Peru Inca Moto Tour - Oct 2010

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TroySmith, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    I grew up on dirtbikes and then streetbikes, riding with my brother and my dad. We've always been a motorcycle family. My dad has taken several motorcycle tours in various parts of the world. Last fall, he took my brother and I on one of these tours. It was quite a gift for us! Another father and 2 sons plus one friend that we grew up riding with came also (actually, they prompted the whole thing). When we got there, we found that a father and son from England were to be part of our riding group as well.

    The trip was a 2-week motorcycle tour of Peru. I kept a little bit of a travel journal and took some pictures. The journal is not particularly riding focused, so it may be rather... boring. But i wrote it for me. I'm going to put together a photo book, coffee table style, and include the journaling in it, so that i actually remember the trip when i read the book.

    Anyway, here it is for those interested. It'll probably take me several days to get the whole thing up. The first bit is probably the most boring, because there was no riding at all for the first few days.

    ***********************
    I always like to see the person writing, so this is me, at Machu Pichu
    [​IMG]





    Sept 28, 2010 5:20AM
    Redmond Airport, Oregon
    Bags packed and checked into the airline, said goodbye to Burl (she cried just a little bit, just enough to be sweet and make me feel good), through security and waiting to board my flight to San Francisco.
    I’ve done very little research into this trip, partly for lack of time and energy (and need, after all it is a guided trip) but also because I’m looking forward to being in a strange place with no idea of what to expect.
    Time to get on the plane. I’ll try to sleep but it’s difficult on these noisy little turbo props.

    7:30AM
    San Francisco International Airport

    I'm in SFO now, the place is nearly empty, kind of cool. Dad called and said that Rodney has missed his flight out of Redding! Dad was pretty upset, obviously, because after all his planning and money, Rodney might not be able to make it on the trip.

    (Later)
    Rod ended up driving to SFO from Redding and made it. In fact, amazingly he had 45 minutes to spare! That was a major relief.

    Sept 29, 2010
    Lima, Peru
    We all made it and our gear too. The flight was long (9 hours) and I got very tired of sitting (not looking forward to the flight to Thailand!) but otherwise it wasn’t too bad. We got to the airport at 12:30AM and worked our way through immigration and security fairly quickly. It was a pretty long cab ride to the Miraflores district of Lima, which is where our hotel for the first few nights is.
    The hotel is interesting. It seems quite old, and is rather pretty and has character, but not amazing. People so far seem quite friendly. There is a lot of English spoken here, but still many who speak none.
    It’s a good thing Rodney came. He has immediately been shown to be our best Spanish speaker and quite helpful. I have some Español and it’s coming back to me. I’m also learning some more.
    On the ride in, we passed through a lot of areas that looked, I suppose, like what I’d expect from urban Latin areas: lots of plaster and iron, relatively colorful. It seemed dirty but it wasn’t really that dirty, i guess it’s more the visible infrastructure and utilities, and old construction that makes it seem cluttered and like a place that would be dirty. Kind of ghetto-looking, but not really a ghetto necessarily.
    Here in Miraflores we’ve spent most of this day in a small area near the beach off Larco Ave. It’s quite touristy and westernized. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m actually sitting in a Starbucks as i write this. We’ve spent the day getting phones and internet working, and milling around the immediate area. We got 10 minute massages for 10 soles each (about $3.50 US). Some things seem cheap here and some things are the same or more. There is a North Face shop, and some other outdoor gear shops where i thought i might find a bargain. Turns out they are more money than at home, by a lot! Oh well.
    There is a picture on the wall in my hotel room of Mt. Shuksan, which is in Washington in the North Cascades mountain range. Pretty wild to go into a hotel room in Peru and see a photo of a place at home. I kind of want to take the picture home with me! It’s a cool picture and i want to go there.
    I haven’t hung out with Hans before, he seems very cool. It will be fun to have him along.

    11:00PM
    We went out for dinner to a restaurant called Panchita, it was amazing. Everyone loved it, and with the exchange rate it was very affordable. I had a swordfish skewer and it was incredibly delicious, everyone decided it was the best meal of the night. The dining experience was great, lots of laughing, great food and drink, and conversation. It was a very good time and good camaraderie.
    The restaurant was north of the hotel, away from the beach and the part of town that we had seen so far. This way was much better and i felt like i was experiencing being in Peru. Or at least being in the Miraflores district of Lima, a city of 8 million people.
    I got my calling card to work on the first try; I’m even getting better already with my Español. I was able to talk to Burl on the phone, she is good. I miss her when i travel without her because we are such good travel companions, but there is much to be said for some good “bro-time” too, and it’s good.
    There are many pretty women here, very imperfect but all the more beautiful for it, if that makes any sense. Also, the shop windows are full of very elegant and sexy dresses. Very Latin, at least to my mind.

