Category Archives: Peru

Cuenca to Canoas de Punta Sal, Wednesday, 26 December 2012,Day 176

Why did the chicken cross the road? So that he did not get squashed by Daisy

Riding with Alex and Andrea today so this is first time this trip except for the run to catch he boat in Panama City that I am riding with someone else. That was riding with a larger group with just the two bikes this should be easier. I am trusting my GPS to get us out of town with no problems and then  to the border into Peru and for once it does not disappoint so I may finally have a map that I can trust 🙂

Hot day and nice run first through the mountains road a mixed bag of good roads to awful lots of landslides so lots of rocks and loose debris on the road and road works where they have ripped the top surface of and left it like that for the time being so reasonable progress but you still had to be wary.

Dusty rough roads


We came out of the mountains on to a flat coastal plain next to the Pacific passing through banana plantations on our way to the border. We wanted to fill up before crossing the border, as fuel is cheap as chips in Ecuador but the petrol stations closest to the border where all shut so I am guessing it is to stop folk doing cheap petrol runs from Peru. We drove back about 5km and were able to fill up there we adversely jumped a huge queue which I did not see as I pulled into the station so a bit of laugh with the attendant and the soldier which where present at all the petrol stations near the border and then onto the border.

banana anyone?

First to the Aduana in Ecuador to check the bikes out we nearly missed this as it was not clearly marked and here we met the Columbian Bogotá V-strom club who were with about 10 bikes or so and we where behind them in all of the queues crossing the border which slowed us up a bit

Then to immigration for me which was in the same building so you queued to exit Ecuador and the right next to that the queue to enter Peru. Fortunately very few people so this part went quite quickly and the onto the Peruvian Aduana. Where we ended up behind the large group of Columbian Bogota V-strom club again.

Philly and Daisy Fan club waving us out of Ecuador

This is where we heard about mandatory insurance for Peru first time I heard of this as this was not one of the countries on my list that I needed to buy extra insurance as in theory this was covered in my total central and south America insurance so I was planning to bluff my way through this one and they did not ask for it but Alex had to pay 35USD for a months insurance. My problem was that they had put my Nationality down as Ireland again and my VIN number was incorrect so asked them to correct it but they refused they just crossed it out so I asked for a signature on the changes they got all pissy and so did I as I was hot tired and sweaty but there is no use in me getting angry as they have all the cards So the guy rips up my paper work and give me a blank form which I have to fill in by hand and this time with the right information. So with a bit of help from my new Columbian friends I had the paperwork completed and written in my bad handwriting but I had all the stamps and signatures on it so me and Daisy are allowed into yet another new country Peru wow we are really ticking them of the list 🙂

This had all taken about 2 hours and it just gone 4pm so we made tracks for Mancora which was about 129km away but we had already figured we where not going to make it before it got dark so we started stopping at all the beach type resorts places asking for rooms. This is where Andrea was useful we would  pull up and she would jump of and go in and check the prices and say yay or nay and if nay we would roll on the next one. She was also had been the official photographer for the day so loads of photos taken of Philly and Daisy on the move.

Alex & Andreas Ecuador Photos

Alex & Andreas Peru Photos

Not much luck on finding something as it is very expensive along this coast and when we did one last try before we where going to try again to get to Mancora where we knew there were cheaper options.

We had a bungalow on the beach 10USD each and they kept the kitchen open for us so fried fish and rice on the beach watching the sun go down with a mad kitten for company. Perfect I could not ask for much more even debating that it is so nice here we may have a rest day here tomorrow and that is awfully tempting as I have had a tough couple of days.

Nice here may stay another day


Canoas de Punta Sal,Thursday, 27 December 2012, Day 177

My travel companions for the last couple of days Alex and Andrea

We got up reasonably early but I think the decision was made a lot earlier we are not moving on today we are staying here, as it is a lovely location right on the beach. So a totally do nothing day on the beach. Leisurely breakfast and a morning of internetting I have millions of extra photographs courtesy of Andrea my new official personal photographer problem is its going to take days to load them on to SmugMug.

Everyone working on their blogs.

Eventually we got enough energy to get a motortaxi (TukTuk) into the village late on the afternoon and we grabbed some late lunch earlier dinner. Unfortunately Andrea was not feeling well and was sick so this trip shortened and we went back to our beach home for the rest of the evening.

