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Offline BlueBull2007

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Drama in the High Mountains
« on: November 17, 2008, 01:59:49 pm »
I desperately try regain control of my bike as it tries it best to high-side me. Somehow I manage this, with a hectic over-steer to the right, but now I´m running out of road fast, I´m sliding and there is nothing between me, the edge of the road and a raging river ten meters below. I´m not going to make it?.

It all started about a week ago, when Mrs. BB told me she was tired of being afraid of riding her bike. She would just ride it afraid, and wanted to do the Lima to Cerro route to prove it: A technical ride of around 300km of dirt up over mountains nearly 5,000m high. We did a dry 140km run to a place called Antiochia on Sunday which went really well, so we were both keen to do this. It would also be the opportunity for me to find the more direct route to the mine that I had missed on the last occasion.

We set off at 6 am on Wednesday the 12th  November to miss the traffic and make the most of the day. It is a little colder this morning, and the mist hangs lower for longer. The sun is barely shining through.

It soon clears up in Chosica and the first interesting sight is a guy taking his sheep for a walk.

The sheep is not impressed with the bike, and does not want to pose for the pic, nearly strangling itself and dragging off its owner in the process. I decide to leave this chaotic scene to sort it self out without my help.

D & I regroup at the end of the tar and the start of the pass.

Mrs. BB has always been nervous to do tight turns, but here she is doing it admirably, weight on the outside, head up and not too nervous with the throttle control.

We cruise through a little village and but there is no one around.

Passing the hydropower station I look up and see the road we will be taking up above us on the side of the mountain.

The hairpins here are more hectic, and we stop to gather our composure.

The drop off is hairy as ever,

And D looks concerned.

But she steels herself and does it.

Suddenly D stops and complains about blue liquid spraying on her leg. It looks like coolant. Oh boy. One of the pips from the radiator to the engine seems loose and fine mist of hot liquid sprays away. Out comes the tools and were fix the offending C-clip with a lot of effort. The bike seems ok, so we ride on.

Just after I take this pic,

There is a loud bang and another pipe comes out spraying a large volume of hot water all over D. Amazingly she somehow is not scalded, but she is not impressed with the situation. This time we have to strip the bike down to get the pipes back on. It??s a real battle.

Fortunately there is a little stream nearby so D gets busy with cleaning gunk off her clothes. One wet but clean pair of pants, one wet sock, and one boot later:

Praying doesn??t seem to be working.

About an hour later everything has been bolted back together again and we check the fluid levels. Surprisingly, the reservoir is full, yet a fair amount of coolant had come out. The bike is cooler now so we set off, keeping a beady eye on the temperature levels.

Ten minutes later we stop, the bike is running in the red. We are not very happy.

We´re at 3,500m and need to make a decision.  Perhaps it??s the water pump, I don??t know. The fan comes on when the temperature goes up. For some stupid reason I don??t think it´s because there might be an airlock in the system. We could ride the bike higher and stop regularly to allow it to cool down, but the chance of cooking it is too high for us so we decide to leave it there. And phone a few people in-the-know when we can. D is upset that she has to ride with Julio in the car, but also secretly happy that her trip has come to an end. It´s been four hours of hard riding already and we still have a long, long way to go.

We leave it with the people who are looking after this place.

I  continue on my bike, and realize I have forgotten how hard it really is. D later tells me she is very happy her bike is out, she is not sure she is fit enough for this amount of riding.

The road is truly spectacular, and the sunny weather makes it feel like a different place.

My bike is dwarfed by the scenery, and I have to stop often to catch my breath due to lack of oxygen.

Everywhere are glacial lakes. Some small like this one.

I wind my way up to the top

Where I am greeted by a peak that was hidden in cloud the last time.

It is here where I deviate from my first trip and make my way more to the north.

I come across some llamas, these are ready for shearing. You should see how comical they look after they have been sheared.

The weather looks like it is coming in but I hope that I can beat it on this fairly fast road.

I ask the way to a place called Lago Junin  from these guys in the middle of desolation. They seem friendly enough?

Then I notice what they have hanging up around the house:


What the.....not really sure what those are, or were. Perhaps theyre dogs, I don´t see any around, which is strange for Perú. Whatever they are, it doesn??t look all that palatable.

The road open up further to the north, and I am reminded of the southern Free State or Lesotho.

Thinking of home, so far away I can´t help feeling extremely isolated, even though I know Julio and Mrs. BB are somewhere behind me.

Its mid afternoon now, Im pretty tired, and the road just never seems to want to go north, it turns east, west but the 90km I have on my GPS till my destination doesn??t seems to be getting much shorter. I meet this friendly fellow.

I try to get some kind of an idea where to turn. He assures me I am on the right road.

Eventually the road turns north and we reach another village, with only a road going east-west.

I have to go north?which way should I turn?

I decide on west, towards the higher mountains. The road is amazing, and I whack up some high speeds at last.

What a pleasure. Everything up until now has rarely let me get much above 80 at best, on average 35-40km/hr. Its liberating to be running this dirt highway.

