The Long Way Home.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Where's Harold?, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Where's Harold?

    Where's Harold? Adventurer

    Mar 31, 2021
    New York
    Saturday, August 4th

    In the morning, I took Nicole to go pick up her passport. Then, after much searching I finally found someone to sell me the saddle bags I needed.I got the bags for only $30, a steal when you realize they go for a hundred and up.

    We went to pick them up, but not before Nicole and I went to eat. While eating at a vegan restaurant, we saw a baby alpaca and goat that we had to pet and take pictures of. Back at our place, we began packing our bags for Puquio in the morning.



    Today was also the 7-year anniversary of my brother Najee's death. He was one of the people who pushed me to continue my quest, even after his death. He passed away in 2011 during a trip with friends on the Delaware River. What always struck me was that he was never a strong swimmer, and never went deep in the ocean. I was in extreme disbelief when I heard he drowned in the Delaware River.

    "I love you Najee and miss you so much.”

    R.I.P. Najee Powell

    Sunday August 5th - Monday 6th

    Current Location: Nicole Ramirez; Cusco, Peru

    Destination: Hotel; Nazca, Peru

    We woke up at 6am, but didn’t end up leaving until 8am. The ride started out really uncomfortable until about two hours in when I couldn't take it anymore and began trying to reorganize the entire bike. Finally, I found a combination that worked, and I even made a seat for Nicole to better secure her in case she fell asleep.


    The drive was smooth from there on out. But now, we had another problem. It was getting cold fast, and my headlight just went out. That meant no more night drives until the light was fixed. Luckily, we arrived at a rest stop just before nightfall and stayed the night.


    In the morning, we hit the road until we arrived in Nazca where we spent the night since my light was still out. There we met Aurora, who owned the hostel we were staying at, and she mentioned the Nazca lines. It was a famous destination known for its giant drawings strewn through the desert of animals and even an astronaut. They are a puzzle to scientists even today, and we decided to visit them the next day.

    Tuesday, August 7th

    Current Location: Hotel; Nazca, Peru

    Destination: Daniel Asfalto; Ica, Peru

    Today marked three months on the road, but it felt like I left the other day. At noon, we went to go see the Nazca lines, and they did not disappoint. Of course, the best way to see them is to fly by plane. But, since it was extremely expensive to fly for only 30-minutes, we opted for the next best thing, a tower in the middle of the desert. We didn't get to see all of the drawings, but the ones we did were interesting. To think that these were still standing here after hundreds of years was amazing.



    As we left, Nicole met a man named Jesus (no, not the Jesus), a guy who helped people cross the highway. She wanted to give him a dollar since he collected currency from all over the world. She couldn't find her purse, so I ended up giving him my lucky $2 bill. I didn't need it anymore. It protected me when I got hit by a car, and it brought me safely to Nicole.


    Afterwards, we made our way to Ica, and there we grabbed a bite to eat and met a woman named Xiola, the owner of the restaurant who not only fed us, but also gave us advice on what to eat in each town from there on because they all had their own special dishes. After an amazing time with Xiola, we headed out for some ice cream as we waited for our new host to get out of work.

    Daniel was President of Children of the Desert MC. He was kind enough to let us stay, but not much else. You couldn't expect every host to be warm and welcoming, but at least he let us stay with him. As long as I had a roof over my head, I was happy.

    For Nicole, it was another story. I didn't want her to feel uncomfortable sleeping on the ground or not having a blanket. So, I handed her the blanket and pillow I had and tried to sleep without them. But, it wasn't long before another couple arrived and joined us in the room. Now, I was really feeling as though I brought Nicole to the wrong place. As much as she wanted to travel with me the way I do, I didn't see us having much privacy in our current situation.

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  2. Where's Harold?

    Where's Harold? Adventurer

    Mar 31, 2021
    New York
    Wednesday, August 8th

    Nicole and I left for Huacachina, an oasis in the heart of the desert, to grab a bite to eat. That was when she mentioned that she'd be leaving sooner than September 5th, since she started school soon. I was perfectly fine traveling alone, but now that she was here, I didn't want her to leave, let alone earlier than expected. It was hard for me because I was considering going home with her.


    I tried to get that out of my mind since we still had a lot of adventure left. We climbed up some sand dunes to watch the sunset. Shortly after that, we decided to visit the town of Cacique, an old witch town.


    We ended up at a hostel called Bananas that had some of the best Thai Curry I ever had. In the process, we met Aymeric and Camille, two french travelers who we hit it off with immediately. It was these chance encounters that made traveling worthwhile, and once we mentioned the town of Cacique they were all in.


    The town had a statue of the most famous witch from the area who had healed a boy born with a forked tongue. The boy later went on to become a successful politician, and he erected the monument in her honor. We touched the tree of wishes and saw the palm of seven heads, a single palm tree that grew into seven separate heads like a serpent.


