Thursday, 27 February 2014

Puno To Copacabana ... Tarseal Blast

Leisurely start and the ride planned with Paul and Pau after they got their insurance sorted.

1.00 pm rolled around and game on, we set off at a leisurely pace enjoying the nice serving of sun.

Riding around Lake Titicaca we took in views of Bolivia and some high snowed capped mountains gracing the skyline in the distance.

Pau on her Suzuki Dr200

Paul on his XT660z Tenere

All was well until we approached Ilave, there where some scattered rocks on the road, then some more scattered rocks and some construction type debris then the line of traffic.

At this stage we were unaware of what was ahead of us, my first thoughts was some well maintained Peruvian dump truck had lost it.

There were people walking up the road towards us with bags etc s it was not a good sign.

Cruising past probably a km of traffic we came across a barrier made from grass, stones and ....coke bottles, they let us through.

Further up the road things got a little more serious, some smiles and some what the fuck are doing here looks too.

The ladies were smiling as they threw rocks under our wheels, some said come through others wanted to stop us

As we tried to cross one barrier with approval from some but not others .. the others through rock under Paul’s and Pua’s wheels, we went through and kicked them out of the way with the rear tire.

Next thing an old lady was batting Pau then turned her attention to us, Ellen snapping her photo just as she took a strike at us.

Now the protests have nothing to do with us because it was all about bus fare increases but they saw it fit to blame and take it out on us.

Thinking we had past the worst of it at the next barricade there was an older fellow there with a whip, yes a whip, he stuck out at Paul, Paul thought he was playing but when Pau when through the old bugga took an aggressive swing at her, I was starting to not see their side of the shit now.

When we approached he lifted his whip so I turned into his swing path, grabbed his collar, wrenched him towards us then threw him backwards (all while riding forward) and the look on his face was one of astonishment as he was not expecting that, I don’t mind their protest but when it starts coming at our expense by way of possible injury they cross that line of limits.

All his mates thought is was hell funny that the whitey defended himself, 1/4 of a second after this shot I had his collar

Another blockade and us listening on, discussion amongst our crew was to approach it quietly and earn our way through nicely.

The road was a minefield of broken glass, tiles, bottles, bricks, stones and any other shit they could lay their hands on, risk of tire slashing / punctures higher than anywhere else on our trip.

At the start we listened to their plight with sympathetic ears, nearing the end of some 25 - 30 blockades I was ready to punch the crap out of any of them who tried to stop us after we had been hit, slapped and whipped and running over potential punctures.

See the broken glass on the right

Finally passing the war zone we got out onto open road still having to dodge rock and even a lamp post laid across the road.

Turning off toward Bolivia only part way down the road we ran the rear tank dry, at 4000 meters, nearly 5.00 pm, quite cold we had the heated grips on etc, I flicked the off on switch a couple of times to cycle the fuel pump then proceeded to crank the bike over to have the battery give in pretty quickly.

After a few minutes we decided to push start it so push push push by Ellen and I, a quick flick of the starter to turn the engine, dump the clutch and she started ... that was lucky!!

Doing the border crossing into Bolivia on the edge of darkness we made it into Copacabana easy enough, the border crossing being simple and laid back was a nice reprieve after the elongated day due to the blockades.

Monday, 24 February 2014


Exciting times, monsta headcold clung on for way longer than I wanted despite bashing the crap out of with fruit and veges high in Vitamin C.

Having a head cold at 4000 meters is hard work as the air is already thinner let alone having all the passages half blocked as well, the clamp has finally gone from my head with only the aftermath of getting up to speed now.

While out walking there was a few things to take my mind of being off shade,

My favourite movie crew from Ice Age!

Waterfront Lake Titicaca

Now a treat for my fello engineering types, check this out, post has been smashed off its based ... and left

No problem in Peru though they seem to run structural wires ... nothing else is holding the post in place

The bonus is we finally got to meet Paul (El Forko) and his girlfriend Pau, Paul is on an XT 660z and Pau a DR200.

Finally after 4 days of bed time and small walks we bailed and headed to Copacabana in Bolivia for change of scenery, but no change of elevation.