    30 de Septiembre 2010
    Lima, Peru

    Still in Lima. Tomorrow too. We leave the following morning. Today we wandered around some more, took a 3 hour bus sightseeing tour--which was actually fairly good--and had another pretty good dinner.
    We got into some pretty good discussions and also some a little out of hand at dinner. Got a little ugly around gun control for a little while. That can definitely be a polarizing discussion topic. But it wasn’t all about that, we also had a lot of good conversation.
    It’ll be nice to get out of the fancy restaurants. I love a high-end didning experience on occasion, but doing it frequently feels like too much for me and i just want to go to a hole in the wall and get a good cheap meal.
    Getting antsy to ride!
    We will meet Craig and Jon and the two Brits tomorrow. I hope the whole group gels well for a good time. So far so good.

    Miraflores District
    [​IMG]

    Miraflores District
    [​IMG]

    Miraflores District
    [​IMG]

    Miraflores District
    [​IMG]

    Miraflores District
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    President's House
    [​IMG]

    Policia
    [​IMG]

    Photo Op (dog in clothes). I took this picture, instead of the picture that guy is taking, because I didn't want to pay the dog's owner to take a picture.
    [​IMG]

    My brother in front of church
    [​IMG]

    Catacombs beneath the church. Those are real human bones folks, we are not in Disneyland.
    [​IMG]

    Catacombs beneath the church. Those are real human bones folks, we are not in Disneyland.
    [​IMG]

    Catacombs beneath the church. Those are real human bones folks, we are not in Disneyland.
    [​IMG]

    Artist with his painting. It's very good, my dad bought it. (always wonder if these people selling are truly the makers of the art, often not i'm sure, this guy seemed like maybe he was legit)
    [​IMG]

    Dad in Miraflores
    [​IMG]

    Gas station
    [​IMG]

    Small town south of Lima
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,728
    That's my kinda gift... a moto touring holiday... so how was the riding?
    #2
  3. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Riding was mostly pavement. It was more about the tour than aggressive riding. That said, a lot of the paved roads were pretty good, and would have been great fun on a bigger machine. We were riding mostly XR400 and 600 and all with knobs. Still had fun on a lot of the roads. The first few days of riding were all sand, that was a lot of fun.




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




    October 3, 2010
    Ica, Peru

    It’s been a great day! But, before i get into it, i should cover yesterday and the day before.
    On the 1st it was another full day in Lima, without anything really to do.
    Dad, Rod, Hans and I went to the Inca Market near Larco Ave and did a little shopping. I bought more things for Burl but didn’t see much of anything that I wanted. I Saw lots I wanted to get for her, but I don’t have lots of money to spend so I didn’t get too much.
    We went out for lunch at some little semi-fast-food type place that seemed less touristy. It was decent. I had some very salty but quite good beef kabobs and the ever-present Inca Cola. It looks like pee (supposed to be the color of Inca Gold I guess) and tastes like bubblegum. The first sip is very good, then after that it is too sweet. It’s not really that good with food.
    Anywhow, we had agot a late start that day and then filled most of the day wandering around miraflores.
    At breakfast we met the two englishmen, David and his son Alex. They are about the same ages as the reast of our group and seem nice.
    David is an engineer and has been working for years on a two stroke opposed-piston diesel engine. He actually designed it and is very knowledgable about mechanics.It was very interesting to hear about the engine.
    For dinner we met with Flavio and sicussed the tour. It was a briefing and orientation. Basically like going through the syllabus at the start of a course. Then we all went out for dinner. That was Day 1 of the tour.

    Day 2 of Tour
    Day 2 we finally left Lima! It was drizzling lightly when we left. We headed south in 3 vehicles and towing motorcycles. I rode in Flavio’s Toyota HiLux. It’s the same size as a Tacoma but different body. It also has a turbo diesel engine (like everything in Peru). Crazy to be riding in a small Toyota pickup and hear the trubo spool when they hit the gas.
    It was a 4-hour drive. As we left Lima we went through a different area, grittier and more “Latin American” feeling, I thought. As we left the city, it got very barren and desert-like. And I’m not talking Arizona desert, I’m talking complete barren wasteland desert. Just dirty and that’s it. Out here, there were shanty ghettos rising up on the hills, looking quite sad and deprived. Definitely very, very poor people, nearly homeless altogether.
    After a bit we were past those and on into the wasteland. We are driving South from Lima, right along the coast. It’s crazy that it’s so barren right along the ocean, but apparently there’s almost no rain at all.
    Eventually we reached our destination: Paracas. Here, the story is that it never rains. Never. Ever. Hard to believe but it may well be true judging by appearances. The place is like the moon. Nothing grows unless it is irrigated, and i really mean nothing at all. Not even little tiny plants.
    And without plants there are no insects, little critters or bigger critters. There is just no life at all if there are no plants to form the base of the food chain. So, once you are more than ¼ mile or so from the ocean, there is no life.
    We got to our hotel in Paracas and were delighted to find it bathed in sunlight, blue skies and warm weather. After all the hase and cool weather in Lima, this was a real treat. Now it feels like a vacation!
    After lunch in Paracas, we went for our first ride! A bit of a shakedown run. We probably rode 20-30 miles around a national park or something like that on a peninsula. It was fun riding, totally wide open and good sandy dirt for fun sliding.
    Also a lot of fantastic scenery as we rode along the ridge tops with cliffs to the ocean below.
    We had dinner on the oceanfront walk in Paracas. There was sort of a boardwalk area. Fairly nice, with lots of little restaurants. They hid us in the back so that we could have beers. The Peruvian elections are taking place and they are not supposed to sell alcohol until the elections are all over.

