Published: April 1st 2009April 1st 2009
The BMW at Rest !
Ripper giving the Mother a rest....
Rosco's Blog La Paz-Cusco
We all arrived into La Paz, from Oruru, in a good tight group, we kept it all together until a diversion on the way to the hotel, and at the last very busy intersection, we lost the truck. The moto’pulled into the undercover of the hotel just as a thunderstorm struck the city. What a grand lightning and thunder display followed, with flooded streets and people scurrying everywhere.
Murray and Geraldine had the bright idea, once they realized that they were lost, to stay put and wait for the rain to ease, then Murray found a phone and rang us at the hotel and told us where he was. They were only about two blocks from the hotel, so Gerardo jumped in a taxi and went to them and led them back to the hotel.
Then next day was our ride to Coroico for lunch, via the Yangas Road (Road of Death). We left the hotel and made our way out of this throbbing polluted city, with most of us having to ride the clutch, as we wound our way up towards the Yangas road.
What an absolutely amazing spectacle of panoramic mountain and deep valleys opened
La Paz to Coroico
Leo taking in the the long drop (pardon the pun)
up before us. Every corner we turned we wanted to stop and take another photo.
We rode to Coroico via the new road, which is all sealed and an engineering spectacle in itself, the lunch was great and the vista again was outstanding.
Leaving lunch, the Campbell boys took part of the group on some sort of ‘Photo excursion’, but rejoined the rest of us on the original ‘Road of Death’. We thought that the road getting there was spectacular, but this was greater than great, beyond spectacular even !!
We all took so many photo’s, but when we look at them, it still just is not the same as being there, the vistas are so vast and the drop off the side makes you go dizzy. We had to ride through (under) many waterfalls and cross small streams on our uphill ride. We were fortunate not to meet any downhill traffic. This is the only road in South America that you ride (drive) on the left hand side.
Leaving La Paz, reasonably early, the next day, we split the group into two as, Gerardo, Leo, David, Ripper and Murray, with Liz on board wanted to visit Tiwanaku, the ruins
The Road to Coroico
The hand paved two way road to lunch
that pre date the Incas, here in South America. I was happy that the two other Kawasaki’s went with Gerardo, as Bolivia had claimed both their rear number plates.
Tiny, Brian and I , with Geraldine on the back, had a leisurely ride to the ferry that ply the narrowest part of lake Titicaca. Before reaching the border, with Tiny and Brian well ahead of us, we were pulled into a Police check point and were told that we had to pay 5 Bn’s, I asked “What for?”and Was told it was for the use of the road, other heavy trucks and cars were also stopped there, so I asked for a ticket. There was a small delay as he sorted out the other vehicles, then, gave me a ticked, but I now wanted a stamp also. Leaving the Police check with my stamped ticket we cruesed onto the Bolivian/ Peru border post.
Chatting with Brian and Tiny as we waited, they told me that they were waved on at the check point and didn’t pay anything. Later on I showed the ticket to Gerardo, and asked him what the ticked was for, he told me that it was to
Liz and Geraldine, enjoy lunch
visit a local Historic Church ! Ah well, caught again, Rosco!
We were to get to Puno, in Peru by 3.00pm, and meet the others that were coming from Tiwanaku, as we were to visit the floating Islands late that afternoon. On the way, as we rode over the pass at around 4200m, we had just missed a snow storm and rode through freshly fallen snow for about 8km, with a fine dusting of fresh snow all around it, just made it picture perfect.
Well we got out of Bolivia with wishes of a safe adventure, thanks for our visit etc. Then 50m through the barrier and we are in Peru. We checked into Immigration, no problems, now for Customs and our Moto’s. Well it seemed that we didn’t have the right insurance papers, and the officious little pratt spent about 20 min looking through a file until he came up with a photo copy of some dude from NZ that had paid $388 through the AA and Vero for some insurance that covered him in South America. No matter how many insurance things we came up with, they were not like this one. After ages and consultation with his
Brian, after lunch !
superior, they were prepared to make an ‘Exception’ for us but it would cost U$50.00 after a lot of haggling I got it down to U$30, for the 3 moto’s. He then proceeded, to fill out our entry forms in the normal manner, accompanied by many stamps and signatures. The reality is of course, we didn’t need the insurance and this was all just a ploy to suck some U$ cash out of us. After an hour, we were soon on our way, riding the Peruvian highway, same shit, different country....We all arrived to our hotel in Puno, and were surprised that the others were not here yet, as they had less kilometres to do than us, we thought ?.