    Once we returned to the hostel, we drank and smoked. Aymeric and I had been traveling for a few months already, so we decided to exchange info just in case we end up in the same place down the road. I had almost forgotten we were supposed to be staying at our host Daniel's place tonight until he called us to come home. It was a buzzkill, and in the process Nicole even said we should go stay at a hostel. But, when I told Daniel that, he got even more uncomfortable and said if that was the case we should've never stayed with him.

    So, we drove back, and to my surprise another traveler was now in our room as well. He even had the audacity to not only grab my blanket and pillow, but even went as far as to ask the host what he had to offer us. As much as I appreciated the helping hand people extended to me, I never entered a home expecting anything. That showed me a side of traveling that I was lucky not to be on, the mooching side. Some people looked at the help MCs provided travelers as a way to travel for free, and that was the wrong mentality. The point was to meet great people, exchange stories, and make friends. Not to use people.

    I had fixed my headlight the day before, so now nothing was stopping us from leaving the next day. Next stop Lima!

    Thursday, August 9th

    Current Location: Daniel Asfalto; Ica, Peru

    Destination: Marco Ortiz; Lima, Peru

    We were off at 1pm, and Nicole got hungry on the drive. It became a little stressful. I learned to deal with hunger on the road, but she was not used to it. I also like to be on schedule, but I had to remember that Nicole was not used to traveling like that either. We stopped at one point to eat, and that was all it took. Both of our moods improved after that, and the rest of the drive was smoother for the both of us. I guess when traveling alone, I don’t notice how irritable I could get when I didn’t eat. Maybe Nicole was onto something…


    As we closed in on Lima, I realized what people said about the drivers there was true. They were the worst drivers, especially when it comes to respecting motorcyclists.

    They had no grasp on turn signals, lanes, or right of ways. Even the bus drivers swerved all over the place. After 30 minutes of detours, we arrived at our host Marco's house, who was extremely warm and kind to us from the start and had some fish ready for us to eat. There we met Nicolas, an Argentine traveling on a 125cc bike. Now they say the minimum cc of any bike to take on the road is 180 cc, but at the end of the day, it's all about the pace you want to travel at. I have seen people with BMWs who don't even take them out of town, and people on 180cc motorcycles who leave on adventures any time they can. It's all about the driver and their desire to go in search of adventure; my bike was evident of that. I'd been able to do all this traveling on an unknown brand of motorcycle, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
  3. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Jan 26, 2012
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Bueno amigo! Gracias.
  4. Where's Harold?

    Where's Harold? Adventurer

    Mar 31, 2021
    New York
    Friday, August 10th

    In the morning, we went to eat with Nicolas and only spent $2 each. The meals were good, too: soup, a main course, and a drink. As we ate, we spoke to Nicolas about what he did for work on the road. He said he sold postcards of his photos.

    Then, Nicole and I went to explore the city of Lima. The Barranco area had some great breweries, and we ended up meeting Paolo again, the manager of a brewery we visited in Cusco. Small world. We never expected to see him there, but nonetheless he mentioned a festival we should go to. One thing I loved about traveling was when I found a great beer, and today was my lucky day.

    We were turned away at the festival because we weren’t on the list, but since there were great breweries around we hit up the first one we saw, Barbarian Brewery. There I found a sour, my favorite beer, which was made from fermented Chicha Morada (purple corn).

    On the way back, Nicole and I began to make out in the uber. At Marco’s, we met another Colombian couple traveling to Brazil on their honeymoon and then I saw some familiar bags. The Colombians were there! It was good to reunite with my traveling buddies again, even if only for a little while.

    Saturday, August 11th

    I tried to fix the key starter on my bike because the screws fell off when Marco suggested I go to the mechanic down the street. There, I decided to get an oil change, maintenance, new tires, and better screws to fasten my key starter. To top it all off, my velocimeter broke, so now not only could I not tell how much gas I had left, I didn't know how fast I was going now either.

    Since Nicole's birthday was in two days, I decided to leave the bike with my friends while we took a bus up to Mancora. They'd meet up with us there in a few days.

    When I finished up with my bike, I went back to Marco's where I saw Daniel A. was visibly troubled. I asked him what was wrong, and told him that he could talk to me since we were family now after all we'd been through together. He said his aunt was in the hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm, and might be brain dead. She had always shown him a lot of love when he was growing up, so he'd always felt very close to her. He didn't know what to do because he might never see her again. I told him the same as Gustavo told me when we spoke about my grandma being sick. You can't worry over here if you can't do anything. This distance makes you helpless. But, if he made a good plan he could go home. I convinced him to sign the bike over to Daniel P. and buy a flight back home instead of stressing about something he could do nothing about from where we were. His demeanor improved after that, and he did as I said and then left to get ready to leave in the morning

    At night, Marco invited us to his friend’s party where we all had a great time as we drank and danced the night away. It helped to get Daniel A.’s mind off of things, even if only for a little while.

    As the night continued, Nicole and I stayed on the dance floor. It wasn't long before we were back at Marco's place where we ended up just knocking out. It's moments like these that I love, but hate, because once Nicole leaves I'd be traveling alone all over again. Yet, those were the moments that drove me in my goal to make it home to my family, and to Nicole.
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