Given Paul has spent a lot of time in Bolivia Argentina and Chile we spent time cruising the maps for good info, likewise they are heading north so the information highway is working both ways.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Cusco To Lampa To Puno

Cusco, tourist trap but its ok, look past the people jumping out at you every ten seconds to sell stuff and you will see the nicer side.

Arequipa was huge for us, Cusco definitely smaller and easier but still having the goodies of a big city and particularly camping stuff due to the nature of the area.

Small original skinny streets

Beautiful church in the square

Some wild clouds in the distance teasing us with the look of rain

The famous Norton Rats pub

TMK proudly joining the other RTW tarvellers on the door

We ended up staying longer with one thing and another and to be fair we enjoyed the place, we also had the pleasure of meeting up with Phil (Ulti Ride) who was recovering from a crash, a coupla grogs and an evening chat bodged out in beanbags ... bloody awesome!!!

Chicas caliente (hot chicks) riding the police bikes, almost worth committing a crime for

Our BDCW bash plate is now full of disc pads, we tried to get good quality pads here in Peru but no bueno, we can get em but they only lasted 1600 km being churned around in the Peruvian muck.

Thanks to the good hearted TeeVee fello ADVer he sent down the good stuff including an xring chain and an Icebreaker T shirt ... life can resume now.

Our hostel man had a drill and kindly lent it to us to do the work, very nice guy indeed, we also mounted the fuel bottle out back on cycle bottle holder so it was a big round to complete and we completed it.

The only downside is some bastid stole our orange rolly waterproof backpack/bag, wankers, not worth much but nearly impossible to replace here.

Our gear that was sent down from the USA by TeeVee was sent to Alex at Peru Moto he kindly took delivery of our box of goodies and kept it there till we got back to Cusco. Now there is quite a good moto syndicate here in Peru so you won’t be left alone in the cold wondering, just ask and you will find help no worries.

Us with Alex at his shop

Loaded up and ready to go we waved goodbye to new found friends and set off into the distance, big distance it was too, 330 km, monsta day for us but mostly on tar so easy peasy, as luck would have it we snuck through the cloud banks and had a water free day....noice.

A chance meeting on the road we saw two bike stopped so we stopped to see if they were ok or needed help.

Turns out the Varedaro was playing up a bit but they had it under control so smiles, handshakes, dodgy dealings with sticker swaps and we were on our way again.

Great guys and they own a pub so we hope to catch up with them in Brasil

Arriving in Lampa we did the usual hostel thing, by this time I had developed a pretty chunky head cold and feeling considerably second hand.

With no wifi etc we decided to carry on the next day, if I am gonna be crook in bed may as well do RR’s and pics so the 77 road km was welcome with me being off shade.

While is Lampa we where treated to Peru's hottest boy band doing a Milli Vanilli lip sync .... he he old buggas know who I am talking about ... young punks use goooooogle so there they were with there 10 inch boom box singing to their studio prerecorded song, was kinda cool really cos it did remind me of Milli Vanilli at the time, another blast from the past ... in Lampa

We plugged Mrs.Garmin to Puno, hit cruze control and had a sleep to Puno ..... one thing kept me awake .... we were heading home???WTF

We are riding at 3863 meters so 109 meters higher than Mount Cook (the highest point in New Zealand) (Nueva Zelandia in Spanish) and we are only 68 km away, huge saving on shipping!!!

Anyway, just thought I would share this 8th wonder of the world.

Into Puno, planned on staying one night but my head cold had thickened and gone for the jugular so I am burnt out, the nice people at the hostel turned out to be not nice people at the hostile charging extra for towels, soap and they wanted $10 soles (4 x a professional car park) to park Maya which they had seen us rock up on and showed us where to park and said nothing about more for her, the discussion at entry and the quote to stay with no mention of the “extras” so we did not stay the next night choosing to go around the corner for normal treatment, turns out they lost out on 4 extra nights, again great business tactics to a white face and they lose.

Next hostel, n o i c e, not much to add to make it sound groovy other than nice people, good wifi proper hot water and parking for Maya included