Mean while Gerardo and his merry men were having great difficulties leaving Bolivia with no number plates, but again, nothing that U$ dollars don’t or can’t fix. Then they struck huge lines of trucks and commercial vehicles at the Peruvian border. It took them 3 hours to negotiate their way through into Peru, then to add another hour onto Peru time, they never got into Puno until around 7.00 pm in the dark!
Up early the next morning for a
Road of Death
The amaizing drops off the road
7.00am pick up for their boat trip to the Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca. They returned around 9.30 am and we packed up and headed to Cusco, arriving around 4.00pm, and parked up our motos for a few days, while we do the Tourist thing to Machu Picchu. At this time most of the boys have been, and still are affected with a condition that requires quite a bit of urgent paper work, so far only Rosco, Gerardo, Murray and Geraldine have not been affected. Poor old Lay Down Leo, has be laid low again, but after a couple of days off the motos, he is coming right, and Tiny, Ripper, David and Brian have been cheep to keep for the past few days.
Machu Picchu. We were up at 5.00 am today as we had to catch the train to Machu Picchu at 6.45am. After a quick breakfast we were on our way, arriving at Agua Caliantes around 9.00.
David, Geraldine, Tiny , Ripper and Leo all set off to conquer the summit of Huyana Pucchu, the mountain that dominates the Machu Picchu site. Gerardo and Murray stayed with our Guide, Adrian, and soaked up the Inca history, while
Road of Death
Compolsory bike and rider wash
I made the steep trek to the Sun Gate, then to the Inca Bridge, which to my surprise they are restoring to it’s former glory. After everyone had achieved their goal , we headed back down the mountain for a well earned 3.00pm lunch.
After lunch, we had a few hours to while away before our 7.00pm train back to Ollyantaytambo, a late diner and our much deserved beds....
Tomorrow we leave Cusco and heat to Chivay and the Colca Canyon and onto Ariquipa.
Cheers for now, Rosco
Gerardo’s Blog from Cusco.
La Paz- Coroico, hoy es 27 de marzo, dia importante para mi ya que nacio mi padre, hoy a las 9.00 am comenzaremos la aventura que nunca quise hacer, producto de mi problema con el vertigo, pero no por eso voy a dejar de tomar esta aventura, que es la famosa Ruta de la Muerte, quizas muchos han visto un video que circula por internet, bueno hoy vere que tanto es , con miedo y emocion. Al salir de La Paz y llegar alas faldas del monte Illimani, estaba todo cubierto de nieve, a toods lados de la carretera, llegamos hasta los 4400 metros, paar comenzar a
Road of Death
100 percent concentration for Murray
bajar, mucho frío, pero al descender iba subiendo esta, hasta atravesar el Segundo tunel y al salir de este, la temperatura sube abruptamente, y ya estamos en la Selva de Yungas, o conocida como la ceja de selva ya en el Amazonas, un verdor exuberante y un camino pavimentado de excelente calidad, un verdadero paraiso, las mariposas parecen pajaros por el tamano y de unos colores muy Fuertes, rojo azul o negro , continuamos el descenso hacia Coroico, llegando a los 1000 metros de altura, que agradable volver a respirar y sentirse normal, Coroico es un pueblito como de fabulas, enclavado en pleno cerro y toda la gente en al calle, alli almorzamos muy bien, paar ya a las 14.00 iniciar el camino de ripio bien llamado Ruta de La Muerte, que actualmente no se usa, y solo lo usan ciclistas para bajarlo y locos como nosotros para subirlo, tood lo que uno habia escuchado se cumple, el paisaje es maravilloso, estamos solos en el camino ya que los ciclistas bajan en las mananas, se encuentran decenas de cruces, por gente que ha fallecido en el lugar, hay caidas de agua que caen sobre el camino y te mojan, muy
Road of Death
Another great vista...
