My Longest Dance with Salsa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SalsaRider, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    967
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Great to hear your experience with the Expats and locals alike.
    I'm also exploring retirement down south somewhere for the winters.
    Glad Salsa's dancing again!
    #81
    SalsaRider likes this.
  2. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Shawnee Bill,

    Indeed, it’s not for everyone.

    SalsaRider
    #82
  3. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    RoadcapDen,

    Yes, our longest dance continues!

    SalsaRider
    #83
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  4. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    220
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    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — MUSEO ARQUEOLGICO NACIONAL BRUNING

    Chiclayo, Peru
    17 December 2018
    Miles: 3,538

    Just to the north of Chiclayo lies the small town of Lambayeque, that is home to a big museum: the Museo Arqueologico Nacional Bruning. “Big” in the sense of containing some important pieces of Incan and Moche artifacts.

    To get there I took a “collectivo” taxi, carrying others, paying 2 Soles (about 60 cents) instead of the tourist rate of nearly 6 times as much for a private taxi.

    Mills lined the road between the two towns, processing the locally grown grains. Trucks, 3-wheeled motorcycle taxis, cars, and pedestrians vied with one another. Horns honked, and drivers swerved to get one car ahead. And so we danced in cacophonous harmony, until we reached our destination.

    The museum had wonderful displays: intricate pottery, tapestries, mannequins performing ancient rituals, mummies, and of course lots of gold and silver artifacts and jewelry.

    Some photos:

    Attached Files:

    #84
  5. Bob S.

    Bob S. Overloaded and Underway!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Wheaton il
    SalsaRider,
    So glad I found your trip report today. I plan on doing my next big Adv ride through South America. I, like you have done some pretty Epic motorcycle rides. Earlier this year I had the extreme pleasure of renting a bike out of Hanoi and going through all of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Also I ,like you am married to an extremely understanding woman. It means evrrything! We are entering our 30th year of being happily married and she gets that these solo travels are so important to me (although we do our share of world travel together as evidenced by us just getting back from our 5 week tour of france, spain, portugal, and italy) Sadly in a cage (she aint much into the whole 2 wheeled thing!)
    Anyway, know that I am now eagerly reading your every post and wish you nothing but the most righteous of travels!
    Bob
    #85
  6. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Bob,

    Being married to the right partner is EVERYTHING, be you a man or a woman!

    You and I are two lucky hombres!

    Monte
    #86
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  7. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — NASCA LINES

    Nasca, Peru
    22 December 2018
    Miles: 4,316

    Today I experienced a dream come true: I flew over the Nasca Lines, and saw their mysterious shapes from the air. I took a lot of photos, too, hoping to capture the experience and share them with you.

    Sad to admit, but all I took were selfies!

    I had taken a selfie when we first boarded, but never re-set my iPhone for regular shots. So while I thought seeing myself on the screen was due to the bright reflections, that’s all I was taking: photos of myself looking at the Nasca Lines.

    Fortunately my friend Efrain, who is a far better photographer than I am, generously shared his photos with me, to share with you.

    So here they are — the Nasca Lines, courtesy of Efrain Ardini, from Argentina:

    Attached Files:

    #87
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  8. Bob S.

    Bob S. Overloaded and Underway!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    19
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    Wheaton il
    I just had to read your selfie debacle to my wife! Good stuff that we can all relate to.
    Technology, am I right?
    #88
    SalsaRider likes this.
  9. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    Bob,

    Right on target!!!

    Monte/SalsaRider
    #89
  10. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    The first dozen photos I took on my phone were of my chin/neck.Actually"chins".
    #90
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  11. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    Tierra del Fuego — TAKE A DEEP BREATH

    Nasca, Peru
    22 December 2018
    Miles: 4,316

    Other riders warned me about Lima, and its incredibly horrible traffic conditions. They were right, too!

    Unfortunately, Salsa’s speedometer/odometer cable broke around Chiclayo, so I headed right into the city to find the BMW Motorrad shop.

    On the way there I met and rode with Eduard and Monica, from Medellin, Colombia. We arrived right as the sun set, and using an app, they set about trying to find us a low-cost place to spend the night. All were “sex” hotels, charging by the minutes or hours.

    No thanks!

    Three hours later, feeling exhausted from fighting the insane traffic, we finally found a “normal” hotel near the airport. It cost far more than we wanted to pay, but at that point it would have to do.

