Leaving the Arrowhead Country for Peru

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MikeS, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    I'm having a look at Quechua. I guess a few words of that would be fairly handy. And then maybe a bit of Aymara sometime.
  2. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Interesting you say this; because in Pachapaqui, when we finished our dinner I asked in Spanish, "how much for dinner?" I didn't understand the number, and the gal then used her hands to inform me. "Ah, doce" I said. She nodded yes. I'm sure she answered my first question with "12" in Quechua. You'll run in to Quechua in the rural areas of Peru. You and they are both communicating in a second language; Spanish. And sometimes, you both have the same limited working knowledge of Spanish.

    Edit: On the same topic of language and numbers, I had a time when a Peruvian was practicing her English with us. At the end she told me, in English, that breakfast cost "fifty soles". Wow, I thought. Then, realizing how close "fifteen" and "fifty" are in sound and word ending, and that I've had this happen before, I asked, "quince?" I have recurring problems with some Spanish language numbers myself. The "teens" numbers in Spanish are 11 to 15. And the "s" numbers, 6 and 7 in English, are 5, 6 and 7 in Spanish.
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  3. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Maybe there will be a well used but well repaired Honda Tornado for sale once you're able to visit South America.
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  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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  5. Dazzler71

    Dazzler71 Adventurer

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    Great read again Mike. Really looking forward to my time in Peru next year, more so after seeing your pics.
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  6. Stubanger

    Stubanger Adventurer

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    Just got up to date on this one, awesome pics and notes! Thanks for taking us along. Sorry to hear about your wife's bike troubles, one of those XR190's would've been perfect if one was available.
  7. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Big bump. Enjoyed the read much. Your doing it the right way. Merlin
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Since the title of this thread is "Leaving the Arrowhead Country..." and that I'm still in the Arrowhead Country and unable to leave, here's some local fall riding pictures from northeast Minnesota

    Local easy, 250cc moto roads:
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    I seldom see folks on these roads, but met these hunters (grouse) as I emerged from this flooded crossing. Picture of them crossing. For anyone who recognizes this spot, somewhat deeper than normal, as you can see from the culverts and the floorboard of the quad.
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    Beaver house
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    That's wild rice out on the lake
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    And thus the thread bump (so I can also find this thread easier and it doesn't get dumped by Adv). The moto is still waiting in Peru. I'm hoping covid gets under control in the US (so Canada opens its border to the US so I can fly out) and in South America (so locals are safe from the pandemic), hoping by late summer 2021. My plan is to continue this RR when I return. I want to ride to Cotahuasi Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world. I hope to be able to enter from the west, the more challenging route, then exit towards the east, the more used route. Hopefully I can find someone to ride the western route with. Stream crossings, maybe an overnight somehow/somewhere, extra gas, mountain views, mountain roads, remote villages, and unsure routing.

    I know Peru has been hit hard with covid. The crew at the shop have been hit hard financially with no business from moto travelers. I sent a small remittance for the crew through Toby. If anyone feels so inclined, PM me and I'll get you a contact, or contact Toby directly. Stay healthy and safe!

    As an edit, As of August, where Peru and the US are:

    [​IMG]
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  9. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    Oh dear, UK is #1 for idiots in charge and foolish fellow countrymen.

    I'm now glad I didn't go ahead with my SA buying moto plan. Maybe I'll do another fly/ride sometime (I'm classifying the last one as just a recce).

    Thanks for the update, Mike. I'll be keeping an eye out for future developments.
  10. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Back in March I told Toby to put my moto up for sale. I had a gringo interested, who I referred to Toby, but he was stuck in Cusco because of Peru travel restrictions. Later in summer I had second thoughts. The cost of replacing the Tornado with an XRE-300 or CRF-250 would be substantial. Of course, there is the XR-190 option. Anyway, I contacted Toby and told him I changed my mind. He told me he had someone who was very interested - but nothing was signed yet. I told him, "not for sale any more". Next day, my wife spontaneously told me that I should reconsider selling the Tornado. I told her I already did that. It's in paid storage now at the shop in Huanuco.

    I like that you call your first trip a recce. We don't have that word in the States, so I had to look it up.

    BTW, I had a Peru trip planned, airline tickets bought, for last February travel. My wife again had a premonition, specifically that I'd get in a crash. Damn!!! She said I can go but be careful. I knew better. As it went, I believe I would have been back prior to all the covid developments. Instead I spent almost 3 weeks in Baja Mexico, pre covid.

    Covid here has been politicized and polarized; the advice of scientists and epidemiologist has been diminished, masks and social distancing are an indication that you're a demonized liberal. Hopefully the UK has a more cooperative political environment for handling this pandemic on your side of the Atlantic. I read that the death statistics in the EU as a whole are much better than the "10 worst covid countries", and that includes Italy. Canada to my north is handling covid much better. To their credit, the Canadians closed the border to the US.
  11. Evil Santa

    Evil Santa Been here awhile

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    Always enjoy your ride reports Mike. Hope it all comes together for next year...
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  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    There comes a time in ones life where some sort of “bucket list” develops. Riding along the Firebox Road, off the Greenwood, north of Grand Marais, in the Arrowhead Country of Minnesota:

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    A little bumpier in spots:

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    Water was down at this beaver pond on the Old Greenwood Lake Road:

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    Which motivated a detour from the quad/moto single track trail that parallels the Brule River. Let's check out the Brule River, from the far side of the Gunflint Trail. Maybe the Brule River crossing is possible on something lighter than a pickup truck with giant tires. Approaching the Brule River:

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    I've been aware this crossing is possible, and that it has been done by trucks. I've been checking it out now and then for 5 + years! Always huge flow, strong current – the rocks on the left are intimidating during high flow and normally are under water. For the first time it looks very do-able:

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    Piece of cake! Check mark to that item on the bucket list. Wet tires to prove it. If you look at that far boulder, on the right, behind the mirror, you can see the high water flow line.

