Monday, July 15, 2013

Lima to Abancay July 8th-13th

July 8th
Drove out of Lima around noon.  Stopped in Chaclacayo for an oil change.  The lady wanted my story and then put my sticker on her glass display case.  Cool.  From a gallon jug the nice lady had her boys pour what was supposed to be a quart into a metal pitcher.  It looked like too much so I intervened and stopped him from using all of it, because too much can cause problems in a motorcycle.  Then they wash your vehicle for free.  The kid blew off half my stickers with the over-pressured sprayer before I realized it, them laughed at it.  28sols $10.00 can't complain.  Decided to head further out of Lima to Chosica to position myself for a jaunt to Huanacayo (420km) My room for the night, stayed at Paraiso Hospedaje...good choice...good food....good people 20 sols $7.00.  Started a new trend.  Leave a hand written spanish bible verse in the room...see photo.

July 9th
Drove 420km to Huanacayo.  Beautiful drive.  Many tunnels, and railroad bridges.  Followed a beautiful river rushing clear blue water.    Freezing cold, and snow on the mountain...! Thought I was gonna lose consciousness while driving and go over a cliff, going from the sea level to 5000 feet  so quickly.  Nervous about my newly discovered four broken spokes, found a mecanico in Huanacayo, and he said come at 8 am en la mañana, so I will stay here two days to get them fixed.  Cheap room.  Great economica food just outside the hostal.

July 10th
Woke up and showed up exactly at 8 am to get the four spokes replaced.  He wasn't there.  Went for breakfast, returned by 9am, and by noon he had it done and cut a link out of my stretched out chain.  Adjusted breaks too.  15 sols $5.   New oil...  Good to go.  They have 97 octane gas here...!  But I use 90, but it costs about $6.00 a gallon.  Got bored so I had Burned up my little electric stove from leaving it on all night as a heater.  Searched the mercado til I found one..haggled from 42sols down to 23 sols $8.  Bought 3 oranges, 3 peaches and 3 avocados  for $3.  Got stared at the whole time in the mercado...not many gringos here.  lol.

July 11th
It's tough to put what I see each day into words on this trip or even give a sense of what it's like to experience what I am experiencing with both people and places.  Unless you are on the motorcycle doing it and seeing it and meeting the people I am meeting for yourself it just doesn't translate.  I can only thank God everyday for giving me this gift of an experience and allowing me to do this, to see some of  His most magnificent creations and meeting some of the most amazing people I could ever have imagined.  This has truly been a once in a lifetime experience and I am blessed.  As I ride all of these thoughts run through my head and I forget most of them by the time I make it to the keyboard, but I specifically wanted to put this down on paper today.  It is difficult at times to leave my family behind for this journey, but I firmly believe that if I am doing this for all the right reasons that they will be abundantly blessed by it.

  So back to the story...  I got a late start leaving Huanacayo, not too worried because I thought it would be an easy day.  My ipad maps said 213km from Huancayo to Ayacucho. I could do that in my sleep.  Bad miscalculation by my imaps...i guess i am confusing it with these remote destinations.  The guy at the mechanic shop I made friends with yesterday said it was a difficult 300km, beautiful ride, but I thought he was exaggerating.  He was right. Where should I start, ... Almost ran out of stations for 200km, had to buy it from a convenient store and they use the old pitcher and funnel method...then it was one lane for two way traffic,  you had to honk as you came around blind cliffside curves or you get plowed by huge buses, which I almost did twice, I crossed six creeks running over the road, three significant rock slides where I had to dodge large rocks, then the road actually caved in and I was told I would have to wait two hours which turned into three hours ..almost dark (luckily it was next to a nice waterfall, but I had just given all my food to a broke down trucker), at least ten dogs attacked my motorcycle and came at me, six herds of goats in the road I had to drive through, at least twenty speed bumps to stop for,  then the last sixty kilometers was a bumpy dusty caliche dirt road and the sun had gone down (two of my dislikes...night driving, and dirt roads, I avoid these), oh and the kids in the small towns throw things at you, a five year old threw and hit me in the head with a was good throw..., and another kid threw a large empty peach can at my motorcycle same age.. he missed, then a twelve year old threw a small rock near my motorcycle missed though I don't think he was aiming! I made it 220km by the Grace of God and stayed the night in Huanta.  And no broken spokes!  Nice town, and the nicest people thus far.  I love the Peruvian farmers and mountain folks...they are really kind.  Got a room for 20sols.  Had a nice pollo a la brassa..brazed, glazed, and rotissified.  With papas fritas, and ensalada.  12 sols...$4.. Way too much.  In my a bells con leche....night night.

