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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2009, 01:16:25 am »
Thanks everyone for the feedback, it encourages me to push on.  :glasses1:

Quote from: Hoofseun
About the tyres..

All in good time, all in good time... :ricky:

Awesome report BB!!  :thumleft:  Thanks.
Looks like it could be viable to come and put up a paint shop over there? The people donâ??t seem that perky though.
Enjoy and ride safe!

Hiya Pongo, and welcome to Wilddogs!  Hope you enjoy the rest of this report, and looking forward to reading yours. I can tell you the paint in this country is really crap. I reckon you would do well if you could get double velvet in here. There is definitely a market in Lima. :deal:
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 01:21:47 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2009, 01:26:16 am »
I have to tell you guys about the tollgates here: You´ll love them.




Bikers donâ??t pay, but...... (why is there is always a but?) you are not allowed to drive through them. The cops who guard the gates and the people working in the booths get very, very upset if you donâ??t drive around. So normally itâ??s a complicated process of crossing over on the left (wrong) side of the road in front of oncoming traffic and sneaking through the special vehicles section that dont pay, or through a narrow gap that bikes can slip through.

We eventually arrive in Piura which is your typical un-sign-posted Peruvian town and got lost in a horde of motor taxis. Cruising around we eventually found this kind chap who was able to help us find the Plaza las Armas.




Once again, the hotel was this great building with fantastic service, all for only S/.114 (R330) for the night.




Ok, we were living it up a little, but we felt we deserved it!

It´s time I showed you roughly where we were going: Here is the first Day.




And here is Day 2 & 3:





Day 3

The next morning traffic was better in Piura, and we enjoyed a relatively peace trip out of town. The plan was to take it easy today as this was the more scenic part of the Peruvian coastline.




Of course we were seasoned travellers by now, accomplished in the art of intimidating other drivers and emergency braking when they won and we didn´t.  :eek:


The country side outside Northam Piura made us pine for Africa.




Every town we went through had its own uniquely defining statue on the main â??Ovaloâ?ť as you come in. Here was Sullana´s:




We could feel we were getting closer to the jungle even though this area was still pretty arid. Here is one of the smaller rivers we crossed. ;D :biggrin:






Of course just when you are beginning to feel â??bokâ?ť  :mwink: pulling wheelies on your GS in front of everyone you meet some hardcore biker with little or normally no ATTGATT using his bike everyday to run his business.   :bluduh: No fear..




More Rice paddies, garnished with palm trees

 


These guys do love their pollo y arroz (chicken & rice), hence all the rice paddies.


As we rolled into hot dry and dusty Talara, we came across lots of donkey carts like this one  ;D:




These guys supply municipal water in 44 gallon drums on their carts to the whole town, seeing as there are no pipes. There were lots of them.


Talara is a port town close to the western-most tip of south America. 81 degrees 19 minutes west! It´s also known for its oil reserves both on and offshore.




Here we saw a base structure for an oil-drilling platform in the distance being constructed before it is towed out to sea and planted on the seabed.




There is also an airbase just outside the town.




Of course we have to get the picture of bikes crusing past the oil dippers.  :ricky:  :ricky: There were literally hundreds of these things dotted accross the countryside.





The twisties wound nicely though the desert, but not all of them are managed well by the taxis. :o






We had problems of our own. D´s kneepads were pressing hard on her knee, aggravating a previous skiing injury.




Over an ice cream we worked out that when you wash your ATGATT, make sure the kneepads go back into the knee area and the elbow pads into the elbow area of the riding suits, not the other way round!  :laughing4:



We detoured to the coast a bit further on to visit the scene where the â??Old Man and the Seaâ?ť by Ernest Hemingway was written and later filmed.








Awwww   :love3:






It was pretty spectacular.









Big Pelicans flap overhead. They have no fear of humans and will grab your arm to get your lunch if theyre on the ground nearby.





We hit the road again and cruised through the famous surfing town of Mancora, with its characteristic tourist traps. Dodgey, sunburnt gringo backpacker chicks sporting dreads troll the streets, looking for sleezy Peruvian surfer wannabes lounging noncholantly in tropical clubs set aginst on the beach, nursing hangovers and hustling snow to suckers from Europe and the U.S. We decide we are too old for this and cruise on for 20 odd clicks looking for a quieter spot to stay.

We meet HEIDI  :o who has a very deep voice and insists she is from GERMANY. (Don´t mention the war!!) 26 years in Peru, you don´t wanna mess with this manwoman. "You vil paark over zer, next to Hauses, ze best place in all ova Peroo."



Check out the calf muscles. "Its Zelf-catering but its is zee cheapest place in Peru so you get what you pay for..." Actually, she was quite sweet old ducky.

