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riding/surfing my way south from San Diego (currently stuck in Peru)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Perdido_, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
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    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
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    #61
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  2. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    el Salvador was the best, right points and pupusas. I’m sure tunco is really good right now
    #62
    roadcapDen likes this.
  3. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible mañana

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Rockford.Wa - Yuma.Az
    Thanks for catching us up.....What an adventure!
    Any idea was caused the cam chain to break, maybe the cam chain tension-er failed?
    #63
  4. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Inside the Orange Curtain
    epic trip..........
    I bet your dad is proud of you....
    #64
  5. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    749
    Location:
    Calgary
    Just got caught up on your RR. Lost track of you back in MX. Soon you’ll be riding through one of my favourite places on the planet - the Atacama. You can surf on sand dunes. Not sure about the actual surf?
    Shiny side up!
    #65
    Perdido_ likes this.
  6. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    Not entirely sure what caused it to break, mechanic didn’t seem to know either
    #66
  7. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    I crossed into Ecuador at Ipiales and took the E10 straight to the coast. I was initially torn between wanting to explore the mountains in Ecuador and keeping by the ocean. But eventually I figured there would be a lot more mountain ranges coming up, and I was looking forward to surfing after being landlocked in Colombia for a month and half. Also I confirmed you can’t bring your motorcycle into Cotopaxi national park, which seems to be the top place to see.

    But I did get to ride the coast from the northern corner all down to Punta Blanca in the south and check out all the beaches. I stopped and stayed in Mompiche, Canoa, and of course Montanita. I was only in Ecuador for about a week and would of loved to stay longer, but I was racing a swell down to Peru.

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    Mompiche is a small fishing village with a big left point. Surf was small while I was there but still broke perfect. It’s easy to imagine how good it probably gets

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    Quickly made it down to Peru. I stayed in Mancora for two days and enjoyed the last warm water for this trip. The extreme north corner of Peru is the transition where the warm Central American current meets the cold humboldt current that flows from southern Chile.

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    From Mancora there is a cool dirt road that stretches along the beach for 2-3 hours to Lobitos. The area used to be a booming oil mining region but it is mostly deserted now, the beaches here are empty and you won’t see very many people on the road.

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    Lobitos is a small desert surf town, it reminds me a lot of Baja. The town is surrounded by long left points which are world class on big swells. The surf was smallish while I was here and everybody was surfing at Piscinas, a punchy left point on the northern end of town.

    I camped at a hostel for a night before moving down to the beach. There are a million places here you can pull up to and set up a tent away from the crowds.

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    #67
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  8. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    It was a long 8 hour ride to get from Lobitos to Puerto Malabrigo, also known as Chicama. It’s barren desert in between and not a lot of reasons to stop. It was hot, dry and the wind was howling the entire time. I also saw some of the worst poverty of the entire trip on this stretch.

    Chicama on the other hand is the most impressive beach I have ever seen. When you pull up to the end of the wave at the pier, you can see where the surf starts at least two miles away. On a big enough swell, 3 separate points make up the mega point and you are able to surf the distance in about 4-5 waves. The last section is about a mile long and people consistently get rides around 2 minutes. It wasn’t breaking anything close this while I was here, but still very long for California standards

    I arrived a day before a decent sized swell arrived and scored some really fun surf. When you are in the lineup, the current moves as fast as a river. You have to paddle in place the entire time you are waiting for a wave so you don’t get pushed too far away from the take off spot. Because of this it is extremely tiring to surf and most people don’t last longer than a couple waves out here. If you paddle out while the offshore wind is blowing in the middle of the day, there will likely only be a couple other people out. I surfed yesterday for about 5-6 hours and was alone for at least 3 of those.

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    what you see here is about 1/10 of the entire point

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    #68
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  9. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Dear God . . . those lefts!
    #69
  10. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    I left Chicama and went an hour south to Huanchaco to get some repairs done before heading up into the mountains. My back rack was broken jumping up and down at every speed bump and a dirty carburator was making it difficult to ride without the choke turned on. Actually scored some really good overhead waves there and ended up staying for a few days as well.

    Once everything was squared away I headed up the 10a from Trujillo and turned onto the 3n, a long twisty mostly dirt road that goes south through the Andes. The plan was to ride as far as I could each day and see if I could make it to Cusco in reasonable time. I realized by the end of the 2nd day that it would probably take a couple weeks of non-stop riding on these roads.

    The first night I wanted to get to a rad campsite I found on iOverlander next to a lake. Once you leave Trujillo heading inland, there’s not many places to stop, stay, or camp- until you get further down the 3n. I had to push a little later and ride for about an hour into night to get to the lake. When I got there I found the place was completely torn up and they were in the process of building cabins. This is probably the 3rd time in a row an iOverlander spot has been outdated for me. Anyways, I was pretty tired and was about to camp behind a pile of dirt when a worker walked over and let me camp in one of the unfinished rooms. I had a long broken conversation with him and went to bed, but was woken up around 6:30 am to about 30 construction workers standing around my tent.