July 12th Friday
So the Ayacucho taxi driver said pura "pista" pura "asfalta" which means the road is paved all the way from Ayacucho to Abancay.  WRONG!  Of the 285km ride 120km was the worst road I have driven on yet.  There was a river bed for a road at one point, at other times; a washboard, pot holed, caving in, muddy, blind cliffside one lane turns, caliche dust in your face behind a bus, collectivo buses running you off the road, honking at you...I could go on and on.  But when I look back, it was pretty exciting, and exhilarating  not knowing what to expect next.   I was just glad the moto made it.  After all a Honda 150cc street bike loaded down with 300 pound is not exactly the ideal bike for these conditions.  Most people doing this trip have Kawasaki KLR650's or BMW 1200 or 1400, or llamaha 1000's.  I just rolled 14,000 kilometers on the old Honda with no mechanical problems what so ever.  I change the oil every 1500km, replaced broken spokes twice, adjusted the chain a few times, adjust the carburetor for high altitudes, had the saddle bags repaired from my two wrecks,  but overall this has been a great bike.  So I didn't make it to Abancay.  It was late so I holed up here in Andahuaylas for the night 10 sols...the cheapest yet.  So I underestimated the difficulty of getting to MPichu, but I have a plan to get there..."the backway". Ride to Santa Maria and leave the to Santa Teresa...hike 2 miles through the forest and across a river....then pay to climb MP.  we'll see.

July 13th, 2013 Saturday
Got a late start, told Elmer bye the front desk kid...he wanted a sticker and a photo on my bike... but I made it to Abancay, Peru.  Slow going.  195 km of dirt mountain roads, rockslides mud holes, and road construction.  Witnessed my first rockslide.  Story of the day...

  I saw 2 girls and a boy gathering a type of grass like stick by the road to make money.  They were filthy dirty looked like they had been playing in ash.  Hair all awry clothes filthy.  The one girl was about 12 the other about 10, and the little boy 5.  I passed them at first, then thought about it, stopped gathered some change and headed back.  The older girl had stopped working and was standing there with her hands on her hips, wondering what the heck I was doing.  I said here is some money.  She opened her dirty hand which was pruny and wrinkled from the hard work and cold, did not look like the hand of a 12year old, and I dropped the 7 coins in her hand with a ching.  It was freezing and they had no jackets.  She smiled the sweetest smile,  and you could see her pretty white teeth behind her dirty face, kinda turned her head to the side and said gracias, muchas gracias, and her voice cracked as she said it, like she was gonna cry.  I looked at the other girl and said muchos bendicciones (many blessings) and she said loudly "gracias".  I was thanking the Lord for that opportunity when I looked back as I headed around the bend to the otherside of the mountain I could see them, and the girls were dancing in circles with their hands in the air.  I immediately started to tear up, because I had only given them 9 sols or about three dollars.  I then went around another corner about half an hour later and there was a teenage boy with his two 5 year old brothers...and when they saw me they literally ran to me.  They were filling pot holes in the road with dirt.  They each had a pick or shovel.  The little boys asked me for money. I only had 20 sols left to my name and a long way to go.  So I told them I couldn't give what I had away, I needed it and I started to take off.  Then I saw the sadness in the two little boys eyes, and the dissapointment.  Then that verse came into my head "give to the poor all that you own (luke 18:22). And I stopped and thought about why I was here in the first place, opened my wallet and gave them the twenty sols bill.  Their eyes lit up. Then I noticed the 13yer olds feet.  He had the feet of a ninety year old man toe nails black and thick, and flip flops in freezing cold weather.  I was glad I gave them the money.  I started to think...the bible says in Matthew 5:5 that "the meek shall inherit the earth" so that means one day they will own it in its heavenly state, so I see it as an honor and a privilege to be able to give them something now.  (you can put this into the bible reader to your right to read it for yourself) Later up the road I came to two more groups filling potholes with labor laws here, but I had no money, so I offered them prayer in my broken spanish, one kid really seemed to appreciate that quite a bit.  It was later I passed a group of ladies and girls under tarps that I realized they were living under tarps on the mountain side...unbelievable!  It was just about the same time that I passed this beautiful cross on the mountain side.   It's hard knowing and thinking they they are still there right now.

My hotel in Lima

Oil change and wash in Chaclacayo outside of Lima, Peru

My sticker on the glass display case

My new tradition of leaving these hand written verses in spanish in the rooms at the hotel or giving them away to people.  Many people here would love to have a bible, but can't get one for one reason or another.  There is not a Christian bookstore on every corner like in the US.

The railroad bridges are impressive. 

After this photo I started drinking San Mateo water

Another interesting set of railroad bridges and tunnels.

The road followed Rio Mantaro which turned from dirty brown to crystal clear the further I got into the higher elevations.

Lima to Huancayo route

Another cool RR bridge 

Another view of Rio Mantaro where between Lima and Huancayo.

 This nice lady selling snacks offered to take my photo at 5000 ft elevation.  Too cold for me. 

You can see the snow on the mountain.  And this lake was the bluest lake I have ever seen.  Two geese landed on the ground just behind me while,I was taking photos, but it was too far away for,my camera.