When the four tour busses of middle aged Swedes rocked up and began setting up their camp on the roof of their buses, right outside our window, we decided this was not the spot. So off we went  :ricky: Bikes are cool that way- You can up and off in two ticks.




Some of the beach houses along here are pretty impressive.




A few kilomters we found the perfect spot. We were the only people staying here that night. Comfortable, and dinner B&B cost us the equivalent of R250 for both of us.




And we had the beach to ourselves  :mwink:




A great sunset ended our day. We had done about 1300km to this point from Lima.




Tomorrow we would cross the border climb up into the mountains and then the adventure would really begin.


Day 4


We learn that crossing into Ecuador is not a simple process at all. For a start, we arrive in Tumbes, the last frontier town of Peru and drive past immigration without realizing it.  :deal: Some guy on a truck waved me down and pointed out my error  :xxbah: . We go back, battling against heavy traffic. All the while,  communters fly past the immigration control post in trucks, busses, bicycles and taxis, some of them walking completely unhindered by the border control official. Ok. This must be a gringo trap. There are a couple of people queing outside a ramshackle building.

I join the queue, and amazingly it takes me to Passport control. Passports get stamped, everything in order, no problem.

"Where is customs?" I ask. I am told its about 3km further down the road.
"I´m sorry my spanish is not great, did you say tres kilometres?"
"Si"
"Well ok then, but what about these other people?"
"Oh no, they all live here." Okayyy then.. ::) So off we go. Five kilometers later, we get to what seems like it could be the REAL fontier. This is what we see:



There is no customs in sight. Just a mass of people moving in both directions over this bridge. What the..... Okay then, everyone else is cruising over. Lets go too then.

We are almost under that Welcome to Ecuador Sign on the other side of the bridge when we hear a tremendous amount of yelling and shouting over our bike engines from a guy in casual clothes and a policeman´s cap. We have to go back.  :dousing:  The cop guy looks really miffed. :-\






***
Sorry guys, its time to sleep again, more on this tomorrow. Thanks for your interest so far.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 05:50:08 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline hh

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2009, 06:28:10 am »
Roll on 2010.
The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I'll walk carefully, - Russian Proverb
 

Offline Hoofseun

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2009, 05:11:23 pm »
The maps you put in gives n ice context to the ride, excellent.  I still need to find out how to upload things that are not photos?

Some things that are normal there may be very unconceivable here like the toll gates.  Seems interesting until you know how it works.

Love the beach all toyourselves.

Thnxs for sharing, will read some mor enext week!!!

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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2009, 05:28:57 pm »
You're killing me! You make South America look more and more appealing.
Awesome stuff.
 :thumleft:
 

Offline redtiger

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2009, 05:33:14 pm »
Thanks for posting I enjoy the pics second best thing to have been there.  :thumleft:
 

Offline Vaufi

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2009, 10:03:35 pm »
Great report, mate!

So what exactly are you doing there - no holiday trip or what?


Just see that you find time for the Carretera Austral in south Chile. Awesome! And ride right down to Punta Arenas, if you can.
If you do - PM me. I cycled that route a couple of years ago.
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Offline Vaufi

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2009, 10:08:32 pm »
Great report, mate!

So what exactly are you doing there - no holiday trip or what?

Oh, sorry sir. I missed your input that your in teh mining business. So you're combining work & play  :D That's the way to do it  :D
Only when we pause to wonder
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Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2009, 11:54:00 pm »
Keep it coming  :thumleft:
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2009, 07:27:33 am »
Great stuff BB - looking forward to the rest!
Man, you sure are lucky being able to combine work and play  ;D
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2009, 07:24:23 pm »
Great stuff BB - looking forward to the rest!
Man, you sure are lucky being able to combine work and play  ;D

Yeah I am, the problem often its all work and no play though, like it has been for the past couple of days. Update coming soon.
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2009, 01:45:24 am »
Ok, the server has settled down (thanks admin bikers), and I have a gap in my workschedule to finally complete this RR, thanks for your patience so far. :thumleft:


Turning the bikes around in this crowd was going to be a nightmare, so D guarded the bikes, and I followed the cop with all our papers back to the aduana´s office. He calmed down once we were in the shade, and after a long and detailed scrutiny of the paperwork we were free to go.


Crossing into Ecuador was as surreal as the Peruvian side. No wonder this is a major drug smuggling route!  Again I left D who braved sitting between some greasy Spanish guys  :puke_r: on a bench out of the sun where she could watch the bikes on the bridge, and followed a kindly official through a warren-like marketplace on foot for a few hundred metres. It was good thing I had a guide. Eventually we arrived at this grey-white building with a large impatient crown surrounding double doors guarded by heavily armed military police. Ah, this must be the customs building.

