24 January 2012
Well today was suppose to be our ultimate chill day. Do a whole lot of nothing. Maybe some emailing and chillaxing. There is a nice steep hillside next to town with what looks like a good over look on top. Should we ride our bikes up there, or take the trail. Well our legs need some work so we decide to go for a nice little hike. Its maybe 1000ft. up. The bottom portion of the trail does have some nice eucalyptus trees that smell amazing. We break out of the trees and Camille says to me”Wow! it looks pretty steep”, but its nothing that we haven't done before.
Once we reached about half way up the hill side we stop to take a breather. then we hear someone yell out from the top. Then hear some rocks starting to fall in our direction. We look up the hill and to our disbelief there is a guy cartwheeling down the mountain. Surely he’s going to stop. NOT!! He keeps tumbling, and tumbling, and tumbling. This is not a grass hill, or a dirt hillside. The hill was steep and full of very large boulders and rocks everywhere. The guy was coming straight at us. He finally came to a stop about 40 feet up from us. Holy Shit. We are definitely going to be the first people on the scene. As I'm running up to him I’m thinking “oh my God what am I going to do?” We run up to him and he is face down with blood everywhere. The first thing I do is check that he is still breathing. He is so CPR is out. He’s moaning so I think that’s good. His head is cut open in several places,his arms bleeding, his nose is bleeding, and it looks like his right arm is broken. I didn’t want to move him but he was really close to falling further down the cliff. So I just make sure he doesn’t roll over. The crowd from the top was yelling down to me”is he ok”. No of course he is not we need help down here. Soon what looked like his daughter and some other ladies came down. I gave him some of my water and he was drinking. That’s also good I thought. We then were able to move him away from the ledge and he sat up. He didn’t look good and I wasn’t sure how the hell we were going to now get him out of here.
Luckily there was a military marine base right at the bottom of the hill. I looked at the ladies as they were screaming for help and ask them if they wanted me to run down for help. They all said yes!! I ran down and met with the marines at the bottom. Quickly I told them the story in broken English and sign language. One of them had a stretcher and gestured do I need this. I said yes yes. I pointed to the area where he was and it was now out of my hands. We watched them carry him down with my monocular from our room balcony. Not sure how he was, but they loaded him in back of a truck and off they went.
What a nice relaxing day we had. A few shots of scotch and a bottle of wine helped out at the end of the day.
The HILL. He was at the top left and bounce about half way down.
18 January 2012
Juliaca to Puno, Peru (on the shores of Lake Titicaca)
Short day today only rode 35 miles. We arrived in Puno, Peru on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. 12,500ft. The sun is strong when it is out and it is cold when it is not.
We spent 3 days in Puno. Not because we loved the lake but Paul and I took turns being sick. Fun stuff.
21 January 2012
Juliaca to Desaguadero (Border of Peru & Bolivia)
Physically we are in Desaguadero Peru.
Legally???? NOWHERE. Illegally in Peru and not able to leave and we can see Bolivia across the river. Oh Man!
What a CRAZY day today! Leaving Peru headed for Bolivia. I think we have over stayed our welcome in Peru. Headed south towards Bolivia on the Pan-American Highway we finally get stopped by the Police and there is no way around them this time for they are standing in the middle of the road forcing us over. After much time pretending not to know what is going on we finally got busted with no insurance. A major ticket in Peru according to them. They could impound our motorcycles or we could pay $165.00 each for the ticket. They were willing to settle on us paying $100. I told them $20 each they finally accepted, shook our hands, smiled and wished us a happy Journey. They are thieves in uniform.
Later down the road there is a toll booth (motos in Peru do not have to pay at the booths) Paul goes around the gate and the alarm goes off. I go around the right side. They charged Paul for both bikes and the Police said that was not all. They asked for his ID told him to ride forward and go get me and bring me back, for I had pulled over up ahead. Paul got on his bike and we took off together, one drivers license lost to the police. We have more. It’s a small price to pay to avoid MORE bribes.