    Day 3 of Tour
    Today we rode from Paracas to Ica. Every inch of it, until reaching Ica was completely devoid of even the smalletst plant or animal life. The only exception was when we were within 100 yards of the ocean. We rode 150 km through sand dunes. It was an absolute blast to ride, and we went through so many amazing landscapes. Well, mostly all the same sort of landscape, but many different places.
    We flat-track drivted endless turns and jumped and climbed dunes. You could go anhwhere, unrestricted by any brush or obstacles. There were huge dunes and sometimes traction was good and you could climb until you went so high up that it was scarey to come down. Other times the sand was deep and it was a struggle to make it 20 feet up.
    All had a blast. We were probably Flavio’s (our guide) worst nightmare. A group of rowdy, aggressive riders, scattering across the desert like a flock of starlings set loose, darting every which way.
    Finally we came to Ica. We rode through a shanty town o n the edge of the city. Many of the huts did not even have a roof. We passed along the edge of the city and back among some more huge sand dunes. Our hotel is situated in a small cluster of buildings surrounding a lagoon between enormous sand dunes. A genuine oasis.
    We climbed one of the large dunes around sunset and looked all around. It’s like mountain ranges, but all made of sand. Amazing. I took several pictures that should be very neat.




    Photos are not all in chronological order, but mostly are.

    I should have included these two pictures in the first post, the first is a map of our route. The black route with red dots is our route.

    [​IMG]


    This is a graph of some of the elevations we hit along the route. And their distance from the coast.
    [​IMG]


    Breakfast in Paracas. The breakfast meal was very similar in a lot of places. It consisted of some bread rolls, not particularly sweet or sour or anything, just kind of plain, but not bad, eggs, coffee (coffee has a weird flavor there, not sure what is different), sliced up hot dogs, and various juices.
    [​IMG]


    Paracas coastline, i believe this was on the warmup ride.
    [​IMG]


    Pelicans in Paracas
    [​IMG]


    Fishing boats in Paracas
    [​IMG]


    We took a tour to see some giant figure in the sand, and also to see the guano island. There is a giant candelabra figure etched into a hillside. Apparently nobody knows how old it is or who made it. I think the local high scool football team did it in the middle of the night one day as a practical joke. I guess i didn't include a photo of it. If you're interested, just google "paracas peru candelabra" and you'll probably find pictures. I didn't find it that amazing. This tour guide was pretty cool though. I didn't catch much of what he said, but he was interesting and animated. All the people in the boat are our riding group (except for the guide, he stays with the boat).
    [​IMG]


    Boat tour guide
    [​IMG]


    Penguin. Yep.
    [​IMG]


    So, this island is inhabited by so many birds, that they go out there to harvest the guano (that's bird crap to you and I, in case you haven't seen Ace Ventura). It's a couple miles off the coast and it truly is absolutely covered in birds, including penguins. We toured around this thing. Kinda neat. When we got to the downwind side it was pretty nasty.
    [​IMG]


    Some sort of obelisk in paracas... i don't know what the heck that thing is. Just a sculpture? Some sort of wind turbine? Ya got me...
    [​IMG]


    Some sort of obelisk in paracas... i don't know what the heck that thing is. Just a sculpture? Some sort of wind turbine? Ya got me...
    [​IMG]


    Pelican shot with the D70 and ancient 80-200 2.8, man i love that lens. By the way, most photos were taken by me with the Nikon D70 and either kit lens 18-70 or 80-200 2.8. I think i also had my 50 1.8 along, but don't think i used it much. Also, some of the shots are from other riders/cameras.
    [​IMG]


    Jim, Tom (my dad), David, Flavio (riding guide and tour operator/owner)
    [​IMG]


    Armando and Kikei, support crew, cool guys. They didn't speak much english, so it was fun trying to communicate with them (really, no sarcasm). Kikei spoke a tiny bit, Armando nearly none but he made up for it in gestures and sound-effects... hilarious.
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Note 2 riders as specs about middle of this photo, and 3rd up higher on the mountain, coming down. That is my brother. You could go just about as far up this thing as you wanted, but had to hit it with a lot of speed. It was just soft and sandy enough that coming all the way back down at high speed was a little puckery.
    [​IMG]


    Coming out of endless desert (well, i guess it ended didn't it?) into Ica
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Sneaking beers in Paracas. Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Shot by Alex (D90)
    [​IMG]


    Hans, just into the edge of Ica. We stopped to share our disbelief and check out some of the shacks with no roofs.
    [​IMG]


    The hotel where we stayed, between the sand dunes. They owned a bunch of 4wd 9-seat dunebuggies that they used to take tourists out ripping through the dunes. They had big american v8s and not much for exhaust. They ripped and you could hear them miles off in the dunes. Kind of cool for one day, would get old after that i'm sure.
    [​IMG]


    Hotel. Jim, Dad, Me
    [​IMG]


    Hiking up the sand dune
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    View of the oasis from the top of the dune.
    [​IMG]


    Rodney (brother), dad, me
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. balm426

    balm426 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Smokey Mountains
    Great pictures, I was in Peru this year and definitely plan to go back for a motorcycle trip. Looks like you guys had a great time!