    We all took a deep breath, in relief!

    The next day we departed, they for Cusco, and I for the BMW Motorrad shop.

    There a mechanic identified the broken cable as the problem. Matt Parkhouse, back in Colorado Springs, fortunately had one in stock. Nina, from the shop, contacted her friend Alejandro — Peru Moto Tours — who offered his address to receive the cable. So if all goes well, around Christmas maybe Salsa will be fixed? A perfect Christmas present, made possible by old and new friends pitching in to offer their support.

    I took a deep breath, in relief!

    Also at the shop was George (The Gap Year), who led the way back across the city to the Hitchhikers Backpackers hostel in Miraflores. Not an easy ride, and once there the only opening was a bunk bed, in a room with 7 other travelers.

    No thanks!

    I took a deep breath and kept looking, eventually finding a “normal” hotel nearby.

    All in all, these past few days have required taking quite a few deep breaths. Some in frustration: discovering that Salsa’s speedometer and odometer were broken; coping with the killer traffic in Lima; spending hours trying to find a “regular” hotel; fulfilling a dream of flying over the Nasca Lines, only to learn that all I had taken were selfies; and so on. But also some in relief: meeting and riding with Edward and Monica, from Colombia; encountering George, whom I first met days ago in Quito, Ecuador; getting help from both new and old friends; and yes, the thrill of flying above those Nasca Lines.

    Oh well!

    I’m on a journey, and sometimes bad things happen, sometimes good. Either way, my reaction is the same:

    Take a deep breath!

    PS: Avoid Lima, if possible, or you’ll hyperventilate!
    #91
  12. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Tierra del Fuego — TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE

    Chalhumaca, Peru
    24 December 2018
    Miles: Unknown

    I left Nasca heading for Cusco, but by the time I reached the town of Chalhumaca, it was time to call it a day.

    The road from Nasca climbs, and climbs, and climbs high up into the Andes, to a high “plateau” of rolling grasslands. There you will find vast herds of alpacas numbering in the tens of thousands; llamas thick with wool; sheep being herded by native women wearing dresses, shawls, and flat-brimmed hats; and free-ranging cattle.

    Then at a point the road plunges down tall mountains, like a slinky, whipping first one way then springing back to whip in the other direction.

    There are no gas stations between Nasca and Chalhumaca; but in some Pueblo’s you’ll see signs offering gasoline for sale.

    This morning I woke up early and headed out towards Cusco, I thought. Two and a half hours later I discovered my mistake. I had been heading right back to Nasca, instead, and had to turn around and re-trace my steps through that fascinating landscape, for the third time.

    Needing gas, I stopped to get some in one Pueblo. A native lady did the honors. After giving me two gallons, I asked, “May I take a photo of you?”

    “No!” She said, and abruptly entered her hut.

    Some natives believe that a photograph takes away a bit of their souls. Earlier, though, I had snapped one discretely.

    Tonight I’m back in Chalhumaca, for a second night. And tomorrow, Christmas Day, I hope to find the right road and reach Cusco.

    Sometimes all you can do is try to turn lemons into lemonade. Today was such a day!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

    Attached Files:

    #92
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  13. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    Calgary
    Great ride report! The roads in Peru are something else. Reminds me of Bolivia...but next level.
    Merry Christmas!
    #93
  14. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    220
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    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — STONES

    Cusco, Peru
    26 December 2018
    Miles: Unknown

    It’s impossible to walk around Cusco and not notice the stones. They’re used to build tall churches, for the foundations of many buildings, and make for a bumpy, jolting ride over the cobblestones streets. Some construction is modern, but most dates back to the Spanish colonial times, or even earlier — to the Incas.

    Back then mortar wasn’t used, just precisely-cut rocks that fit so closely together it’s hard to stick a credit card between the blocks.

    Although I visited some churches and museums, no photos were allowed. None in the churches due to “security” concerns. Understandable, as they were guided in gold and silver throughout. No photos in the museums, either, because that was their “policy”.

    Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Machu Picchu, and they damn’d well better allow photos! After all, what’s to snap pictures of except ... stones?

