Leaving the Arrowhead Country to ride Peru and beyond

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

  1. craigandsara

    craigandsara n00b

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    Hi Mike! Sorry to hear that you have encountered so many issues with getting down there and with your luggage. Hopefully everything 'that needs to happen' is taken care of so you'll have trouble-free travel from here on.

    Looking forward to continuing the travels with you.
  2. STRich

    STRich Been here awhile

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    Mike, We all know how challenges along the way just make the adventure just a little bit different. I am looking forward to the updates!
  3. jwalters

    jwalters Farkle Proliferator

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    Keep the updates coming. Save travels Mike.
  4. GS Trekker

    GS Trekker GS Trekker

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    on 8

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  5. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Feb 26; day ride out of Huanuco

    Took the moto out for a shake down ride in to the mountains. A few klicks past the tunnel, trout lunch. I met a couple there, who also rode up there for lunch:

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    Open air dining. It was a drizzly, cloudy day:

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    Kitchen staff, the young girl was shy:

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    Trout, waiting their turn for the table:

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  6. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Feb 27 Monday Huanuco to Rondo approx 105km

    I had it in my head to be ready on Tuesday, despite a tentative Monday departure. I had gear organized, but not totally packed. Turns out the clutch on the moto is going to be ready in the morning. With no complaints at all, departure day is here.

    Between final packing, routing for the day, some moto things; I got rolling at noon. I'm heading north using an inland route, some of which I've ridden last year. I have a new title for my moto, and I have to be in Peru for about 10 business days before it is in the computer system. Once in the Peru computer system, I can cross the border to Ecuador. So, 10 business days to make it to the Ecuador border.

    Today was ride on rural mountain roads instead of taking the blacktop. Lots of potholes, bumpy sections, mud, stream crossings, switchbacks, small villages, indigenous people, domestic animals, motorcycle chasing dogs, mountains, waterfalls, raging rivers, and small farms. Here are a few pictures along the way:

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    This warning sign is actually correct. You just have to be there to understand.

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    You can see a family on a moto, wife & child walking around a hazard and husband riding moto through it:

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    There were many river crossings, including two where the walk bridge was the preferable choice over the high flow stream.

    In these rural areas, although people are fairly poor, there is a big drive to make a living. Lots of entrepreneurship, be it a small tienda, street vendor, work on the land, driving and transportation gigs. I appreciate people who have drive and get paid by the work they accomplish vs paid by appearing at work and merely putting in the hours. Of course, I chuckled to myself as I passed the stumbling drunk, the fellow who gave up or needed some sort of alternative to reality.

    I had several towns pegged for stopping at the end of the day, and ended up at Rondo, which is short of LaUnion. Not much to say about the abode, 1/4 inch plywood walls, plenty of blankets, secure place for the moto, small eatery near by, and a small tienda for water and snacks. The folks are generally nice here, in a shy small village way.

    I have the ruins of Wanuku Pampa near LaUnion on my radar for tomorrow, and then head north to Chavin, which has been highly recommended. I'm going to ride north a bit after Chavin, then through the Huascaran National Park to the west, taking a new route which brings me past what my map has listed as "the most beautiful mountain in the world". This is the area near Haraz, known for awesome mountain trekking – and motorcycling I must add.

    The Andes mountain roads itch is being massaged.
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Tuesday Feb 28 Rode from Rondo to beyond Huallanca and back:

    The room in Rondo definitely had thin walls. I used ear plugs to shut out the music and phone jabber next door. I went for breakfast, but as periodically happens with limited language skills, I misunderstood, and the restaurant was not open at 8AM. The plan was to ride to Chavin ruins and stay in a place near by.

    Scenes along the way:

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    I rode past the Huancu Pompo entry and in to LaUnion for a late breakfast of fish, potatoes, rice, and coffee. After eating, I returned to the ruins. Huancu Pompo had some impressive ruins, with the tightly shaped Inca stones on a main ceremonial structure. The inside floor of the structure is significantly higher than the surrounding ground. Not sure if a mound was excavated for the walls to fit, or fill brought in to the inside.

    LaUnion from above:

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    While at Huancu Pomou I met a French couple in their late 20's who have been traveling the world for six years now. We made contact in Spanish, and he asked me where I was from. After identifying myself as a Yankee, he said, "I think we will be able to communicate best in English." They both were fluent in English, being from Europe.

    Ceremonial structure:

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    You can see the amount of fill inside the structure:

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    I missed the turn to the last road to Chavin. I turned around, watched the gps closely, and the turn was on to a slimy, steep, rutted trail/road up and down through the mountains. It would be a fun road with two moto riders and dry conditions. I rode in with apprehension. There was a gate, and a security fellow, who told me it was good by moto. I was apprehensive, but went through. It was steep, very slimy, rutted, and challenging. If it was like this the whole way, I needed to turn around. I continued to see, and about a mile or two in, came to this hummock, boggy area with no tracks. There were mud tracks down the hill across the bog. I decided to call it quits and return. Same challenge getting back, and I dropped the moto in a slimy rut. The problem is that I now have a much longer ride to get to Chavin. I had to backtrack over the pass, with snow on the road in some places, staying at Huallanca. The way to Chavin is much longer now. No pictures of the mud, I was busy riding and maintaining momentum.
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Wednesday March 1 Huallanca to Huaraz:

    I have been having some clutch slippage problems over the last few days. It was worse yesterday, so I decided I have to address the issue. The brief ride on the muddy trail yesterday was no help. So first thing in the morning, I found a mechanic who could either replace the disks, or roughen up the metal disks so I can get to a bigger town. After opening up the clutch he spent almost two hours looking for new clutch disks. No luck, so I rode to Huaraz with the roughened up disks. The clutch worked fine except for one short duration after a late lunch stop. I'll see how the clutch works in the morning, but with the weekend coming, I'm planning to replace them. I also have an oil leak now around the clutch housing seal that needs attention. Bike on its side so as not to have to drain the oil.

