Posts tagged “Peru

Let’s go to Bolivia… or better Chile?

Our actual plan was to continue to Bolivia, so we went to Puno at the Titicaca Lake near the border to Bolivia. Besides the view at the Titicaca Lake, Puno is quite an ugly town. We had a hard time to find a good accommodation including parking lots for the bikes. Finally we managed to find one.

In the evening we wanted to prepare for our ride to Bolivia and found the following web page about the road conditions in Bolivia. Reports by other travelers were not better either and so we were thinking a long time on how to continue.

On the next morning we finally decided to ride to Chile, since the road conditions seem to be pretty bad in the rainy season in Bolivia. Unfortunately this means that we won’t see the Salar de Uyuni, a huge salt area in Bolivia, which we wanted to cross. Anyway most of the Salar seems to be covered by water already, so we would not have been able to cross it in any case.
To go to Chile, we had to drive back to Tacna at the coast. On our ride, the police stopped us and asked for an insurance which we did not have. 😉 Fprtunately they accepted our fake insurance which we printed ourselves a few weeks ago.

The border crossing itself was very easy but quite annoying, because the first time we were asked to detach all our luggage and bring them to x-ray. At night we staid in Pozo al Monte, a little city in the north of Chile.

Art in Chile

Posted by: michasifi and carmen.on.the.road

Meeting Bikers in Cusco

After another ride across the mountains including 4000m passes, we arrived in Cusco in the afternoon. Alex and Mathias, two bikers from Germany, recommended a cheap and biker-friendly hostel in the center of Cusco. When we arrived there, we were pretty surprised that another 5 bikes with 8 bikers, all from Germany, were staying in that hostel. All bikers are traveling South America heading to Ushuaia.

Our hostel in Cusco

In addition to the german bikers, Steve and Roy, two bikers from Norway, whom we got to know on Stahlratte, were in Cusco as well. In the evening we joined them for dinner, but we made a bad choice: We went to a cheap touristic restaurant offering a complete menu for just 15 soles ( about 7 dollars ). So it was no surprise that the Alpaca steak was cold and tough and besides wanted to leave our digestion organs pretty quickly. 😉 Anyway we went to a bar for a last drink and ordered the national drink of Peru, the “Pisco Sour”.

On the next morning we took breakfast together with the other german bikers and said good-bye to them, because most of them left for the Colca Canyon after breakfast. Since both of us have seen the Colca Canyon alreads, we staid for another day in Cusco and visited some ruins from which we had a very nice view at Cusco, as well.

View at Cusco

Since Steve and Roy were flying back to Norway the next day, we took the opportunity to have another dinner with them. This time we chose a rather expensive location, but the food was very good!

Posted by: michasifi and carmen.on.the.road

Turbulent flight over the Nazca Lines

Our next destination were the famous Nazca-Lines. On our way we had pretty heavy cross wind which seems to be typical for the coast of Peru. So we had a little foretaste of what is to come in Patagonia. Our ride led us through the dense traffic of Lima as well and we were quite happy when we left the big roads in Lima.

After a long ride we arrived in Nazca in the late afternoon and decided to fly over the famous lines in the next morning. At 8am a taxi picked us up and we were driving to the little airport where we had to do a check, like luggage control, weight, etc. Afterwards we entered a small Cessna and started to take off. The Cessna was flying very low and flying steep curves, so that we could see the lines very well. This was a good idea, but after 10 minutes we were both feeling very sick and so we just hoped for a fast landing. Four days of sailing on “Stahlratte” was a piece of cake compared to the 20 minutes flight across the Nazca Lines. We were really surprised that the people did not throw up on that flight. Our conclusion: Much money for getting sick and not the best view either.

Nazca LinesNazca Lines

After the flight we had to rest for some time before we continued our voyage. We went across the mountains heading to Cusco, but since we started not before noon, we had to stop in a little village in the mountains. We actually thought about camping in the mountains, but due to the cold weather and the heavy rain, we were very happy to find a hostel including parking space directly besides our bets.

