came from the UK in 1737, and was repaired by the same company after an earthquake in the 1980's, but it has since stopped working...can't get good help these days I guess.

    The original brick bridge that was the primary entrance to town back in the day was well preserved with a cool cobblestone road bed. Pedestrians only these days.

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    The Mercury pictured below, vintage in its own right, was also well preserved. Not sure of the model as a rear placard was absent. Perhaps someone who reads this will know.

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    Future adventurers note - I am staying at the La Soleil Hostel on Calle 1 (Booking.com). Nice private room, clean shared bath, secure parking behind locked gates; USD15, breakfast extra but cheap. Great wifi. Easy to find, easy walk into the main square and easy connection to the road to San Agustin, the destination for tomorrow. Recommended.

    Ciao. T2
    #22
  3. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Thoroughly enjoyed your latest updates @TeeTwo :thumb

    The dessert you enjoyed is something I'd definitely like to try, glad you were able to find good coffee too. Guess it makes sense that the good beans get exported, though that's a lousy thing for the locals given they grow it.

    I can't believe they have semis hauling 5 trailers worth, can you imagine that thing making a right turn (or a left one for that matter...lol) :eek7

    The sugar cane gardens look beautiful, remind me of botanical gardens I visited with my family on a trek to Hawaii once.

    Keep the great updates coming, helps with the gray skies we have right now...especially as some of that white stuff was just falling (which causes havoc in our neck of the woods...lol).

    Ride safe :-)
    #23
  4. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Thanks for the feedback L2D.

    The 84 miles from Popayan to San Agustin crosses a mountain range in a southeasterly direction. The forecast was not great and thus far I have been SOL when getting into higher elevations.

    The road was well paved for the most part on the western side of the range and the weather stayed dry. As I pulled up at a waterfall I was joined by a couple of locals and they took the picture below. Wifi is slow, so just thumbnails

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    The road had some nice curves and elevation changes.

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    After about 25 miles the pavement ended and shortly after the rain and mist descended, the stony potholed and increasingly water logged Ruta 20 put up a good fight. A couple of short paved sections gave brief hope of an end to the slush; but proved a cruel joke until about 20 miles out of San Agustin. Up on the pegs much of the way and in second gear 75% of the time.

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    Of course the locals, rain ponchos flapping, two up, sitting on a Honda 90 make a Klim clad extranejero, standing up on a Honda with suspension worth more than their bike feel a bit of a prat to be honest! They go slow and plod along and have decent bike skills it has to be said. But sitting, damn, it is just uncomfortable for me, especially in the fields of stones and rocks where the earth has washed away from the road bed.

    In San Agustin for the next couple of nights. I plan on getting the bike lavanderia'd tomorrow before heading to the ancient stone do-dads the place is famous for.

    What's with the umbrellas hoisted above the street here? Can't be that many Mary Poppins devotees in the town.

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    As the last picture shows, the weather improved by late afternoon. The town itself has a nice vibe IMO.

    Staying at the Hotel La Gaitana, Calle 6a, recommended by those that have passed by before; reco being fully justified with all the key boxes checked.

    Cheers. T2
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  5. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    The UNESCO archeological site just up the road was closed today, for no particular reason it seems. Fortunately, the San Agustin area is awash with stone idols. So suited up and rode the 15 miles to the Alto de los Idolos, the smaller sister site to the main one near town. it provided enough ancient stonework and tombs to satisfy me. Maybe the idol below would have been an ADVrider in his day?

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    Apparently, this site is unique for the presence of stone crocodile idols, crocs not being native to the area. Supposedly this site is where the chiefs lived and were buried - perhaps one of them travelled into the Amazon and saw caymens.

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    It was a bit of a backtrack towards Popayan, but with a better day I could appreciate the views, chilling by the Rio Magdelena.

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    ..and here is why farmers need the very high calorie breakfasts; up there on a steep hillside cutting sugar cane.

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    All for now. T2
    #25
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Those stone idols are really neat, can you imagine the time it took to carve those back then? Interesting that crocs aren't native to the area, makes you wonder where the inspiration/idea came from.

    Glad to see the adventure continuing :D
    #26
  7. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    10 hours of riding today, undertook the 183 miles from San Agustin to Pasto. 50 or so of those miles were on the Trampoline of Death, Ruta 10. The rivers were swollen as a result of the heavy rains which continued into today. The first 25 miles of the road was in cloud and rain. At about 25 miles a landslide blocked the road, as the front loader dropped the debris over the side you could hear the rocks cascading into the ravine. Once a bike width had been cleared they allowed me to pass, it would have been another 30-60 minutes to get cars through, presuming no more hillside dropped. They told me to look up when passing the slip field in case a rock came tumbling down. After that stoppage the weather brightened enough to get a few photos. In three mountain rides I have yet to get a decent vista, though the sun did come out as I descended into Pasto. Pics will have to wait for better wifi.

