Trails of South America (PtI)... a photo journal

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JediMaster, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. klous-1

    klous-1 Man on a bike

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    222
    Great stuff Ad! Can't wait to get down there and explore myself!

    I particularly think the early (ahem) BMW era photos are good on page one....crazy, awe inspiring good.....that dry salt lake....the deserts.....

    Though the Corderilla Blanca looks super sweet too....and admittedly the Colombian lass isn't half bad!

    Now, to read the blog.....!

    Kepp em coming :eek:)
  2. eSTes1300

    eSTes1300 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    78
    The evolution of kit is constant. I make notes on every trip to improve the load, reduce volume and try new products. Camping gear is no place to compromise, since a third of your time is spent sleeping. Clothing tends to get the axe. I agree on a cover for security, also a dry bike has fewer electrical issues.
  3. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Another great chapter in your travels! You have ridden Peru like few others, if any, have ever done.

    Well done mate! :freaky
  4. KrstjnG

    KrstjnG KrstjnG

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Iceland
    I thought I envied you, but then I figured that your trip is at least next to a lifestyle more than anything else and it´s mine to find out if I can choose that lifestyle!
    Tank you for the story, thank you for the poem and most of all thank you for the great pictures.

    Kristján in Iceland
    www.picasaweb.com/krstjng
  5. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    Yesterday evening I arrived back in La Paz, Bolivia after riding the 'Lagunas' loop from Uyuni, crossing the Salar and continuing north across pampas, rivers, sand and rocks to Parque Nacional Sajama.
    When I get the RR caught up to there, the entry will be entitled 'The Curse of the Lagunas' :eek1

    Here's a taster...

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I've returned to La Paz to collect two parcels - one gratefully received from TrophyHunter - Thanks again :thumb And the second from my sister which includes a new Credit Card. Only that ones not here. Why not? Well upon checking my email I found a message from my sister saying that Fed Ex were sorry but as of 21st September they could no longer transport personal effects (to Bolivia?) WTF!

    Anyway, I was greatly cheered when I logged on here to find all your comments which are greatly appreciated as always :thumb
    Its especially nice to see so many of you clicking away from ADV and taking the time to read my blog. In the past I've encountered the attitude that if it isn't on ADV Rider its not worth reading. You lot are obviously above that and I thank you for it.

    My Bolivian visa expires on Saturday and so I'll be leaving here on Friday. I'll get a few more posts on the RR before then but in the meantime here's a few replies...


    Nice one John...I look forward to it :freaky

    And there was me wondering if I was going to get hammered by a 'Limonian'(?) Funny...too funny...:rofl

    Its also testament to the 'Global Village' that you should post here. 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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]-->Baños, Ecuador, Yoshi (Japan 1200GS), Uwe (Germany KTM990) and I were holed up escaping the rain for a few days. The subject of discussion turned to what bikes we'd be riding if we were at home. I said my top 3 to test ride would be KTM990/F800GS/1200GS. That led to a discussion about why we don't see many (any!) F800's on RTW trips and so I Googled F800 reliability. Well guess what popped up? Yep, your RR! We read the lot. Bloody Hell! What a drama. I've got my own opinion regarding what happened as I'm sure you and many others have but as all is well now there's no need to put those views into print.
    I noticed Trady (Hello mate!), who owns F800's in Oz and the US said he would never take one out of the 'western' world. That said, the dealer service he received in the US was second only to that of Peru Rail. :lol3

    Thanks for your comments regarding my Peru leg...nice one...:thumb

    I don't think you can go wrong in the Andes Nick (especially the Altiplano). Whenever I think back over my journey that part of the world is always fresh in my mind. Along with Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Ladakh they are the most magical places I have ever been. Simply sublime.

    BTW - For those of you that haven't made the connection klous-1 is Nick Jones from Chapter 24. We met on my second day in Baja and had a memorable month riding and bush camping together through Baja and Copper Canyon.
    Unlike many who spend years saving for their 'perfect' journey, Nick (aged 26) left the UK with what he could afford: a Yamaha YBR125 and a tent and proceeded to bush camp his way to Cape Town. Having run short of funds he then shipped his bike to Korea where he taught English (Ironic really 'cos he's a Welshman and so can't speak 'proper' English :lol3). With funds refreshed he shipped 'Rudolf' to San Francisco and continued south. After a long and recurring illness 'Rudolf' was eventually laid to rest in Guatemala and Nick purchased a ....can't bring myself to type it...let's say 'red Japanese bike' to continue his journey on.
    Nick will be reading this with his feet up in front of the TV eating (another) roast dinner for he has returned to the UK to earn some money to pay for that 'red Japanese' replacement. That's his story anyway...I know it's 'cos he missed his mum :rofl

    When it comes to bush camping and living cheaply OTR, Nicks the Daddy, I am but a novice. The bloke's a legend in my book (which means I can overlook him being a Taffy :lol3:lol3:lol3)

    Nick has a fetish for silly hats...

