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Author Topic: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!  (Read 5952 times)

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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2009, 03:41:55 pm »
South America looks like it could be one of the most beautiful regions in the world.
 

Offline redtiger

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2009, 03:51:56 pm »
Shot thanks for the offer BB I have a mate who emigrated to Chile at the moment ( he is also into the DS riding) and a visit to them is planned for 2010. I wanted to do it in January to try get to see a bit of the Dakar rally. After enquires found that air tickets the most expensive that time of the year (flights from SA also limited) so probable going to be around May 2010.
I will bear your offer in mind if I do get there but then again Lima looks close to Chile on the map but actualy very far away.
If you in Eastern Cape maybe  I can return the favour.
 

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2009, 04:01:11 pm »
Awesome!  The pictures tell the whole story.
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 04:41:26 pm »
Shot thanks for the offer BB I have a mate who emigrated to Chile at the moment ( he is also into the DS riding) and a visit to them is planned for 2010. I wanted to do it in January to try get to see a bit of the Dakar rally. After enquires found that air tickets the most expensive that time of the year (flights from SA also limited) so probable going to be around May 2010.
I will bear your offer in mind if I do get there but then again Lima looks close to Chile on the map but actualy very far away.
If you in Eastern Cape maybe  I can return the favour.

You should get us in touch, because we plan to do Chile maybe later this year, we will see how things go. Thanks also for your reciprocal offer. I dont know the east cape so well but when we come back to South Africa (maybe in Nov) you could do Baviaans with us? Is it as good as they say?
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Offline redtiger

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2009, 04:54:48 pm »
BB lots of good rides in the Eastern Cape baviaans been one of them, I will pm you my contact details to contact me if you in the area and you could also meet some of the other PE dogs.
 

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2009, 04:56:10 pm »
South America looks like it could be one of the most beautiful regions in the world.

+ 10000 :thumleft:
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated, no really
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2009, 09:43:26 pm »
Ag sorry okes Ive left this one very late, but I have to finish it. Why so long you ask? Well apart from changing jobs, keeping the new company alive and breaking my wrist while trying to dodge a SUV towing a horse trailer, itīs hard work putting these things together and beer & braai sounded like a better idea at the time. Anyway. We continue:

Day 7

This turned out to be an EPIC day. We originally planned to leave early and get to the border back into Peru and then on to San Ignatio, some 100km further on. Travelling time vared between 7 to 15 hours depending on who you asked. We were warned it was a bad dirt road but with our bikes we should be fine. Well you can see how far we got.



We started early, having to put my old tyre back on in place of the broken one  :-\ the previous evening. Up at 05h00s, we enjoyed the last twisties on tar in the dark.

Gradually the dawn greated us, a very damp dawn. The scenery was surreal, mountainous as usual but with weird shapes and mostly covered in an emerald carpet.








We wound up this valley to about 3,100m and from the top (in the distance) the road turned to dirt, and the clouds closed in, bringing a very heavy mist and light drizzle.



We were under pressure to perform with 350km on dirt at least to make it to our destination. here is D belting along on her 650 through the rain & mist (sorry for the poor quality):



I came around a corner on a steep downhill, and a large bus pumping at pace in the other direction out of the thick mist. There was no warning, visibility was down to a good 15m. The road was far too narrow for the both of us and he cut right accross the corner blocking my escape route. We both slammed on anchors and yours truely managed to lose the front end, going down in front of the oncoming bus. Good thing the bus had brakes and a steep uphill to assit him slow down because I would have been a goner had it not been for that. He came to a halt right over me.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 07:19:14 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in Nine Days - Updated
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2009, 10:28:55 pm »
A huge argument ensued, I thought he had been reckless, and he thought he had the right to the road and I should have moved out of the way. Then all his friends climbed off the bus and joined the fracas. The nice thing about being a saffa in South America is that that you stand head and shoulders above anyone else. I was not in the mood for niceties and was ready to take the head off the driver.  :angryfire: :argue: I think they saw this and decided to back down after hearing my cursing in the foreign boeretaal. Nothing like threating his mother and stuff in Afrikaans. They understand it very well.

