South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

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Slowlycatchymonkey
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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by Slowlycatchymonkey » Fri May 17, 2019 9:17 pm

Sounds a bit hairy!

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Sat May 18, 2019 9:54 pm

Sorry for the delay but we arrived back in the UK a couple of days ago and have no WiFi for a while yet.
I’ll send more pics and notes as I get to coffee shops or friends’ houses.

TBH I’m sending you the interesting pics but the riots were more fun than dicey for us. We were all held up by the police, thankfully at a place selling food and drinks, and then when we got the green light from the cops, we bombed through. It had a party atmosphere and was great fun. Some of the cars were jockeying for first place but our Peruvian mates were having none of that and we just stuck with them. A great day.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:08 pm

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Leaving Arica, the last town in Chile, we headed up the road to Bolivia. I took a ‘short cut’. It was a really stupid thing to do. We ended up on the wrong dirt track, hours away from our planned route. We finally got back onto our road four hours later. This is in the Atacama desert, the driest I think on earth.
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This is what the fertile part looks like.
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Back on the road and yet another truck had cornered his way to disaster. This is a gentle bend. I don’t know how they do it. This spill could represent a financial catastrophe to an owner driver

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:32 pm

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Way up high in the Andes, we came across the volcanoes that run from Mexico to Chile. This road goes from Arica, zero metres above sea level up to Potocamaya at 3764m.
There was virtually nowhere to stop in between and this was higher than La Paz. We’d spent so long on the road that we couldn’t go further. I had a crashing headache, and was dizzy and breathless. These effects took many days to diminish. I know people might think this is dangerous but I’ve climbed to 5,400m as a younger man so knew I could take altitude. All I had to do now was take care of Yenni and head back down to lower altitude if she got into trouble.
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Bloody sand! Diversions around roadworks are a constant problem and picking up big, laden bikes in seriously hot weather is a bummer. If there’s a way to keep a big overlander upright in soft sand, I didn’t learn it.
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La Paz! We dropped down to the city, which is wrapped in mountains all around. There is a wonderful system of modern, highly efficient Austrian gondolas that ride up and down the sugar bowl, from lip to bottom, over about six ‘runs’. I thought they might be wildly expensive and only for tourists but not a bit. Peanut sellers an gringos rub shoulder going up and down to the lip. This is the best way to move about and you get a bird’s eye view of the city.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:52 pm

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We left La Paz after a few days and headed for Lake Titicaca. Simple enough ferry; ride on one end and ride off the other. What could go wrong?
Well, they drive on one end and then reverse off. Difficult again with a monster trailie but that’s where new found friends come in. Every biker we met loves to help out, as we did with them, so we huffed and puffed and pulled all the bikes off backwards.
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Copacabana on lake Titicaca at sunset. Very lovely. Months on a bike can make you pretty sedentary so we always climbed and high beauty spots we could find. I did regular exercise too, to keep up.
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And so to Cusco. The old town is really pretty. I was here about 30 years ago, having backpacked south from the US so this felt pretty good, having come north. There was a vast military pageant going on, whether for themselves or tourists, I don’t know. Being ex-army I enjoyed it all. It was around this time that I passed my sixtieth birthday.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by mark vb » Wed May 22, 2019 9:54 pm

Graham, nice photos.....and quite well preserved for 60 I'd say!
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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Thu May 23, 2019 11:56 am

Thanks Mark,
It’s surprising how a long ride will put a smile on your face.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by Slowlycatchymonkey » Thu May 23, 2019 10:39 pm

Im pretty sure riding a motorbike counts as exercise as does lifting slices of pizza to your mouth and getting off the sofa to go to the loo and let’s not even mention the sweating involved in finding a missing remote control. Well that’s what Waynetta Slob told me and she should know she’s been doing it for years.

Great pics, really enjoying them 👍

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Fri May 24, 2019 4:29 pm

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Right! Time to get up into the high hills and back roads of Peru! This is exactly what I came for, high twisty roads, away from the crowds.
There were fewer of the interminable speed bumps that drive you mad in Peru but still enough to keep you from admiring the scenery too much. The minute you relax and look about -clang! - speed bumps. It’s also cleaner up here. After Chile and Argentina, Peru is a surprise: acres of rubbish tossed beside the road. And I mean acres; further on, up on the coast road, we saw 10 k’s of trash, dead dogs, broken household appliances etc dumped each side of towns like Trujillo. Traffic is more aggressive in Peru too. So, we headed up into the hills where you’d go from 17 degrees to 31 degrees and back again as you slide up or down the valleys.
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These days in upper Peru were often very long ones. Yenni would sometimes fall asleep behind me, even on twisty roads! I’d know she was going when her helmet started to nod off the back of mine. Sometimes she’d lean onto me and push my helmet forward and down with hers, until I’d elbow her awake. In this photo, I’d stopped to take a photo of another interminable perfect view or Death Road vista and she just stood at the bike, rested her head on the bag and dozed. When I came back she jerked awake. Time for a brew and roadside nap.
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A pretty typical high country road. It’s just dozed gravel but pretty easy with decent tyres. There are no barriers or protection but very little other traffic. Sometimes there’s a rockfall that closes your bit of road but they always manage to open another path through.
Out of interest, we were a using Garmin South America chip or Maps.me for mapping.
Garmin is not particularly accurate in towns in SA but pretty reliable. Maps.me was good but don’t ever believe their time predictions. They make assumptions based on the speed of normal roads and you might be averaging a third of that, hence triple the time and a sleepy pillion.

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Re: South America, Blowing The Kids’ Inheritence

Post by gbags » Mon May 27, 2019 11:29 am

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A high and lonely pass way up in the hills. Good road condition on this one.
In South America lots of dogs will chase your back tyre. Almost always they are just chasing after you and showing their master that they are driving you off their patch. It’s usually follows a pattern where they watch you approach, you eye them, they eye you and then as you draw level they chase you, barking and snarling, to show who’s boss.
Then this day, way up high on this pass and we’ll away from any dwellings, two Labrador sized mutts raced at our front wheel, right out of the blue and with no warning. Thinking they must be rabid and that if it hit the front wheel we’d go down, I took a terrific kick at the nearest one. Result: we got passed the dog but I got a sprained ankle.
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This was inside a Sidi boot! F@ckin’ dog!
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This is the lovely Duck Canyon (Cañon Del Pato)!
Amazing canyon. We rode for an hour or so north on the same road and got to the canyon. It is formidable and largely deserted. It is an astonishing gorge that just goes on forever, with the geology changing every two minutes. There were private subsistence miners digging holes right from the roadside into the mountain and lots of these holes. We saw a guy on the other side, totally coal black, unloading a mine truck thing that was just as black. We beeped and waved and he seemed really pleased to be seen. He waved back like crazy. The mountain changed colour every five minutes and the minerals must too. I wish I understood the geology. There were scores of tunnels, one-bus width, some of them turning so that you drove blind and didn’t know if someone had entered the same tunnel coming the other way. It would have been fantastically difficult as you can’t pass, I couldn’t back or turn, more people could be coming behind to make things worse, and all of this one tiny one-width road with bulges for passing but a raging torrent crashing between the rocks at the side. If you went in, you wouldn’t come out.
In a week of great rides, this trumped the lot.

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