Nice rest day you do need one every now and again big mileage day tomorrow to compensate 🙂

Kitten with a foot fetish 🙂

And doggy with a broken leg cast is bigger than him 🙂

Canoas de Punta Sal to Huanchaco, Friday, 28 December 2012, Day 178

Been driving through the desert for days sand gets everywhere I mean everywhere!

Well after yesterday rest day  we were up at 6am ready for a long haul through the desert destination Huanchaco that is 640km away so hence the early start.


Early start mucho km today 🙂

Long day in the saddle and we arrived at 5pm in the evening 2 petrol stops 2 food stops and 2 pee stops but generally moving forwards. The idea for this big run is that it is not that interesting so lets crunch the miles out as quick as possible. It is a totally different landscape than what I have come through so far empty desert, desert with trees, sand dunes, rice and paddy fields, and loads of other agriculture, so not wonderful but interesting enough.

Gunnar and Daisy

Quick pee break.

quick lunch stop

We had address of an allegedly cool hostel but when we arrived they where surely and unhelpful so sod that life is to short for there attitude so we went of to find somewhere else we parked in a street me looking after the bikes and Alex and Andrea going round the places trying to find the best deal. Which is great for me we finally settle on place called Chimu Beach check in and go for a wander along the beach and down the back streets to find somewhere to eat. Please do not tell my mum that I have eaten fish for the last 3 days on the trot because as a kid I never would touch the stuff and I really was not a fan of fish but the stuff we been getting here is excellent and does not really taste like fish so hence me been able to eat it. Tonight I had ceviche, which I have also discovered that I like.

Nice little beach town to end up in at the end of hard day in the saddle

A long hard day no idea what we are doing tomorrow as there is not much of interest until we hit further south as far as we can see so it is onward and forward down south.

Huanchaco to Barranca, Saturday, 29 December 2012, Day 179

Famous Huanchaco reed boats

Today I got an E-mail from Johan Holtorf from and they are refunding me my money for South America SD card that I purchased from them which was a complete duffer and out of date. They do not even want the old one back so my compliments to this shop for the excellent customer after service as I was not expecting anything so this is a nice result and when good things like this happen it should also be reported just as much as the bad for balance. Its a pity I got the duff old card in the first place however the good thing is they have rectified the situation so hats of to them for that 🙂 And the maps I have now seem to be working except they keep sending me down one way streets in the wrong direction but that I can live with.

Well I was just congratulating myself that the GPS was working when it throws another wobbly and we get us lost in Trujillio it keeps wanting us to do a U turn and go back 28km and will not offer anything else so we are back to asking directions stroppy little bastard of a machine.

Funny looking birds on the beach here!

We left Huanchaco after chatting with the 3 blokes who ran the hostel and a quick run along the beach to get some shots of the reed boats that the place is famous for and then we hit the road and this was going to be a short run after yesterdays marathon session  but you guessed it it turned into another rather long day. Through desert all day but this time hilly/mountainous so pleasant enough ride being continually sand blasted I have sand in place where the sun does not shine so it gets in everywhere. We kept on going when Alex signals he needs fuel and I was thinking the same thing and we had seen loads of petrol stations up until then and just when you need one they all disappear so our speed reduced drastically to try reduce fuel consumption and we finally find a station. I have no idea why I always find myself in this position as it is so easy to avoid my new mantra I must fill up more often so that I am not putting myself at risk of running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. Funny thing is that there were two of us who made the same rooky mistake Homer Simpson Doh!


It was now later than planned so next exercise find somewhere to stay so with Alex and Andrea trying all the different hotels, hostels, etc.  And me looking after the bikes we ended up three of us in one room for a good price.

We went for a wander and some dinner I still have no idea what we are going to do for News Years Eve yet but that something that can be sorted  for tomorrow.

That elusive Romanian Cake Thief last spotted in Downtown Barranca

Barranca to Lima, Sunday, 30 December 2012, Day 180

Get a room!!!

A bit of a strange day first thing was that when I went to pack the bike the dog of the hotel had left us huge steaming present right outside the door nice and pongy!

We hit the road a short run into Lima which started a long way out of the center so running through the burbs or shanty towns dual carriage way but utter chaos people and car buses lorries and various other forms of transport all wanting that small bit of road that you where on. We had skipped breakfast so I was peckish and a bit light headed but not really a nice place to stop so we pressed on to an address we had of a Hostel. When we got there no room at the inn so we headed down the coast to another address we had which also had no room. Alex has had enough and is ready to go back to the Hilton, which we had also scoped as a possibility as he had a loads of points that he had accumulated as an Accenture consultant and he could get this free so we tried for an apartment but they only had rooms so A & A where going to stay there and we found Philly and Daisy a Hostel bed in Barranco which turned out to be a really cool place in a great neighbourhood.