No help from anyone, D & I had to pull the bike out from under the bus, detach the left pannier which had been ripped off in the fall and drag the bike out of the road. The bus was hardly able to start again, you can see the rocks that went under the bus wheels to stop it rolling back in this photo:


Ray Cytechīs indestructible, state-of-the-art, high-tech, larny-looking, bomb proof, bliksemse expensive and "guarenteed" pannier racks were -to put it bluntly- totally disconfookulated. We were in a real jam. Here is my lovely wife doing her bit as a mechanic!



The whole bracket had broken in the front and been bent 90 outwards with the pannier box. The pannier box lock was lying in the road, and all the connecting bolts had basically sheared off on the box and on the bracket.

Ag tog nou wat gaan ons doen?


Not to be outdone, 2 hours later we had fixed what could be fixed and had somehow managed to strap the bits and pieces together with tiedowns that I always carry for this kind of rigging. Off we went.


At least things were drying out a bit.



We came round this corner and hit a crossing which turned out to be nearly a meter deep! The water was so clean it looked quite shallow, and Dee hit at pace. Not bad for a first serious crossing!




The road ahead turned out to be really quite spectacular.




We were further delayed when I realized the pinging and tinkling sounds came from panners and other tools falling out of my toolbox "pipe" that had managed to unscrew itself on the one end with all the rattling from the bad road.  :P ::)




Check the road ahead....



The road was bad, and it got harder when we hit a long patch that was being graded. Its one thing riding a graded road in the dry but when its wet and slippery it makes for character-building (read butt-clenching) stuff.





« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 07:40:57 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2009, 02:34:44 am »
River crossings became a pretty normal thing, although none were as deep as the first one.



Incredible that the undergrowth can be so thick even at this altitude. I suppose it helps to be 4 degrees south of the Equator.




The dodgey, wet, winding roads, the surprise deep water crossing & my crash coupled with the scary riding on the graded section made Dee really nervous. She slowed down considerably, which made things even more tricky. We pressed on at her pace.

The scenery was fantastic, but it was already past midday and we were tired. Things were getting tough.















As the day wore on it got hotter and hotter.




I never got tired of the vistas







But the riding bacame more and more technical as we neared the border. It just never seemed we would get there: Endless winding hill after winding hill.













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Offline BlueBull2007

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Ecuador to Peru
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2009, 02:54:02 am »
Every now and again we could catch a glimpse of the road ahead. This part of the country had hardly any cattle and sheep, instead coffee and cacao is grown, interspersed with odd cocaine plantation hidden hidden in clearings in thick jungle or in banana & plantain plantations. The country was surprisingly unpopulated. Im sure a few WDīs would love it  :biggrin:




We began stopping when we met the occasional farmer or pedestrian and ask if we really were on the right road. We only had superficial maps and the GPS didnt really show any particular southerly trend as we hoped it would. We could have been anywhere. Had we missed a turnoff somewhere? Surely not.

Then we came across a checkpoint, with three heavily armed military guys doing their best to look like Rambo, the kind you see in the movies with Harrison Ford battling drug cartels in Mexico or greasy Colombian rebels:  :pirat: :salut: These guys had the real McCoy, camo-green-battledress, dark-glasses look. What appeared to be the leader nervously fingered the trigger of the R4 automatic he had up against his shoulder, and one of his guys was a black guy. Amazing. He seemed so out of place I had to catch myself speaking Zulu to him. Black people are a rarity in these parts, and it was even more interesting to find fluent spanish blacks so far from Africa. Apparently they are descendant west africans, part of the spanish slave trade.

