Leaving the Arrowhead Country to ride Peru and beyond

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

  1. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,043
    Location:
    SE South Dakota
    I’m catching up while here at the María Dolores Mike. Enjoy the adventure.
    MikeS likes this.
  2. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Huariaca to La Oroya March 19

    [​IMG]

    No land slides, no closed roads. We're spending the night on the third floor at 12,300 feet (4000 meters) elevation. Free tea or coffee with the room rent.

    [​IMG]

    Start of the day:

    [​IMG]

    It's the rainy season. We can attest to that. Pretty much all day, on and off, including when packing the motos in the morning. I hate packing the moto in the rain. I prefer for rain to wait 5 minutes until I'm on my way.

    We rode through a national park full of these rock formations:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lots of shaved sheep and sheep dogs. I got my pants nipped, which is why I wear high riding boots and loose riding pants. We are chased daily, multiple times, including teams of dogs. All in a days riding. Welcome to Latin America!

    When stopped the sun radiates lots of warmth. People are in light clothing under the gray sky. What is strange is when riding it's cold. We stopped in the afternoon at a road side stand for a huge bowl of soup. The two women there were very interested in Laurie.
  3. STRich

    STRich Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    The Cities, MN
    Ready for the next episode of Travels with Mike :-)
  4. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    La Oroya to Izcuchaca March 20

    [​IMG]

    Amazing how every day can be totally different. Planning and adventure are opposites.

    This morning started out feeling miserable and headachy. Poor nights sleep. All signs of altitude sickness.

    Laurie went down for "herbal tea" and coffee while I mapped out the day riding plan. Coca tea did not help. There was a knock on the room door, and a gal gave us a tray of rolls, jam, fresh mango juice, and a pitcher of hot water. I'm sure I was told about this the night before, but having limited Spanish, the morning comes with a pleasant surprise. The coffee reduced some of the misery. Remember what a mild hang over felt like from your time in your 20's?

    We were at high altitude most of the day. After the cold day yesterday, we dressed to the hilt. Because the sun radiates a lot of heat when not riding, I had some doubts about the clothing choice. That went away once rolling. We are on what I believe are called the pampas.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, those are black-eye-susans blooming. Where I live, those are a sign of the end of the short summer we typically experience:

    [​IMG]

    This guy was watching the road:

    [​IMG]

    Our view during our lunch stop:

    [​IMG]

    Along the way I saw a sign for an architectural site. It was on the side of the road adjacent to the road. Peru has lots of ancient sites, many in their status from when abandoned.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We finally left higher elevation.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Huancayo traffic is totally Peru, namely chaos by gringo standards. Laurie is starting to look like a pro.

    Our destination for the night is Izcuchaca, a friendly town centered around the central plaza. After a miserable morning due to altitude, this pleasant town is why we come to Peru. We went to 4 or 5 tiendas for various needs, and purchased some food from a street vendor. A fellow there was asking both me and Laurie questions in quechua, the Inca language. The gal making our food was interpreting from quechua to Spanish. It was friendly bantering and questions. I wish I could know the level of accuracy of the interpretations through the chain of people starting with the quechua speaking fellow, the street vendor who spoke quechua and Spanish, through me, and finally to Laurie. Not only is the story going through several people, but also several languages, and limited language skills by at least one person in that chain. But it didn't matter. We were all laughing and enjoying each other's company.

    Our hotel down the tracks:

    [​IMG]

    Views from our balcony, where we ate chicken, lettuce, and potatoes purchased from a street vendor:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. Evil Santa

    Evil Santa Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    114
    Location:
    North of Two Harbors Minnesota
    Love the report and pics Mike!!
  6. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Face Plant

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Frozen Prairies USA
    Great report and pictures! As a former Minnesotan I noted your September 2018 shindig - tried to send you a note on this forum - didn't seem to work. Are you full up?
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Had my backpack taken - left it by the moto unattended unintentionally. Spot tracker is in it, but location pings suggest battery died before it was taken. Biggest issue is I cannot download photos until I find a cord or a large chip plug in. A RR needs picts, so on hold for a bit. Bummer, but moving on. Great riding, at the coast right now north of Pisco.

    Edit: Backpack found - thanks to tracker, Lauries logical thinking, and some good Peru folks. Story upcoming.
    GearDrivenCam, c-zulu and roadcapDen like this.
  8. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    608
    Location:
    Lafayette, CO
    $#!^ - hate when that happens.
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Izcuchaca to Huancavelica March 21

    [​IMG]

    Behind in this RR. Some pictures from the day. Good mountain riding:

    It was market day on the plaza as we left. A single car passenger train came down the rails as we ate breakfast at a street vendor on the plaza, the same access we have to use to get our motos on to the road. To leave our motel parking area after breakfast, we ride up a steep foot path to a gate, down the middle or the edge of the railroad tracks, then bump up on to the walkway and through a narrow walking portal to the main plaza. I had to move a parked moto taxi that blocked our ability to emerge on to the plaza. Being market day, the plaza is full of vendors and people everywhere. Good small town vibe!