Our room including parking space :-) In a little village between Nazca and Cusco

Posted by: michasifi and carmen.on.the.road

Gravelroad through Canyon del Pato

In Peru the landscape changed drastically: While the Panamericana was winding through dense mountain vegetation, it changed to a straight road through a desert like landscape in Peru. Since straight roads are quite boring, we decided to follow the recommendation of Steve and Roy, two motorbike travelers whom we got to know on the Stahlratte, and ride through the Canyon del Pato.

The Canyon followed the Rio Santa river between the mountains Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Blanca. We started our tour early in the morning in Santa to have enough time to spend in the Canyon. The first part was on a paved road. A little time later the road changed to a wide gravel road first but then it got more and more narrow. The road was leading across shaky bridges and numerous, dark tunnels. The latter was a little problem, because Carmens light was not working anymore. In longer tunnels Michael had to pass her and drive in front of her to give her some light using his break light. Besides those little inconveniences, this ride was awesome and we really enjoyed it. Besides the view was breathtaking.

Before we entered Caraz, the road was paved again and we were passing glaciers and Huaraz to continue on the Panamericana at the sea side.

canyon del patotunneldurchfahrt im canyon del patocanyon del patocanyon del patocanyon del patocanyon del pato

Posted by: michasifi and carmen.on.the.road

Good Luck and Bad Luck

We started a long leg in Banos and were riding through the mountains passing the snow covered Chimborazo to Loja. We staid on the Panamericana which is really a nice winding road here and is quite some fun. So we were driving for hours through the mountains until it happened: This day it was Michaels turn to lead and he passed a bridge. Almost invisible there was a speed bump at the end of the bridge. Michael saw it almost too late and did a full break to avoid flying over the bump. Unfortunately Carmen did not see the bump and hence she was totally surprised by Michael hitting the breaks. She managed to break, but it was already too late. She crashed into Michaels left pannier with about 40 miles per hour. Michaels left and Carmens right pannier were ripped off the bikes and fell to the ground. Both of us were sliding on the tarmac for a few meters, but fortunately came to a stop rather quickly. Michaels foot was jammed underneath his bike, but Carmen managed to lift the bike a bit and Michael could free his foot. After a brief check we realized that we were not really hurt. Fortunately we always wear our motorcycle gear. The bikes themselves were not really damaged either, but the panniers and Carmens tank bag were pretty damaged. The panniers were bent and the mounting was partly ripped off the bike. After a quick repair, we were able to attach the panniers temporarily and could continue to Loja.

Carmen's pannier after the crash

After arriving in Loja we checked into a nice hostel in the center of the town and started to think about our options. Our first idea was to buy new panniers. We indeed found some in the evening for “just” US$ 240. That was definitely too much and we were thinking about reducing our luggage to continue with just two panniers. We did not really like that option either, so we went to a mechanic the next day and asked him to repair our panniers. The mechanic was not exactly great but at least he managed to repair the panniers so that we could attach them to the bikes again. They are not really water proof anymore, but we have enough of plastic bags. 🙂 Besides we asked the mechanic to drill holes into the panniers, so that the water can flow out at least.

After this little delay we continued to Peru on the next morning. On our way we were stopped by a military control. The soldiers however were very nice and took pictures of us after checking our papers.

Crossing the border was quite unspectacular: The process was very easy, but took again about 2 hours. In the first bigger city after the border, we were looking for a cheap hotel including parking lots. After some desperate search, a local guy, Felipe, and his family approached us. Felipe could speak german very well, since he lived in Germany for six months and helped us finding a cheap hotel directly in the center of the town. After checking in, we went to dinner with Felipe, his wife and his two sons. We could not have imagined a more heartly welcome to Peru!

Posted by: michasifi and carmen.on.the.road