We were both too tired & dehaydrated to be intimidated by their hard-man stare-down moves. They turned out to be friendly enough only when it became apparent that we were no hit-men dressed in black, arriving for a late afternoon showdown. I wasnt brave enough to take a photo, wish I had asked. They checked our passports, admired the bikes, took down our names and passport numbers in triplicate while mumbling incoherent directions in Spanish to our questions. Something about the border maybe being left or right at the T-junction, or the other way. No, we just had to keep going, it was only about 80km to go. 80km!?!?!?  :o  :eek: We had done about 300 of generally slow, fairly difficult riding in a variety of different conditions and a bad surface already. They lifted the boom and we pushed on.




We finally got some respite and arrived in a funny little Ecuadorean village complete with a widened road that had to be a landing strip. I guess they fly the stuff from here at night.



On the 5 millionth steep, twisty uphill D had a couple of wobblies in quick succession in the loose, washed out material and stopped right there. That was enough. And enough was enough.




The bike would just have to stay there and we would wait for the next taxi/bus to maybe pick us up. We sat there for a good half an hour rehydrating and generelly feeling exceedingly miserable and sorry for ourselves.   :crybaby2:  :angry3:

Its amazing how when you have been riding hard for ten and a half hours, things and biking in particular just is not so lekker anymore. You wonder why you are doing this, and why you didnt just stay at home and watch the rugby. You can't do anything but ride or stop riding, you cannot get out of the situation. Everything is hot, youre sore, your nerves are shreds, and you don't have any strength left. Life feels hopelessly difficult and there is no way out. But after a while of sitting in the tiny bit of shade, you eventually come to terms with the fact that you, and only you can get yourself out of the current situation and no one else. The question is, do you have enough strength to do that.

To Deeīs great credit, she changed her mind, just got on and rode, leaving me wondering if I could do the same.




More tomorrow....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2009, 04:47:19 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2009, 12:05:02 pm »
Why did you put the luggage on the wife's bike  :D

Always nice to see a different part of the world.
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #51 on: August 19, 2009, 02:03:26 am »
Why did you put the luggage on the wife's bike  :D

Always nice to see a different part of the world.

She likes to have some weight on the back :P
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #52 on: August 19, 2009, 02:27:15 am »
After more enldess hills, we finally dropped down a very steep section to what seemed like a major river.




The road became too steep for anything but a 4x4 to get up, and D did very well to get down it by herself.

We arrived at the border at 4 pm some 11 and a half hours after setting off, where we met the friendliest officials I have ever had the pleasure of having to deal with on both sides of the river. The Ecuadorian customs people took pity on us and gave us glasses of water and oranges. We must have looked pretty wasted, because the Peruvian immigration guy sat us down and sent his 2nd in charge off with his money to buy us a 2l coke. The guy came back about 10 minutes later and they poured us cokes into glasses. I offered to pay, but they insisted it was a welcome gift to Peru.

We cam upon this very welcome stop only half an hourīs easy riding from the border on a much better road:


It was basic, but run by a English woman who had married a local guy years before and subsequently run of off with a younger model. She seemed to be hiding from the world here on the edge of the Amazon. We used her kitchen to cook our food and prepared for an early nite. We had ridden 12 hours, but fell short of our planned destination. Tomorrow would be harder, we still had another 280km of dirt and over 1,500km to cover to get us back to Lima in the two days I had left. I had to be back for work on day 10.

No trouble sleeping that nite.

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Offline TVB

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #53 on: August 19, 2009, 05:03:25 am »
Wow Bluebull2007 and D, respect! I discovered this thread a few hours ago (yes, call me a slow reader but I love the photos) and couldn't stop reading till the end! Looking forward to the rest, and hope you plan to post other rides from South America as well! Thanks for sharing this experience! Pity you didn't post more photos of the ruins in the desert, amazingly interesting. I was privileged to see Abrahams (yes Abraham of the bible) temple in Iraq, it’s in Tallil (Ur) There is a military camp next to it, and our clients gave us the go ahead for a visit! A lot of excavation going on there, but unfortunately stopped due to the ongoing war.     
 

