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Thread: The Wife takes on Chlamydia. A South American Retrospective

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post




    Checkin' the bins. If anyone wants to tell me the names of these mammals, birds, turtles and butterflies, please do!





    Pretty little fella

    A friend just identified these two:

    South American coati
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_coati

    Boat-billed flycatcher
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boat-billed_flycatcher

  2. #82
    Overview map of the route from Bariloche to Cusco

    While I have a moment, here’s another overview map of the leg from Bariloche in Argentina to Cusco in Peru


  3. #83
    After a home break, we’re off again: San Carlos de Bariloche to Santiago de Chile via the Argentine and Chilean Lake Districts


    During my 2 week break back in the UK, I took the opportunity to swap some items of luggage, collect a new clutch assembly and catch up with friends. Then a flight from London to Santiago de Chile, via Toronto followed by a long bus ride back to Bariloche and the Honda Patagonia shop. Within 24 hours the clutch was fitted and I was off.


    What glorious riding northwestwards along the Ruta 40 and Lago Nahuel Huapi. I attempted a off-pavement more direct route towards the border with Chile. It was so quiet, it was closed! So I had to double back and head for the main road and the main border. They were very efficient on both sides and I was in Chile in no time.


    Here are some impressions







    Lovely colours









    Off pavement often means more interesting views









    Yep!









    Calm at Pucon









    The next day. A lot less calm at Pucon...






    Three 2001 images:





    Then, a less developed infrastructure means more wild camping opportunities









    Here again with some German bikers









    The timing chain was rattling like hell. In 2001 I had parked the bike in Temuco and headed home to the UK too, in order to buy parts and mule them in. Here major surgery is happening









    After a few fun days at Hostal Casa Matte in Santiago, eating a lot of sushi (The cheapest and tastiest take away food, IMHO) it was time to head off again.


    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hosta...10154032428265 Cristian is a super host! Chlym has various random new things bolted on now, including new soft bags on the back, a tank bag, a windscreen bag and a fender bag with a couple of tubes in it. This fell off somewhere on a dirt road in Bolivia, so if you found it, let me know

  4. #84
    Santiago de Chile northwards through Chile because the Andes crossings back to Argentina were closed…

    I had fully intended on crossing back to Argentina via the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores that allows views of Aconcagua (the highest mountain in South America) towards Mendoza. Even approaching the turn off from the main highway I had an inkling of what was going to happen. Miles of parked up trucks, many with Argentina licence plates. At the road block the policeman said the pass was well and truely cerrado (and would remain so for several more days) because of the stormy weather at 3000 meters on the pass. Oh bollox. My plan to continue riding the entire Ruta 40 had been scuppered. But to certain extent, I wasn't totally bothered: Since the southern 3500km was virtually all paved, it was now so boring and had lost any mysticism. I had ridden the northern most 1500km dirt stretch last December, so I wasn't really fussed.



    The ride up the Chilean version of the Pan-American Highway is long, paved and also boring. So disengage brain, turn on the mp3 player and crank the tunes. My music tastes are varied: Everything from country music (I once spent 2 months in Nashville, TN) to heavy rock, via funk, 70s disco and jazz. All genres got plenty of airtime at 55mph on the slab slog northwards. Here a vaguely pleasant view of the Pacific Ocean





    One night I wildcamped on the side of the road. I woke to a strange noise in the middle of the night: Rain! In the Atacama desert...





    The Mano del Desierto near Antofangasta in 2016.

    And in 2001:



    Similarities and differences? Answers on a postcard, or a tweet with multiple hashtags and emojis? :-)

    In 2001 I had travelled this road (albeit north to south) with Tini and Lars from Germany on their Africa Twin (That is the RD07 xrv750, not a modern day CRF1000 that Honda finally released when their top brass realised that BMW/ KTM /Triumph and Yamaha were generating huge amounts of $$$ with their faux-enduro offerings)








    In 2001 I also came across this Japanese bicyclist sleeping in the midday sun in a bus shelter. He spoke no English. I spoke no Japanese, so Spanish had to do... He didn't comment on the white and pink mx boots i was wearing! Nor the 1980s shellsuit paint-job on my helmet.