agradable ya que hace mucha calor, yo siempre pegado con mi moto a la Montana y sin poder mirar muchos los tremendos acantilados, se ven esas curvas en la Montana en que solo pasaria un vehiculo, al salir de este camino a la ruta principal pavimentadad, nso sentimos como heroes, nos sacamos fotos y todos estamos muy felices, avehiculos y camiones que pasan nos tocan la bocina ya que saben de donde venimos, luego nos dirigimos a La Paz, preciosa ciudad, donde a pesar del intense trafico y de que no existen normas paar manejar, llegamos sin ningun problema y felices, realmente valio la pena, y se los recomiendo a todo el mundo, el hacerlo en moto logicamente entrega otra perspectiva y no sufri tanto con este vertigo que sufro, ya que la felicidad era muy grande. Bolivia eres lo maximo......................
La Paz - Tiawanaku- Puno, hoy 28 marzo, nos levantamos temprano como todos los días para un grupo ir hacia Puno pasando por Copacabana en el que iba Rosco, Geraldine,Brian y Tiny y en el otros Liz Espinoza, que siempre nos ayuda en nuestro tour,Murray, david , Leo y yo para ir a Tiwanaku y luego pasar por el
La Paz to Coroico
4000m plus snow, then to drop to sub tropical in a few hours..
paso Desaguadero a Perú, tenía que ir a las ruinas ya que mi amigo Azelio no me lo perdonaría esta vez, logicamente salimos con el trafico infernal que solo existe en La Paz, donde llegas a una boca calle y tienes autos por 3 lados y pasan el mas grande, el que tiro el auto antes o el más bravo, es uan jungle, hay que vivirlo para saberlo. Tiwanaku, muy cerca de La Paz, en una hora estabamos ahi, recorrimos todo esto y almorzamos en el lugar, las ruinas muy interesantes pero falta mayor preocupación en la conservacion de estas,nos obligaron a tomar un gu;ia que cobro $ 80 bolivianos que sabia ingles, que no era muy bueno y que al recomendarnos un lugar para almorzar, el comio con nosotros y un amigo de el que aparecio, pero ellos nos pagaron, parece que era la comision. Luego a las 14 horas nos dirigimos a Desaguadero, al llegar al pueblo somos detenidos por policies que nos exigent bahjarnos de las motos y mostrar pasaportes, algo ilogico ya que estabamos a 3 minutos de hacer todo el tramite de salida de Bolivia, pero nos ofrecio que podiamos cambiar esto por entregarle $
Crossing Lake Titicaca at the narrowest point
5 bolivianos, que creen que hicimos, le pagamos, al llegar a la frontera hicimos migraciones sin problema pero el de aduanas no estaba, ya que estaba en otro lugar, fuimos a este y el se da cuenta que a David y Leo les falta la placa patente ( que perdieron en Uyuni, que raro no ), y que nos pueden salir del país y se encierra en esto, que es algo logico porque luego vieen el sablazo, pagamos $ 60 bolivianos, volvimos a la barrera y atravesamos el Puente que te lleva a Peru, aqui estuvimos 2. 30 haciendo aduanas, aqui no cobraron nada porque Liz al ser peruana quizas le dio miedo, pero nos tramitaron como locos, nos encontramos con un canadiense en una BMW y nos dijo que para entrar a Perú habia demorado, 5 horas, migraciones fue muy rapido, al salir una persona quee staba en uan especie de kiosko, me dice que debo pagarle $ 5 soles por cada moto y camioneta por el uso de la carretera, no le hago caso ya que el de aduanas nos abria la barrera, me fui y por fin me saque a un coimero de encima, llegamos a Puno
Tiny the Diplomate
Tiny entertaining a Bolivian family while on his ferry ride.