    What is the name of the tour company you guys used?
    #4
  5. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    http://www.incamotoadventures.com/

    It's the only tour i've done, so I can't really compare it to another, but i thought they did a very good job for the most part. A few things that were not perfect, but I'd recommend them if you're going.
    #5
  6. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    October 5, 2010
    Hotel Majorio - Nazca, Peru

    This is unquestionably one of the most beautiful man-made places i’ve ever been. It’s a walled in campus with a huge front gate. There are several buildings and a lot of semi-outdoor areas. Everything is covered in flowering plants and trees. There are beautiful birds, llamas and horses around the grounds. There is no direction you can look and not have your eyes fall on something beautiful. They also have Tanqueray and tonic.
    Last night we went into Nazca for dinner and just to hang out. Flavio took us to a great place. It was very nice inside and there was a live band playing music. Similar to a mariachi band but much better that what you’re probably imagining. They were playing a guitar, drum, flute of some sort and a set of “Pan’s Pipes” which are a traditional instrument in Peru.
    After dinner we all took a short walk around town, then all the older men went home. Craig, Jon, Rod and I stayed in town and wandered around looking for a good place where we could watch the town and have a cerveza. The place was really hopping for a monday night! It was pretty neat to experience. The town square was lit up and full of people socializing, couples on dates, or just folks walking through on there way to somewhere. Maybe it was a holiday?
    Today we went for an airplane ride to see the Nazca Lines. The lines weren’t that amazing, smaller than I’d expected. However, the surrounding areas were very cool to see from the air. There are lots of large mountains and flat plains. Most of those were completely barren, but then in the valleys there was moisture and vegetation and villages. Much neater to see all that than to see the lines, I thought.
    From here we will head up into the mountains, very high, very fast. Peru and Chile both rise very quickly from the Pacific up into the Andes mountains.
    We had a fun chat with Armando in the back of the truck on the way into town that night. He is 47 and has 2 kids in their twenties and a few grand kids. He acts like someone half his age (in a good way). He is a carpet layer mostly, and knows Flavio from surfing. A couple times a year he works on these tours. It was difficult but fun to talk to him.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]