It helped being a gringo, because I was whisked through the doors, and through another employee’s only entrance into a series of offices filled with officials and heaps of paperwork lying everywhere. No long queues in the sweaty and clastrophobic hall outside, thank God. I sat there waiting for this official to enter the details of my bike into the computer. Half an hour later he was still trying to work out how to type my name. He clearly had no understanding on how a mouse or keyboard was supposed to work.  ::) Being somewhat impatient, and knowing Dee was having a time of it back at the bridge, I quickly commandeered the situation and gave the official a crash course in filling out electronic forms for the import permit. I think it would have been there all day had he done it.

Two hours after walking in I came out with a permit for my bike. D and I swapped places and another hour later she was back with hers. Great. Now all we need to do is get through immigration. Where was Immigration? Oh, about 3-4km further on. We just shook our heads in amazement and rode off.

It wasn’t long before we were out of town and in the green Ecuadorean countryside, with no immigration office in site. Asking around we realised we had gone too far and missed it. No surprise there really. Slowly backtracking, we eventually found it: A ramshackle building with a tatty, old flag drooping off a rusted pole about 50m off the road.


Formalities complete we met two guys going the other way who had been riding two up from L.A. with a large backpack on this little green thing:




Here are our unlikely heros:




As impressive as it was that they had managed to get so far on such a small bike, I must confess they looked a little “off” to me.



Imagine riding two up with your “buddy” on this little seat for thousands of km. I can understand it with a nice girl, but two guys? Which one is up front?!?!? Must be quite brave...Take it like a man.  :biggrin: :laughing4:

Anyway we said our goodbyes and headed off on to the north east, here is the route we took:


« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 03:18:07 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2009, 03:44:10 am »
The scenery in Ecuador is quite different, its really quite amazing how quickly things turn from desert to tropical.




Very quickly we begin climbing into the mountains again:




The beautiful views and nice weather coupled with great twisties on a relatively good surface interspaced with large potholes and one or two sections of no asphalt make the ride quite pleasant. It´s not too high, but high enough to be cool, getting towards the cold side.










Ecuador seems to be very biker friendly. The cage drivers actually see you – They may not avoid you- But at least they see you. There was this huge MX track in one of the towns we passed through. Also, plenty of notices up about rider safety, sort of “Think Bike” and ones like this recommending the use of a helmet.






Somehow, we dodge the rain but it gets a lot colder the higher we go.








Even up at 3,400m the houses are well built, and seem much more liveable than their counterparts at similar altitudes in Peru.








We finally dropped down towards Cuenca to spend the night there after a good ten hours, on the road perhaps four of them spent wrangling with the border officials. We were pretty tired.



Cuenca turns out to be quite nice mountain town at 2,600m above sea level and had a large plaza, cathedral and number if good hotels to choose from. I was tired and didn´t feel like taking pictures, so if you want to see what it´s like, you´ll have to go there yourself, sorry. Definitely worth a visit though.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 04:15:30 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2009, 04:10:09 am »
Day 5

Day 5 saw us moving back towards the south again. As much as we wanted to explore the volcano´s, hot springs and beaches further to the north, time did not allow us, and besides, we wanted to do some more remote, off-the-beaten-track riding.

For those of you who like maps, here is one showing our tracks wandering deep into the mountains:





The road south to Loja climbs up into the mountains again. The first part was in considerable disrepair,





But we were soon onto nice stretches of concrete highway perfect for a superbike:




Hmmph, not what we wanted to ride really, but we knew further to the south it would get a lot wilder. Actually the roads are still very windy, and it´s amazing how long it takes to cover any distance in these really huge mountains.




Some place looked like the bushveldt, very weird.








A short Lunch break: Tuna and bread, washed down with coke.




The view from the bridge:





There were some quite long sections under construction. Here being on a bike pays off, because you can jump the long queues and “run the gauntlet” with traffic coming the other way, while keeping a beady eye on the steel spikes sometimes sticking out sideways and sometimes bend upwards out of the concrete surface. A wipe-out here would not be pleasant.




I enjoyed photographing the spectators we got from time to time.







We finally got to Loja, after four hours covering only 250km (twisties were something else!), and decided to press on to Vilcabamba our destination another 300km further south.




We did enjoy some of the architecture and the smell of ready good food, garlic & herbs.




I suppose we should have stopped and sampled the local cuisine but we were keen to burn rubber and pushed onwards.


« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 04:43:41 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2009, 05:19:03 am »
We eventually stopped for a late lunch in this hospedaje.







Great Spanish architecture.







Very nice actually, but we were gatvol with riding by this stage and just wanted to get to Vilcabamba and the place we had in mind to spend a rest day. So after a nice lemonade and ice or five, we were on our way again once again.
The road winds through the mountains and then you come across little towns like this:




Once again we were able to dodge the weather,




And got to Vilcabamba, a real one horse town. More like a village really, it never even had a fuel station.