 These little tombs marked many graves on the road side reminding me of just how dangerous these roads can be. 

The plants here are all desert type plants and shrubs, and cactus, the Amazon is still about 1500km from here where it gets thick and green.

 This bridge was one of many walking bridges along the river. 

This was my favorite restaurant in Huancayo where I stayed for two days.  The meals were economica and  very tasty. 

 This was my one of my $1.80 meals.  It also came with warm  green tea and a bowl of soup.

These three waterfalls had obviously been there a long time...there were crystalized formations hanging from the cliffs downtoward the water. 

One of the many amazing view between Lima and Cusco

This bridge was one first of many experiences with one lane roads. 

 The river was dammed and turned into a hydroelectric plant here.  It was quite a drop down inf the canyon below. 

This was the gas station where they used the old pitcher and funnel method. Here they call it "grifo" when you get gas this way or if you are close to running out. You will see signs along the way that say grifo and show a gas pump, but there are no real "bomberos" or gas stations for 200km in the next large town so this is your only option.

 If you look closely here you can see that the truck is having to back up to let the huge bus get by because there is only one narrow lane, more like a sidewalk at times.  

 This looks like the Texas valley.  Kinda...

 The horses grazing down below next to the river made me this look like a scene from an old western  movie.

 Yes this is the "highway" with a creek running through it.  Not the worst one though.  

 The camera zoomed in nicely for me with the river in the background made this a nice photo I thought.

 They build houses from bricks made of straw and clay with a clay tile roof.  Unfortunately the high rain and winds
deteriorates them 

 Another scenic view

A picstitch of some of my favorite scenic views.

 The treacherous one lane roads I was driving on 

 This is where I waited for three hours while they finished fixing a cave-in .  The superintendent actually got mad at me  because I had driven past the attendant and near the work and he was kinda grping saying "you are an intelligent individual you can see that this is dangerous, I have the engineers here working and trying to fix this why did you pass and come here.". Then I explained to him that the attendant radioed and asked The foreman for me to pass and he ok'd it.  But when I got there the crane was already putting the outriggers out so I couldn't pass.

 The cactus were huge here and the red clay mountains made this area nice, but the sun was going down and I needed to get to a town quickly.  Ayacucho was four hours and Huanta  was just one hour so I stayed there instead.

 Picstitch of bridges

 My hotel in Huanta.  The people were nice here.  And theroom was 15 sols . $5 .50

 My hospedaje  in Huanta 

 The high mountain meadows had these circular fences made of large stones .  Not sure why

 The elevation was getting up there.  Not sure what it was though, the views were enjoyable.  Had a hard time breathing. 

 A beautiful day to ride in Peru, getting colder!

 Its hard to tell but I bet this is a 100km view.or more 

 Nice road...for a while..

This is a close up of the clay bricks they use in the inca villages.  You can see the guy in the background making them.

Where I had lunch.  

Elmer who worked the front desk on my bike at Hotel San Juan in Andahuaylas.  This town and it's people were  great...wanted to stay longer.

 Andahuaylas mercado and main street, while I was heading out of town to Abancay.  The  street signs hardly ever give distances just arrows pointing the way like this one. 

 This lady is dressed in typical Peruvian fashion.  Almost all the traditional ladies wear a hat of some sort.

 Potatoes for sale in the mercado. They don't get any better. 

 Onion for sale in the Andahuaylas mercado on a Saturday morning.  Saturdays aree busy days here in South American markets.

 The ladies herding sheep' goats, and cows was a common site here.

 A nice house of clay brick in a mountain meadow.  Can't imagine what it would be like to live here.

 The view was being blocked by the clouds.  This was at the peak of the mountain befor I started my three hour decent to Abancayo.

 Another one of Gods amazing creations. 

 I just got a small window to see through

 Clouds below in the meadow. 

 I was in the clouds.

 Thes stacked stones meant something, not sure what though.

I came across this cross which was in the middle of nowhere, but there was something about it.  There was a well traveled path right down to it.  

 This is a different view from the road.  I came across this just after I had met some of the poorest people on my entire journey. 

 I love this one.  


 Another landslide in the road.

 A Peaceful place. 

 House on the mountainside with an amazing backyard view. 

 This was a small village just before Abancay

 One of myfirst views of Abancay from the mountain top.  It doesn't look like it's three hours away, but it was. 

 The river in Abacay was picturesque 


 So this is Abancay where I will spend two days.  One to wash the dirt and dust out of my  overalls riding jacket and  backpack the other to catch up on my blog, upload photos and videos, and make a plan for Cusco.  Almost there! 

This is a picstitch of caveins and land slides.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jay and I absolutely loved reading the post. We had a good laugh reading about kids throwing rocks at ya. When we're at our big bad KLR's no one dares mess with us. Seriously, fun to relieve most of the memories of the exact same route. Hopefully you're safe and warm. Loved the Scripture you're working into the blog.

Conor and Jay.