    October 6, 2010
    Hotel Tampumayu - Chalhuanca, Peru

    Today was quite a day! Without question the most beautiful traveling so far. Still mostly relatively sparse on vegetation and life, but increasing throughout the day. We traveled from Nazca at 6:30AM, starting at an elevation of just under 2,000 feet we headed toward and over Condorcenca Pass (14,206 ft). We passed through the most amazing and beautiful, breath taking (I’m going to run out of my meager supply of adjectives very quickly trying to describe today) mountains and Inca villages. These little, rugged people have worked incredibly hard to scratch a living out of a landscape that is not particularly conducive to their efforts. It’s got to be hard living. In a way though, it’s very aesthetic. They wear very colorful clothes and seem to live to old age. Or maybe they just appear old at a young age as a result of a hard life. We talked to at least one old man, who, if we understood him correctly was over 80 years old.
    We were able to stop several times today and (attempt to) converse with the people. It is very interesting and fun but makes me wish i knew a lot more Español.
    There was an older woman and 2 younger ones, maybe 19-25ish somewhere between Puquio (10,545) and Huashuaccasa Pass (14,500) in a very small village. We could barely breathe there. Many in our group were dizzy or feeling ill. I was doing well, just a slight tingling in my fingers at times, and of course I was out of breath from the least bit of exertion.
    Anyway, I said “hola” to the women and gestured to ask if it was ok if I came and spoke to them. They were standing in and around the doorway of a small home or hut of some sort. They appeared to understand and approve, so I walked (laboriously) over. I don’t recall exactly what i said, but just wanted to try to speak with them a little and take their pictures. I asked if they spoke Español and they did. I asked about English (just in case) and of course they said no. I asked if they spoke Quecho, which is the Inca language and they said yes, but of course I don’t know a single word of that, or even for certain if that’s what it’s called.
    I managed to ask them if I could take their photo but I guess women are women everywhere and they didn’t want me to because they didn’t think that their clothes were pretty. It took a bit of back and forth for me to understand that this was the reason.
    I told them that they were very pretty and that got some giggles, but embarrassed them and made them even more shy.
    One of them in particular was wearing a very brightly colored skirt and top and I really wanted a photo. I said, “Por favor, muy guapisima,” etc, but no luck. I feigned that i was sad and crying and they said that i could get pictures of the other people. So i gave up and walked over to where everyone else was playing with a group of children. Of course i said goodbye--or something to that affect, I hope--before leaving.
    The children were cute. I got some good pictures. They loved to see the picture on the camera after it was taken. They kept asking for “plata” which i thought meant avocado, but then i thought they must have meant that they wanted candy. Later, Flavio told me that they actually meant that they wanted money! ...the little boogers! ;-)
    We moved on, and as we headed east we got into more and more vegetation.
    All day was just one amazing scene after another. The Andes Mountains are full of llamas and vicunas, hawks, some large crane-like birds, cows, sheep and a variety of other things no doubt. I even saw a fox. Also saw one vicuna chasing another quite aggressively. Rather funny for such cute animals.
    We went through thousands of switchbacks and there were lots of large trucks and busses that would take both lanes of the road in order to make the curve. We had to watch very carefully to make sure we weren’t in the way! It wasn’t very difficult though. We also passed through many ridges and valleys several thousand feet deep. In many of them would be villages and terraced fields. The Inca must not be lazy people, because there would be a small field way up on some mountainside where there was a patch of soil, far from the other fields, and most people would say that it’s too hard to get to and not worth farming, but the Inca get up there and farm every little patch.
    At one point i was cruising along and saw that the other guys had stopped next to something in the road. As i got closer i saw blood and hair and gunk in the road and realized that it was a llama that had been hit by a truck or something. But when i got to them I saw a wrecked bike and Craig on the ground. He had just hit the llama seconds earlier. It was scary for a moment but it turned out he was more or less ok. He’ll probably be sore tomorrow! The llama was nearly split in half. It died immediately. The front of Craig’s bike was covered in blood and guts and crap. The underside of his front fender was covered in blood, the way one might normally be covered in mud.
    Here, all the livestock seems to have decorations, or many of them anyway. The llamas have ribbons in their ears and many of the cows had ribbons and bows and other decorations.
    Hans had drug the dead llama off the road and Armando was trying to ask me something. He was asking for a knife but making all kinds of gestures and saying things I couldn’t understand. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to clean the animal for meat, or cut off an ear or hoof as a luck charm, or what. Anyway, i gave him a Leatherman tool i was carrying, not sure what in the world to expect, and he cut the ribbons from the llamas ear. Apparently they are used to identify who the llama belongs to.
    As this was happening and Craig and the bike were being tended to, we saw an old woman approaching from far off in the fields. She was at least half a mile away.
    Armando and Keiki said we needed to get going right away because the woman would be mad and loco and throw rocks at us. So we hurried to finish up and get our gear on. As we were leaving she had made it to the llama but i didn’t really have time to see what her reaction was, if she had one.
    A couple miles down the road I was feeling pretty bad about the whole deal. Those people work so hard to survive and losing a llama was probably a big deal for the woman. I can’t imagine it could cost all that much for us Americans anyway, with our comparative wealth. It was an accident, so I didn’t think we were necessarily obligated, but i thought that because of our wealth compared to what she has, maybe it would be heap for us and a big help to her. If so, I’d be glad to help.
    So I stopped on the side of the road and waited for the trucks to catch up. Then i explained my thoughts to Armando and Keiki. They said again that the woman would be crazy and that it was a bad idea. I tried a bit more but they were adamant that we not go back. As usual, it was difficult to communicate thoroughly so I’m still not totally clear on the whole situation, but I’m going to have to rely on their native/local knowledge of how things are handled here. Anyway, I tried and it’s not really my issue anyway. So i feel pretty clear of conscience regarding it. It’s an unfortunate accident, shit happens to all of us. Today it happened to Craig and the old lady... and the llama, and Flavio (damaged bike).
    Jon crashed today in a corner, he is also banged up. I looped out (how embarrassing) on the beach a couple days ago, doing a wheelie and i have a stiff neck. There’s also been several very minor crashes in the sand dunes. It’s a good ride!
    Last thing for tonight: Earlier today, around 11:00-ish, we stopped in Puquio for sandwiches and coca tea, made from coca leaves. The same kind used to make cocaine. It’s supposed to help with high elevation problems and just be kind of a nice stimulant.
    They brought us coffee cups full of hot water and 8-10 coca leaves (per cup). Add a little sugar and it didn’t taste bad, about like tea. It definitely hit me with something. I felt more awake and energized. Some of the guys said it made things seem brighter. I think it felt like very strong coffee, but with a little of a light headed buzzy feel to it also. We’ll probably try it again.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,728
    I'm going to sticky this little gem to give more inmates a chance to enjoy it! It looks like a wonderful treasure of memories made on this great adventure Glad to see everyone survived with a few minor battle scars! :thumb Oh and that coca tea sounds like the original Inca Red Bull :lol3
    #7
  8. nikolic

    nikolic Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    480
    Location:
    Serbia
    Great pics, great RR! Just go on!
    #8
  9. Meatn'taters

    Meatn'taters Not any more Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    303
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Excellent RR and pics!! Very well done. Thanks for sharing! Perfect for a cold, rainy day in my Lazy Boy. Hmmmm, treat my three boys, okay they're men now, to a riding vacation together? Hmmmm. Good for you guys - trip of a lifetime together. :freaky
    #9
  10. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    **this is a pretty massive amount of photos on one page, not ideal, but not much way around it**

