Puno

Dear fans,

Reunited with the three of us, we are about to cross the Bolivian border after 5 weeks Peru. The last two weeks were again really amazing. Read and watch.

Roel and Steve left Arequipa on Monday August 16. We got deeper into the Andes on our way to Cusco.

The Andes

A fantastic route at 4000m and higher passing large pampas with all sorts of lamas. Riding just between them.

Riding between the lamas

We drove to Chivay, a little mountain village where people were having a festival.

Chivay

We enjoyed watching the local people dance, make music and drink.

Chivay

Lama stroking

Naranjas

Tijd voor een kunstgebitje

Apparently Steve had been here before…..about 4 years ago.

Steve had been here before....

We had a cold night high in the Andes @3500m.

Next day we got up early, because we had a long day of mountain dirtroad ahead of us. The first few hours it really looked like we were the only ones in the Andes.

Nice Andes route

Just us in the Andes

The entire day we stayed at 4000m and higher (also according to Roels altimeter).

Altimeter

The altitude really got us, because we were both short of breath. Hours and hours, it was just Roel, Steve, lamas and the most beautiful views. We were on top of the world!

Amazing Andes with lamas

Lamas

We had lunch in Yauri (Espinar) and a powernap in the sun.

Afterlunch dip

more Andes

After 270km of which over 200km were dirtroad we arrived in Sicuani, where we got a cheap hotel and didn’t leave the room. So tired! It was one of the best rides so far…..

Wednesday we drove to Cusco, a beautiful colonial city, but very touristy.

Cusco

You can tell how touristy a place is, based on how many times you have to say: “no gracias”…. I don’t want my shoes polished, I don’t want your paintings, I don’t want your sunglasses, I don’t want anything… No fucking gracias! And the most touristy places have an Irish Pub selling t-shirts with “no gracias” on it. Cusco has an Irish pub like this….

Cusco

But to be honest, we really did enjoy our days in Cusco (and in the Irish pub..). We had a nights reunion with Vince (KTM 990), and the day after with Rhodri (we knew from Colombia). Sometimes it is just really nice to be in a comfort zone and have some proper food and nightlife. Unbelievable how big the differences are in Peru . The real Peru vs touristy Peru. We enjoyed both, travelling on motorbikes. But we think some other tourists might think that Peru isn’t that poor, only travelling from tourist highlight to tourist highlight. “Look mom, they even have Mc Donalds here”

Cusco

Saturday we woke up very late……because we thought we were 18 again the night before (and one of us called RAAAALPH again on the big white phone). Bas had sent a sms saying he would be at the Plaza de Armas around 2pm. Just in time we were there to meet again.

Welcome back

WELCOME back Bas, have a coffee.

That night we exchanged stories over some beers and Sunday was relaxing day…Bas had driven over 800km (of Andes) in two days.

Dangleberries reunited

Monday we left Cusco trying to get close to Machu Picchu. We drove to Ollantaytambo, a petite inca village and a nice place to start your Machu Picchu (MP) adventure.

Route to Ollantaytambo

We got ourselves a hostel and had an early afternoon nap. That night we took the 11pm nighttrain to Aguas Calientes (from where you can visit MP). We arrived at 1 am and found a place where we could sleep a few more hours.  At 4 am (read: in the middle op the night) we got up to arrange bustickets and entrance tickets and we wanted to be first in line to be one of the first 400 visitors. There were already hundreds of people…. We took the bus to MP and arrived at 6 am. We were lucky we were three of the 400 first visitor.

Sunrise at Machu Picchu

This means we could hike up to Huayna Picchu (where only 400 people are allowed per day) and watch the sunrise over MP. This is the high peak with a priceless view over MP.

Climbing Huano Picchu

We climbed the one billion, gazillion Inca stairs to reach the top….and regretted we had the one billion, gazillion beers a few days ago in Cusco. Like old men, we reached the top and enjoyed the MP views for a several hours.

MP

Breathtakingly beautiful! Very very impressive, this old lost city of the Inca’s on a mountain ridge.

enjoying the view

George Bush imitation

After that we walked around for another few more hours and enjoyed the lost city and the sun. Although this is probably the most touristy site in South America, it is really worth visiting. This place is so much more impressive than the other sites we have seen so far, because of the location high up in the Andes on a mountain ridge.

enjoying the lost city

MP

MP

We had the nighttrain back to Ollantaytambo at 10.30pm. Dead tired we went to sleep at 1 am….

On Wednesday we woke up late, our bodies aching in every muscle. After a sunny breakfast we got on our bikes. Time to go to Lago Titicaca and the Bolivian border. We spent the night in Sicuani (again…). Thursday we drove to Puna, the port city of Lake Titicaca. The large lake at 3800m.

