Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    I think most of the signs are not 100% correct. It is quite a cool feeling crossing these earth lines. Sometimes we would use the GPS to take a photo at the mark they made.
    [​IMG]
    The Tropic of Capricorn in Salta. We also crossed it in Chile.

    [​IMG]
    On the coastal road in Ecuador, there's no indication you are crossing the equator. Obviously, we and 3 other overlanders had the same idea to mark the spot as per GPS. The closest thing to that spot was the road signs. That is where the stickers got slapped.
  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Same to you man! Yes, if possible and borders open we will probably go back to Argentina and visit them on the way.
    elron likes this.
  3. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,289
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Is that your beer bong!! :)
    michnus likes this.
  4. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    549
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    must be :)
    michnus likes this.
  5. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Was my horn but, it did a better job as a beer bong :photog
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    The next town up the valley was Tilcara, also a groovy little joint with nice places to see and a laid back chilled-out vibe.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lunch daily is empanadas and local beer. Empanadas are basically small pies, you just eat more of them. Order a few meat ones, then a few cheese ones, and then whatever they make next... Not good for the muffin top figure :photog

    [​IMG]
    How do you walk past, locally made salami and cheese, and then it is healthy lean Llama meat?:lol3 Healthy yes, sure, the fat will kill you....

    [​IMG]

    The entire valley is a cactus covered colour painting of mountains.

    [​IMG]
    From the main road, there are loads of small tracks leading into the mountains. Having the time we took some of them that looked like they could lead to interesting spots. Some ended at small cemeteries and others at small farms. But it places we would not have seen if we were hauling ass for the next passport stamp.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Foiler, Watercat, KTMInduro and 25 others like this.
  7. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    888
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    So is there any industry in Tilcara? Mining, maybe. there must be something to support even a small town.
    michnus likes this.
  8. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Nope, mostly farming and the tourist industry is coming online very, very slowly. It forms part of the wine region and this entire valley is incredible with the landscapes and coloured mountains.
  9. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,908
    Location:
    Lost in the Sahara
    somewhere-els and michnus like this.
  10. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Elsebie had a proper off going onto a barge in the north of Bolivia and it broke that damn thing. I got one there for her but will buy new ones here in the USA to take with when we go back to Bolivia :)
    Gedrog likes this.
  11. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    [​IMG]
    Humahuaca the next town up and our stay got a bit longer. It is a nice small village with cool murals, bars and a plaza that fills up late afternoon with people looking to get out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Close to the weekend and people queue patiently to get to the ATM. Same for us, but it turned out an enjoyable wait as we got chatting with the folk in line. All the curious questions to us, and the usual but you are from Africa and you are not black? We have to explain we are like the Spanish been in Africa for generations. And Africa ain't all black.. :)

    [​IMG]
    This part of Argentina feels a bit like the small pueblos in Mexico. Chilled out laid back little places with beautiful old buildings.

    [​IMG]
    Not your standard Chick-fil-A outlet. This doggie was waiting for his turn to get his chicken order. And that, bugger off tourist I am 1st inline :D

    [​IMG]
    The best pizza shop in town only opens at 18h00 and all the dough and ingredients are farm fresh stuff. This dude is a master chef and baker. And boy, he can make a mean pizza!!
  12. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    [​IMG]
    Hornocal o Cerro de 14 Colores or 14 Coloured mountains. 4350meters altitude.

    About 70km out of town on a scenic twisty dirt road. We got there the afternoon with not a soul in sight. Which allowed us to stay till dusk. These mountains are way prettier than the ones in Peru. Although the one in Peru is bloody awesome this one for us was a much nicer picture.
    It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and surprisingly very untouristy.

    [​IMG]
    The sheer variety of colours on display here result due to the accumulation of different sediments, that is what I could read up on, from when this region was underwater 600 million years ago – hard to believe now that it’s stuck on top of the Andes.

    [​IMG]

    The obligatory bike photo:thumb
    Easily one of the most surreal things we have ever seen feels like a massive pastel painting from a famous artist or those influencers that went overboard on the Instagram filters. At times I still can’t believe this massive naturally painted landscape with a Mars-like look to it was real and not an outrageous Disneyland or advertising campaign for a famous paint brand.
    Luck, however, would have it that a landscape so beautiful is only found in this isolated corner of the world, at least it is safe from hordes of bus ridden tourist.

    [​IMG]
    The dirt roads are a playground and haven for Adv riding.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I found my spiritual plant!! :photog
    Foiler, Watercat, chilolac and 42 others like this.
  13. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,163
    Location:
    UK
    That looks great. Cheers.
    michnus likes this.
  14. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,701
    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
    Amazing scenery!
    michnus, Oldmanx and poppawheelie like this.
  15. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,199
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Fantastic Photos again! :clap This is my Covid relief. :-)
    michnus, Tuna209 and Oldmanx like this.
  16. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Iruya is a small town of population 1,070 souls. Located in the altiplano region along the Iruya River, Iruya sits nestled against the mountainside at an elevation of 2,780 meters (9,120 feet).
    It is roughly 300 km up north from the pretty city of Salta. There is no direct road connection to the rest of the Salta province and access is through a road an incredible mountain pass dirt road reaching over 4200m altitude. 8 km north of Iruya there is the village of San Isidro, 7 km north there is the village of San Juan, 6 km south there is the village of Pueblo Viejo. All of them only accessible by riding in the river.

    [​IMG]
    Iruya's name is derived from the Quechua language, meaning "abundance of straw"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    With heavy rains, the towns are isolated as it is impossible to drive in the river to get to the towns. This is the place where Condors fly.

    [​IMG]
    The village is nestled between the mountain just high enough from the canyon floor not be flooded. The yellow church is the centrepiece with the rest of the village creeping up the steep side of the mountain. We liked the place so much we stayed for 4 days.

    Iruya was officially founded in 1753, but the first inhabitants settled here around 100 years earlier. They were mainly aboriginals of which the oldest roots go back to the Ocloyas, a people belonging to the ethnic group of the Kolla, which used to be one of the four regions of the Inca empire.

    Iruya's church was built in 1690.

    [​IMG]
    The only road in and out is the one in the river below. This photo was taken from the opposite mountain and a hellova walk up through town and then to the lookout point.

    [​IMG]
    Mostly old people as the young ones all move to the cities for work. How de hell the old people walk those steep hills every day is beyond bizarre. Tough bastards :D

    [​IMG]

    Afternoons we spend sipping beer waiting for the Condors to drift on air streams above the mountains surrounding the town.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Foiler, Watercat, chilolac and 33 others like this.
  17. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,701
    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
    I saw condors when I was on a ski trip in Argentina. Pretty amazing creatures!
    michnus likes this.
  18. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa
    Bloody impressive birds! Can't imagine their size, but when they buzz past it is cool AF.
    In Peru we stood up early to get to this lookout point. For an hour we had probably 10 of them swoop past next to the cliff. Later on tourist bus arrived and I could get this shot for comparison.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Foiler, elron, flying.moto and 22 others like this.
  19. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,701
    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
    They were quite close to us at the ski hill, your shot really gives a good perspective of size.
    michnus likes this.
  20. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,433
    Location:
    South Africa