como a las 19 horas, y eso que Peru tiene una hora menos que Bolivia y Chile, al encontrarme con Rosco en el hotel y comentar nuestras aventuras en las fronteras me cuenta que en al de Copacabana lado peruano, el de aduanas le cobro U$ 25 por moto por no traer un seguro para ese país, cosa que no existe y que igual una persona le cobro $ 30 soles por uso de carreteras, el le exigio un comprobante de eso, gran sospresa al mostrarme el papel, decia Colaboración con Un Santuario, son increibles. Pero en definitiva a pesar que lo que le cobro Aduanas a Rosco fue plata, estas solicitudes son generalmente poco dinero y déjà abierta la puerta para lograr lo que uno quiera o no tener los documentos adecuados y arreglarlo con dinero, es distinto no. El sol peruano esta 3.2 con el dollar y el combustible que lo venden en galones, porque no se, esta 10.3 soles la de 90 octanos, que cuesta mucho conseguir, ya que todos usan una de 84 octanos, combustible muy malo, que te baja el rendimiento de las motos. La carretera a Puno es asfaltada, pero sin ninguna mantención, muchos
After crossing Lake Titicaca we climbed up into the snow again
hollos que hacen muy peligroso el camino, ademas de anim ales que se atraviesan, perrros por todos lados, gente en bicicleta, de hecho se nos atraveso un cerdo que estaba atado con una cuerda larga la cual era arrastrada por un nino de 6 anos, afortunadamente el chico solto la cuerda sino, hubiera habido un accidente, las acrretaeras son muy peligrosas por esto, ya que todos los animals son atados aledanos alas carreteras paar su alimentación, generalmente con una persona que observa, asi observas burros, cabras, ovejas, vacunos y logicamente alpacas y llamas.
Puno - Cusco, 29 marzo, partimos anormalmente tarde como a las 9.30, ya que tos menos Rosco y yo no fuimos a ver los indios Uros, que viven sobre islas flotantes de totora, ya lo habiamos hecho el ano pasado, no pudimos conseguir combustibkle de 90 octanos en Puno si que debimos conseguir en una cuidad mas adelante, no hacia calor sino mas bien frio, el paisaje del viaje a Cusco no es ninguna maravilla, almorzamos en un pequeno pueblo llamado Susquini, ya comenzaron a aparecer companeros de viaje con problemas de estomago hay 4 con diarreas. Una cosa que siempre me ha desconcertadod e Bolivia y
Geraldine enjoying the snow...
Peru es no haber visto jamas a un gato, luego de muchas averiguaciones uno me dijo que era porque los gatos no se adaptaban a estos climas, me parecio un chiste, hasta que llegue a la verdad, los peruanos de la costa se los comen, cosa que no me parecio rara ya que habia escuchado que la selva peruana tiene menos animals salvajes que los de Bolivia por lo mismo y lo otro que con la cantidad de perros es imposible que un pobre gato sobreviva. La altura me sigue provocando problemas, a pesar que ya llevo mas de uan semana a mas de 4000 metros. Llegamos al Hotel Eco Inn en Cusco como a las 17 horas, Buena hora ya que alas 18.15 jugaab Chile con Peru en lima y queria verlo por TV, fuimos toods junto a un muy rico pero caro pisco souer ( U$ 5 ), el partido fue un exito rotundo ya al poco tiempo ibamos ganando y los peruanos qu estaban en bar del hotel se quedaron callados y ya en el segundo tiempo se fueron , solo quedando los mozos, que asumian con pena la derrota, 3 a 1, yo que pensaba verlo
The highest point
Geraldine at the highest point in the pass between Bolivia and Peru.
encerrado en mi pieza, pero como todos mis companeros bajaron a verlo y me apoyaban, todo bien, aunque muy poco lo que veian, si que me puse con uan corrida de pisco souer para celebrar, trago que es mucho major que el chileno, quien lo puede negar. Una cosa que me parece rara de peru es su horario, jamas cambian la hora en el ano y toode l pais es igual, y resulta que ahora amanece a las 6 y oscurece a las 6.30, raro no.
Tigger’s Blog Part 6
Today we headed to La Paz. With more amazing views and more photo opportunities it was another scenic day. We got to La Paz by about 1pm but Murray and I got lost from the boys 4 blocks from the hotel. This might not sound too bad, but with one way streets and a city of 4 million and everyone seems to want to go in the same direction as you, and being caught in a storm which included thunder, lightening and hail we decided unanimously to park up get our bearings and phone the hotel. Gerardo then came in a taxi and we followed them back
A few hours after the snow and we are at the beach
to the hotel. Having got there eventually we had a lovely hot shower which was greatly appreciated.
I now have a room mate, Liz our tour guide for Peru. Liz and boys went to a Bolivian show and had dinner there. It was a very colourful show from what the boys have said.
Well getting out of La Paz for the road of death was probably just as bad getting into La Paz, but we all made it together and had a great day. We past many a mountain bike tour, taking crazy tourists to ride the road of death. We went to Coroico which is the main (only road) road which was made all of river stones. All the buses and trucks go over this road as well which is hard to believe cos in some places it was more like an over grown track. It was a tropical scene complete with bougainvilleas, tibochinias, coffee plants, frangipani, and banana plants. Also we saw lots of beautiful butterflies blue ones, yellow, orange, lemon, and white ones that were translucent blue when they caught the light, waterfalls that fell over mountains and cascaded over parts of the road, with grasses
Rosco entering in style, even on a KLR!
and bamboos hanging on for dear life.
I did however get a lot of brownie points from Ripper today, as he stopped under the shade of a tree waiting for the bikers to regroup, he took off his back pack camera and jacket as it was very hot. After re-grouping the bikes took off, but Ripper had left behind his back pack and camera. Having got to our lunch destination I enquired where they were (on video camera -of course). He was totally unaware that he had left them under the tree. Just as well someone is looking out for him. Vino tonight for me.
After a lovely lunch and a vista to die for (pardon the pun - as this was the road to lead us to the road of death). Many a photo was taken of waterfalls, and the drop from the road but again it is so hard to put the perspective on a photo.
A couple of group photos were taken to prove that we made it and then it was back into the mayhem of La Paz traffic. With the corner man system in full swing we all made it back in
Which floor am I on ?
Rosco looking for the easy way, again..
Having split the group in two, one for the Tiwanakau Ruins (Gerardo leading majority, including the boys that had lost their number plates) Two hours at the borders (and 1 hour Peruvian time lost) Rosco’s group arrived early having been on a relaxing ferry ride, fresh snow on the road and only an hour at the border, lunch at the beach of lake Titicaca. We then waited for the other boys to arrive. We had the best shower ever at this motel, so when the others arrived we ushered them upstairs to their room to feel as refreshed as we were.
I rode on the bike with dad so didn’t actually have time to take as many photos (harder to take photos with gloves on) getting quite practiced at taking photos at 100k in the truck though. We did see steers pulling a plough. I have come to the conclusion if the Bolivian people have glass windows, stone walls around the houses, have more than a dog, like cows, pigs, donkeys or alpacas you are rich.
The locals grow quite a range of crops from what I have seen. Artichokes, Quinea (grain for cereal of salad),
Tiny, stepping up
Original Inca steps
and peanuts, barley (apparently for beer) wheat, peanuts, Lucerne, corn (75 types).
With food in their bellies some lovely wine and a beer the boys were feeling better. Nothing a good night’s sleep wouldn’t fix. I think it had been a long day for all, some more than others. With an early start in the morning to see the floating islands an early breakfast was called for and with a full array it was greatly appreciated.
The floating islands were amazing with the oldest one being 75years old and 10metres deep (they make new ones instead of building on the old ones. Amazing hand sewn wall hangings that would take 15 days straight to make were so colourful and depicted their lives were selling for 40 soles ($30 NZ)
With another bike ride today for me and less photo opportunities but a nice lunch, hail storm, sun and some snow. It was like four seasons in one day. Talk about contrast.
I have also come to the conclusion that South America is good for you. Your stomach shrinks (due to the altitude) so you eat less, the bike is good for toning your inner thighs (I feel like
A view from the Sun Gate
I have been riding a horse for days- 500km on pillion seat over 2 days) on kawasaki 650 strengthens neck muscles also, David is experimenting with the diuretic side of things, walking up 1 flight of stairs leaves you breathless so 5 floors is a mission but feels like a marathon. So it will be interesting to see how we go with Machu Picchu
I drove into Cusco today which was interesting cos it was really my first experience left hand drive (and driving on the wrong side of the road for us kiwis) Just as well it was Sunday and there wasn’t a lot of traffic.
Today we left for a tour of the Inca ruins around the town of Cusco. We heard some amazing stories of what happened here so long ago, their beliefs (wind, water and earth elements) along with the male and female signs and is a big part of their beliefs for Mother Nature providing for the Incas.
It was amazing to see blocks of solid granite 5mtres high and 3mtres wide in solid pieces, expertly cut and placed together so perfectly together they fitted like a jigsaw, layered terraces for
The Sun Gate
Rosco on top of the world!
crops 4metre wide, 20metres long and 3 metres deep. The construction alone was mind boggling and this isn’t even Machu Picchu yet. The preciseness of the blocks fitting together and even with animal shapes for Inca symbols was amazing. How they build it all so precisely and with the precision is still a big mystery.
We fell in to an oasis tonight with over hanging trees, flowers, even a babbling brook beside our rooms and the tranquilly that only nature can provide. With Leo having picked up a bug or something today he was quieter than usual and had to keep checking on him to make sure he was still there.
We went to some local markets with amazing local craft, antiques, including locks, spurs, gem stones (polished and raw states) I now have a couple more to add to my collection.
With Leo feeling better and what ever it was, passed, we had great breakfast complete with eggs. Just as well as we had a mountain to climb. With day packs packed we headed off in the mini van and then caught the fast train at 7am! This took 1 ½ hours (only runs from one town
The Inca Trail to the Sun Gate
half way from Machu Picchu (slow train takes 4 hours from Cusco)
Wow what a mountain!! Not only did I see Machu Picchu but I walked Waynna Picchu (3hours return and lots of huffing and puffing) as well. This was hard work considering I had done no training, but was soo worth the view. 6 of us clambered up and 1/12 hours later we had made it to the top. With breath taking views (literally) we stopped again (many stops along the way cos we ran out of breath) Amazing the Incas had carved all the steps out of the rocks. There must have been thousands of steps. (I know my calf and quads are going to feel it for sure tomorrow I know that much)
After a tour of Machu Picchu itself we were indeed in need of some nourishment and were provided with a banquet of food to refuel our addictions of coffee, sugar, sweets, and protein. We had a couple of hours to kill before catching the evening train back so I hit the markets. Lots of window shopping and trying on things, as you do. I finally caught up with the boys at one
You have got to be kidding !!
of the bars. I think they got shopped out.
Arriving back at the hotel around 9pm it was a quick meal before we all crawled into our beds to dream of mountains....
Boy’s blog part 3
A reflection from Brian
We are now well into the second ½ of our trip and I have a few reflections from the last 10 days. The change in scenery and riding terrain has been huge every day. The big BMW’s and KTM’s handled the tough dessert conditions extremely well. (Yer right, check out the first photo. RP) It seems the harder you ride these beasts the better they go. The road conditions and living standards has really surprised me, especially in the country areas.
We climbed Waynapicchu and visited the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. What an amazing day.
The lakes and salt flats, mountains and deserts, certainly make Bolivia and Peru. Well worth visiting. Building and Electrical standards have certainly shown me that we are far too regulated in NZ
Having three days off the bike I am ready for more.
Sorry Daryl, you did say take
the snorkel, my bloody fault, and too fast through river. Was right option to de water, never too old to learn, eh?
La Paz city, fantastic place, 4 million people. Unreal. Puno then Cusco, Machu Picchu climbed Waynna Picchu, Awesome!!.
Back on the road tomorrow after 3 days off. Chivay on way to Araquipa and then Chile, lets go.
P.S Daryl $US 800 for broken bracket via Santiago Chile, they can go to hell. (you get a feeling that the part is a bit expensive?. RP)
There are more photos below