    [​IMG]

    Keep in up buddy and I'll look forward to 'Gettin' t mash on' next time our paths cross :freaky
    Nick is currently helping me with a proper map for my blog that, once ready he will host for me. So I guess I shouldn't take the piss too much.

    Did you mum make you get your hair cut when you got home??? :roflDOH!!! Couldn't help myself...sorry!:eek1

    Nicks RR - $5 a day,...dirt roads RTW on a Yamaha YBR125 - and his Blog - Tales from the Saddle



    Cheers Vinnie. I don't know about that but I certainly got more than the average number of :eek2in the local villages!
    Krstin - You have understood what so many others fail to.
  6. dunters

    dunters Dunters

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    25
    True dat! $5.00 a day? Insane peoples.

    RIP Rudolf ...and in case you want to see what the man looks like without a silly hat...

    ...and Nick, if you're reading, there's no need to rush it back to Guat. It's been downpoaring for 6 days straight and derumbes (mud/land slides for those of you not in the know) are happening everywhere.
    -d
    http://motorcyclemenus.com

    Attached Files:

  7. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv. Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    862
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    JediMaster,

    Your photography is absolutely stunning, clearly among the best on ADV in my opinion. I am really enjoying this thread as well as the Peru section of your blog (I skipped ahead).

    It appears your bike and ours enjoyed the luxury and security of the same hostel:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm sure you've developed nerves of steel after all of the crazy roads you have ridden, but the track from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa is one I will not soon forget!
    [​IMG]

    Thank you for sharing your incredible travels, and stay safe,
  8. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    I'm starting this post with the very sad news that Marco Simoncelli died during the Malaysian GP at Sepang today. As a big bike racing fan, Simoncelli was to me the future of Moto GP racing. He would have taken Rossi's seat by managing to ooze charisma as well as talent unlike that whining, whinging pair that are Stoner and Lorenzo. He will be sadly missed.

    RIP Marco Simoncelli 1987 - 2011

    [​IMG]
  9. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    I ran out of time in La Paz (visa expiring) and so didn't manage to post an update. I then went on to spend the next 11 nights in my tent.
    I crossed from Bolivia to Chile at Charana/Visviri and followed the border south through Lauca NP, Colchane, Ollague, detour to Calama then San Pedro. I got turned back from the Argentine border at Paso Sico (No entrada sin seguros!!!) and entered at Paso Jama. I then rode south through Antofagasta de la Sierra but my chosen return to Chile at Paso Aguas Negras had just been closed by snow. I crossed between Mendoza and Santiago which is where I am now.

    Limped into town with collapsed rear wheel bearings (think I've found the DR's Achilles heel) and so along with various other maintenance jobs I reckon I'll be here a week.

    OK...now where was I...?
  10. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    Continued from post#150:

    I didn't stop in Cusco...

    Despite the lack of lines on the paper map there are at least three dirt roads the head south from Cusco and for no particular reason I chose the middle one. It turned out to be one of the Top 5 (if not Top 3) rides of my journey to date.


    (Route Info: Cusco – Yaurisque – Paccaritambo - Cooyabamba – Colquemarca – Santo Tomas – Velille* – Cayarani – Suyckutambo - Sibayo – Chivay).


    On the southern outskirts of Cusco I came to another ‘Road Closed’ sign but after explaining where I wanted to go the girl manning the radio removed the cones to let me pass. Again the road was being improved but after a mere 10km of dirt I was back on tarmac…excellent, smooth, twisty, empty tarmac.
    The road obviously hadn’t been used for some time as there were several un-cleared landslides along the way though luckily none had completely blocked the road. I passed through Yaurisque and Paccaritambo before spotting a fabulous bush camping site high up on a ridge and accessed by a deeply rutted track that led to a rarely used quarry.


    Accessing my ridgetop bushcamp...


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    Looking the opposite way the following morning...


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    It took a while for the sun to reach my damp tent in the morning and so I didn’t get away too early. The next three days were to provide some of the best riding of my entire trip. With virtually all of it above 3500m and much of it above 4000m I shared the landscape with Llamas and Llama farmers. I was constantly amazed at the remoteness and altitudes I found people living at (up to 4700m). There are no crops grown here, nobody has a car and even if they did many are a full day’s drive from a shop of any description and several days drive form anything resembling a town.


    There was simply too much to take in even over the course of just one day. The only way I can remember it for myself is to look back at my photos so I’ll take you on a ‘captioned’ photo ride. (I'll use some different photo's here for those of you rat have read the blog).


    Leaving the river valley below my campsite I climbed towards the plateau...


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    ...passing a waterfall along the way where I filled up with water...


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    en-route to the high pampas...

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    Heading into the valley towards Santo Tomas...

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    Passing 'Inka' artwork along the way...

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    In Santo Tomas and stopped in a small shop and asked the owner (a grumpy indigenous woman) if she had bread. “No hay” she said. I asked where I could buy some and was told “No hay”. “There’s no bread in the town!?” I exclaimed and she again repeated her only words “No hay”. I bought it on the market one block from her shop.

    Early evening above Santo Tomas...

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    Bush camp on the Santo Tomas - Velille road...

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    A whole local cheese from Cusco provided me with breakfast for a week...:thumb

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    To be continued...
  11. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    Cheers poolman...glad to see I'm not the only cheapskate :huh:rofl
  12. badguy

    badguy Susan

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
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    1,694
    Location:
    almost southern MD
    I KNEW it! You've got to have a support crew...the one taking this picture accidentally got his finger in the corner of your photo! :rofl

    Amazing stuff, mate :thumb I'm sorry I haven't read much of your website yet, but I plan to correct that shortly.

    RIP Simoncelli :cry I never followed MotoGP very closely, but I knew he was a great part of all of it.
  13. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    In my tent that night I checked the map and realized I’d taken the wrong road out of Santo Tomas. I wasn’t bothered though as it had provided me with a decent campsite along a seemingly unused road. Rather than retrace my tracks I decided to continue on via Velille and rejoin my planned route further south. Despite being a stony it was a great ride and I marveled at the drystone walling.

    Santo Tomas - Velile Road...

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    Overlooking Velile...

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    The Velille- Cayarani road follows the Rio Velille...


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    How did that boulder come to be there and why is it the only one?

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    At Cayarani the road turns SE and begins climbing again...

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    ...to another high pampas...

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    ...that had a few rough patches...

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    ...water splashes...

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    ...llama warnings...

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    ...and of course Llamas

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    The road improved...

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    ...and deteriorated

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    As I climbed towards the Cordillera de Chilca the road improved dramatically, a sure sign of mining activity in the area. Recent road improvement near a high pass had rendered the start of the road I wanted to take (due east to Suycutambo) virtually invisible and I rode around in circles for a while until finally spotting it. What I hadn’t reckoned on was the road to Suycutambo being so high.


    Is this the highest pass in Peru?

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    Just beyond the highest pass...

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    ...was a magnificent view

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    It was an awesome day.Too much for one post...
    KneeDrachen likes this.
  14. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
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    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    DAMN!!! I've been rumbled!!! :huh
  15. TrophyHunter

    TrophyHunter Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Diego
    Great stuff Adam. Riding in areas that vast can make one feel insignificant....and relaxed.

    Llama warning? Could've been a Llama stop, no? :D
  16. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
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    Too tall for me :eek1


    Great quote by your dad by the way :thumb
  17. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    210
    Location:
    the Ozark suburbs
    I am finally caught up. You are capturing photos of areas I have never seen before. This is fantastic. Looking forward to more...:clap

    Stunning!

    Dave
  18. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    It was too windy to stop for lunch on the pass and I rode on to a more agreeable spot.

    I like to choose somewhere with a view when I stop for lunch. Can't complain about this one...

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    The descent took me through another mine and past some unusual rock formations...

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    It was late afternoon when I stopped at this river to fill up with water only to have my Steripen fail.

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    With the sun all but kissing the horizon I descended past a stationary wide-load who's pilot 4x4 had collided with an oncoming truck on a bend. The road seemed blocked but upon seeing me thay quickly made space and waved me through and just a few km's further on I came to a tiny hamlet. There were no signs for any shops and so I crept along at walking pace, peering into any and every doorway in the hope of finding a tienda. I got lucky, spotted a glass fronted cabinet and bought water, yoghurt, bread and gatorade from a very friendly campesino lady.Several people amassed outside the doorway, looking on in amazement as I emptied the bottles of water into my dromedary bags. Just as I finished doing so the convoy appeared and not wanting to get stuck in their dust I raced out of town.

    As the road turned south I once again managed to find a way between to rocks and pitch camp out of sight.

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    When I stepped outside my tent in the morning my hands froze instantly despite wearing gloves. My dromedary bags were filled with ice and my temperature gauge said -11°C (12F). A combination of taking so many photos the previous day and spending the previous four nights camping at temperatures well below zero had flattened all three of my Nikon camera batteries for the first time ever. The photos above were taken with my pocket camera.

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    My camera batteries weren’t the only things to suffer either. Rosie starts much better in the cold than Lady P (My BMW F650) ever did but even she struggled that morning. She doesn’t like the throttle being touched when cold starting at altitude (this camp was 4330m),I just have to wait for the motor to ‘catch’. After several attempts the motor finally fired into life only to stall almost immediately. The next push of the starter button returned a flat battery. Nooooo!!!
    The are I had available to me for bumpstarting wasn’t ideal but was certainly possible. To make the most of it I pushed Rosie backwards to the highest point I could (fully loaded) and left her sitting in the sun for 15mins. Before attempting to bump start her I gave the starter button one last push and to my amazement she fired up…and kept running. You beauty!!!


    I rode on through Sibayo and Tuti en-route to Chivay where I enjoyed a good soak in the thermal baths. I picked up an email from Mark & Claire saying they were in Arequipa and that it was particularly busy and they’d struggled to find accommodation. They offered to reserve me a bed, an offer I accepted gratefully.


    Many women still wear traditional dress in Chivay and it was quite different from other regions I'd visited...


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    I had originally planned to ride via Colca Canyon to the Pan American and from there pick up the road to Cotahuasi Canyon but I couldn't find batteries for my Steripen in Chivay and the place was full of gringo's heading for Colca Canyon. After a week of bush camping through what ranks in my Top 5 routes of my 5.5yrs on the road I wasn't ready to have 'my' wilderness invaded so I headed for Arequipa.


    The dirt hadn't quite finished though and I took the 'old' road through the Vicuna Reserve to Arequipa...


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    I quite liked Arequipa. I think it has one of the most picturesque plaza's in SA...


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  19. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    After a few days in Arequipa restocking camping supplies, sorting through photos, charging batteries, sourcing batteries for my Steripen etc, I headed for Cotahuasi Canyon.

    The topography played havoc with my body over the next four days. The temperature ranged from 30°+ (86F) in the Rio Camaná valley to -7° (19F) overnight. Altitude varied from a mere 388m to 4942m (see Elevation profile). My body coped surprisingly well with the conditions but I still experienced headaches, blocked sinuses, sweating and shivering as my body came to terms with what I was doing to it! Neither the temperatures, nor the altitude were remotely &#8216;extreme&#8217;, it&#8217;s just the scale of the differences over a short period of time that the human body struggles with.

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    Cotahuasi Canyon/Valley of the volcanoes ride profile

    Road to Cotahuasi Canyon...

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    It was worthwhile though as the ride was magnificent. Once I left the tarmac behind at Chuquibamba I climbed to a plateau at 4500m where llamas grazed against a backdrop of the 6425m Nevada Coropuna. The last 30km or so to the mirrador got a little sandy in places but nowhere near what I was expecting

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    It was late afternoon when I reached the Canyon overlook. Amongst the stonewalled terracing lies the village of Cotahuasi, a vertical kilometre below...

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    Along a side track to Toro I found a place to pitch my tent and settled down for the night...

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    The scariest thing about bush camping is hearing one of these when you're having a poop!

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  20. C2Sky

    C2Sky Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Squampton
    Loving the Ride Report - just started in on your blog too. Keep up the good work, your efforts are appreciated!

    The graphic above is blurred because its being resized, either by the forum or by the browser. It should be 700px by 400px and renders properly at that resolution ( https://shortwayround.smugmug.com/photos/i-BnLCgmV/0/O/i-BnLCgmV.png ). Perhaps you can create a smaller version or set the size somehow in the HTML here? It also may be that this forum doesn't play nicely with PNG files too, perhaps a GIF or JPG format might produce better results.

    Cheers - hope this helps.

    Adrian