We are ready to get out of Peru now after being sick for days, we are still not feeling well and now the Police are messing with us for the first time here. Our paperwork for the Motorcycles is expired due to us storing the motos in Peru for 6 months. Everybody we talked to said this is Peru and it will maybe cost us a fine or a little bribe but not a problem. Or we could just go cross at a small “unmanned” border and blow through. We decided to do it the more legal way.
So now we are headed toward the border with expired paperwork not knowing how everything is going to play out. We arrived at the Border and our passports get stamped out. WE are now legally out of the country. Time to cross the street and get our bikes out. I give the man the paperwork he starts putting the info in the computer and then wait... “it says that you were to be out in June 2011 it is now January 2012”..
“oh yes the motos. have been in storage and we had to return to the U.S.A see my passport”
After going back and forth for a while, in my broken Spanish, I can tell he actually wants to help a little and just get me out of there…but stupid computers..it will not let him proceed. there is nothing he can do. Him being a straight officer will not take a bribe. He said there are eyes everywhere here watching him. (I have to give him credit he wants his job) He tells us (through a couple translating for us that happened to be there) that he is not supposed to let us leave and is supposed confiscate our bikes. OR we can ride back to another border and he will pretend he never saw us. But we can not cross at this border. After a couple of tears from me (they do not like to see ladies cry) another officer told us of a small border back 40 miles that if we cross in the morning the man guarding it will still be asleep. But we have to cross the next morning for rain was moving in and it was getting dark. So after much contemplation we decided to stay in Peru, Illegally, for the night and make a run for it in the morning.
22 January 2012
71 miles (half dirt and mud)
We woke up early in the morning put our rain gear on, because of course it is going to rain and head for another border. On the map it was only 40 Km away, it is a old map and not very clear. Luckily Paul google earthed the route and knew where to go (kind of). Down a dirt road for a while and of course it does start raining which turns the dirt to mud, slick as hell. Perfect setting when you are an outlaw running a border. It was further than thought, but at last we come to the border and there is nobody around but a couple of locals. Riding tight together cruising fast. There is a chain across the road which looks like it is lying on the ground, just like the last one. Nope. It is connected and half a foot off the ground. We lock up the brakes and start sliding. Paul decides he can make it over the chain. Full throttle he makes it. I am tight behind him a little to the right and I have to go for it too. Am I going to make it? Am I going to get pulled off my bike? Full throttle now. The chain has bounced up from Paul hitting it. The chain bounces up cracks my blinker, then cracks my windshield, slides up the windshield skips off my helmet and we are both still up and riding. We made it! We are in Bolivia! (Illegally)Now we need to become legal here. We have to ride to the next border town with an immigration office. We make it and there is a long line of people waiting. Americans have to pay $135.00 for a Bolivian visa. We must be the only American there because we get to skip the line and go right inside and they start processing our paperwork. All is going good until “wait you were stamped out of Peru yesterday, where have you been?”
“We crossed at Unicachi and there is nothing there, we had to camp out and come here first thing this morning.”
“You crossed at Unicachi and camped out? This is a problem. You are not supposed to cross there.” He says laughing and stamping our passports into Bolivia. These were the nicest immigration officers we have ever seen. One is playing the guitar,while they both laugh at us saying”Unicachi, Unicachi”
He then makes sure we go next door and get our motorcycles checked in. We do with little problem, Having to explain again why we came from the opposite direction.
We are now in Bolivia and legal. What a crazy, scary rush. One that gets your adrenaline pumping for sure and it feels good to have it behind us and laugh now. We can NEVER bring our bikes back to Peru. So We are not the outlaws it’s our Motorcycles. What a difference a day makes.
Well I Arrived back in Cusco after 2 long days of flying. Camille has been here since 2-12-11 doing yoga, yoga,yoga and Spanish class. It took a couple of days of doing nothing before preparation for our journey south again. yeah. It feels good to do nothing sometimes!!
