There and back again - My solo ride from NC to Ushuaia and back - Currently in Chile

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Windham, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    EPIC!!!!
    #61
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  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Here and there... but more there than here

    It's good to have "connections".
    #62
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  3. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    N! :lurk
    #63
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  4. Jimmymaff

    Jimmymaff n00b

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    You giving me the itch ✈️
    #64
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  5. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    En.
    #65
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  6. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

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    Looks like a great trip! Greetings from Charlotte, it’s cold and wet here!
    #66
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  7. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Greetings from Peru. It’s cold and wet here too,
    #67
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  8. Windham

    Windham Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boone, NC
    Leaving Banos I linked up with my friend Ian and we pushed on south to ride Volcano Chimborazo. The views were spectacular and we took the bikes up to nearly 15,000 feet on the side of the mountain after we ditched the road and took the goat path nearly to the base of the snow! My carbureted DR650 did NOT like the altitude however. I was down significantly on power and having trouble keeping the RPM's up on the steeper bits. Next time I think I'll take the airbox cover off to give it a little more help.

    My serious business face.
    [​IMG]DSC_1110 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1114 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1102 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    High altitude landscapes

    [​IMG]DSC_1178 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    After leaving the volcano we pushed on a little closer to the border of Peru before finding place off the road to camp. Very quiet and no one bothered us all night. Having the bikes makes it easy to just hop off the road into the woods to find a place to pitch the tents.

    It was chilly night so we built a fire and chilled for a few hours with the cameras. I enjoy trying my hand at night photography so be prepared to see more!

    [​IMG]DSC_1205 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1210 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Ian wasn't sure why I took this picture.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Really enjoy how the people living at high altitudes in Ecuador dress. Very functional and the colors are vibrant. Here we had pulled over to buy some fruit and Ian snapped some pictures of the locals. They were shy but he convinced them to pose for a family portrait! Later on they exchanged WhatsApp numbers and Ian sent them the photos.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Onward to another wild campsite. A bit rainy and we both turned in early.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    The next morning we woke to thick fog and packed up wet tents before heading into Loja. Unfortunately this is when things started to go wrong. When I started my bike it was smoking badly and quite low on oil. We topped it off and headed to Loja to pick up some oil since it seemed to be running ok. On the edge of town we pulled over for a minute to check our phones since we camped with no signal. My GPS started flickering and when I tried to start the bike again...nothing. Battery dead as it could be. Neither one of us had a volt meter so we swapped batteries and my bike fired right up with his. Looking on Ioverlander, it showed a decent bike shop 15 minutes away. Not looking forward to towing the bike that far, Ian got out his rope and I wrapped it around the footpeg. We started off and before long I managed to bump start the bike and get it to the shop without any problem. The owner was happy to see us there and he quickly hopped on his bike and went off to pick me up a new battery while we waited. $65 for the battery (with receipt) and he didn't charge me a penny for labor!

    For anyone wondering, the battery that went bad was a 3 month old, top of the line, SHORAI lithium ion model. Twice the price of a regular battery and it lasted 3 months. I cannot recommend this company at all. I kept the battery and plan on emailing them asking for a refund. Had I been in a more remote area this could have been much worse.

    With the bike up and running we took highway E35 from Loja to Maraca border crossing. The highway was an absolutely perfect motorcycle road. Clean pavement and miles of switch backs and mountain passes. Ian and I were pushing our bikes hard and I even managed to get the pegs down on the corners! (a goal of mine for awhile) :) Google maps showed 3:15 minutes to the border and we did it 2:10 including a short stop. Let me know if you beat our time!

    Ian puking after switchback number 1 million. Kidding. He's probably inspecting his chain.

    [​IMG]DSC_1218 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Back tire is getting pretty bald after 11,00 miles, thankfully I have a replacement waiting in Lima. I think I found the only MOTOZ tire in Peru! Nobody steal it before I get there!

    [​IMG]DSC_1220 by Windham Taylor, on Flickrv

    Last push to the border

    [​IMG]DSC_1222 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Well it happened. Ian had his bike confiscated at the border of Peru. He asked for 20 days TIP but they only gave him 10 and he didn't catch the mistake on the Colombia border. He was 7 days over the limit and they change $380 dollars a day. After an hour or so of arguing with the guards they made him walk to Peru and stamp in and out again. He's stuck in a hotel near the border and tomorrow he has an appointment with a supervisor to try and convince him to grant the extension and let the bike go without a fee. I don't know how it will go.

    Sadly, his bike is stuck right here while he waits for a declaration. Make sure your paperwork is correct guys!

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    No point in me staying in Ecuador so I crossed the border to Peru. It was fast and easy. No charges for crossing, just $30 for mandatory insurance. I wanted to get a little closer to Lima incase something went wrong with the bike, so I hopped on the Pan American Highway for the day. That road is the worst. I nearly died of boredom and there was no gas or anything to speak of for 130 miles. No thanks, problems or not I'm heading back into the mountains tomorrow. (seriously how do people ride on this road).