    Side of the road shop where all work is performed. The mechanic was good:

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    Leaving Huallance after noon, I headed up in altitude. Again, the Andes Mountains do not disappoint. Other than the oil leak that developed, the motorcycle ran fine. I need to get it working reliably so it doesn't have to be so much the central focus of my days. I'm still planning to back track to Chavin. A couple pictures along the way:

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  9. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I hope you're warm and waterproof, I've just had a look at the weather forecast for the region. Your photos have a chilly feel.
  10. Air Force Vet

    Air Force Vet Been here awhile

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    Wow! I was just thinking the same thing....what's the daytime temps in that area?
  11. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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  12. Air Force Vet

    Air Force Vet Been here awhile

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    Yikes, cold and wet. Thanks for the link. Stay dry Mike!

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  13. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    It's rainy season and I found it. Every day showers, and sometimes snow chunks bouncing from my moto. The showers are brief when moving along on the moto, and lower elevation sunny. Lots of variation, but I'm layered up with clothes when at higher elevations. It's part of the location and time of the year. It tends to rain more at the end of the day, and at higher elevations.

    Moto is at the mechanic getting new clutch disks.
  14. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    March 2, Huaraz test ride:

    I took the moto to a mechanic this morning, with the plan to go all out and get the clutch and oil leak fixed. I have new clutch disks installed, plus new oil line seals, and a new clutch cover gasket. The mechanic told me the disks in the moto were not good ones. Who knows about his claim. The second day of riding has been when the clutch definitely slipped. Hopefully this is all behind me and I can focus more on my trip instead of on the motorcycle.

    Typical Latin American moto shop:

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    For some of my Minnesota riding buddies to drool over:

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    I took the moto out for a test ride on a local road heading in to the national forest out of Huaraz. It was one of those gps adventures in the beginning, with steep up hill and bumpy roads. This menu seems to be repeating itself many times. I ended up on a loop ride, with this really kool hut at the end. There were two fellows there as security at a gate which trekkers have to pass through as they hike farther inland in to the mountains.

    Antonio, in front of the hut:

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    I went inside the hut, and there was an open fire burning. The smoke drafted well through the roof. The interior was not very smokey at all. Very dark inside, because of the small door and no windows.

    Road running between farms and homes:

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    Road entering the canyon, on the way to the hut:

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    Mountain guest lodge:

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    Tomorrow I backtrack a little and head up to Chavin ruins.
  15. Jeff S

    Jeff S Adventurer

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    Glad to see you're up and running again. Wish I could be there.
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  16. Lutz

    Lutz Fuzzy Rabbit

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    I'm enjoying the ongoing story of your journey, Mike. Scenery, ancient places, interesting people and places, field expedient moto fixes...all good stuff to read and see. Especially when the mercury is headed back below zero here.
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  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    March 3 Huaraz to Chavin:

    Now to test the clutch for a full day of riding. I'm crossing the Cordillera Blanca range, east of Huaraz, in order to visit the elusive Chavin ruins.

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    There are a few tourist buses at the Chavin entry, but I'm able to cross the bridge and park about 30 feet from the entry, where the local vendors are set up. Five soles ($1.50US) to get in to this reverred site.

    There is a large plaza which was a gathering place for celebrations and ceremonies:

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    The gateway. How did they get those shaped like that, and assembled?

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    There were tunnels everywhere. There is a stone carving in one of the tunnels of their god. We were not allowed to take pictures of the deity, maybe out of respect for the culture.

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    This is the stone carving that Chavin is noted for, located on a wall outside of the tunnels. He looks kind of happy to me.

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  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Sat March 4, Chavin to Carhuaz:

    I left Chavin with several unsure plans. One was to go north from Chavin to San Luis, and continue to Pomabamba. My map has a note on it, "The most beautiful mountain in the world", west of Pomabamba, or so it seems. The road west of Pomabamba varies between what my map shows, and what my two different Peru gps map sets show. Each of the three map resources has a different set of roads. It might be a very sketchy route.

    The road between Chavin and San Luis varied a lot from some blacktop to really bumpy, with everything in between. Along the way I saw two pedal bicyclists, obviously travelers. I stopped and we talked. They are a couple from Japan, riding from British Colombia and south. I have a lot of respect for anyone on a bicycle, especially in the mountains. They've been traveling for two years now.

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    At the last minute, at the intersection, I decided to head west from San Luis through the Cordillera Blanca range instead of continuing north to Pomabamba. I was on this road last year, and the scenery was the highlight of my trip. This time as I was ascending, I came across what I eventually realized was a race down the mountain on skateboards. They were gathering at the start as I passed by. The police were going to close off the road. There were big pillows at the corners for safety.

    Look carefully to see the skateboarders:

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    Scenes along the Cordillera Blanca:

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    I'm in Carhuaz for the night, after being quoted $45.00US for a room for the night. No thanks. Found a room for $40 Soles. He asked if I wanted it by the hour or for the night. It's on the edge of town, like many love hotels are in Latin America, but not as well walled off and not the iconic love hotel accoutrements.
  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    What date is that Chavín temple, 900 BC earliest? And Caral is 2000+ BC? So, there had been stonemasons around the place for over 1000 years, they probably knew what they were doing.

    Lovely stonework, though.
  20. Jeff S

    Jeff S Adventurer

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    Beautiful mountains.
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