Today we went and got the White Rabbit out of hibernation. You may not have thought that rabbits hibernate but this one does. I cranked on the starter switch for a while and it started to pop a little bit. I then decided to start pushing it before I killed the battery. On the second push she was up in running
Back to the guest house and it time for some moto work. Four quarts of oil here= 38.00 US dollars!! One battery for Camels bike 35 dollars. One new windshield made out of a five gallon bucket 5 dollars.(thanks for the idea Tom,Chris,and Doug) and one new clutch cable for the rabbit. Oh yeah now there is fuel pouring out of the bottom of my carb. A few taps on it and the fuel stops leaking. Its now about time to hit the road again.
We packed up our bike and headed to the gas station to fuel up and head south. At the gas station fuel was again pouring out of the bottom of the carb. A LOT !! I started to pull out my tools and then decided to head over to the motorcycle alley instead. We found some shade there and began to pull the bike apart. Within 5 minutes a teenage boy came over and started to help me. Next thing you know we are in front of his house 50 yards down and him and his brother are both going at on my bike. One was pulling the carb. out while the other was changing one of my throttle cables. It was hanging on by maybe 3 wires. I actually had a new throttle cable with me. The inside of the carb. float bowl was covered in so so much gel from the fuel sitting in there for 7 months. A whole can of carb. cleaner was used and now it looks like new. The entire time the boys were joking and having a great time. I think they just liked to work on a big bike. They don’t see many Honda’s this big. They never once asked for anything!! I gave them $11.50 for there 2 hours of help and they were stoked.
Now its like 2 or 3 pm. and we finally get down the road some. Just in time for the rain
Cusco, – Sicuani Peru 90 miles.
We then managed to get into some good wind for a while. And then there was also some good rain that followed. Oh yeah what good reintroduction to motorcycle touring. We Love It!
14-1-12 Sicuiani – Sibayo peru 140 miles of Amazing dirt @ 13000ft.++
The riding today was simple amazing!! Mountains,Lakes,Rivers and desert. Most of the day we kind of knew where we were. But it seems that the roads we were on are not actually on our map. No worries we popped out on an intersection that had a sign pointing us towards the town we were looking for. It would have to wait until tomorrow as the sun was now setting. We found a sweet camping spot along the river tucked behind some old empty building. Cooked up some dinner and slept like a baby. In the morning there was a nice frost layer on everything. I didn’t think it really got that cold last night though.
15-1-12 Beautiful camp spot - Chivay, Peru 26 miles of dirt
This is the stepping of point for Colca Canyon. We found a nice hostel with parking of course, had a few cocktails and then went and soaked our bones in some sweet hot springs.
16-1-12 Chivay – Colca Canyon 60 miles of Dirt.
We started today early so we can see the largest flying birds in the world(south American Condor;wind span over 10ft.) soar over the deepest canyon in the world 13600ft. In 1981 the first rafters boated down the canyon to discover that it was deeper than the Grand Canyon. Then in 1991 it became a national park. Gotta love a national park that is dirt roads!!
A mile down the road we stopped to lube up the chains. Luck would have it that it was kind of the gate area to the park and someone dressed in uniform walked up to us and asked us if we had our park pass. We said no we will get it further towards the park. We heard it was 35 sols each and he demanded 70 sols each. We said no thanks your trying to rip us off. He replied that it went up starting in 2012. We called his bullshit, started the bikes and went anyway. We never paid anything all day after that. Most people touring the canyon are on guided tour busses and have already paid at the tour agency.
The canyon was everything that we expected it to be (maybe more). This canyon differs from the Grand because a lot of parts of it are terraced for crops and support villages all through out. We got to the condor viewing point and did manage to see a few flying by way in the distance. then we notice that there were a lot of them circling further down the road. We rode down further and there was 20 or so on the ground and circling overhead. Theses birds are vultures and they were eating on a dead cow. We snuck up to them and what we became part of was so so special. they were everywhere and very very close up. WOW something I will never forget! Oh and we were the only people around. Yet another plus to having your own wheels. All in All a very special day for us.