    Called it a little early today and found a cheap hotel in town (40 SOL) and a laundromat around the corner. Hopefully I can get an early start in the morning and find some cooler temps in the mountains!
    #68
  9. Windham

    Windham Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Boone, NC
    I spent a few days trying to get out of northern Peru. Its hot, dirty, and remote. The roads are disgusting with trash everywhere and burning rubbish piles dotting the hills. I took the Pan American highway south but was very bored with it after a day and turned back to the mountains. If you stick to the Pan American you're going to miss so much of Peru.

    Unfortunately, Ian ended up having the pay the customs fine to export his bike from Ecuador. Cost around $2,800. Crappy situation but it is what it is. He took a couple of days of hard riding to catch up with me in a small mountain town, 4 hours south of Cajamarca.

    Only green thing I could find to take a picture of in north Peru :rofl

    [​IMG]DSC_1227 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Cajamarca at night

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    I took a short day from Cajamarca to Huamachuco and waited for Ian to arrive. Through a whatapps group called "moto ayuda peru" I had a phone number of someone to stay with. You never know what you're getting into with this but I enjoy it. Everyone in Peru has been extremely kind and polite to me. This was no different. This guy was obviously very poor and he lived with his wife/baby and extended family. When we ate lunch he insisted on paying. I spent the night at his house on an air mattress blown up on the first floor, and his wife made me rice and chicken feet/neck for breakfast. (admittedly I have a bit of trouble eating chicken feet). I took one picture of the house but I think it would have been inappropriate to keep snapping photos. He was amazed that I had a DSLR camera and gopro. Overall it was an great experience and I was very thankful for his hospitality.

    The photo. Cooking over and open fire.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Next day he took me a lagoon in the mountains and we snapped a few pics before the rain started. I asked him to write Peru on my windshield which is the 11th country of the trip.

    [​IMG]DSC_1238 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    His Chinese 250.

    [​IMG]DSC_1256 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Even met his moto club friends in the city at night.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Left the city with Ian in search of difficult roads and beautiful mountain passes the next morning. Little did we know what we were in for...

    [​IMG]DSC_1268 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1271 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1276 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1283 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1286 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    The rain had set in and we were following an extremely remote mountain path. The road got progressively worse but we pushed on hoping to get past the difficult bits before camping.

    By this time it had gotten so steep there was no way we could turn around. The rocks were too big and at 13,500ft the bikes just don't have the power to hill climb this type of terrain. No choice but to push on.

    Just before the point of no return.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Darkness was falling when we reached the first washout. The rains had completely destroyed the road and only a small goat path remained, skirting the top of a 20 foot drop off. It was maybe 2 feet wide and we spent awhile working on to make it passible for the bikes. Sorry for not getting better pictures, my adrenaline was up and I was only thinking on how to get around it safely. Ended up dropping all the luggage and just going for it. No incidents so far.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Made it another few hundred meters and we arrived at another washout. It was too dark to press on so we pitched out tents on the road and fell asleep, wondering what was around the next corner.

    Ian's drone gives great perspective
    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1307 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Well if we're going to crash it had better be on film
    [​IMG]DSC_1304 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Less than 500 meters later we find another washout. This one took significant work to get through. Took quite awhile to build up a ramp up about 4 feet to the height of the washed out bank on the other side of the river bed.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr


    Feeling ecstatic after passing the third and most difficult obstacle! We had high hopes it would be the last one and thankfully we were right! Another kilometer of dodging deep trenches and boulders had us to a passable dirt road. It was an awesome experience but we should have checked on Ioverlander before attempting this one as its labeled impassable. For anyone interested, here are the GPS coordinates.
    -8.0988354, -77.9306794.
    About 6 hours of ride time to get through 4 kilometers.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Unfortunately I destroyed my front fork seals on this road. They were leaking pretty bad going down the mountain and I was trying to go easy on them and use the back brake more than I typically do. Only a couple of kilometers in I boiled the rear brakes and lost them completely. Not a fun place to be in on one of these crazy Peruvian mountain passes!

    That dot is ian
    [​IMG]DSC_1331 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1318 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Can you spot the crashed buses?

    [​IMG]DSC_1328 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Break time

    [​IMG]DSC_1340 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1341 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    The scenery through the canyons was amazing. Rode for 11 hours and felt like we could do 11 more.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1351 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1362 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Happened to spot these people living in a hole across the river. No way to get down there for a couple of KM's either direction and it didn't seem like the river would be passible by boat.

    [​IMG]DSC_1367 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Zoomed in

    [​IMG]DSC_1366 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Ian practicing his power slides. 60% of the time it works every time!

    [​IMG]DSC_1375 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Saw some ancient Inca ruins and stopped to check them out. Not impressive.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Dozer looked almost new! Wouldn't want to be the employee that let that happen!