So after another hour and  half wasted back tracing to the last fuel station to top up, we returned to Vilcabamba and our “Eco” guest lodge. Turned out to be quite cool place, despite numerous European backpackers. Run by a nice German guy, Pieter (what´s with zese Germans and zeir South American guesthouses anyway??), it had a restaurant with a brilliant view over the mountains. The room was also great, with this view:




It also had a mirror on the ceiling! ? !  :eek7: I guess there isn’t that much to do in this part of the world. It certainly was a sleepy place.

Day 6

We spent the day sleeping on the bed under the mirror  :mwink: and generally relaxing. But it was also time to change my tyre. I had no problem getting the one off, but the new one was an absolute bitch to put on. I double checked the size, it was the right spec. Eventually I asked a friendly pom to help me.




But two of us simply could not get the tyre onto the rim. At one stage I heard a cracking sound…oh boy, not the rim. So we stopped and took it off again, trying from the other side. Again, the last bit was just unnaturally difficult. Then there was a bang and this is what we ended up with:





Its not like I´ve never done this before, I have manually put on plenty of new tyres, we used the soap and everything.  Very, very frustrating, especially since that tyre had come all the way from SA. I´d be interested to hear what the experts out there have to say about this. How can it be possible to break a new tyre??  :xxbah:

Anyway there was no other option but to put the old one back on again and hope it lasted all the way home.

It´s late here again, so I´ll leave you with a taster of what is still to come:



« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 05:23:56 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2009, 07:54:18 am »
The great RR continues BB :thumleft:
Bummer about the tire though.
I'm no expert, but I reckon the tyre levers are much to far apart. If you took the LHS one out and put it a bit further "North" of the RHS one, you would have more "slack" in the tyre to get it over the rim. Also did you push the opposite side of where you were working into the middle of the rim well?
But I've never heard of a new tyre breaking like that! :o
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Offline Hoofseun

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2009, 02:45:24 pm »
Hi BB

If I look at the photos it seems that the tyre (maybe only at the point the photo was taken - specifically where the valve is, is not dropped down - you can actually put your foot on it to keep it there) was very much on the outside rim position (see opposite from where you are trying to get it over).  Now let me try and explain this in "english".

To get the tyre over you must ensure that the tyre is dropped into the middle of the rim where the diameter is less and allows for the tyre to be pulled over on the other side.

By pushing the tyre away from beading section of the rim, it gets to the inside which is narrower than the outside diameter and allows you to get it over.

Hope I have interpreted the photos correctly and that the explanation helps. me engleesh are not soooo lekka!







But two of us simply could not get the tyre onto the rim. At one stage I heard a cracking sound…oh boy, not the rim. So we stopped and took it off again, trying from the other side. Again, the last bit was just unnaturally difficult. Then there was a bang and this is what we ended up with:


[/quote]
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Offline redtiger

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2009, 03:34:24 pm »
Hi BB thanks for posting and great pics, I really envy you been able to ride those roads and see a part of the world I would like to see as well.
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2009, 03:37:00 pm »
Hi BB

If I look at the photos it seems that the tyre (maybe only at the point the photo was taken - specifically where the valve is, is not dropped down - you can actually put your foot on it to keep it there) was very much on the outside rim position (see opposite from where you are trying to get it over).  Now let me try and explain this in "english".

To get the tyre over you must ensure that the tyre is dropped into the middle of the rim where the diameter is less and allows for the tyre to be pulled over on the other side.

By pushing the tyre away from beading section of the rim, it gets to the inside which is narrower than the outside diameter and allows you to get it over.

Hope I have interpreted the photos correctly and that the explanation helps. me engleesh are not soooo lekka!



Quote


But two of us simply could not get the tyre onto the rim. At one stage I heard a cracking sound…oh boy, not the rim. So we stopped and took it off again, trying from the other side. Again, the last bit was just unnaturally difficult. Then there was a bang and this is what we ended up with:



Jou engels is goed ou maat, en nou lyk ek as a dom d*****r :P I will have a look at it next time.

Anyway, Letsgofishing, I did have the spanners more north, but it was impossible to get the bloody things in there. I think perhaps Hoofsuen is right. What a right nana I am!
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2009, 03:39:57 pm »
Hi BB thanks for posting and great pics, I really envy you been able to ride those roads and see a part of the world I would like to see as well.

Redtiger, thanks for your comment ou boet. Make it a vision of yours to come out here, and you will make it. Its really not that expensive (ok it is expensive but you only live once), and we could set you up with a bike if you made it.

We are busy planning our next trip in two weeks: To circumnavigate Lake Titicaca and do some cool mountain roads in the Cusco region on the way back.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 03:41:46 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250