Manana it’s borderfest! Crossing the Bolivian border.

Cheers!

Arequipa

What a week again…or is it already two weeks since last update? Highest peaks, corruption, cold days, bad news from Holland, saying goodbye and saying hello…. A lot of ingredients not to make this post short.

The day we left Huanuco (august 5) we had again a nice mountain route. It took us passed the highest Peruvian cities. We got our first pinched tyre on Bas’ bike, not bad after 6 months….

the biggest lake above 4000m

road to Junin

We stayed that night in Junin, one of the highest villages in Peru at 4.150 m. It was very cold and we had to wear several layers to keep us warm….even in the restaurant.

freezing cold in the restaurant

We could even join the local party, which appeared to be the biggest of the year. Reminded us of apres-ski. It was nice for some time, but even with some local Gluhwein we couldn’t stay warm.

apres-ski

After a cold night we got on our bikes again. We decided to hit the coast for some days so we said goodbye to Vince who was staying in the mountains. Before we got rid of the Andes we had to climb our highest peak so far.

high in the Andes

Passing 4818 m it felt like riding over the Mont Blanc, Europes highest mountain with the same altitude. After that we had to descend 4000m over curvy roads. Oh yes…

@ 4818m

But first we had to repair another flat tyre on Bas’ bike. The second in two days.

flat tyre

flat tyre

During the long descend we were pulled over by a police  car. Apparently we crossed a double line while overtaking a very slow truck….and had to be punished now. The funny thing is, that everyone crosses those lines in the mountains to overtake the very slow traffic, otherwise there would be bigger traffic jams than in Holland. So we all got our private policeman telling us how badly we had behaved and that we would get a ticket. When asking how much the fine would be, they pointed in their book to a 150 dollar fine (times three). When we tried to understand what was written in spanish it didn’t say anything about double lines. Apparently they just pointed to an expensive traffic violation (naked joyriding a lama).

Anyway, after saying that it was very expensive, Steve’s policeman asked if we wanted a ticket. Ofcourse we said no….already knowing what his next step would be. We could bribe them. Either getting a lot of hassle and three fines or buying them of. Although they didn’t wear any name signs (they got rid of those, so we couldn’t inform authorities afterwards), Roel obviously took a picture of the police car with licenceplates.

corrupt police car

And that really changed the situation….Within a few minutes we were on our bikes without a fine and without paying a bribe. If you can’t trust the police…..

We stayed in a place one hour from Lima. Next day (august 7), we drove the Panamericana further south bypassing metropolis Lima. During a stop we received bad news. Janneke got violently robbed in Costa Rica. We drove to the first sizeable town (Chincha) having internet so Bas could get in touch. Bas decided to go to Holland for some time.

Next day we drove to Huacachina, a little oasis in the Peruvian desert.

Huacachina

From here Bas would take a bus to Lima and fly home, after a sunset beer on a sanddune.

sunset beer

Next morning we said goodbye to Bas.  Roel and Steve stayed a few nights in this very relaxed oasis.

sanddunes

Being away from the coast there was no cold ocean breeze, so we could warm our bones a little. We went for dune buggy riding and sandboarding.

buggy ride

finally we could use our snowboards

We knew our snowboards would be handy a some point during this trip….

sandboarding

sandboarding

desert sunset

In Huacachina we said hello again to Tormod (the Norwegian riding a 70 year old bike). He arrived late in the evening and saw our bikes. Good reason to drink a beer……again.

With the three of us, we left on wednesday (11th) to Nazca. Long roads through the rocky desert.

The Nazca watchtower to see some Nazca lines

The 11th was also the day we were exactly 6 months underway and thus halfway our trip. In accordance to navy tradition we had to saw up the “midtermbalk”.  But because of a lack of proper tools and a “midtermbalk”, we had some Dutch volunteers who did it for us.

midtermbalk

midtermbalk

From Nazca we had a long day of riding. The Panamericana closely follows the coast, where the land rises steeply from the sea.

Coastal route

Unbeleivable how close we were to the sea. Very steep drop offs directly into the pacific ocean on the right hand and mountains rising on the left. At some points we were riding at a few hundred metres above sealevel, only a few metres from the ocean. Along the coast the weather is very much influenced by the cold ocean, making it cloudy, foggy, windy and just cold. We stayed in Camana after our longest ride so far, 400km.

coastal route

Next day we drove to Arequipa and said goodbye to Tor. Getting more inland and climbing through the clouds, the weather became nice and warm again without the cold sea breeze. We spent the weekend in Arequipa, enjoying the colonial city and the very nice sun.