    But anyway, here are a few photos, of stones that caught my eye from today’s walk about Cusco:

    Attached Files:

    #94
  15. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    086C39FE-847A-44C8-815F-3B6D35465DBC.jpeg Tierra del Fuego — SALSA - AN UPDATE

    Cusco, Peru
    28 December 2018
    Miles: Unknown

    Way back in Chiclayo, Peru, Salsa’s odometer/speedometer cable broke. I noticed it on 17 December.

    Matt Parkhouse, back in Colorado Springs, had a spare cable on hand.

    On 20 December in Lima, Peru, Dina — BMW Motorrad shop — contacted her fiend Alejandro in Cusco, Peru — Peru Moto Tours —who gave me the “okay” to use his shop’s mailing address. Matt promptly sent it there via DHL.

    I continued my ride, not knowing how fast I was going, nor how many miles I had covered.

    In Cusco I found the Peru Moto Tours shop, and also Hostel Suecia 2 just around the corner: my “home” for a few days. Alejandro let me keep Salsa in his shop, for secure parking.

    Today the cable arrived, and Alejandro’s mechanics soon had it installed.

    It’s time to start dancing again! Next stop: Lake Titicaca, and the floating islands!

    **************

    RECOMMENDATION for other riders: Peru Moto Tours in Cusco, Peru.

    http://www.perumototours.com/

    I can’t emphasize enough how helpful Alejandro and his staff and mechanics were to me.
    • He allowed me to use his shop’s mailing address to receive the DHL shipment;
    • My hostel didn’t have secure storage, so he allowed me to use his shop’s garage for several days;
    • His mechanics washed Salsa, plugged a leak in the rear tire, replaced the cable, and sold me a quart of oil, all for $36;
    • Today Alejandro is trying to find a new front tire for Nirbhai (AKA BATTDOC), riding from California to Ushuaia.
    • If you pass through Cusco, Peru, on your motorcycle and need any help, I highly recommend that you consider the Peru Moto Tours shop. They really did a great job helping me!

    Attached Files:

    #95
  16. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    220
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    Tierra del Fuego — MACHU PICCHU

    Cusco, Peru
    28 December 2018
    Miles: Unknown

    Possibly like you, Machu Picchu has held an alluring draw upon my imagination for years. A sacred, hidden place, high in the Andes. A village built with astonishing skills that included precise stone works, complex terraced fields that allowed for drainage, systems that captured and funneled rainfall into drinking fountains for the inhabitants, buildings for storing grains, stone stairways and paths that ran up and down the steep mountain, right on the edge of precipitous slopes, and ceremonial sections for gatherings and rituals and ... sacrifices.

    All created by the Incas, thousands of years ago.

    The first thing I did was head up the path, to start from the Sungate lookout point. Everything else would. be downhill from there, I figured.

    It wasn’t an easy hike! I had to stop and rest several times.

    “How much farther,” I asked one visitor coming down?

    “”About 30 more minutes,” he said.

    Onward and upward I went, at a slow pace, for another 20 minutes.

    “How much farther,” I asked another visitor on the descent?

    “About 30 more minutes,” he said.

    ‘Is it worth it,” I added?

    “Oh yes,” he said, “Definitely!”

    Finally, after at least 45+ minutes of creeping up the steep trail, I reached it.

    A commanding view of the Machu Picchu village stretched out far below, surrounded by mountain peaks that reached for the heavens, and a muddy, twisting river deep in the valley.

    It was all downhill after that.

    Was it worth it, I asked myself?

    Oh yes, most definitely!
    #96
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  17. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    Tierra del Fuego — WHAT TO DO?

    Puno, Peru
    30 December 2018
    Mileage: Unknown

    The ride from Cusco to Puno ought to have taken just a few hours; but for various reasons I never made it there yesterday, as planned.

    There were several construction sites along the way, sometimes requiring waits of 15-30 minutes. Then, when given the “go ahead”, it was often a struggle to not be pushed out of the way by harried drivers rushing to get past on muddy, uneven roads. In this country motorcyclists have no rights, even loaded down ones like Salsa. We’re just in the way.

    The bastards!!!

    It’s the rainy season at this time of year. No big deal, I thought, as I headed toward some dark clouds. Then the lightening started, with vigor. Then I felt hail hitting my visor. Then the road turned to slush, as the hail landed on 2-3 inches of snow.

    This is too dangerous to continue, I thought.

    What to do?