    October 11, 2010
    Eco Inn Hotel - Cusco, Peru

    Well, there was no riding today. Yesterday was the last of it. A few days ago we rode from Chalhuanca to Cusco, which was another incredibly beautiful ride. Again, my favorite parts were the rural villages and farming communities. Here they were wetter and more agricultural (as opposed to the more livestock-based communities in the mountains).
    To me it appears to be a simple life, and possibly quite satisfying and comfortable. These villages were clean and orderly, there were schools (though only to an elementary level in many cases I would suppose) and community centers. I’m sure these people must work hard to make it for themselves, and they certainly enjoy few if any luxuries; but I wonder if that’s a bad thing.
    There is no question that in a way I do envy their lifestyle. It’s human nature I suppose--grass is greener syndrome--I’m sure they envy my lifestyle as well, though they probably would not understand my stresses, as I’m sure I don’t understand theirs.
    The villages often line one or both hillsides of an Andean valley, with spectacular views of rural life and natural beauty. I imagine that to a degree, they take that for granted the same as I take for granted many of the luxuries that I have.
    I would love to be able to spend a week in one of these places and experience the way that the people live. How they work all day, the family and social interactions, the living accommodations. How it all works and what they think of it. How they fit in the world and how the world fits with them.
    Obviously it made me think about life and people, cultures, society, the world and how I want it to be for me, and how I should be for all of those things. There are not easy and immediate conclusions that I come to, but I wonder if western first world societies have given up too much of the family and community orientation, and are striving too much for economic and technological progress and production.
    I think for myself, I want to live in such a way that leads to the most happiness for myself and those around me, and does not have a negative affect on anyone—whether I’m aware of it or not. That probably is true for most people, but it’s hard to know what that looks like or how to do it.
    Anyway, all of that is not a travel log, but more philosophical wonderings I suppose. The point is that seeing these places and people has made me think about such matters.
    These ideas were prompted particularly by the region between Abancay and Anta (Cusco), and on previous days by the stretch between Condorcenca Pass and Huashuaccasa Pass (passes 1 and 2 on the map).
    Day 7 of the tour (Oct 7) is when we arrived in Cusco. We had some wild riding through heavy city traffic. Weaving between busses and pedestrians, ignoring traffic signals and conventions (the official ones anyway) in favor of going with the flow and defensive (and aggressive) riding. We surely would have been arrested for driving that way at home, but here, that’s just how it’s done.
    It seems to work, there are a lot of close calls but I don’t think there are very many accidents. We did have one van driver who drove us several times and was clearly insane. He was aggressive in a malevolent way. He actually swerved toward pedestrians when it wasn’t even necessary, just to get close. And he got CLOSE. The locals who were totally used to the traffic gave this guy dirty looks and had to jump out of the way.



    October 12, 2010
    Hotel Eco Inn – Cusco, Peru

    Well, it’s been a great trip. We had a lot of fun riding and great touring. We had an end-of-tour dinner with Flavio, Armando and Kikei. We went to this buffet restaurant that had several different live entertainment shows. They were quite good; we had musicians, dancers, acrobatic dancers, wild costumes with scary masks, sexy butt-shaking dances with fire, etc.
    Afterward, Flavio, Armando, Kikei, Craig, Jon, Rodney and I went out to get a drink. There was some sort of “biker bar” that the guys knew of and wanted to take us to, but it was real smokey, so we went to find something else. We wound up in a bar called The Lek, which is funny, because as Craig (veterinarian) explained to us, a lek is a group of male birds showing off to attract a mate. Pretty fitting name for a bar/club. There was a band, local I assume, playing mostly covers of American rock and blues music, and they were pretty darn good! The lead guitarist/singer was so good on the guitar that I have to wonder if he was just faking, but I think he was really just that good. They played Stevie Wonder, Sublime, Lenny Kravits, The Doors, Average White Band, Twist ‘n Shout, Nirvana and more. We also played some very difficult pool. Difficult because it was a snooker table with regular size balls and also it was way off level.
    After a few games we said goodbyes and went back to the hotel.


    Conclusion

    That’s the end of the journal. After that it was just traveling home. All went well but was long and boring. It felt good to get back to the states and clean air. The air in the cities at the beginning and end of the tour (Lima and Cusco) was so bad when you were near the streets! Everything is diesel, and not the new, clean burning type. Getting back to wonderful Bend, Oregon and walking into my home was fantastic. I am very lucky to have such a nice place to live.

    There's a lot that I didn't write about. We were actually in Cusco for 3 or 4 days I think. I didn't write much about that. Maybe I'll get around to it. I should, before I completely forget all the things we saw and did.