    From there, I kept down the 3n the entire day. It was the kind of dirt road that was really fun the first three hours, but pretty irritating by hour 11. Just picture nonstop switchbacks through the mountains, construction zones, and hours of waiting in the heat at roadblocks to be let through.

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    You really need to zoom into this photo to understand what I’m talking about

    I ended up stopping in a tiny pueblo for the night and checked my map to see how far I had gone. In 11 hours, I had done a big U and was roughly 20 miles from where I started that day

    the next day I kept on the 3n and the road started to speed up with pavement and less construction waits. I never do any research before I start riding so what I see is almost always a surprise. This day had some of the coolest desert mountains and canyons I’ve seen this trip. The stretch is called cañon pato and it ripped alongside a canyon filled with rapids, waterfalls and over 30 tunnels.

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    #70
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  11. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

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    Life is like a box of chocolates
    #71
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  12. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    From here I ended up in Yungay, the entrance town to Huascaran national park.
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    I entered the park on the 106 and was greeted by a long stretch of dirt road running alongside an almost fake looking turquoise lake. At the end of the lake the road starts jamming up a series of switchbacks leading up some snowy peaks. I was still tired from the past few days of riding so I took my time and pulled over every half hour for a breather. Plus I was at about 5,000 meters and felt even more helpless than normal. I might have traded the bike for a donkey if I got a flat tire up there

    A lot of tourists go into Huascaran park to hike Laguna 69, which is close to the entrance. After the start of this hike very few cars and people continue on the road. I didn’t do the hike, mostly because I’m lazy, but I saw a ton of other lagoons without having to get off my bike.

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    I waited here for about 30 minutes for someone to drive by and take my photo

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    I stopped at Chacas just outside the other end of the park for the night. Chacas was one the most put-together towns I’ve seen since getting into Peru. I was expecting a questionable hotel room before I pulled in but was blown away by what $4 got me there. I honestly haven’t done as much camping as I was anticipating this trip. I guess you just feel like a cheap ass when your sleeping in the dirt and a shower/bed costs less than the two beers you drank today.

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    #72
  13. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    After Chacas, the road turns to pavement and you take the 107 back through the park towards Yungay again. This route had equally as impressive views but took about a quarter of the time

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    Somewhere towards the end there is an extremely long tunnel. In classic South American fashion the tunnel is pitch black inside with a couple deep puddles scattered throughout. Before heading in I saw a dirt road before the start of it and checked it on google maps. The road went over the mountain and met back up with the 107 after the tunnel. If you go a few minutes down the road there is a “secret” lake and pretty cool area to stop at.

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    I tried to keep on the path but ended up at a landslide. Naturally, I gassed it and wheelied around the gap....

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    Yeah, I’m still dragging the surfboard with

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    I ended this day in Huaraz, which is pretty rough compared to the other towns in the area. It’s very industrial and I’m not sure why it’s such a major stopping point for every backpacker I’ve met here. I left Huaraz in the morning and rode all day through rain and hail until I hit the coast and made it to Lima. I’m still in Lima right now waiting for my bike to get touched up and inspected before I get back on the road towards Cusco and Bolivia.
    #73
  14. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Belmont, NH
    Great report and photos ! I especially like the first photo in post #70, with all the switchback roads running on top of ridges - the lighting on that one is just awesome .
    #74
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  15. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    Location:
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    stunning landscapes....keep up with the RR. later you will look back and enjoy what you accomplished.
    #75
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  16. DinoBike

    DinoBike Dinobike

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
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    Location:
    Washington
    What an awesome adventure you are having - very impressive report & pics! Good luck!
    #76
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  17. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Great pics of those roads through the Huascaran ranges. I realise that I've read a lot of RRs where people have taken those roads, but it's only after having been through the Andes myself last year that I now fully appreciate what it's all about. Cheers.
    #77
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  18. carlaking

    carlaking MissAdventuring

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Diego and Mulege, Baja California
    Ow ow ow! Pack some of this Chinese Burn Cream - Chin Wan Hung balm - it is miracle cream, smelly but overnight healing. I've used it forever. Gave it to everybody in my family, belongs in every kitchen and toolkit. My sister-in-law grabbed the oven rack and overnight no pain and second day almost healed, she wore gloves over it.
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    #78
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  19. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Durban, South Africa
    Watching this with obvious interest! Thanks for sharing so far!
    #79
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  20. Perdido_

    Perdido_ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Mission Beach, San Diego
    I pulled into Lima only planning to stay a day. I needed a new chain/sprocket and a good inspection before moving on but i ended up getting an electrical problem on the way to the mechanic. I pushed my bike across the city to Otobai Peru mechanic shop and left it with them, I was supposed to get it back in two days but it ended up being a hassle. I checked in with them every day for a week and they never did anything with the bike so I ended up moving it to Documoto. The mechanics at documoto were absolute legends and got me back on the road in 2 days. 100% recommend them if you ever get bike problems near Lima.

