Riding RTW and back - on as much dirt as possible!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rtwpaul, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. GoDoMore

    GoDoMore life in the fast lane...full speed ahead

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    Every time I read more of your rr it just keeps getting better and better. Peru is OUTSTANDING. As has been said, slowing down is good for us. Simply amazing photos, and jealous as I know it is even better in person.
    Safe travels for you two.
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  2. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Slow is good, slow travel is actually amazing and reduces cost dramatically while allowing you to smell the roses as it were...but sadly we have to go against the grain now and dramatically speed up.

    We have a few commitments we're obligated to complete. Egle has a week or so of book signings in Lithuania for her second book and has to fly out of Buenos Aires mid-Feb by the time she returns it would be bad timing to head south as an alternative due to the oncoming winter months.

    So it'll be a bit rushed to hit the bottom and get back there, not slow travel at all. We've both done this Ushuaia thing before so for us its not a big deal as it is for most others...but we're going to try.

    Then she has agreed to lead a few tours for @CourtRand at Freedom next October for ladies only (and if anyone would like me to do a similar male only/ offroad please let me or Court know) so we will be circling back to Ecuador via Uraguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru, to Ecuador so what we miss heading south we'll hit heading north.

    We'll keep showing you the good stuff and continue on dirt as much as possible that time allows
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  3. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Not just funny looking:imaposer
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  4. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I know you guys like reading Egle's musings, she spoke at length with the Captain in Spanish, mine was just a short summary, the following is a lot more detailed and this is from her Newsandfables.com website




    [​IMG]
    NOVEMBER 15, 2018
    The Last Captain of Pallasca


    The central square of Pallasca is deserted and silent in the glaring white sun of the high Andes.

    An old colonial church, built in 1625 by the Spanish monks, is crumbling, rotting away, paint peeling, walls slowly cracking and disintegrating, ghost houses surrounding the plaza abandoned and boarded up, save for a few, and the little crooked streets of cobblestone and dirt and clay run off into the labyrinth of Pallasca carving their way through a maze of decrepit, hollow houses covered in red tiles, broken, overgrown with moss, some now used for pig enclosures, pitiful laundry drying in the icy cold rays of the highland sun as the wind sifts the dust and the debris like a blind, vagrant wraith from the days of the past.


    [​IMG]

    On the corner of the plaza, under a looming shadow of a Spanish villa, an old Quechua woman sits selling Andean herbs and bananas that had long gone black, her face half-covered by a wide-brimmed hat, squinting, dozing, she has been dreaming open-eyed, not noticing the dust and the sand that the wind had kicked up in her face, as if she herself had become a part of Pallasca, a stone in the cobbled street or an old wooden banister of a decaying gallery or a heavy silver ornament on one of the windows, long gone now, long forgotten.

    Walking the crumbling, narrow streets smelling of moist earth, pig shit and sunsets, we abruptly come to a halt, this is where Pallasca ends, suddenly, in a pile of rock and stone, next to a rambling clay brick house, covered in soot, crippled and misshapen, the roof almost touching the ground now, and out in the yard overgrown with wines and coarse highland grasses, on a bench made from grey stone, or is it a tombstone – a strange lopsided obelisk – there is an old couple sitting. She is knitting a woolen mantilla, humming to herself softly, her fingers wrinkled, gnarled from arthritis. He is looking out at the menacing jagged peaks of the Andes, painted crimson and scarlet by the setting sun, his head trembling a little. They smile, and nod, and wish us good evening, good evening.


    [​IMG]

    We stay with the Captain of Pallasca, in his white palatial nineteenth century house right next to the old church. There’s a small boy running about in the courtyard and there are voices of women and a strong aroma of soup emanating from one of the inner chambers of the mansion, and somebody is listening to the radio in the labyrinth of rooms upstairs, and a heavyset, black- haired girl is picking ripe red tomatoes in the dark green jungle of the inner garden.

    The courtyard cobblestones are now broken and worn, the Spanish galleries rotting before our eyes, collapsing, supported by wooden poles and scraps of metal, the stairs creaking and decaying, the rambling, crumbling mansion bound together by nothing but the iron will of the Captain. Our room has a high ceiling, there are two beds at the opposite walls, mattresses moldered, covered in threadbare blankets, and in the middle of the room there is a small wooden cabinet piled high with photographs and medals. There he is, the Captain: young and lean and handsome, standing tall, solemn, shaking the hand of the President, saluting the General.


    [​IMG]

    Once a Spanish gold mining hub, Pallasca had since become a ghost town, had fallen through the cracks, its young leaving for Chimbote and Trujillo as soon as they could, its old slowly, dutifully dying. Merely six hundred people remain, quiet, weathered, smiling in disbelief, sitting around on curbs and broken benches, pious, staring at their own hands.

    [​IMG]



    Five decades ago, Pallasca had been cut off from the world, with one dusty narrow mule trail going up the mountain, and the good citizens of Pallasca rode donkeys and mules and walked and had never seen an automobile. Then the Captain arrived. Stationed in Pallasca, the Captain became hellbent on changing its destiny.