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    A bit tired but enjoying myself immensely

    [​IMG]DSC_1384 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Stopped to take a picture of this miner who was complexly covered in coal from head to toe!

    [​IMG]DSC_1389 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Thanks for the pose!

    [​IMG]DSC_1394 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Probably 20 tunnels in as many miles. I wonder where this one comes out?

    [​IMG]DSC_1395 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Part two coming shortly!
    #69
  10. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Now THIS is what ADV riding is all about! :clap:clap
    #70
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  11. Windham

    Windham Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
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    Location:
    Boone, NC
    Into Huascaran National Park! This place is lives up the hype. I had heard a lot about it before we arrived. The views were incredible and even though the first half of the mountain pass was driving rain and the second half wet snow, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

    [​IMG]DSC_1407 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Highest tunnel in the world! 15,500 feet or so. Definitely could feel the effect of the altitude up here.

    [​IMG]DSC_1402 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Its freezing here!

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Stopping in the tunnel to warm our hands. Heated grips only do so much.

    [​IMG]DSC_1460 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1464 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Overlook

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Ian faking not being cold

    [​IMG]DSC_1426 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr



    Glacial lake

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Glacier flowing down the mountain

    [​IMG]DSC_1445 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    We planned on camping but the rain was still coming down and we were both cold and wet. 5.50 hotel is a good substitute.

    The next day we planned on pushing toward Lima in time for Christmas. Took google maps route and ended up hitting the highest mountain pass of the trip at 15,750ft! 30 miles of muddy gravel roads and back into the snow!

    [​IMG] by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Drying out after coming down the other side

    [​IMG] by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    As we slowly made our way down from the Andes the scenery changed to cacti and dry desert sands. We picked a nice spot to camp half way down. Cool but a little dusty.

    [​IMG]DSC_1482 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC_1484 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Red sunset

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Peru is a photographers paradise. I thoroughly enjoy improving my skills here.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Throwing the drone up to catch the beautiful sunset.

    [​IMG]DSC_1519 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Back down near sea level on the way to lima.

    [​IMG]DSC_1521 by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Welcome to South America :rofl

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    The bike has a ton of issues now arriving in Lima. We have ridden the hard all through Peru and as soon as its back up and running I will get right back to it.

    New

    1: Chain
    2: Rear and front sprocket
    3: Broken windshield
    4: Broken Ram mount
    5: Blown fork seals
    6: New rear tire (Thanks Bigtrail Peru, I may have gotten the only Motoz tire in the country)
    7: Fried clutch

    New VS old. Installed the X-ring 525 my brother shipped me while I was in Colombia.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    INCREDIBLY pleased with my MotoZ tire. It lasted 12,200 miles or 19,500km from the US to Peru. Worth every penny. I put another one on and went with 70/30 over 50/50 this time. Need better trail tires :D

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    Leaking fork seals. Thankfully Ian had an extra set with him and his dad was coming for Christmas and bringing him another pair.

    [​IMG]Untitled by Windham Taylor, on Flickr

    My clutch started slipping on the highway a few hours from Lima. Called Sata from Motohell in Ecuador since he is coming to watch the Dakar and he will bring me another kit. Got a little bit lucky on this one. I'm having him bring new fork covers and rear brakes as well. I will try to fix my windshield myself while I'm here.

    I'm currently waiting in Lima for the parts and the Dakar Rally to start on Jan 6th. To be completely honest I'm very ready to get out of the city. I've been couchsurfing with some really cool people but I really don't enjoy being stuck anywhere. I love getting up in the morning and just riding the bike all day. There is no feeling like it.

    Merry Christmas and happy New Year everyone!
    #71
  12. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Thanks for the awesome pics and update! Happy New Year.
    #72
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  13. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Happy New Year! Keep the shiny side up and the awesome RR coming! :lurk
    #73
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  14. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Happy New Year and great photos and post.
    Paying the $2800 was the right call. Although hurt Ian's credit card its only money. That ride up and over the mountains was worth triple!
    Memories for a lifetime.
    #74
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  15. PaisaMed

    PaisaMed Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
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    95
    Location:
    Toronto, CAN & Medellin, COL
    Those tunnel photos brought back memories of my trip there in January 2018 while I was travelling with @LoneStar. Incredible road that was! Cañon del Pato.
    #75
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  16. Windham

    Windham Adventurer

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    Sep 7, 2011
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    Boone, NC
    I agree. You can always make more money.
    #76
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  17. Windham

    Windham Adventurer

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    It was an amazing road. Beautiful and perfectly paved which you don’t see much if Peru
    #77
  18. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    Well I’m hooked... :super
    #78
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  19. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Epic ride. Wish I could have done something like that when I was young. Way too old now, especially if there were those washouts.
    #79
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  20. 08StangGT_CS

    08StangGT_CS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX and Beyond
    Awesome ride report! Looking forward to more.
    #80
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