Great walk along the cliff tops nice 🙂

Alex and Andrea headed of to posh Ville I will see them tomorrow. Joop who we had agreed to meet for New year had not checked in yet but I was not really expecting him as he was a good days ride behind us but I booked him a bed for tomorrow night. I did my laundry then had a great walk along the cliff tops from Barranco to Mira Flores and treated myself to a McDonalds and watched the sunset and then walked back to the hostel. I had been informed that it was a safe walk around  in the dark and it has security guards from all the posh houses all over the place. I got back at about 8.30pm and I had been walking for a good 5 hours so I was a bit tired and as I had handed in all my trousers to be washed  I was wearing my swimming trunks/ shorts and they are were not designed for walking in so I was suffering from some slight chaffing 😦 (to much info :-))

Mira Flores Building Art

I hung around the hostel chatting to folks and then beddy byes a sleep in and a nothing to do day tomorrow yes I need it

Should really give this a go

Lima, Monday, 31 December 2012, Day 181

New Year in Lima

I had a bit of a lie in which was nice and then a leisurely free breakfast, which was not bad for a hostel then on to the Internet, as I had been trying to locate some new tyres for Daisy, but the sizes we need are not readily available in Peru. I Have been offered some Pirellis in Arequipa from a Dutch bloke Lars who runs a motorcycle rental business down there and he has some available so that is a 90/90/19 for the front and a 140/80/17 for the back. Daisy needs 110/80/19 and 150/70/17 so the question is will what’s offered fit and work so it is on to the forums and e-mail to some people who I know may be able to offer advice on this dilemma and as usual when you ask multiple folk you get conflicting answers so I am still none the wiser so I will have a go to see if I can get the recommended sizes here in Lima as I had found some dealers and one was just round the corner so I tried there first but I could not found the place or the address I had was wrong.

Star wars Franchise is not overing any work to R2D2 so slumming it as a bin in Lima

So back to the hostel and more research and dialog and then Joop turned up and I had also been talking to Alex and Andrea and I had arranged to meet them for New Year Eve so I got Joop settled in then me and him walked to Mira Flores to try and find another tyre shop and get some dinner and then to meet up with the Romanians later at the Hilton. Long walk to the dealer I had got my trouser back from the laundry but yesterdays chaffing was acting up 🙂 Dealer had nothing in the sizes I wanted there was one rear road tyre that was the right size but I did not fancy running road tyres on the roads that where coming my way so I need some sort of off road capability so I decided that fate had decided what tyres I was getting are the ones offered in Arequipa he has a fleet of BMWF800GS running this combo and a mate who’s judgement and knowledge I trust said the offered combo should work it would be taller (that is all I need with my stumpy legs) and feel weird but doable so I may regret this decision but this can be rectified down the road if needed. The next question is have I got enough meat left on the existing tyres to do the 3000km to Arequipa and can I find a Suzuki Oil Filter in Peru and if I cannot is that a real disaster mechanically wise. All these questions can be dealt with next year it is time to say goodbye to 2012 so it is off to KFC for dinner and a beer for Joop and a Inca Cola for me (my latest soft drink addiction and yes I am still off the wagon so that’s 73 days without a drink :-)) watching the sun go down.

It does not really feel like New Years Eve ish so we head to the Hilton for a bit of posh and to meet up with Alex and Andrea. Hang around there posh room for a while then head down to bar as they have some complimentary drink vouchers and there is a live dance show going on so we hang around there for a while then head to the cliff overlooking the sea as we have been told fireworks are best seen from there.

Every one in national costume

Very pleasant New Years loads of folks and loads of fireworks and I was sober. We walked back to the Hostel and around Barranco so again I had walked miles again chatting with folks back at the Hostel and finally to bed late night it has been a while since I have been up this late.

Bye bye 2012 I lost a great job but look what I got in its place I am now riding down the Pan American Highway on me bike fulfilling a long time ambition so I guess 2012 was not so bad 🙂 I wonder what little surprises 2013 has in store for me.