    I seem to have left out entirely one segment of the trip. There were two days of riding that I didn’t write about at all. The day from Cusco out to the rainforest / jungle, and the next day, riding back. From Cusco to Pisac (a neat town) and to Paucartambo was great riding and scenery. From there on toward the Manu Lodge in the western most edge of the Amazon Jungle, it got cloudy, rainy and cold. Not surprising when entering a rain forest called the Cloud Forest. It was actually quite a lot like the Oregon Coast Range. Very wet and lush, we were on a gravel road and if i were to just wake up right there some day, i might think that i was in Oregon, but for some of the different types of vegetation (or if i saw a monkey!). We did not see any monkeys, but i guess they’re around. We stayed in little wood bungalows at the Manu Lodge with no electricity or hot water. There was a sign on the door that said to keep your doors closed (and locked!) because monkeys otherwise might come in and ransack your room! We arrived wet, and the air there was so wet, that our gear we hung out to dry, did not dry at all by the next day. Worse, the dry clothes we had, got wet just being there inside the bungalows! The next day i put my feet in garbage liner bags before putting my boots on, and put on the warmest clothes i had. We got rained on all the way out, and by the time we got up to the higher elevations, i was freezing. It was not just uncomfortable, i was in trouble. So when we got back to Paucartambo again, I let Jon ride my bike and i took a shift riding in the truck. Ever since the llama was hit, we had been one bike down and somebody always had to ride in the truck. Since this was the second half of the last day of riding, i was all set to finish up the tour by riding in the truck. Which was fine, we had ridden the same road the day before, and it was just roads anyway. Easier to rubberneck when i’m not driving!
    But then we caught up to the group and there was a man down. It was Hans, he had hurt his leg pretty good. Not broken, but it was pretty bruised and swollen. He was clearly in a lot of pain and couldn’t walk on it. Bummer to be within a couple hours of the end of the trip and then get hurt... but better than having it happen at the start of the trip i guess!
    We all made it back to Cusco alive and more or less well, although there were quite a few bruised and limping people. We all had fun, that’s for sure!




    Andes
    [​IMG]

    village in the andes
    [​IMG]

    Andes, this spot was amazing, so was the light on that big crag up there.
    [​IMG]

    Some of my absolute favorite scenery of the entire trip. several of us decided that we need to buy vacation homes in one of these villages. Look close, bike on the road down there.
    [​IMG]

    I stopped a lot to gawk and take in the scenery here. Some of the others got quite a ways ahead of me. The road switchbacked so much that those guys are probably a couple miles of road ahead of me, but only a relatively short way down the mountain. Note the edge of the word a little bit ahead. So beautiful... i want to be back there again already. I can still "feel" myself sitting at that stop, chatting with the guys about how amazing it all is, as if i'm there right now. Fantastic :D
    [​IMG]

    I need a poet to caption these. So great here. I was just riding in second or 3rd gear on a xr400, standing up, putting down the highway at probably 25 mph and just taking in the scenery. It was like i was on a leisurely stroll. More like gliding or flying. Riding the motorcycle is like breathing at that point, it just happens without any conscious effort. The bike was not in my field of view unless i looked down, so it was like i was just floating or flying through the landscape, taking it all in. There was so much to look at, both near and far. People were tending their fields and animals, repairing roofs, irrigating, molding mud bricks, and so forth. Many waved at us. Then there was the natural scenery... ahhh!
    [​IMG]

    Great shot by Alex (many others too, i haven't been crediting all of them)
    [​IMG]

    Flavio, our guide, napping on the job :wink:
    [​IMG]

    Mountain road
    [​IMG]

    Kids walking from school
    [​IMG]

    Kikei, Armando and me. I think this photo is a sign that i'm going to go bald soon! :rofl
    [​IMG]

    That big crag/mountain again, from much further down the road.... these are a little out of order. Note the people in the foreground. They were working their fields, they waved at us. We have just wound our way down the mountain on one side of the valley (the side that you're looking at) and are now just on the other side about to wind back up.
    [​IMG]

    Dad and Hans
    [​IMG]


    Girl floating above the earth
    [​IMG]

    Valley west of Abancay if i remember correctly (highly unlikely)
    [​IMG]

    Not a lot of chiropractors around.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    My favorite stretch. This is where i was "floating"
    [​IMG]

    "floating"
    [​IMG]

    "floating"
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    west of Abancay, along a river in a valley
    [​IMG]

    "floating"
    [​IMG]

    "floating"
    [​IMG]

    Out the train window on the way to Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    From the train
    [​IMG]

    From the train
    [​IMG]

    In Cusco, the hotel had screwed up arrangements for secure parking for our bikes. After getting the runaround all over town for an hour, we finally drove up the front steps and pushed our bikes through the lobby of the hotel and into the courtyard area. It was a pretty nice hotel too. First time i'd had an XR in the lobby of a hotel! (although i have had my TL1000S and an Aprilia Mille R in a hotel room with me before! :D
    [​IMG]

    Carnies at a tourist attraction in Cusco called Saqsay Waman, it was pronounced much like 'sexy woman', jokes were abundant for several days after that one.
    [​IMG]

    Rodney with a sheep. We raised sheep for a few years when i was a kid. A baby lamb will give any puppy or kitten a run for it's money on the cute-factor. Come to think of it, most mammals are pretty cute... we humans are among the uglier mammal babies aren't we?
    [​IMG]