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #54 on: August 19, 2009, 10:29:33 pm »
Wow Bluebull2007 and D, respect! I discovered this thread a few hours ago (yes, call me a slow reader but I love the photos) and couldn't stop reading till the end! Looking forward to the rest, and hope you plan to post other rides from South America as well! Thanks for sharing this experience! Pity you didn't post more photos of the ruins in the desert, amazingly interesting. I was privileged to see Abrahams (yes Abraham of the bible) temple in Iraq, it’s in Tallil (Ur) There is a military camp next to it, and our clients gave us the go ahead for a visit! A lot of excavation going on there, but unfortunately stopped due to the ongoing war.    

Thanks for the encouraging words! Iīll definitely be posting more on mostly DS biking in Peru, Bolivia and maybe later on Brazil & Chile too. I could have posted more on the ruins in the desert, but I thought bikers werent really interested in that stuff. Will include more on the other stuff in future posts.

Abrahamīs temple? Thats a new one for me. i didnt even know he had on! Sounds really interesting. Be careful of those barstards out there!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 10:43:15 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Ecuador to Peru
« Reply #55 on: August 19, 2009, 11:11:02 pm »
That night it began to rain as we fell asleep. You know the heavy tropical type. It rained all night, and when were woke at 4, it was really pumping down. Not good. Not good at all. After a nervy day before, this really was not in our favour. I felt pretty depressed, because D had lost a lot of confidence the previous day and now things were worse. Just when the roads seemed to be better too!

Anyway we prayed it would clear up and started packing. When we left at 05h30, it was still raining but had reduced to a drizzle. The road was absolute snot. Trying to hold up the bikes on this stuff was not easy and we were tired and sore from yesterdays trip. It started out really slow. I worried it would be another slow day. After 30 minutes and couple of butt-clenchers for each of us, the rain all but stopped at least, and we hit another mountain road which had a little more gravel.

D continued at her snails pace (understandably, even though going very slow makes it more difficult IMO), and I resigned myself to taking two days longer to complete the trip. We stopped a couple of times, she was very afraid, frustrated and angry with herself. We were finished after all. Our bodies just werent up to it. Anyway, once we set off again I prayed away asking God to give her a bit of confidence and actually somehow enjoy the riding. I had literally finished praying when all of a sudden she shot off like a motorcross racer.

I watched her have a couple more couple more butt-clenching slides but she kept her balance as she steadily pulled away from me. From there on I really battled to keep up with her. Powerslides through the corners, passing the odd vehicle in slippery conditions, it was unbelieveable but for the fact that I knew God had heard me.



We started to get hot I stopped so we could take off our rainsuits, even though it was still pretty wet.  Theyre good in the cold, but hot in the tropics. D didnt stop because she didnt want to lose her new found confidence.



What followed was probably one of the best rides of my life. Sliding and slithering through nearly 300km of mud at pace. never mind the huge drops, never mind the traffic. We just did it. It felt absolutely fantastic. I cranked my ipod up and we cruised through appalling but fun mud twisties through the jungle for about 4 hours. The rain stopped too which made things much more pleasant.























« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 11:18:16 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #56 on: August 19, 2009, 11:25:23 pm »
Hi BlueBull2007

Subscribed to this thread, looking forward to the rest!

Iraq used to be Mesopotamia in Bible time, commonly refereed to 'ancient Mesopotamia and 'Modern Iraq!'

Abraham lived in the South, town called 'Ur', now 'Tallil'

See photo of the Temple, don't know the history behind it but sure interesting! We would love more photos and info on the 'ruins that you have visited!
 

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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2009, 11:36:55 pm »
Thank you very much for this report ... I truly enjoyed reading it.

I am sending you a PM.
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #58 on: August 20, 2009, 09:02:28 am »
WOW I must come back to this one
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Re: Lima to Ecuador & back in 9 Days - Updated, NO REALLY!
« Reply #59 on: August 20, 2009, 09:51:07 am »
mods,  please move this to the Roll of Honour.

epic.