Happy New Year faithful blog readers hope this is keeping you entertained if not tough titties 🙂

Lima to Huacachina, Tuesday, 1 January 2013, Day 182

Oasis in the Desert

So this the first post of 2013 not much different from the last post of 2012 I never understood the fuss made about a new year and new year resolutions you can change your life any day of the week or year why do it specifically today why do folks decide that this is the time for a change it beats me. So today started the same as most travel days on the road up shower, breakfast, pull kit together load bike pull bike out of awkward parking space the last two can be swapped if the place is really awkward plug in destination into GPS curse GPS as destination cannot be found hit road find fuel and or breakfast if not provided at place you are staying. So today start no different from many others on this trip.A bit slower as I am not in a hurry as I am not planning on going far today only to an Oasis in the Desert which is only 300km away.

Leisurely breakfast with Joop say Tata and I am heading out of Lima back into the Desert. Not sure that todays run was that interesting I have been in the desert for what seems to be ages there is sand everywhere. I roll into Huacachina at about 3pm its an Oasis in the middle of a desert surrounded by huge Sand Dunes and streets full of Mad Max buggy’s taking tourist on a blast in the dunes.


Loads of Mad Max Buggy taking folks into the Desert I walked!

I head for a Hostel I have the name off and check in there and it is the usual attempt to get double rate price for the bed as it was a public holiday but after a chat with me saying the fiesta was yesterday the price went back to normal so that 13.50 Sols or less than 5 EUR so that’s more like it.

I went for a walk in the dunes doing my usual impression of mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun I walked quite away into the Desert getting funny looks from all the tourists on there Mad Max dune buggy excursions as they blasted past. I had fun mucking around in the Dunes except for all of the sand, which I have mentioned a couple of times it gets in everywhere.

Mad dogs and Englishmen!

I am having dinner when I spot Alex and Andrea it looks they had the same destination in mind as me so they join me and we agree to go and see the Nazca Lines together leaving at 7.30am in the morning not sure why agreed to that time but it is cooler at that time.


Curious as to what the Nazca lines will be like my expectations are low so hopefully will be a nice surprise 🙂

Huacachina to Puquiro, Wednesday, 2 January 2013, Day 183

Wonky tower for views of Nazca Lines only 1 dollar to go up !

So up bright and early with the idea to have breakfast at 7.30am at the Desert Nights Hostel that I was staying at change of plan as restaurant did not open till 8am so we hit the road straight away so my rhythm is upset as I was planning on breakfast in my head and I was now heading back into the desert. We stopped in a small roadside café after driving for about an hour for my standard South American breakfast of eggs and rice either scrambled or fried and a cup of milky coffee. A good fill.

We hit the Nazca lines which was as advertised in the middle of a huge flat bit of desert our first sign that we where there was that we being buzzed by small light aircraft overhead and then there was a simple metal tower in the middle of nowhere 2 sols to climb up and you could see two of the Nazca Geoglyph’s yes that is a real word I got it from Wikipedia and this was the world famous Nazca Line’s! Well it is a bit more impressive than that but this involves getting in an airplane and doing a tour from above but that was not in the budget so a wonky tower that only can manage 10 people was going to be my experience of the Nazca lines.

This is what you see if you do not want to afford the airplane trip


We did a quick fuel stop and cashpoint stop in Nazca and it was hot but this was going to change as we were finally moving out of the desert and back into the Andes to a place called Puquiro as it was within driving range and there was nothing else before and after. The heat was soon long behind us as we climbed and we eventually found ourselves in a one-horse town but this place had a great vibe to it.

Back in the mountains with mobile chicanes for added fun !


The Romanians as usual did a great job at locating a cheap but cheerful place to stay (its great traveling with Alex and Andrea as they are great at sniffing out a bargain)

Cool little town with a great vibe 🙂

We went for a wander and we found a great little restaurant where we had an excellent feed it was that good we planned to go there for breakfast the next day as well.

great little restaurant

More wandering around this charming small town and back to the Hostel to work on the blog and photos as usual a nice mixed scenery day with lot more mountains to come 🙂

Puquiro to Abancay,Thursday, 3 January 2013, Day 184

I Like the stuff so much that I brought a lorry load to follow me around 🙂

The original plan was to push through to Cusco in one day as it was about 500km doable but a long day when we got talking to the old gentleman at the restaurant he mentioned that Abancay was a nice town and it was roughly half way and as we had really enjoyed Puquiro so we decided to take it easy and enjoy the ride through the mountains and do Cusco in two days. Lovely to be out of the desert and whizzing through the mountains stopping every now again for photos and just to enjoying the scenery a couple of high passes where it was a bit cooler and in short a very nice day in the saddle. We had breakfast in the same place as last night and Philly managed to get us lost getting us out of a one-horse town and as usual he blames his GPS but he finally managed to get us on the right road 🙂