    In 2001 there were plenty of ways to alleviate the boredom by taking wacky pictures while riding. The damaged cooling fins on the airhead cylinder are the result of a crash in Canada. Also the repaired hole in the rocker cover. Following the repair with plastic metal I turned the rocker cover round. The other crash bar mod is a home made design manufactured in Ecuador.

    My fondest memory of riding the north Chilean Pan Am in 2001 was being severely reprimanded by a Chilean (Very Important, in his own lunchtime) Policeman for not stopping at a stop sign that intersected the highway. You could see left and right for 10s of miles and no train was approaching. Then even greater confusion as I rode past him again going the other way (northbound) 5 minutes later, before again passing heading southbound again 45 minutes later after having a slow puncture fixed a a gomeria (tyre-wallah). The 2nd and 3rd times, I of course stopped for about 10 seconds, looking repeated left and right just to make sure no train was approaching (you can never be too sure...). I think he knew I was taking extracting the urine ;-)





    From Arica I headed inland and eastwards towards Bolivia, rather than north to Peru like I had done 4 or 5 months previously. And 2016 is the year of the selfie: So why not a mugshot with a pleasant high altiplano vista? Some audience participation: Anyone want to translate the writing on the HD patch on my shoulder? It's in Russian.





    What magnificent views





    And more 2016 views





    Probably a similar location in 2001, with Lars and Tini

  5. #85
    Bolivia, the Fourth. Or is it the fifth?

    It's been a little while since I last posted a RR episode. One of the disadvantage of getting another (thankfully only temporary) full time job is that my employers require their pound of flesh for the dineros they pay me... Shouldn't complain, as the cash really does come in handy and will finance future jollies near and far. Motorcycle travel isn't cheap!

    I again crossed the border back into Bolivia, probably for the fourth time on this trip. This border was a bit of a pita. I did immigration, I did customs, but when I reached the barrier to leave the border compound, the random matey who greeted me, wanted to have some other document or other, or not, or bribe (=Donation to fix the church roof? Pay for a box of chocs for his mistress?) or whatever. As with all these things, it takes 2 to have a conversation: I didn't wish to speak with him any longer, so all his efforts were futile as I put the bike in gear and rode around his closed barrier and off into the distance.

    I have to admit I've lost count, but Bolivia is pretty magnetic with it's great vistas, riding and local people. I also knew where I could buy a new and less expensive than Chile/Argentina back tyre, get some luggage fixed and meet friends. Also, I wanted to get my bike blessed again by a priest at Copacabana at Lago Titicaca. When I passed through there a couple of months previously, it was the wrong day of the week. More of that in the next chapter...




    Illimani Peak catching the last rays of the day's sun. I was heading back to Oscar's in La Paz and as usual, running late. It's a laugh a minute riding in South American cities, particularly after dark. I try to avoid it, but sometimes needs must. Illimani is the second highest peak in Bolivia at 21,200 feet and overlooks La Paz and El Alto. Stopping for the picture made me even later than I would have been, but the big bus headlight on the Gen 1 KLRs put out a fair bit of juice ( I avoided the fashion farkles of extra running lights: Yes to inverted snobbery! ), so the ride was OK, if bl00dy cold!





    Oscar, who along with Robin helped source my new shock from the US a few months previously and offered to lend me his while I waited, suggested we ride back down the Yungas road, the now not so dangerous "Death Road" that I took the p!ss out of (including demented video) in a previous post.... Here we're at some sort of local's "toll" booth. Totally fake, but whatever. There's another KLR from Canada in the picture. The guy seemed in a hurry, and disappeared tout suite. Hope he got to where ever he was heading in the time he had calculated. Didn't want to speak with him anyway





    It rained up high: hanging out in a nice lady's shop, drinking a chai...





    Warming up as you lose altitude





    Oscar striking a pose





    Me, ditto





    Oscar on his Gen 2 KLR





    A great downhill cycle, especially if you know what you're doing





    There's a bike in there somewhere





    Splash and dash.

    After a nice lunch at the bottom of the hill, we rode back up the alternative new paved road back to La Paz.

