Leaving the Arrowhead Country to ride Peru and beyond

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

  1. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Feb, 2016 - Start of first trip to Peru:
    It's cold in the north, in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. With good advanced planning, I left -15*F to arrive in 25*C. I'm now in Peru for 6 weeks of riding. First time for me south of the Darien gap. This trip has been a long time in planning. I have a desire to ride from north to south across the Americas. I seem to be doing this in sections, and over a very long time period. I have the Arctic Ocean to northern Guatemala covered already, along with decades of side trips.

    Trip continues - destination Ecuador 2017: Post 128 page 7 https://advrider.com/index.php?thre...ountry-to-ride-peru-and-beyond.1124497/page-7

    And then - destination southern Peru 2018: Post 235 page 12 https://advrider.com/index.php?thre...untry-to-ride-peru-and-beyond.1124497/page-12

    Of the many options for a motorcycle in South America, including shipping a bike from North America; I decided to purchase a 250cc Honda Tornado from Toby Shannon of www.aroundtheblockmotoadventures.com Toby is a very straight up guy, and has many options available for the budget traveler. The motorcycle is in my name, and I can cross borders with it with no problems. I can also store it in Peru with no need for a TVIP. One other issue with a South American licensed moto is that some countries do not have agreements that allow you to get a TVIP, and Peru is the least restrictive with an easy go around.

    Arriving in Huanuco, checking out the roads below:
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    The motorcycle. Look at those racks, custom built for my Giant Loop. No muffler burns there:
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    On Wednesday I went out for a shake down ride in the mountains. My route was west of Huanuco, including the pueblos of Shishmay, Manzana, and Molini. It was all small bike dirt, although these are the roads for the towns. In some areas there were the little three wheel taxis, motos, cars, and even transport trucks. Lots of big potholes, gullies, and rocks. Very fun road. Farther up in elevation, I hit a lot of drizzle and wet. No big deal; I'm a tourist and I'm here.

    Stopped at the Hoscienda at Shishmay. Originally built by German coffee growing immigrants, and restored by the Peruvian government. Central courtyard and garden:
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    The iron, silver, and wood work is very detailed and well done.
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    Main family room and my senorita guide:
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    Door and ironwork:
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    Several locations, I saw these being used to plow mountain fields.
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    Small town along the way. I saw a lot of signs painted on buildings, "Somos Peru", (we are Peru). Lots of pride throughout Peru - plus Latin American hospitality and welcoming to travelers.
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    Switchbacks on the way down from an artesian supplied alpine lake. It was wet here, rain and drizzle:
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    Rainbow at the end of the journey, coming down from elevation.
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    #1
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  2. olekaw

    olekaw Adventurer

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    Good start Mike. I'm looking forward to this one. Do I understand that you brought Jdowns a knee scooter?

    Ride safe! Craig
    #2
  3. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    I followed your shakedown ride yesterday! Nice looking bike too:thumbup Looking forward to more!
    #3
  4. Lutz

    Lutz Fuzzy Rabbit

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    Enjoy the trip!
    #4
  5. c-zulu

    c-zulu Works with Turds

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    Subscribed...
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  6. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

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    Great intro :clap
    #6
  7. STRich

    STRich Been here awhile

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    Mike, what an awesome trip, thanks for letting us play along :-)
    #7
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Gracias amigos for the comments. Had some small issues with the moto after the shake down ride, which are solved now. Packed and ready to go for tomorrow. Riding north tomorrow, towards the ruins at LaUnion. No pictures today. I'll have pictures at the end of the day tomorrow, and post when I get good internet.
    #8
  9. bidda444

    bidda444 Been here awhile Supporter

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    :lurk
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  10. Evil Santa

    Evil Santa Been here awhile

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    Nice!
    #10
  11. tommymerle

    tommymerle advwanabee Supporter

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    Yea Mike, you are our hero.
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  12. jwalters

    jwalters Farkle Proliferator

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    Excellent Mike!
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  13. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    I m on line for the first time but not with my computer. I have some amazing pictures and experiences. Will post when I can. Jesse will be posting some spot tracks here for me.
    #13
  14. jwalters

    jwalters Farkle Proliferator

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    Howdy folks. Here's the latest from Mike's sat tracker:


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    #14
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  15. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Feb 19 Huanuco to Huallanca

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    I have nothing but good things to say about Toby & Sara. However, now is the time to go! My gear is all sorted out and the moto is ready, so vamos! Toby helped me with roads to explore, thinking small motorcycle type roads. My first day was a good dose of mountain dirt roads.
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    Town centro, where I found a tienda and bought some lunch supplies and refreshments. Notice the fields in the background.
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    More mountain roads & scenery:
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    Finished my day in Huallanca at Hotel Nancy at 11,500 feet altitude, sourced from iOverlander.com I was tired at the end of the day but had an excellent fix for that dirt addiction. Long but good day on the dirt, and plenty of high altitude. Altitude definitely is an issue to fatigue today, and tomorrow will definitely push that to new heights.
    #15
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  16. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Sat. Feb 20:

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    Left Huallanca in the morning, with the plan to ride to Huaraz and stay at one of several places with internet so I can update this ride report. Lots of switchbacks.