    Cheers T2
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  8. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Shots from the Trampoline...….

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    A ride I will remember!

    T2
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  9. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    In Ipiales, staged ready for Ecuador tomorrow. Of course a trip to the Las Lajas sanctuary was a must.

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    Note the rock face behind the alter.

    A rainbow in the waterfall across from the Sanctuary. I was pleased to get a good soaking of rays today.

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    Staying at Hotel Avanty which others have stayed at quite recently. It has an underground secure parking lot which is empty except for my moto. The reason being Carerra 11 is closed, dug up and being repaved. Not quite the Trampoline to access it, but it was a task, on a steep hill, hopping a curb onto a dug up sidewalk with a small pallet as a bridge. Potential tip over territory with consequences - the panniers would need to be removed on an R12GS or similar. Slim El Burro eased through.

    Next post from Ecuador.....I hope.

    T2
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  10. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Friday Feb 8th.

    I arrived at the Ipiales -Tulcan crossing at 6am. I was second in line at Colombian immigration and was stamped out, then dropped off the TVIP at the DIAN office and crossing the bridge to Ecuador at 6.15am. At 7.00am I had my entry stamp and TVIP for Ecuador and was rolling towards Tulcan . I could not believe my luck based on the many stories of delays. It really pays to go early, by 7am the refugees from Venezuela had started to appear in modest numbers.

    Visited the Tulcan cemetary; another ADVrider pilgrimage checked off.

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    Stumbled on a nice produce market in Tulcan while wandering around.

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    The Pan American to Ibarra is well paved, dual for many miles and with little traffic. The sun was out and the views were spot on, clear mountain vistas at last.

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    Staying at the Imperio del Sol located on lake Yahuarcocha. Really nice spot, lots of restaurants selling all the same food about 5km away, an easy ride as this is a resort type area with very little traffic. The tilapia al horno was wonderful, with a couple of soft drinks $10. The bike is in the marbled floored event hall for the night. A good place to stop and easy on/off the Pan American.

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    I walked around the entire lake, 10km. Interesting place as it has a decent sized car race track in the development. Nissan had hired it for a private event today. Someone was having fun on the track.

    Cheers. T2
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  11. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    As a fellow CBX Rally Raid rider, I'm in.
    [​IMG]

    One of the few ride reports I've seen with this bike, so I'm curious to see how she holds up. How are you liking the R80? Racks underneath?
    #31
  12. knight

    knight Been here awhile

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    I'm really enjoying your RR , thanks for sharing

    I will never forget riding hwy 10 , in the rain , solo and that first water crossing , I got my NC750 hung up on some rocks and it took every bit of my strength and then some to get free of the water that was trying it's best to push me over the cliff

    I got my first flat about an hour later , while it poured rain near one of the summits and discovered I needed to Macqyver my compressor before repairing the tire

    I was a changed man when I arrived in Pasto that day

    Good times
    #32
  13. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Nice looking ride Cro59. El Burro all good so far; no racks. I like the R80, though the numerous straps can be a pain and the strap keepers....meh. I added a chain and eye so I can lock the bag in the holster, working pretty well. Love the beaver tail, so versatile.

    El Burro slept in the Imperio del Sol event room last night, marble floors and all....

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    ...now she thinks she is high society and is pissing and moaning being outside on a concrete pad here in Quito.

    Glad to have you along for the ride.

    Knight, yes that first crossing (west to east) is the most challenging of the eight that I counted. I am glad I had the extra height from the RR conversion and scooted on through. It is a memorable ride....glad my tires stayed inflated, sounds like you still have the scars from your day on the Trampoline.

    Thanks for your comments and coming along.

    T2
    #33
  14. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Headed south to Quito, and, with it being Saturday, stopped at Otavalo to take a peek at the famous market that blossoms on Wednesday and Saturday every week. A very nice town with colorful people, colorful stalls and colorful food on display.

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    If the appliance stores back home were like the one below then going appliance shopping with the missus would be a lot more fun.