  6. #86
    Bike blessing at Copacabana on Lago Titicaca, Bolivia

    How can anyone not be intrigued by the place names Copacabana and Lago Titicaca? I had first heard the name of the latter from the German TV show "Pippi Longstocking" many moons ago. And the former name check came from my father's vinyl record collection, although Mr Manilow 's version refers to a different place. In 2001 I passed through here. Also the previous December prior to Christmas 2015 and the 2016 Dakar Race. Then, the vehicle blessing by the local priest at the church, which happens every Saturday and Sunday, was too many days away (I recall I pitched up on a Tuesday then). So it made perfect sense to buy a new back tyre in La Paz and head for the border with Peru at Lago Titicaca near Copacabana on a Friday afternoon.





    Views on the way





    One of the ferry barges to the peninsula that includes Copacabana





    Locals and their flock





    Take a step to the left...





    The day before the blessing. All quiet.





    The evening before. Sunset over the lake.


    2001 at the lake. A lot less busy:







    What an event! Only local Bolivian tourists, with the the exception of a young French couple making a movie. I estimate there was around 100 cars and minibuses, a couple of trucks and 1 motorcycle called Chlamydia





    Chlym, decorated to be blessed (2016). Nicely covered in splattered mud (on the way out of La Paz there had been big areas of road construction...)





    Owner pre blessing his car. Plenty of people had clearly also been sipping on more than their fair share of communion wine





    The French couple interviewing some locals. They interviewed me too. Maybe I'm famous in some corner of France too?





    The King Long minibus taxi waiting its turn





    What's the fuss about?





    The priest appears...





    Got to bless the engine too: Increases reliability against mechanical mishaps?!





    2016: No picture, it didn't happen... Clearly it did...

    And in 2001 the wife got blessed too. Didn't help much. She ended with a snapped chassis, but didn't kill me in the process, so a blessing in disguise ....




    2001: Fuelling up to leave town...




    Next chapter will be the road to Cusco

  7. #87
    Cusco, Peru

    The crossing from Copacabana in Bolivia into my favourite country in South America, Peru, was relatively painless, except for the usual half-hearted bs attempts by the Peruvian Senor Aduana matey: Some random gibberish about having to randomly pay something or other (For new battery operated nasal hair clippers, maybe?). A combination of feigning having all the time in the world/ telling him politely where to get off/ pretending to have no idea what he was talking about, allowed a reasonably swift crossing. I did have to open the closed border barrier myself as nobody was employed to do it. So, if you need to do a swift entry into, or exit from Peru, just turn up in broad daylight, open the barrier yourself, and you're through...

    After a night en route (thanks to the iOverlander app) at a pleasant hotel hear the lake, I rolled into tourist central, Cusco. Even with wall to wall gringos, it still exudes a great deal of charm.



    The cathedral on the main square





    A synonymous scene: An ethnic local lady going about her business, young and old locals on the move, a transit policeman with a whistle, a gringo tourist and a hawker sidling up to do his sales pitch (probably for an overpriced Macchu Picchu tour)





    A tourist taking a picture of some deliberately dressed up women, prior to paying money for their time





    Classic Inca architecture





    A snap of where I stayed in 2001. This time round I couldn't afford this place





    Last time I was there in 2001, including old friends. Many of the features are the same, including wall mounted phone behind the Wife





    She can write me a ticket any time...





    Jodhpurs and jackboots, or slacks and shoes? I think I know what the Coca Cola truck driver is thinking





    I really should have asked these guys what's going on... Muy bad!





    Here too





    What's behind the door?





    That's 3.50 Peruvian Soles (=US$1.10) for lunch. In the cheap part of town where I was staying, but still only 10 minutes walk from the main square. In my hostal I also did an oil change along with a tyre change.





    In 2001 I did a radio interview in Cusco. Was it ever broadcast? Here Mr Ricardo Rocco of Quito, Ecuador listens on intently.

  8. #88
    Machu Picchu: Always worth visiting again. And again!

    Apologies that no pictures of motorcycles appear in this chapter of my RR... However I am wearing an Isle of Man TT fleece and baseball cap from a Brazilian m/c shop in one of the pictures below. The next episode will include bike pics, I promise!

