Thursday, May 31, 2012

South America Adventure Ride

Day 65 to Day 85 – Bolivia and Peru

This part of the route I very much looked forward, not that others are less interesting, just many riders often talk about Bolivia and Peru, countries that you must not miss when you travel in South America. I cannot agree more.
  During this time frame of my ride, I covered the Andes range of Bolivia (Potosi, Sucre, Potosi, Oruro, La Paz, Coroico, ) and Peru (Puno,  Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Machu Pichu, Abancay, Nasca, Pisco, Lima, Huarmey, Trujillo, Chiclayo and Piura). On average I traveled at height of 4000 metres above sea level where man and machine could suffer high altitude effect.
 April Fool! - Episode at Potosi's fuel station

  On 1st April 2012, in Potosi, due to my own careless and that stupid pump girl, my bike took in diesel! Full tank! I almost wanted to slap that idiot girl but I came to my sense and composure quickly. Laugh at that episode and lost a day ride. Was it an April Fool? You may think so.

   La Paz - The highest city in the world

La Paz is recorded to be the highest city in the world. From a distance of about 100 km I can see the mountain ranges bordering La Paz. The high clouds and cold temperature with regular frost and icy road towards this city denote the high altitude that I am in.
 Fuel is a control item in Bolivia. Fuel stations near the borders are closely guarded by armed security forces. For foreigners, getting fuel can be difficult but not impossible. The rate is 3 times higher than the local. But I was lucky to paid the international price only twice; the trick was fuel at some outskirt stations and never at big towns or near borders.
  Yungus valley in Bolivia is another interesting and breathtaking route to take. I cannot express enough how hair rising experience when two vehicles pass each other at a narrow bend. 

   The town of Desaguadero is split into half; Desaguadero, Bolivia and Desaguadero, Peru. The dividing line is marked by a small river running across the town flows into the Lake Titicaca. I took 2 hours to cross from Bolivia into Peru at this Border Cross. Not it was difficult, just that there are always many traders crossing with their goods. I would imagine there are alots of smuggling activities too. This important town is very dusty and small traders and market places are everywhere. Bustling with trading.

Next town – Desaguadero Bolivia/ Desaguadero Peru

 This way to the Immigration 

 Welcome to Peru, Good bye Bolivia

  Isla Urus, Lake Titicaca, Peru side is a man-made floating island made of jute type plant (dry pulp). A sailing ride on one of the Titicaca pulp boat was an experience.
Lake Titicaca, Peru side
 Isla Urus, Lake Titicaca, Peru 

   Machu Pichu is one of my place to go list. I am so glad to see it myself. There are many tales and stories about this Inca City. What remain to be true is that the stone ruins are still standing strong battling the weather all these years. I agree with one opinion that Machu Pichu was not discovered by the American Professor rather it was make known as the Inca City was there all the time and one of the guide actually led the Professor to the site. Don’t be mistaken with history.

One of the 7 Wonders of the world 

  The ride Cusco – Abancay – Nasca some 500km route I considered as another bikers paradise route. It is long, winding, up and down mountain, mix tarmac and gravel, magnificient view and natural beauty of the Andes only to be experienced by two wheels. The sight, smell, touch and hear the Andes are just worthwhile hard long ride. This is what they called “Four wheels drive body, two wheels drive soul”

 The long and winding road   

Restricted visibility as altitude catches up   

Raging water cross your road   

Continuous climbing and winding   

That’s the way it is along Cusco – Nazca, Peru route (The Inca route)

   Peru and Bolivia are the most historic countries in South Americas. The fight for their Independence was last fought in places like Pisco, Chiclayo and Guayaquil. Their heroes like Simon Bolivar, Sucre and San Martin are remembered, noticeable by streets and major roads bear their names.

 More ride report follows.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

South America Adventure Ride 2012 - Food Stuff

Fried Llamas meat, Bolivia
LLamas meat grill
Typical Andean soup
Beef stake Bolivian style
Nuts n others Bolivian style
Typical S. America fresh veggy
Bolivian onions
Sea Food Bolivian style
Grill Lamb and Potatoes, Peru
Veggy and rice Peruvian dish
Coca leaf (in plastic bags)
Coca leaf sweet, Peru (green colour)
Fried Trot - Peru
Fried Trot and sweet corn
Cincha Morada - Traditional Inca drink
Seafood curry Peruvian style
Typical Peruvian dish
Fruits drink in milk - Ecuador style
Humitas - Traditional Incas food
'Pisang Emas' Peru Banana
Ecuador dish
Ecuador local nuts
Colombian soup
Colombian fried fish dish
Guarapo - Sugar cane and lime drink. Popular in S. America
A Colombian dish
Arepa - popular Colombian breakfast

South America Adventure Ride 2012

Day 56 - 65 
                    Riding Ruta 3 towards  Buenos Aires can be boring. Strong wind and hot. Comodoro Rivadia is not a good place to stay overnight but not Puerto Madyrn. Puerto Madyrn is a popular whale, seal and sea lion sighting port during July to December. So, this is off-season.
                 In a town called Azul, I stayed with the many-riders spoke about Argentinian named Jorge (a biker lover and never turn-down any biker asking for shelter and assistance). Jorge is a great guy indeed.
               Buenos Aires is another big city. There nothing much for me to add. Few days spent here for maintenance and rest. The bike gets it tires changed. After this city I head further North towards Bolivia.
I had a special column about Bolivia. I thought this is the best place I ever ride into in this trip. However, my first overnight town in Bolivia (Tupiza) is met with a unforgettable incident - I got robbed! Also, my riding buddy (Daniel) from Argentina had a bad fall, broke his leg and   had to return back to Argentina. I pray his quick recovery and hope he continues his riding trip soon. Take care Brother.
            The Salar Salt Lake is perhaps another fantastic place I have visited in this North bound route. Just amazing! In Potosi, the bike had to undergo 'lung operation'because of too much dust from the previous day ride. Also, the bike accidentally  takes in diesel in the tank! That stupid pump girl surely does not deserved to work there. That mistake caused me a day ride and unnecessary cleaning at the fuel station and I look like a charlie by people around.
Road Tupiza to Uyuni
Loose gravel road
Typical landscape near Uyuni
Salt Flats Eyes
Salar De Uyuni - The Reflections
Crossing Llamas - Checking on me
Millions years rock formation
Plate tectonics at works
Icy road towards La Paz
The Death Valley road
           La Paz is considered the highest city in the world. It actually lies in a valley bordered by high Andes mountain ranges between 5000 to 6000m above seal level. Here I was introduced with the typical Inca food - Humitas.  I also visited the Yungus Valley - the most dangerous road in Bolivia.