Half an hour later, I catch up with these guys (sorry for the bad pic)

They assure me this is not the way to go, I should have gone the OTHER way. We have to backtrack 40m the other way. What is it with navigating in this place? The roads on the GPS maps I have are extremely vague. Clearly these are not tracked very often, if at all.

Back at the village, this bloke confirms what the bikers have told me.

I race on across lonely planes,

time is against us.

Despite this the road is really cool. I have time to reflect on life, the universe and everything.

The sky is fantastic but also distracting eight or nine hours into the trip.

 I´m battling to keep my concentration up.

Eventually we come over a rise and see the Lago Junin stretched out before us: Relief. Four hours later!

This lake is around 40km across and forms the main part of the Junin national park, famous for its hundreds of unique bird species.

It´s getting late so I don´t have much time to look for birds. I press on. The view nevertheless is spectacular.

I arrive in the town of Ondores, and am faced with the next dilemma.

Do I belt north along a dirt road all the way to Cerro or, take the road 10km to the south, join up with the Cerretera Central highway and ride the 60km easy to the mine.

These people help me with the decision.

I am constantly amazed at the warmth and hospitality of the people in the mountains, the have not´s.  It´s such a far cry from the culture of the rich Peruvians sitting in Lima, who are sour and snobbish and live off the efforts of these people. These kind people are also much nicer than the money grubbing leeches you find in Cusco and Macchu Picchu anod other tourist spots. Real salt of the earth. I can only recommend that anyone who plans to visit Peru should spend time off the beaten tourist tracks and get to experience the rest of Perú and all it people have to offer.  Unfortunately they are not good when it comes to road directions, but I know this. I´m told that the dirt road ahead is terrible and I should rather get to the cerretera central asap. I go in the opposite direction, to the horror of Mrs BB and Julio, who have no option but to follow me.

The road turns out to be fantastic, apart from the odd horseman and his attack dog.


I gun the bike up to 150 on the straights, the road is a dirt highway across the plain.

We arrive at Cerro de Pasco, exhausted at 6pm, after 11 good hours in the saddle. What an epic. My wrists are aching, my legs are sore, my feet?well never mind my feet.  I´m sure it could be done faster, but with all the backtracking and wrong turns things dragged out. I´m relieved D was unable to go the full distance, I barely made it myself.

I go to bed early, in two days I will be returning.  That would turn out to be a second day of high drama. To be continued/?.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 02:06:29 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 02:11:30 pm »
Fantastic Report.

High drama in the mountains.

Keep em coming.

Offline Rooies

Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 02:11:59 pm »
More, more!
Current:     BMW R1150GS -> "Die Waterbuffel"
                  Honda XR650L -> "The DreamCrusher"
Previous:   BMW R1200GSA,  Honda XL700V

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Online KiLRoy

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 02:12:14 pm »
Good stuff BB2007 - keep it coming....  Fantastic biking country??

Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 02:16:06 pm »
I think I am going to hate you...
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.


Offline Crop Sprang

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 02:23:31 pm »
that looks incredible
let's have some more .......now !!!!!!!!
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Offline bmad

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 02:25:57 pm »
I like Peru  :thumleft:

Cool report so far, looking forward to the rest  :biggrin:
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Offline Beemer Man (RIP)

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2008, 02:28:26 pm »
I would love to see all the pictures, they just take so Frikken long to download!! :( >:(
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Offline growweblaar

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2008, 02:31:16 pm »
I hate you already :(

Great report  :thumleft:

Offline Misty

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2008, 02:35:44 pm »
WOW yet another great report and stunning pics - that place amazes me every time how beautiful it is - Well done to D (Mrs BB) who did really really well - those passes look pretty hectic! :thumleft:
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Offline Matroos (aka JJred)

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2008, 09:02:37 pm »
Well done D really !!!

It looks like the confidence thing is returning plus the fun factor is also evident.

Very nice report BB, very jealous out here.

Offline hh

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2008, 06:44:45 am »
Sheeet, let my Sunday outings here looks Insignificant. The water leak, a problem with the new F800GeenSand and the 650. Replace all those sheety clamps with proper one's ASAP.
The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I'll walk carefully, - Russian Proverb

Offline Plothond

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 06:57:46 am »

Some of those pics are fantastic.

Really scenic and the riding looks at times like you could be in Lesotho
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Offline edgy

Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2008, 07:19:00 am »
+1,i was thinking Lesotho!

 BEER..."I drink it when I`m happy or when I`m sad. I drink it when I`m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. Trifle with it if I`m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I`m thirsty"

Offline rubiblue

Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2008, 07:41:56 am »
nice rr, await the sequel!
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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2008, 07:50:23 am »
Amazing pics, you should enter teh photo comp
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Offline Watty

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2008, 08:04:37 am »

Offline ROOI

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 08:08:20 am »
Cant wait  :peepwall:

Offline Lourens ツ

Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 08:54:35 am »
Excellent so far,  I'm waiting with anticipation!   :thumright:
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Offline Snafu

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Re: Drama in the High Mountains
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2008, 09:34:19 am »
Very nice BB, keep it coming plse!
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