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    Stopped at the Equator Monument …..up next...
    #34
  15. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    The Equator Monument, the one that is actually on the Equator, is a privately funded attraction. The staff provided a very interesting commentary. For example, this location was chosen (by a Frenchman 200 years ago) to determine the precise location of the equator because the mountainous topography provided good reference points. In other countries the equator passes through dessert or jungle which do not provide suitable bearing points. That is why Ecuador became, well, Ecuador.

    A couple of proof of visit shots and another ADVrider box checked.

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    The blue object in the above picture is a model of the earth used by the staff to explain features of the equator and not an act of censorship by the moderators to cover up an horrendous tourist selfie.

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    Taking look at Quito tomorrow.

    Cheers. T2
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    LOL, that's frickin' funny :rofl

    So cool you're in Ecuador man, congrats on getting across the border without issue and continuing the adventure. Like the market you visited, did you partake in Porky?

    What's the brand of the bikes in the last shot of your previous post? They look nice, wonder how capable they are.

    Enjoyed your latest updates, super-cool shot of your GPS showing all 0s :thumb
    #36
  17. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    No 'cerdo' from the market; trust me the rear did not look as appealing as the front.

    The moto is an AXXO (I think that is an Ecuadorian badge) - here is the website http://axxo.com.ec/producto/tracker-250/ , made in China I would think. Not bad for $3,000 if it runs OK.

    Cheers. T2
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  18. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Sunday in Quito old town was similar to Bogota but on a smaller scale; the citizens come out and the street venders appear. The Presidential Guard was unfazed by it all.

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    Quito old town is a nice place to wander around. Spanish colonial of course, well preserved and maintained for the most part. Ecuador is undergoing a lot of infrastructure improvements and Quito has its share, the new underground metro line being the most significant. The construction did impose itself in the old town in a number of places.

    I like to poke around fresh food markets, it is a window into an aspect of the local culture. If you follow the locals carrying their shopping bags, as I did on Sunday, you eventually find out where the action is. Anyone who has visited South America will know that eggs are an important part of the diet, but I never imagined I would find a store dedicated to the sale of different varieties of eggs. The eggs behind the sign were stacked from the floor and there was two pallets of them, plus the other specialty stock.

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    Meat and fish markets are especially intriguing. How are lower cow legs prepared? The restaurant I picked for lunch offered typical Ecuadorian food and had them on the menu, but I couldn't understand the prep. I opted for a seafood and potato casserole which looked more appealing and was outstanding.

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    I stayed at the Chez Elena Guesthouse, located in Orquideas (Booking.com). The road system in Quito is pretty good and I found the drivers to be decent. Chez Elena was easy to get to; a 25 cent bus ride (15 minutes) and you are in old town. Decent room, private bath and secure parking $30 including breakfast.

    T2
    #38
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  19. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Adventurer

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    Today, Monday, the journey south continued. Leaving Quito at around 9am proved fairly straightforward rejoining the Pan-American highway south. Cotopaxi, the volcano that dominates the skyline when the cloud allows was invisible to me, more rain etc accompanied my journey. It dried up before I entered Pujili, home for the night, at around 11am. The grumps from the weather could not help but be lifted when greeted by the unique and colorful roundabout on entering the town.

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    Pujili is a nice, clean, small town and is a good stop for an in and out excursion to Lake Quilotoa (Crater Lake). Hostel el Danzante is on the main street into town, offers secure underground parking and good rooms, with private bath, $17. They let me check in before noon so I could drop the bags and run light to the lake, about 35 miles one way. It was worth the effort, the mountain road is well paved, lots of curves, little traffic and good views.

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    It was the first day where I actually felt like I was in the Andes, expectations shaped from the years of National Geographic stereotypes of what 'Andean' is. The people and the traditional clothing being a big part, though I was surprised to find a group of ladies on rock duty. They weren't pretending either.

    It looked like there was a community project going on and the townsfolk were all engaged in making Quilotoa a better and more economically vibrant place for themselves and for the increasing number of tourists that are visiting. It was being done very tastefully in my opinion.

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    Another 'Andean' point of reference are these guys. The first I have seen that are not dressed up and being held hostage to earn a bit of coin from photo taking tourists.

    The journey continues...…. T2

    Attached Files:

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  20. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    It's too bad the skies weren't clearer when you visited the crater lake, reminds me of Crater Lake in OR. Really cool place to visit, and interesting to see the folks working with those boulders/rocks. Were they building something with them?

    Good updates @TeeTwo, must be amazing to be in the Andes, though I think I'd pass on the cow leg too...lol.

    Keep the knobby side down!
    #40