    If Cusco is busy, then Machu Picchu, the fabled city of the ancient Inca empire... is heaving with tourists from far and wide. And justifiably so. It's also a prime cash earning tool for the Peruvian state and provides jobs for many locals. A trip there really isn't cheap, but there are ways of spending less... in 2001 I took a train all the way from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and got to the ruins (at the top of a very steep hill!) at around 11.30am. Along with the whole world and with poor light for pictures. This time I took a bus through the Sacred Valley to Hyrdo Electrica on the other side of MP from Cusco and walked 9 or 10 km along the railway line to AC and stayed the night. The next morning I was on the second mini bus (having gotten up at 4.30am...) up the hill to the entry gate. Being one of the first people in that day was a great experience. I was outta there long before the main train from Cusco pitched up and avoided paying more than 100 bucks for the pleasure.

    I could have ridden to Hydro Electrica, but decided the hassle of parking the bike and leaving my stuff there was too big. In hindsight, it wouldn't have been a hassle at all, and the ride would have been excellent. The views definitely were.



    At the time I was there I posted a picture of an Inca Cola bottle on Facebook, claiming the recipe was a secret passed down form Inca times. I have reason to believe one or two of my friends thought my assertion was true Here is a snap of a truck awning we overtook.





    View on the walk along the railway line





    As it's panto season in the UK: "He's behind you!"





    Worth the early start? Hell Yeah!





    Up amongst the Gods?





    The river, railway line and Aguas Calientes are down there. Worth 20 bucks for a return minibus. I could have walked, but having a smashed knee and being a fat lad and all...





    Well built





    Before the masses descend on the place





    Still life?





    Life





    Great vistas





    Fugly Ucker!





    A 2001 picture

  9. #89
    A quick Peru overview map of my south to north route through this magnificent country, from Cusco to the border to Ecuador. The previous December I had also travelled from it's southern border with Chile via Arequipa and the Colca Canyon to Lago Titicaca. On this trip in 2016 I did my best to stay up high in the Andes. Mainly on the road number 3. I made the right choice, although in 2001 it was virtually all gravel. This time nearly all paved.




  10. #90
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    Love it

    Having visited South America a few times your thread makes me so jealous. Beautiful photos, great narative.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by steveC View Post
    Having visited South America a few times your thread makes me so jealous. Beautiful photos, great narative.
    Thanks, Steve

  12. #92
    Cusco to Ayacucho: The Inca Highroad

    My grandparents will have remembered where they were when WW2 was declared. My parents when JFK was assassinated. I was in Ayacucho on 9/11 where I saw the tragic events unfold across the local Peruvian TV and newspaper news. Usually I didn't stay in guesthouses with TVs, but I was travelling with a Dutch mate called Marcel and able to afford half a twin room, with a TV. That morning the owner knocked on our door, telling us to turn the TV on. I'm sure we all wish the knock hadn't been necessary!

    Ayacucho is the Quechua for City of Blood. Quechua is the language of the Incas that the Spanish tried to destroy during their "empirical foray" into South America. At the Battle of Ayacucho in 1824 Antonio José de Sucre, Simon Bolivar's lieutenant, "persuaded" the Spanish to finally and unequivocally return whence they had come. In 2001 this city and the whole "Inca Highroad" had only recently open up following the defeat of the Shining Path guerrillas by the Peruvian government led by Alberto Fujimori who was soon to flee into exile to Japan to avoid the consequences of his involvement in financial scandals and human rights abuses. The highway number 3 from Cusco to Ayacucho was awesome in 2001. Then it was dirt. In 2016 it was paved, but still pretty damn excellent!

    In the last post there were no bike pictures. Here are lots. And why not?




    A screenshot from Google Maps on my cellphone. As the crow flies about 200km. To drive 571km. Allegedly 11 and a half hours to drive/ride. You do the maths: There was rarely a stretch of more than 100 meters of vaguely flat or straight road. Nearly 400 miles of twisty new slab, always going up or down with many 100 hairpins.