    Looking back at Izcuchaca:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    GearDrivenCam and Evil Santa like this.
  10. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,689
    Location:
    UK
    Wow, that must be quite a train ride. I see it also goes from Izcuchaca to Huancevelica.

    And "El Tren Macho" runs that route.
  11. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Huancavelica to Chincha March 22

    [​IMG]

    After a cold day of riding yesterday, we did not bury our warm clothes, but instead over dressed. We spent most of the day riding above 14,000 feet. In several locations we saw road repair workers shoveling and operating mechanical packers. One has to be well adapted to the altitude to work at this elevation.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Small building built in to the hill side:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We topped multiple passes, thinking each was the highest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally coming down in elevation

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were getting very concerned about gas, and found some at a small road side eating place. Very friendly folks specializing in crayfish from the river.

    [​IMG]

    At one of several summits, my riding partner dressed for the cold:

    [​IMG]
    knight, bomose, wanderc2c and 8 others like this.
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Chincha to Nasca March 23

    [​IMG]

    The missing backpack saga: After discovering the missing backpack the night before (it wasn't on my back when we stopped at the end of the day)...Laurie woke up thinking I left my backpack at the crayfish place we stopped at. I had a technology enlightenment, thinking to ping my tracker from the web site, since my tracker was in my backpack. Yes, the tracker sent a location for today, at the crayfish place. It wasn't taken... yet ...but it's probably right next to the road where our motos were parked. Now it's "go get it!" We left early, arriving there for a waiting backpack. The owners of the crayfish place saw it and stored it in their house so it was safe. We ordered breakfast and enjoyed our food overlooking the river, with hospitality from the husband/wife owners.

    Picture from the afternoon before, so you can see our concern for it being there when we returned. Nice place to enjoy breakfast!
    [​IMG]

    We visited La Hauca la Centinela in the way south from Chincha. It's a pre Inca culture starting around 1100AD, and lasting until the Inca dominated this area. This was a large community including 6000 merchants, 10,000 fishermen, and 12,000 farmers.

    [​IMG]

    Riding the Pan-Am highway is nothing special. Lots of trucks and traffic. The temperature was nice and warm. Our destination was Nasca. Stopped at the Nasca Lines overlook tower.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Trucks on the PanAm highway:

    [​IMG]
  13. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Naska March 24

    One of the itineraries we budgeted for was to fly over the Nasca lines. Today was the day, and it was well worth it.

    We were all weighed and seated by weight. Light weights to the rear.

    [​IMG]

    There is a lot of information on line about these figures. They were oriented in various ways and built in different animals to reflect the night sky. The bird points to the solstice. Being so dry, figuring out when rain would happen was important to agriculture and survival. It's impressive how a culture figured this out. We North Americans don't get introduced to these cultures, located on our part of the globe. The more I explore the more I'm blown away by the vast knowledge.

    [​IMG]

    The Peru monkey, inspiration for the "P" logo of "Peru" in the tourist literature:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The geographic lines and shapes were made after the figures. Some covered parts of the figures.

    [​IMG]

    In the afternoon we rode 20km on a desert road to another pre-Inca ruins – Cahuachi. There is an older fellow who watches the site and gave us some information. It was ceremonial in function, and people only stayed there temporarily. We were there alone, and after walking through the ruins, we ate our lunch in the total silence of the desert site.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We passed this cemetery out in the no where

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cahuachi, a ceremonial site.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our evening was spent going through a museum with lots of relics from the ancient cultures of the area. The aqueduct from ancient Nasca was visible in the back garden, still functioning with running water.
    wanderc2c, tommymerle, Lutz and 5 others like this.
  14. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,689
    Location:
    UK
    That's great. I always like a museum with an ancient aqueduct in the back garden. Had to look it up - the whole Project Nazca sounds interesting.
    https://www.progettonasca.org/el-museo
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Nasca to Puquio March 25

    [​IMG]

    Our plan is to head northward and see if we can gain information about riding to Cotahuasi Canyon from the west. I believe it is the deepest canyon in the world. On the way out of Nasca, we stopped at the aqueducts, which included both open and enclosed aqueducts – still functioning. Farther up there are a whole series of holes to the buried aqueducts. I recall reading that these functioned to increase pressure on the moving water through wind funneled down to the aqueducts. More so, they looked like an access to drawing out the water. Some spiraled down clockwise, and others counter clockwise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we rode away from the Pacific coast, we quickly gained altitude. The weather cooled, with occasional rain and even light hail. We had a warm sunny spot for lunch, but experienced some lightning later on. Not good. By 2PM, we realized we were not going to make it to our planned destination until very late. The choices were not good; stop early at a dingy hostal or ride on. We reluctantly chose dingy, because of the storms developing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We pulled in to a posada just as the rain was starting. In the covered parking was a somewhat larger moto with a bike cover over it. Later that evening we walked past the small common area and heard English spoken. We met a British couple riding the Americas two up. He is 78 years old. There are still role models for us older fellows. They have done a lot of small bike travel in Thailand and that area but are riding a heavily loaded moto across the Americas. They post at http://2up2wheels.blogspot.com/