    Nearby was an abandoned building, so I rode off the highway and across a muddy, snow and water-puddle covered field to reach it. Maybe I could find shelter there? Took me several tries to find a secure footing for Salsa’s side stand, but eventually I did.

    I explored the building, rain and hail pelting me as I trudged around in (now) muddy boots. No luck! Every opening was completely secured with huge concrete cinderblocks.

    What to do, I wondered?

    Across the highway was a parked car. I watched as a man got out and opened the trunk, pulling out a jack and wheel lug wrench. Maybe he needs help, I thought, and waded over through the puddles to give him a hand. Together, with effort, we changed his rear tire.

    “Is there a town nearby with hotels or hostels, or places to stay,” I asked?

    “Oh yes,” he said, “very close.”

    What to do?

    Riding through the storm on slippery roads seemed treacherous, but I couldn’t stay there. And going back wasn’t an option, as I’d been looking for lodging as I rode past several villages, without finding any offered.

    So I got on Salsa, rode her back through the muddy field to the highway, and continued on, following in the tire tracks of other vehicles. And by this time I felt chilled to the bone.

    Soon enough, to my surprise and joy, the road cleared. It must have just been a narrow band of snow and hail, fortunately! And soon enough a large village came into view: Ayaviri.

    Just as the man said, there were plenty of hostels available. I found a nice one on the main square with my essentials: a nice room with a private bathroom, WiFi, the right price, and secure storage for Salsa — in the lounge. All I had to do was ride her up a curb and a step.

    I checked-in, had a nice dinner nearby, chatted with Bonnie, and still feeling chilled from the day’s ride, put on layers of clothes.

    What to do?

    I hit the sack early, around 8 p.m. I was exhausted!!!
    #97
  18. battdoc

    battdoc Old Enough

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    744
    Location:
    Stockton CA
    Love it Monte! I'm in Cusco now. Will head to the Lake and Bolivia in a few days.
    Happy New Year!!
    #98
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  19. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    I made it into BOLIVIA today. All our advance preps really paid off. Still needed: a passport-sized photo, hotel or other reservations, an itinerary (3 places suffice), and $160. No SOAT required.

    The photo and itinerary were done at the border (I crossed at Yunguyo, Perú). Took several stops at different desks, but took roughly an hour.

    SalsaRider
    Monte
    #99
  20. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Colorado Springs, Coolorado
    Tierra del Fuego — THE FLOATING ISLANDS OF UROS

    Puno, Peru
    31 December 2018
    Miles: 5,517

    Allegedly there are 90 floating islands near Puno, Peru. The families living on them live in harmony until ... they don’t. Then, using a long steel saw, they simply cut-off the offending family’s piece of island and float it away, anchoring it elsewhere in Lake Titicaca.

    Every 2 months they must add new layers of reeds to the islands, to keep them afloat; and every 30 years must cut large blocks of floating, spongy soil from the lake floor, tying them together to form the base of a new island.

    Small stone platforms serve for cooking fires, but first the reeds around them must be soaked in water, to prevent fires.

    Strict codes dominate. Single women wear hats with white pompoms; married women wear black pompoms. Couples must live together for 5 years before they’re allowed to marry (an old Incan custom). If children are produced, marriage is mandatory.

    Approximately 2000 people live on the islands. A matriarch must be consulted by each boat filled with tourists, to determine which islands to visit; as they take turns entertaining the visitors. Profits from any sales or donations are communal property.

    What surprised me were how stable the islands were, how organized the tours.

    Five families lived on the island I visited. Several of us were encouraged to sit inside one of the single-lady’s hut, and introduce ourselves. Inside we found a mattress, clothes hanging on the walls, and . . . electric lights. Solar panels, on poles, stuck up towards the sun on most islands. And soon, the islands will be outfitted with sanitary toilets, now being manufactured ashore. Some already are.

    I took a short ride on a reed boat, and claimed a comfy seat at the stern. A relaxing and perfect spot, I thought, unless it started to rain.

    These islanders seemed almost lost in time, still following ancient rituals and customs, yet incrementally adapting to the “modern” world, too: tourist visits managed by a matriarch; sanitary toilets being installed; solar panels; outboard-powered reed boats; and so on.

    Still, how remarkable to visit these floating islands, to jump back in time and witness firsthand a small slice of their world!

    Attached Files:

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