    So on my 11th day in Lima I got the call the bike was ready so I picked it up and rode to Paracas for the night. The beaches there are pretty incredible and I would of stayed longer but I was in a rush to get to Machu Pichu before coronavirus shut everything down. This is right when things started getting serious in Peru

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    In the morning I rode on to Huacachina, I only planned on staying for the afternoon but I made some friends and ended up there for two days. Huacachina is a nice scenic tourist trap, it really has nothing to do with Peru or Peruvian culture but is a fun stop for a day. The hostel I was staying at took us out on dune buggies to go sand boarding and had a big barbecue each night.

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    from huacachina to Cusco is about a 16/17 hour ride, the popular stop on the way is the Nazca lines. There are some towers along the Panamerican Highway you can climb for a dollar to see the lines, the other option is to get on a small plane. I opted for the cheap view

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    But Nazca is only a 2 hour drive from where I was so I decided to push on as far as I could make it for the day. I ended up in a small puebla up in the mountains, about 7 hours from Ica and 10 from Cusco.

    I went to a restaurant and ordered caldo de gallina, or chicken soup, and ended up with some sort of half an animal head. I didn’t notice until the soup level dropped and I saw a row of teeth sticking out of the noodles. It was a long day so i finished it. Still not sure what kind of animal it was so if you know feel free to enlighten me

    I found a hotel room and unloaded my gear for the night. My room had some creepy children’s cartoons on the walls which I didn’t understand, until I saw this sign behind the reception desk

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    I’m pretty sure I was staying in a converted mental hospital, but to be fair it only cost $4. None of this really bugged me until I got a call from a friend saying Peru was going on lockdown tonight for 15 days because of coronavirus. I didn’t feel like eating brain soup alone in a smelly hotel for the next two weeks so I made the decision to get out of there ASAP.

    the information I got was only half true, I actually had 24 hours before the streets were going to be shut down. But I ended up packing up my gear and getting on the road by 4am. It was a 10 hour ride to Cusco and I wanted to get as far as I could as early as I could in case the police were stopping traffic.

    before this ride, I have never been cold. Everything before this was just a tease. I had to pull over every 45 minutes to defrost my hands under the exhaust, it felt like someone was beating my fingertips with a hammer. I had several layers of clothes on but was almost shaking until about 9am. At this point I just pulled over and took a nap on the ground

    I got to Cusco in the afternoon and found a hostel that could take me and the bike for the next two weeks. Everything was going fine until the second day.

    To describe the scene, there was about 70 backpackers inside the hostel. Nobody is allowed inside or outside for 15 days, if you need groceries or medicine you have to make a list and the staff will get it. The hostel has a pool table, foosball table, two courtyards and a bar. So of course the first full day of quarantine everybody is hanging out and drinking beer. At one point the management went through the hostel telling everyone to get rid of their alcohol and go to their rooms. Eventually the police came through with video cameras and breathalyzers. They went to the first few rooms of the hostel and took everyone to jail that had alcohol in their system. To be clear, drinking isn’t against the rules of the quarantine in Peru, but the police were arguing we were spreading the virus by being in a social gathering inside the hostel. This was news to us, the hostel never said anything and they are the ones who sold us the alcohol in the first place

    I was taken to jail with about 20 others for the night. After a few hours they had us sign papers and let us leave. In the morning a few of my roommates were on international news with a fabricated story the police made about tourists spreading coronavirus partying in Peru. Basically they made us look like huge assholes

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    After the incident everyone is ordered to go to their rooms a couple times a day before the police check in on us. We were told if the police come and it looks like people are hanging out outside of our rooms we will be locked up abroad for the quarantine. This is ridiculous for a lot of reasons. For one, the entire hostel shares a single kitchen. Besides, I am in a 12 person room, it would be insane to not leave for 2 weeks. The way I see it is if one person in this hostel has the virus, everyone is going to get it, there’s no way around it. The only good news of the situation is I got a good jail photo

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    My current plan is to not go to jail again, and to wait out the quarantine. Currently there is no way out of Peru, the US government is trying to organize a flight out for the couple hundred American tourists stuck here. There’s also rumors the lockdown is going to be extended another 15-30 days- but I’m hoping I will be able to leave the hostel in two weeks and be able to explore more of Peru at the least. If i go back home now, I don’t think i can afford to return any time soon. I’d rather take my chances and get to continue the trip than go home to another quarantine. In the meantime, I am trying to extend my TVIP and use this two weeks to finally learn some proper Spanish
    #80