    Along the way:
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    Mining, with an interesting break area. Notice the grass roof for the coolness it provides on hot days
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    Entry to national park, the back entry:
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    High altitude, up to 15,900 feet. I knew I was at high altitude, and so did the moto. Jamie, the mechanic at Around the Block Moto Tours is excellent, and has the carburetor jetted to work at high altitude all the way down to the coast.
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    No pictures, I was experiencing a good case of altitude sickness. I stopped several times for a sit down. Stopped at the park entrance and had a break plus a short chat with a Peruvian tourist. Went to Huaraz and the hostels I had chosen weren't open yet, as it was only 1pm. I continued on and as I was riding along, saw a hand painted sign on the edge of the road, "Hostal". https://www.bedandbreakfast.eu/bed-and-breakfast/yungar/hostal-country-macshi-wasi/1749392/ I rode up the steep, bumpy drive, and for $10US, it was the most expensive so far. No iternet. I layed down for a two hour afternoon nap, what I needed to recover from the altitude.
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    Joel, with his Chinese cruiser moto
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    As happens on trips, it's not only the places you see but the people. I ended up chatting with Joel about family, motorcycle travel, our countries, our work, and Spanish/English. Most was in Spanish, and my grasp of the language is very limited. He knew some English words but no sentences, and I was helping him with pronunciation. He'd interject English words in to his Spanish, some difficult to understand right away. We laughed about the rolled r in Spanish. The ch, th, and r sounds in English provided additional entertainment for us. Later he offered me dinner, and I had some rolls to contribute. Chicken fried with onions and tomato – yum. Plus coca tea, in a tea bag with a label on it, which is good for altitude – and would probably result in a drug conviction in the States. No buzz in the tea form, so I'm not developing a habit. Next morning he even fed me breakfast, avacato and crackers. "Questa nada, is amigo mio", he said – meaning the breakfast is on me, you're a friend.

    Morning view from my balcony
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    #16
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Sun Feb 21: Left my new friend Joel in the morning, heading to Canon del Pato, Duck Canyon. My ultimate destination for the night is Pallasca. I have an alternative "direct route" noted on my route, time permitting.

    The three wheel taxis here are more decorated
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    Entering Canon del Pato
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    Tunnels, and lots of them
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    The river is pinched through this gorge
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    Ended up on the direct route, meaning less traveled, because I wasn't watching the gps very well.

    Passing through a village
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    I was flagged down by two younger fellows. After a lot of broken Spanish and "what", I realized they wanted a hitch on my moto to Pallasca. Three on a moto, plus my luggage. The road was way less than smooth. I felt guilty, saying no. There was very little vehicle traffic on this road, and we were 12 km from Pallasca. Although I see three grown folks on the 125cc motos, I was concerned about my skills plus breaking the bike. I hope the travel gods of generosity don't curse me because of my decision.

    Pallasca isn't much for choices for where to stay. One choice, but a bed and safe place for the moto. Least costly so far; $12.00. Dinner, soup for me, was just a few doors away.

    My moto, parked in the courtyard in front of my room.
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    #17
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  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Monday Feb 22: Left Pallasca, heading north to Huamachuco, determined to find internet. Rode through lush farming, plus mountain passes. Did find an internet tienda, but I could not plug my computer in to their cords.

    Morning fog, or clouds as defined from lower altitude.
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    It will be well over an hour before I ride out of this picture:
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    So I can remember where this epic road is located (see waypoint flag):
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    Coming down towards a small town, I saw a bunch of people off the side of the raod, plus others walking up the road. The crowd on the road increased, and I could see ahead that the whole road was covered with people walking up the hill. I stopped on the side to let them pass, wondering what kind of procession this was. Heard some music, and eventually realized this was a funeral procession. These folks had walked up hill at least 2km or more from the church in the central plaza, including the young bucks carrying the casket and the fellows blowing in to their instruments.

    Typical small farm
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    I have to add an incident illustrating one cultural difference between Peruvian and USA culture, and that is trust: I was looking for gas in a smaller town. I was nearing the far end of town, having not spotted a source for gas yet. No "gasolina" signs in the small towns, you just know where to go because you live there. Others like me have to ask.

    I asked a couple women walking along the road with their son. The end result of the conversation was to put the 7 year old boy on the back seat of my moto and drive the one plus blocks back so he could show me which tienda has gas for sale. No one in the US would ever think of putting their child on the back of a strangers motorcycle; and if so, they would probably end up in court in the States for child endangerment and end up with their son in social services and maybe foster care.
    #18
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  19. c-zulu

    c-zulu Works with Turds

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    Looking good Mike.
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  20. jwalters

    jwalters Farkle Proliferator

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    Looking good Mike! Keep the ride report coming, we appreciate it!

    For everyone, here's his latest tracks:

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    #20
    MikeS likes this.