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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.
Thanks, yes, it was one of those quick stop for a few photos moment and this one just came out nice.
As we rode we saw this mutha of a clusterfuck dark cloud monster in the distance. It was around 4 the afternoon and still had a good part to go. With rains on these roads, it was for sure going to slow us down. I checked as we rode on the GPS if the road just maybe would turn and we would miss this thing.
Fuck-all! We were going to hit it head on!
It was not full-on raining, it was pea-size hail raining down! In buckets! And got worse, with massive thunder. And that was bad, there were nowhere to hide. Lightning in such open areas can not be good.
We stopped at the only goat shelter next to the road to sit out the storm. Just got off the bikes and we heard the sound of a child crying. Over the rock wall fence, three kids were walking out of the field towards the road. Soaked with rain, all three sobbing, the youngest I guess 4 years and the oldest maybe 7-8. The hail hit them in the face with the oldest trying to shelter the youngest while walking.
I ran out to my bike, rip off the tarpaulin from under the bags and wave to them to come to get over to me. They got such a fright from this big man with the funny close waning they hesitated for a moment. I wave again and walk towards them, it is hailing bath size, not buckets by then.
Got them under the roof, Elsebie got the youngest to sit close to her, poor kid is soaking wet and it is fucking cold! We were still at 4000m.
Luckily we had some coffee on the bike in the flask we made that morning for a stop somewhere during the day. It helped them to warm up a bit. Obviously, they live close by and was out playing when the storm hit them. We sat with them until the worst of the storm passed for about an hour. With time we figured out their house was the one way off into the distance.
It looked it snowed, I rapped my tarpaulin around the three kids and watched them walk off to the house, the small still crying. We waited and watched them until they got close to home. Why and where de hell their parents I don't know, but that is how kids grow tough in the mountains.
And sometimes you just bugger up a water crossing. This was one of these looks easy as pie crossings but then turns into a devil of a bastard with rocks catching you off guard.
High altitude kids, on their own, even at 'just' 3000m/10.000ft, in a 3.world country, even on a good day, makes you think about life, in a different way...for a long time.
You both earned some Karma points.
Furthermore, beer and Braai are on us!! Next time we meet up!!
Incredible pictures and story
@michnus we miss you guys! time for an update soon?
Those little ones are probably tougher than a lot of us, but it still tugs at the heart to think of them out there alone and cold, and the little one crying. Good on you okes for comforting them.
Damn, dudes, and dudettes, sorry again for the long delay. I know, I know the excuses are bloody lame. This time it was a quick trip home and for those two months, there's no time for anything. And, we are in the final stages of a new motorcycle business, which I am not sure I am allowed to mention here.
I will have to ask the powers to be if I can add it to the vendor section. But on that a bit later. We are back in Brazil and the plan to work our way to Bolivia in the next two months through Paraguaya.
But onto the story.....
The plan was still to go more north in Peru and then ride the main event. It is the Cordillera Blanca mountains range in Peru that is part of the larger Andes range and extends for 200 kilometers. It includes several peaks over 6,000 meters high and 722 individual glaciers. It is part of the Huascarán National Park.
We were told it is one bloody beautiful place. But not in a million years could we imagine it to be so impressive. It is beyond words.
The back road into the bottom of the park allowed us to get to one of the glaciers that is still visible in Peru. Which with global warming and that will be gone in about 10 years they told us there. The thing is getting smaller all the time.
That there is one massive mountain glacier, and the road makes its way at the bottom of it. Now, I am not scientists and living in South Africa the only glaciers we know about are the ones in the Samsung kitchen freezers. But that is a load of ice that will come down there when it breaks off.
Was a bit of buttcheek clenching thing, yes, it is all in the mind I know.
At the glacier entrance, we parked the bikes, asked a local vendor lady selling curious if she was willing to store our jackets and keep an eye on the bikes. This was at 5000m (16400ft) altitude. We saw people on horseback going up and down but like proper cheapskate overlanders we will walk the 1km up to the glacier. That is at 5500m (18000ft) how hard can be it?
It is only our boots and knee braces and such stuff.
Fucking nearly died. And to add we are altitude fit as we have been at altitude for quite some weeks by that time. Then it hit us, that's why everyone uses horses. Doh! :)
The Pastoruri glacier is a cirque glacier. It is one of the few glaciers left in the tropical areas of South America
The weather turned horrible and we decided to stay in the city of Huaraz until it clears up. There's no reason to rush it and see bugger all because it is raining and overcast.
" The queen of the Andes is the largest species of bromeliad. Its trunk can be 5 m (16 ft) tall, with a rosette of about two hundred linear leaves, these up to 1.25 m (4 ft) long and about 8 cm (3 in) in width, the leaf spines reaching 1 cm (3⁄8 in) long. The inflorescence can measure between 4–8 m (13–26 ft) tall. The whole plant may reach as much as 15 m (50 ft) tall. A single plant can produce between 8,000 and 20,000 flowers in a 3-month period.
Its reproductive cycle lasts approximately 80 years, though one individual planted near sea level at the University of California Botanical Garden, bloomed in August 1986 after only 28 years.
The plant is native to the Andes of Bolivia and Peru, between 3,000–4,800 m (9,800–15,700 ft)
We thought it would be a day or so wait and then we hit the roads over the mountains and zig-zag back over them. It turned into a week of waiting. At least we got some work done. And we had an AirBB with a bloody amazing view.
At first, it looked like this..
And then for a few days, it would look like this...
And then it looked like this...
We had time to get to know the locals a bit and check out how they go about their business every day.
She did not say much, but we bought her icecream
So much stuff is still handmade and repaired in these countries. It is good to see that they do not just waste stuff. But that said, Peru needs to work on its rubbish management. The country is dirty and people dump rubbish everywhere.
It was time to hit the road..
Just wow thx
Your travels and pictures are always amazing. Be well down there. Even the thought of 5,000m makes my head explode. I just can't do those altitudes.
amazing, incredible photography.
The first pic in post #1952 had me double check what I was seeing. At first glance I thought those were Christmas ornaments!
totally, also thought the pic after that was a very large donut at first :)
Yup, WOW. Plain & simple WOW!
Judging by page 1 you skipped Canada, if you decide to drop by I have over 1000 bottles of beer in my cellar.