    Dad about to pounce on an unsuspecting llama at Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Dad at Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]

    Me at Machu Picchu
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Almost the whole group
    [​IMG]

    Shot this from the guard tower. Near the top of the Machu Picchu complex. Machu Picchu is actually quite a bit lower elevation than the city of Cusco. If i remember right Cusco was around 10 or 11,000 ft, and Machu Picchu was closer to 7 or 8,000 ft.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Alex' long exposure shot
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Alex' shot. We stopped here for a break. Got to chat with some locals a little. I guess everyone was lined up for jobs or medical or something... I didn't get the story on that. I think it was Sunday.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Me and an old man who was talking to me. Some of the old men seemed to drink a lot during the day, and the drunk people were always social, so we talked to a lot of drunk old men throughout the trip, lol. I don't think this particular guy was.
    [​IMG]

    Baby on board
    [​IMG]

    I could not get this woman to look at me. She was totally ignoring me. I took pictures anyway because i was so upset at myself for not taking pictures of the women i talked to way up in the first western part of the Andes. I don't know that she minded any, the women were just very shy usually, the young ones anyway.
    [​IMG]

    Cutest little girl. And there were a lot of cute little girls there. There only seemed to be 3 ages of women in Peru: 6, 14, 40. Or that's what it looked like anyway. They seemed to go straight from early teens to looking 40. The Inca that is, not so much with the latinos.
    [​IMG]

    She was cuddling that little dog like crazy, it was pretty cute.
    [​IMG]

    Rodney and Dad with the little kiddos.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I believe this is the town of Paucartambo
    [​IMG]

    I believe this is the town of Paucartambo
    [​IMG]

    Cusco by Alex
    [​IMG]

    Waiting for parking arrangements in Cusco by Alex
    [​IMG]

    by Alex
    [​IMG]

    dinner at Manu Lodge, in the rainforest, by Alex
    [​IMG]

    Pisac, i think.
    [​IMG]

    Waterfall on the road to the rain forest
    [​IMG]

    Cold and wet heading to the Cloud Forest
    [​IMG]

    Rod warming back up
    [​IMG]

    lunchtime by the river
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    Market in Cusco. This was like Costco... but different
    [​IMG]

    After the tour had concluded, we still had a day or two in Cusco. Rod, Craig and Jon decided they hadn't had enough riding, so they rented bikes and rode around Cusco unguided. They had a good time. Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Photos by Rodney
    [​IMG]

    Alex' shot, i'm not sure where this is
    [​IMG]

    Alex' shot. Me shooting rodney in Lima
    [​IMG]

    Alex' shot skydivers or parasailers or something over Lima.
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,526
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    Nice report. Some really neat photos in there. Look forward to more.
    #11
  12. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Shoot. Overshot my limit on photobucket. Pictures will be available again Jan 3rd.
    :cry
    #12
  13. tofire409

    tofire409 Geared up and ready.

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Toronto, CDN
    Thank you!:lurk
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,728

    It's pointless..photobucket sucks you in with a free account, and you quickly run out of bandwidth and then they want you to upgrade to a pro account... Your $$ are better spent getting a smugmug.com account, no limits and smuggy supports the operation of this site, keeping advrider spam free :D
    #14
  15. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Photobucket has done well for me for years. Right now i happen to have this thread going on 2 different sites, and a for sale ad with a ton of pictures as well. So i'm like 10 times my usual bandwidth usage.

    One thing i love about photobucket (there aren't many) is that it automatically creates code for html, bbcode, etc so i just copy and paste a whole batch of img links without having to type them all in. Does smugmug do that?
    #15
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,728
    This site has a lot of traffic, so you quickly run out of bandwidth. Yes, I believe smuggy does what you're looking for. I'm going to unsticky the thread since your bandwidth limit has been exceeded within a day! Drop me a line when you get the pics fixed up.
    #16
  17. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    photos should be working now!
    #17
  18. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,402
    Location:
    N.California
    Really great pics and thread…

    This is a fantastic shot..
    #18
  19. Norry

    Norry A Great Bloke

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Straya.
    Thanks Troy, very entertaining. Some of the shots of the people look exactly like the old Inca statues. Every time i see pictures of Macchu Picchu i wonder again what happened to these people, why did they leave ? Did the Spaniards do some raping and pillaging maybe ? Did the guide give you an insight into what happened ?
    thanks again for taking the time to post. great stuff.
    #19
  20. TroySmith

    TroySmith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Shoot, i'm horrible at remembering these things. The guide did tell us a bit about that. I think it's one of those situations where nobody really knows for sure and there are several wishy-washy theories out there. The spanish were not aware of machu pichu during the conquest time period. In fact, Machu Picchu was not really known to the rest of the world, outside of Peru until 1911 (i went to wikipedia for some refresher info).

    The thing that surprised me the most was that the place is only like 500 years old. I mean, that's a while, but it was around the time Colombus was sailing. I would have guessed it was much older.
    #20