Arequipa

Arequipa

August 16, it has been 15 years ago the three of us met. So we decided to go back to “baroe” and shaved our heads. We are expecting Bas to join us in a week with the same hairdo.

Back to baroe

Looking like inmates

We are heading towards Cusco, expecting some difficult roads where we will be waiting for Bas who will take the shortcut to Cusco.

Keep you updated! Thanks for all the comments…

Hasta luego

Huanuco

Hi everybody,

Here we are, in the middle of Peru, after some awesome days of riding through the mountains. The Andes are incredibly beautiful, can’t describe it….but we will try. It’s gonna be a long one…but you can also just watch some pics!

On sunday july 25th, we crossed the border pretty easy and drove to Piura. A big city in the north of Peru. The northern coastal part of Peru is very dry and most of it is dessert.

Peru dessert

The next day, again, long distant roads with nothing but sand around us. We overtook two motorbikes with sidecar and when we stopped to make ourselves some coffee, they pulled over for a chat. Two Norwegian guys, doing the “Dumb way round”……Why? Well, we thought we were hardcore with our 25 and 27 year old bikes. But these guys are riding 70 year old bikes with sidecars! (www.kccd.no).

70 year old Nimbus motorcycles with sidecar

Trying the Nimbus

Nothing but respect, so we had to offer them some coffee and decided to ride together to Chiclayo.

Next day (tuesday), the five of us drove to Huanchaco at the coast.

Riding together

The 220km took us all day, because one of the oldies got a flat tyre. Time for some more coffee and to try each others bike.

Finally on a real bike

We stayed three nights in Huanchaco to relax. It could get pretty cold at the coast, because of the influence of the cold ocean. So, we didn’t want to try the good surf here. We also met KTM-Vince, riding a 990 Adventure. With the 6 of us we had some nice beers.

Huanchaco

Friday (30th) we left Huanchaco and wanted to ride Canon del Pato to Caraz. Vince joined us, the Norwegians left a day earlier. The first two hours were long and cold, along the coast. When we took a left and went landinwards the weather became better by the minute. We had a dusty dirtroad ride along the Canon del Pato.

Canon del Pato

Very impressive…. and there in what looked like the middle of nowhere we met the two Irish cyclists again, who we first met in Cartagena and now for the third time. They basically have the same route & time-schedule as us. Either they are going fast, or we are going slow (http://caminolatino.wordpress.com/). We still have the promise to drink a beer together. Maybe in Cuzco?

The irish cyclists (http://caminolatino.wordpress.com/)

We ended pretty tired in Caraz….and didn’t see much more than the hostal’s beers, food and beds. Next day we had a short ride to Huaraz, because the Norwegians were there with a cracked cylinder. They now had serious problems and had to change some plans. It was sunny in Huaraz, which made us have nice views on the Cordillera Blanca (the mountain range in Peru with peaks going to 6700m)

Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca

On sunday the four of us left. We had to cross some real mountains.

mountains to cross

It was unbeleivably beautiful, passing 4000m high mountain lakes and tops over 4500m!

mountain lake @ 4000m

mountain lake

The bikes were holding pretty well at these altitudes.

Climbing to 4500m

We ended the day in Chavin de Huantar, a very nice little village famous for the ruins.

afternoon nap

During diner we met some archeologists who were willing so show us around at the 3000 year old Chavin site. A great opportunity! So, next day at 8 we got a free tour by an archaeologist. Very nice.

a tour on the Chavin site, by archaeologist John

Chavin ruins

Monday we left Chavin and again we had a very long dirtroad climb high into the Andes. At a certain point we were stopped because the local miners were about to blow up a mountain. We had to wait two hours, and used our time wisely.

waiting for a road block

After that, again climbing over 4700m! We stayed in La Union, a little shithole. Leaving early next day (tuesday, 3) we drove to Huanuco (still with the four of us) and again, climbing over 4000m and after that the longest curvy descend on very small roads with dangerous drop offs. We all had an almost dead experience. Roel almost got killed by a falling tree, Vince was attacked by a suicide baby pig, Bas had a little touché with a car, and Steve got face to face with a car. Maybe we are his favourites as well….although this sticker was on one of the Norwegians.

Jesus loves us

Safely we arrived in Huanuco. Looking for a place to stay we got interviewed by local tv and newspaper and got surrounded by a curious crowd, looking at the gringo’s and big bikes.

P1010521

Very friendly people. At night we got some beers in a local pub with the shoe polishers from the plaza. We promised to get our boots polished tomorrow.

local pub

Ok amigos ,a shorter post next time.
Cheers!