    “Millions of soles had been allocated to build a road, a real road to Pallasca, and millions had been stolen by thieving politicians. All five Peruvian presidents, crooks and scroungers, all of them! They should have their hands chopped off or be put to hard work. God damn! Well, I would have none of it. Pallasca needed a road to connect it to the Pacific and the Amazon, money or not. And I was going to build it”, – the Captain tells us, leaning on the gallery banister, his voice booming. He is old now, so old, but still strong as an ox, his back straight and his hands calloused, he speaks in perfect Castellano, his face is marked but his dark eyes glimmer as he talks.


    [​IMG]

    “We had no machinery and no technology, but we had vision and discipline. People have no vision and no discipline these days! God damn! I said to the Pallascans, each of you will build ten meters of the road, and it doesn’t matter who you are: a merchant, a peasant or a teacher, or a child, even. Every living soul in Pallasca had to build their ten meters. Women would bring us food out on the face of the mountain. I had not slept in months, months, I tell you – but the road was built”, – the Captain speaks hotly now, and behind him, there is an old black and white photograph, framed: the Captain, laughing with pride, carried on the shoulders of a cheering mob, waving the Peruvian flag, the first automobile entering Pallasca just behind him. June, 1973.

    [​IMG]

    “Everything ages, everything crumbles and perishes… Pallasca is dying now, but I won’t move. Carajo! I will hold this place together with my bare hands, even if the Pallascans are leaving, I tell you, vision and discipline! I wrote to the Australian embassy and asked them to give me a pair of koalas: there are forests around Pallasca, immense woods of eucalyptus trees, the koalas would breed and the tourists would come, those ridiculous little bears would attract travelers, just like the Pandas in Guayaquil, you see, and Pallasca would flourish once again. We have built the road, god damn it! We have built the road”, – the Captain says, as he wishes us a good night and vanishes into the darkness of the second floor, into his chambers and into the glories of the past.

    [​IMG]

    Deadly silence engulfs Pallasca as the freezing cold Andean night descends all around it. The Captain’s palace, leaning heavily on the old church, sighs and whispers in the darkness, and in the crooked cobblestone streets, during the witching hour, steps of Spanish ghosts fall soundlessly into the velveteen blackness of the night.

    “…the only thing that gave us security on earth was the certainty that he was there, invulnerable to plague and hurricane . . . invulnerable to time. For he had not survived everything because of his inconceivable courage or his infinite prudence but because he was the only one among us who knew the real size of our destiny” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Autumn of the Patriarch
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  5. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Supporter

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    "Egle's musings," as you call them, puts the reader in Pallasca without leaving the comfort of our surroundings. Moreover, her talented writing makes the reader want to go there. Great post, Paul. Thank you.

    Mike
  6. Out4aRip

    Out4aRip n00b

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    Outstanding! I just caught up from your spring postings.

    'pigshit and sunsets'... what a dichotomy

    Thank you both for this tremendous contribution, while so many of us are stuck in the onset of winter, you both are taking this report to a whole new level.

    :clap
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  7. benjamin1031

    benjamin1031 Been here awhile

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    A “guys only” tour led by @rtwpaul...

    Will there be beer?
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  8. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    As they say in England - "Does a sperm whale have big bollocks!"
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  9. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Paul doesn't like beer:lol3
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  10. ozrockrat

    ozrockrat Ozrockrat

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    Or brisket.
  11. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    Or pictures...
  12. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    or Locals.
  13. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    According to Sarah this could shortly turn into the "Trip Around the World without Paul" thread if we keep it going:lol3
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  14. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Might do, we are broken down about 75km east of lima, my bike is dead, just came from 100km further east in the middle of nowhere and literally rolled freewheeling 80km, Egle towed me the other 20km
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  15. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    Ouch! What do you need?
  16. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    we arrived in the dark, so no chance to look at it now, initially I'm thinking the battery is done, not holding sufficient charge, the good thing about having to identical bikes it the way I can cross-check.

    So in the morning into Lima traffic to try and find a decent battery, need one just in case regardless, its beena little hard starting a few times recently.

    Then it'll be a case of testing stator reg/rec and hopefully, there isn't an issue otherwise we are screwed for a few weeks to get parts, all Suzuki parts for South America come from Colombia, so that means shipping, customs, tax etc

    If you remember this photo from last year on the trans lab, the situation was similar, a new battery was all that was required. That was August 2017, batteries were fitted at the same time, so mine has 14 months and about 40,000km of hard riding more than her's

    [​IMG]
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  17. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

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    Bummer! Hope you are able to source what you need and get rolling under power shortly.
  18. hendikaf

    hendikaf Been here awhile

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    I just discovered the tread but its a bit sad to avoid Africa , I was just there a year ago with my wife on 2 DR650 and if you like off road this is the place....
  19. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Who said were avoiding Africa I used to live there, twice, and we haven't made it there...yet!
  20. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Paul good luck with the bike brother!

    I have an internet buddy in Uruguay. The way he talks, the taxes on imported bike parts alone would kill a normal person! He
    had a crash and we're all trying to send him parts but he says he can't afford to receive them so we're trying to figure out how to smuggle shit past the Tax Man down there!

    Attached Files: