The Grand Tour. South America in 100 days.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by muf722, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. kave

    kave Gravel rules

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    Great report. I’m subscribed, is it a Mavic drone you use?
    #41
  2. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Thank you and yes. Its a Mavic Pro. Foldable and easy to carry. So far no problems to fly it, untill yesterday at the Nazca lines, Peru. As I arrived to launch the drone, a german was already about to fly his Mavic. A park ranger stopped him, saying new rules require a state permit to fly a drone. To protect the sites he said. All this while several small prop aircraft flying low over the lines. The solution was to launch 2 kilometers away and fly at 100 meters. That way nobody will either see or hear it, and I got my pictures.
    #42
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  3. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Still hiking. I was recommended to go to the park by the couple who own the hotel I´m staying at. An Ecuadorian lady and her Danish husband.
    The hike was not too hard since it was fairly level.
    IMG_2611.JPG I test the drone in these high winds and high altitudes to verify the performance. Its getting close to the 5000m service ceiling. No problems. DSC01809.JPG Lots of do´s and dont´s but no drone signs. (Yet)
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    On the way back from the park, I take lunch in this fine restaurant, also per recommendation, to try their trout. Great views of the mountains.
    #43
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  4. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    The trout is easy to catch, since they canaled the river next to the lodge as a natural trap, and the fish can be netted right outside
    DSC01824.JPG Another reason to take a rest day in Cuenca is the light festival that evening. Streets fill with people and lanterns and a joyous Christmas feeling.
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    This region is very religious, and may I once again recommend Cuenca.
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    The next day and I head for the border town of Macará. At lunch, this little girl is very curious, to whom her mom serves food. I have nothing to offer but my sticker.
    #44
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  5. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    In Macará, which is rather poor and dirty, I hear what I think is a demonstration outside the hotel room. Its a Christmas parade. Do you see the roman soldieres?
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    Everybody gather at the main square as Josef and Mary arrive.
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    Exit Ecuador took about an hour due to the line of people. Entry Peru is this single guys job. No uniform and not too busy.
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    Getting insurance is easy. I passed the shouting old man on the bridge as per "iOverlander" instruction and get it cheaper and faster at 100m past the Peru border. The temp bike registration is another story. After an hour in one of two lines, I was told that the man serving this line did not know how to import a bike. In the other line where the supervisor is working, I find the most incompetent person ever. Old guy not knowing how to operate a computer, forgot his glasses and nobody above him to fire him. Luckily I have spend the time in the lines with these folks from the Czech Republic, who are going north in a Czech plated van. She speaks enough spanish to convince the supervisor to let us take control of the keyboard and we import my bike without his help. 4 hours at the border, and I´m in Peru.
    #45
  6. Kagemand

    Kagemand n00b

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    Dec 11, 2017
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    Du hygger dig rigtigt...ved du elsker public service, og når tingene bare glider. Har du slet ikke mistet nogen bagage, eller mødt nogen der vil røre dig ;-)
    #46
  7. DanesDownunder

    DanesDownunder n00b

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    Manta Rays kan du da se i Australien. Eller var det noget med at det kun var Cai og jeg som så dem ;-)
    #47
  8. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Jeg giver ikke op så let.

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    Leaving the border, I head for the coast. Passing Piura, the roads resemble bomb craters. There was a recent flood and I guess no time/money to fix the tarmac. Along the coast big sand dunes emerge and much of the coast in Peru is desert. First night in Chiclayo.

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    I´m riding to Parque National Huascarán with mountains reaching 6768 meters. This shortcut is all gravel. Notice the perfect condition of my rear fender.

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    Following a river with rich farmlands next to it.

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    Some sections are quite bad. Suddenly there is a grinding noise and I come to a stop. The fender has come off and is being chewed between the tire and drive.
    #48
  9. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Fender is stuck.


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    I carefully remove it. Pure luck it didn´t interfere with brake lines or other vital parts. I see a sheared bolt with the head completely missing. Perhaps the course of the failure.

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    I keep the damaged fender, as some of the connection points are still intact, and a temp repair may be possible.

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    Now the day starts turning sour. This bridge is being dismantled, and cannot be crossed. I have to go back. All the way back to the main road and I will miss my destination for today. I decide to cross a small bridge 20 km earlier and make the steep climb up a mountain, not knowing if this detour will work.
    #49
  10. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    Just drop that broken fender in the garbage can at the next gas station. Same thing happened to mine in Colombia on my old R12GS. I never replaced it. When I got my new GSA, my first order of business was to remove the rear fender The bike looks cooler without it anyway
    #50
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  11. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    This map of my track shows the 2 hour battle with the mountains. Much of it seldom used dirt mountain roads. Being tired and in a race for darkness it very much felt as a road of death with unprotected drop offs. Making a wrong twist of the throttle was potentially a fatal error. GPS was no help in this detour as it refused to compute a possible route and suggested a return to the broken bridge. No pictures from the detour as full concentration was needed. Gopro was out of battery.
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    Almost there and I interrupt a funeral procession in a small village far from tarmac.

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    Reaching my goal town of Carhuaz just as night falls, I find my chosen hotel closed. Totally exhausted I find the nearest alternative 2 km out of town and ask for accommodation. She ask 300 soles for a small bungalow, and I negotiate until we agree on a large family bungalow for 100 soles. (30$)
    Monica is kind enough to make me dinner as well.
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    Parked outside the bungalow. I take two nights here, so I can explore the park.
    #51
  12. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Too late. I replaced it in Lima. I had a theory about excessive spray hitting my neck, but could be wrong.
    #52
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  13. Ironchef

    Ironchef Warren

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    Good stuff, thanks for posting, I am subscribed :)
    #53
  14. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    To enter the park you need to register. Today I´m going high up.

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    I stop at 4759 m to do some trekking. As seen on the picture there´s a new tunnel leading through the mountain.

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    Leaving the bike behind on the old road going over the mountain above the tunnel. I do feel the altitude and go slow. I know my symptoms for hypoxia in detail and have none of those. I did extensive high altitude training in low pressure chambers in my fast jet days.

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    On the way up, I spot something man made in a cave, and do some off route climbing.
    #54
  15. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    The virgin Mary I think. I was later told she´s there to protect the travelers on this dangerous road. The rock slides make it impassable to anything but donkeys.
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    Above the snow line. About 4 C. Summer near the Equator.

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    Somebody has build a snowman.

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    The same morning I bought some Sorojchi pills. They are against altitude sickness and are sold over the counter in pharmacies. I didn´t take one for this hike since I first want to google what´s in them and how they work.
    #55
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  16. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Next day leaving the park. Beautiful views everywhere.

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    Mig-21 at the airport in Lima. I had first planned to go around Lima since there was nothing specific I wanted to see and do. The rumor about the crazy traffic was enough to scare me away. Then I decided that Lima was a good place to find a mechanic to fix my fender. I didn´t want to spend several days in Lima so I try to be there in the late afternoon. My lunch stop underway was a disaster. I picked the wrong place, and after 45 min I was served a fish that had been dead a while. I felt really sick and had to leave without touching the plate. After that my appetite was gone. No lunch today. Traffic in Lima is suicidal. Do not take the Pan American highway leading in, but the road by the airport. Monica helped me with a route. I found the mechanic Motobox, and they do fix all big bikes. The fender was too far gone to be fixed.

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    Next stop is the official BMW dealer in Lima. 8 km away from Motobox it was 45 min in traffic approaching gridlock. They can supply a new fender the next day. In three attempts I find a nice hotel in the Miraflores area.

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    The next morning I get a chance to change my dreaded Euros and get a haircut. The bike is done by three o´clock and look like new. I guess a wash and clean is included at a dealership and the total damage was 800 soles. I cant wait to head south out of Lima before afternoon traffic.
    #56
  17. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"Too late. I replaced it in Lima. I had a theory about excessive spray hitting my neck, but could be wrong."

    Missing 'fender' (possum scraper) ? Spray/mud doesn't hit your neck...
    but make a bit of a mess on the bike and luggage !
    #57
  18. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Fender or not. The Bimmer knows how to make a mess of it self. I was in mud today, and I had to shower with my clothes on.
    #58
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  19. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    A quick 300 km south and I reach The National Reserve of Paracas just in time for sunset.

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    Reminds me of the coast near Melbourne on The Great Ocean Road..

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    Recommended by the Czechs I met. Its very windy, and I pitch my tent just before darkness.

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    After camp dinner, I´m out and about and really happy with my 5$ Chinese inflatable solar powered camp light. Yes. I need to steady my cam.
    #59
  20. muf722

    muf722 Muf

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    Next morning at sunrise and I´m already starting to break camp while having tea. Even though I bring full camping equipment, I only plan to camp when conditions and location are just right. Like tonight. I did visit the Starbucks in Ica 50km down the road for a second breakfast.
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    The German with his Mavic Pro drone and his guide. After having trouble flying the drones near the observation tower, the guide takes us to a hill nearby, where we fly the drones unseen and unheard.

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    The observation tower near the road and three of the Nazca lines. Known as from the top: The Lizard (only the tail and body in my pic), The Tree (I see something else), and Hands.
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    I´m close to the hill in the center of the pic. Its much harder than I thought to find the lines with sunlight on a small phone screen. So I continue to my hotel in Nazca and will try again in the afternoon.
    #60