Good to be back in the Mountains

Arrived in Abancay it is quite a bit larger than Puquiro so not quite same vibe I guess we got lucky with our last stop. We found a nice Hotel for reasonable price that the lady had discounted this for us so a honourable mention for the Oziwasi Hotel we even parked both bikes in the lobby. Andrea and me went for a quick walk looking for a market for some fruit (not for me I have not changed that much :-)) and then back to the Hotel and then it started to rain the road was like a river and the rain went on forever so we decided we would just hole up in the hotel for the evening as there was no way we where going out in that so no dinner and an evening with 3 of us on a double bed all with our PCs doing different things. Another very pleasant evening with good company the rain finally did stop but by then no one really fancied going out.

Two bikes parked in the hotel Lobby!

Abancay to Cusco, Friday, 4 January 2013, Day 185

What do we need to stop for this time?

Another landslide

Waiting for the road to be cleared.

A short run to Cusco Alex and Andrea where couch surfing and I had a name of a hostel so a late start. The problem is that I have lost my ability to sleep in so was up and awake by 8am and we had agreed to leave at 10am so I went for some breakfast on my own and had a lasagne and a meat pasty and a cup of milky coffee (please note I had no supper last night so I was starving Marvin) Back to the hotel where I borrowed a hammer as I had to fix my panniers that had taken a beaten over the last couple of weeks. Twice I had hit a wall going through the narrow roads they have for motorcyclists at the toll booths and I hit a motorcycle taxi a couple of days ago in traffic all with the right pannier. Yesterday I noticed that the lock was no longer connecting so it needed adjusting as it had been knocked out of place and today I was going to knock the dent out and try and seal the hole that had been made as the panel had taking a large shunt so I am happily banging away at my pannier with a large hammer with my bike parked in a hotel lobby. I sort of seal the gap it will need some taping as well. By this time A&A where up so I decided to go and have breakfast with them as well (I had just a coffee which turned out to be bloody expensive) while they where eating there breakfast I decided to do an autopsy on my middle set of gloves. My summer gloves had holes in them and my middle gloves which I have had for years where no longer fitting well the lining had become twisted making it difficult to get them on and of and the little finger never felt right so I decided to change these from middle to summer gloves by cutting out the lining. They’re where two linings a waterproof layer and a cotton layer that I kept whole so that I can use these as extra layer in these gloves or in my winter gloves if it really get cold. So I have a new set of summer gloves without holes in them they are still covered with lots of glue from the lining but this will soon be gone after wearing them for a couple of days so I had salvaged some extra usage out of these gloves. Why not buy some new ones you ask well gloves are like shoes they are horrible to wear when new and get better with age and usage better in the sense of comfort rather than practicality as they leak and have holes in them but are dam comfortable so I find it difficult to get rid of them and get new ones.

Preparing for bad weather always draws an audience it was pissing down 5 minutes later

So a productive morning and another nice run into Cusco except it decided it was going to rain on us. So out with the wet weather gear and Alex was leading at a slow and sensible pace as the road had turned greasy and muddy and as he had his prize possession on the back (His Computer 🙂 no I mean Andrea!) he was taking no risks which suited me fine as I was not happy pushing it to hard in conditions like this either.

Wet wet wet!

stopped at a Market looking for a sheepskin for A & A

We found the Hostel thanks to the GPS sort of but they where full but then they were not it was a bit strange but I had a bed for the night and a place for the bike after riding down a steep wooden ramp (remember awkward parking places not looking forward on getting out of this one). It turns out that the place is full tomorrow so I can only stay one night but I can come back on Sunday preferably Monday so I needed a plan. So after chatting to a French bloke the plan was to leave Daisy at the hostel and get the bus and train to Machu Picchu and stay there a couple of nights and then come back and spend another day in Cusco.

I had a quick wander around town and then back to the Hostel chatting with some other bikers as this was one of those biker gathering spots looking for info on the road ahead and swapping tall stories as that what bikers do (not me of course as I have no tall stories!)

Bed is me alone in 6-bed dorm still confused about the place being full maybe he did not like the look of Alex 🙂 who was not even planning on staying there anyhow!