    ========================

    Puquio to Abancay March 26

    [​IMG]

    Left Puquio early, meaning being at the bikes shortly after 8:15. Our British couple were packing up at the same time so we were able to say our last good-by. We wanted to get a good day of riding in, after so short riding days.

    The day started out fairly cold. We both agree that coming to near the equator to skip out on cold weather in Minnesota is not always working the way we planned.

    Looking back at Puquio

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We spent a large part of our day at high altitude, where it is cold when riding. Stopped, and the sun does a good job of producing heat. We are pretty bundled up and chilly, but when stopped we warm up quickly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hot coffee and sweet bread while warming up in the alpine sun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Following the river as we loose altitude

    [​IMG]

    Another stop for warmth and snacks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  16. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Albancay to Cusco March 27

    [​IMG]

    Stayed for the night at Hotel Albancay. I highly recommend it. It's clean and nice, with a large room and good internet speed. Breakfast is included in the 55 Sole price. We needed that after a cold riding day. Now it's time to move on.

    We started with thick fog and drizzle for most of the morning. Eventually we made it over a pass and in to much better weather.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For lunch, we pulled in to a small road leading up to a gated residence. Later on a local fellow walked up to the door in the wall and rang a bell to be let in for work. As we were finishing lunch, two well dressed gentlemen walked down towards us. We greeted each other and chatted a bit. We were obviously on their road, but there were no signs of displeasure or hostility. I would never have stopped like this in the States, but in Latin America it seemed fine, and was generally confirmed by this interaction. Besides, it was shady and there were two flat rocks to sit on.

    Along the way we had a condor viewing area marked. Finding the road to the site, it was steep dirt and switchbacks with rutted wash outs. Laurie and I like to ride roads like this. It's part of our Peru plans and expectations. In this case we had to turn around. This rental moto she's riding is just a bit too tall, and it does not have aggressive tires on it. The suspension is not very good, and it's a heavier bike. I've ridden it and it's clunky. It dives in to the ruts and does not bounce through them very well, compared to her Super Sherpa at home, probably because of the 19 inch front wheel that helps lower it. This has been a big disappointment for both Laurie and me on this trip. Riding some back road dirt was important to both of us. We've ended up riding primarily blacktop because of this moto's lack of fit and performance.
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Puquio to Abancay March 26

    This day is out of order. I had this long report done and somehow it did not publish. Here goes again:

    Left Puquio early, meaning being at the bikes shortly after 8:15. Our British couple were packing up at the same time so we were able to say our last good-by. We wanted to get a good day of riding in, after so short riding days.

    The day started out fairly cold. We both agree that coming to near the equator to skip out on cold weather in Minnesota is not always working the way we planned.

    Looking back at Abancay

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We spent a large part of our day at high altitude, where it is cold when riding. Stopped, and the sun does a good job of producing heat. We are pretty bundled up and chilly, but when stopped we warm up quickly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hot coffee and sweet bread while warming up in the warm alpine sun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Following the river as we loose altitude.

    [​IMG]

    Stopped for another break.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. Jeff S

    Jeff S Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Evansville Wi
    Mike, Great to see the new pictures. It's great that you can share the adventure with Laurie. Wish I could join you. Maybe next year.
    MikeS likes this.
  19. wanderc2c

    wanderc2c Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    61
    I'm playing catchup! What beautiful scenery. The cold, not so much fun.
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,379
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    Cusco to Urubamba March 28

    [​IMG]

    We could not get out of Cusco fast enough. Big city, noisy, lots of tourists on the circuit... Rode a long loop to Urubamba, to the north. We found a great B & B off the road and quiet.

    Small town streets where working Peruvians live, not a tourist area:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Had to get some work done on Lauries moto. The back brakes are essentially useless. The puck in the caliper is frozen. We tried to locate a new replacement caliper, but none will fit. As a result the mechanic took the existing rotor apart and cleaned it out. Both pucks are rough, although we did smooth them out with emery cloth. The brakes still are poor. I'm going to roughen up the rotor in the morning.

    Rode to the salt mines at Maras, just a few km from here. They look like the pictures, although much larger then I expected.

    [​IMG]

    The saline water runs along a series of channels. Water is allowed to fill the pans, where the sun evaporates the water, leaving salt.

    [​IMG]

    Simple way to control where the water goes

    [​IMG]

    Dinner at the main plaza, anticuchos (yum).