    Cuy = Guinea pig. A specialty in Peru. In 2001 I tried it once. I became hypoglycemic trying to eat one! So small and fiddly, I ended up sending most of it back and ordering a pollo con papas to calm me down. In 2016 I felt it best not to retry this delicacy!





    I mentioned Alberto Fujimori above. Keiko Fujimori is his daughter. In 2011 and 2016 she ran for the presidency. She didn't get in either time.


    Fujimori poster 2001:








    Taking in the views


    2001: Chilling (Maybe at the same place?)








    California, Peru





    A lot of random stuff strapped onto the bike... Pretty special background too.


    2001: Dirt roads in 2001. Fun, and possibly a greater sense of achievement?









    The fender bag with 2 tyre tubes fell off somewhere a few 100 kms later Bollox Handy cable tie storage?


    2001: Boys selling stuff on side of road (no cable ties on forks...)







    Selfie selfie


    Even in 2001, self portaits were de-rigeur. Except you put the camera on a stone and set the self timer and ran to pose...









    Top o' the world to ya!





    What a road!





    What is this little fella thinking?


    2001: You can't see me...








    As mentioned at the start of this post: Ayacucho - The city of the liberation of America


    In 2001 at Ayacucho on 9/10, in a more jovial mood, replacing the fork oil on the Wife:





    2001: Discussing the tragic events of New York that we had seen earlier that day on the TV with a friendly market stall holder


  13. #93
    Ayacucho to Huanuco, via Huancayo: The road didn’t get any straighter!

    The ride from Ayacucho continued to be utterly beyond superlatives. Great views, people, riding and weather. Riding during the dry season helps a lot. Occasionally I came across road construction and a barrier, usually manned by a bored bloke with a flag. If he reconned the wait was going to be more than 10 minutes (once, one of them claimed it'd be 5 hours), it was a case of up yours jeune matey, I'll just ignore you. 100% of the time there was no reason to stop and usually for every bloke who was working (at most one or two) 9 were standing around scratching their butts or engaging in other non constructive pastimes. So, don't stop, and if necessary invoke the "no fumar espanol" defense.




    Being substantially culturally, and especially where religion is concerned, dyslexic (Disculpe, muy bad!) I had to Google Image what might be happening in these 2 pictures and the best I can come up with is that these people are celebrating Pentecost. I was riding through a town whose name I sadly don't recall following the "shortest distance" on my GPS and in a side street came across this merry crowd. They also seemed happy to see me too.





    Meeting these guys made my day. Taking the route less travelled sometimes springs the biggest surprises. In the middle of it all is Chlym.





    What views! Including a lady working hard in the field





    Easy gravel





    I just rode across those mountains and up those switchbacks





    You're that gringo bloke my grandmother told me about....


    2001: Holding a llama while the herder re-ties its luggage. One night me and Marcel, my Dutch mate, were wild camping. The next morning this young chap with 3 or 4 luggage carrying llamas wanders by and asks if we can hold them, while he re-ties the dislodged luggage. A great way to start the day I had heard they can be aggressive and like spitting, hence I'm relieved he's looking the other way







    Would I prefer to be where I am now in a northern English city with negative temperatures and a 8 inch snow Met Office warning or here? You take a guess...


    2001: More Llamas. I'm wearing my rainsuit, so I'm guessing, despite the sunny weather it will have been bloody cold/ my bike jacket wasn't too warm.







    Only hardy people live up here

    2001: Too fast around a corner, so I dropped the bike before going off the edge. 10 minutes later a bus appeared and a couple of passengers helped me pick the bike up and reverse back onto the road...







    How this hotel dog in Huancayo didn't get dog-napped, I have no idea! Pannier size and extremely cute.



    A couple more 2001 pictures:

    2001: Marcel meeting Serge Girard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Girard on his Lima to Rio run. An average of more than 2 marathons every day for 70 days! Up, Over and Down the Andes! Check the link for all the achievements! Super-human and seemed like a nice bloke too. He complained that the CDs belonging to his backup crew we're getting repetitive




    2001: The Peruvian wheelbarrow race Olympic team? Unfortunately many of my slides were destroyed during their development, so they look a bit naff


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