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    So anyone from the Arrowhead Country who wants to complete the Brule River water crossing on the Old Greenwood Lake Road, now is the time.

    Now if the human race could only get covid under control. South America is pulling hard on me. I know borders are closed. I'm very undecided about traveling within country this fall; Peru, or even Colombia. Peru has the worlds highest per-capita covid infection rate. Toby believes "herd immunity" may be taking place, obviously at a high cost. There's the issue of respect that a foreigner should pay to that level of loss of loved ones. I recall my own small home town, a tourist town, in that many living here did NOT want tourists to be here during the pre-vaccine covid surge. Of course, here is North America, a different culture. Decisions....

    Evil Santa; thinking of you and hoping your spirit is watching down at us. Those Speeders we saw on Return of the Jedi: I hope you have one where you now are.
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  13. Dudley

    Dudley Long timer Supporter

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    I am confidant that South America will open soon. I am booked to ride in Chile this December...
    Dudley
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  14. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Sept 20

    I'm back in Peru for about four weeks of travel. Catahuasi Canyon, south of Cusco, is a focus of my attention. I want to see the Inca grass bridge, plus other sights.

    My flight to Lima went well, despite a hurricane aimed at my connecting airport in Houston. Air travel between Lima and Huanuco has a glitch, namely luggage is limited to 50 pounds. My riding gear puts me well over that limit. The bus was recommended, overnight with seats that go back to horizontal for sleeping. I had a front window seat on the top level.

    I'm vulnerable to sea sickness on boats on big water, like Lake Superior. I didn't eat anything in the afternoon, just in case. Good decision, because once we got to the mountain passes and switchbacks, I was deathly sick. I've never been that motion sick for so long, ever. I was not alone. I don't want to experience that again.

    I think I can figure out a way to ship my gear to Lima by bus, and send me via airplane from Huanuco to Lima on my return.

    Covid is taken serious here. Masking is enforced, even when walking, riding motos, etc. Peru has a high death rate per capita, although the information I reviewed is that the infection level is much lower at this time. It was a consideration of mine when planning this trip. My flight from Houston had a lot of Peruvians on it, who came to the States for vaccination. I believe vaccination is open now for adults over 30 in Peru. I know Jaime at the moto shop, along with his wife got their vaccine. Jaime did tell me vaccination rates in the jungle region is basically zero. They are suffering from high infection rates, he told me.

    Today is get the moto set up, GPS, insurance, a couple other things. Then a test ride. One item to solve, I cannot move my photos from my camera to this tablet computer. This computer only has a mini-SD drive. The plan is a Tuesday departure. Hopefully pictures by then, a necessity for a RR.
  15. donnh

    donnh Been here awhile Supporter

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    Safe travels, I look forward to following your trip. I'll be curious how things are different during the COVID era. Be sure to have a beer at the Norton Rats Pub in Cusco.
  16. GearDrivenCam

    GearDrivenCam Long timer

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    Good for you Mike! Really looking forward to following your adventure! :)

    Take care,

    Mike
  17. knight

    knight Long timer

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    I attempted to ride west out of the canyon , right after being told that I should not attempt it

    After a couple of hours of riding , I turned back when a lack of fuel became a concern
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    I am so glad you posted. I'm nervous about this section. I was hoping to find someone compatible for this trip because of this section. I know I have to carry extra gas. iOverlander has several comments about this route. I'll ask in Izhuacca, at the NW corner of my attached map. There are two routes I am considering. There was a major land slide on the west loop NW of Cotahuasi – several years ago. I'm inclined to ride from the green flag to the "i", then south to Puyca. Part of that is reported from iOverlander as rough, from folks on "big bikes". I want to do it in an early start day, one day for about 175 miles. I might decide to buy a sleeping bag for a bivouac. Obviously I'll ask in Izhuacca about the conditions.

    What size moto were you on? When, and how far did you get? Comments appreciated.

    Map.png


    I got my camera able to load to my tablet. Now I need to get in to my Smugmug account on this tablet.

    Rode to Sishmae today on a bumpy mountain dirt road and saw less masking.
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  19. Klinc207

    Klinc207 To PERU!

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    Looking forward to this report. I rented from Toby a couple years ago and had a great time (He's actually my old high school shop teacher from Maine! Story for another time) We had plans to make the rally last month, but didn't happen. Hope to get back and explore more next year. Peru is amazing. Thanks for taking the time for the report, it will help us get more ideas for exploration. I had the idea to check out the west side of the Canyon also, interested to see how this pans out! untitled-26.jpg
  20. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    Ditto. Definitely a ride I would want to avoid again. I was thinking I'm too old for this. Watched Wolf Warrior 2 on the bus, that along with the Chinese engineers working on the N3 out of Huanuco, was quite an eye-opener.

    Buena ruta, Mike.