Tag Archives: Arequipa

Puno to Arequipa, Thursday, 10 January 2013, Day 191

Does my bum look big in this!

I sort of met A & A on the street as they had popped by earlier but I was in the shower so I missed them again. This time they where busy running up and down the street getting photos and photocopies for there Visa for Bolivia so I had a quick chat and a promise to meet up with them further down the road when I finally figure out which route I am taking but as South America gets thin at the bottom are paths will converge again I hope so they are good travelling companions. I was just about to pull the bike out of the garage and its starts to pour with rain. So I go for breakfast and I am hoping that it will be dry in 30 minutes. Nice Café good simple breakfast and for entertainment I see first Andrea running down the street and later Alex in the other direction trying not to get wet trying to sort the multiple documents needed for there visas.

So another attempt to get out of Puno its is sort of dry I am heading to Arequipa so it is back into the mountains my favourite type of scenery. Remember my promise yesterday about Juliaca well before I knew it I was back there! There was supposed to be a turnoff according to the map but I guess I missed it and my good friend the GPS was not playing at all well this morning as according to her Arequipa is 1,200km and the shortest route is via Bolivia and Chile! How can a machine be so infuriating its 300km in the other direction you useless piece of shit!!

So here I was back in my favourite shithole and there was no way I was going on that same road as yesterday even though that is where the GPS was now sending me yes she had decided to sort of work again and was now giving me more reasonable routes to Arequipa. So I ignored the GPS and went straight through the heart of Juliaca roads reasonable traffic chaotic but anything was better than that ring road.

Back in the mountains and beautiful run to Arequipa quite simply breath taking it was cold due to the altitude as I was above 4,000 meters most of the day but dry with the odd shower just to keep you on your toes. I love the Andes 🙂

Love the Andes!

I got to Arequipa in good time and I had an address for a Hostel in my GPS and it still took me an hour to find it due to the one way systems and my GPS sending me round and round in ever decreasing circles I  finally resorted to intuition and asking for directions screw technology.

I checked in and I had a huge room with 3 beds all for me and it was reasonably cheap so I had to ask 3 times about the price as it did not seem right for what I was getting.

I went on the Internet to try and figure where I needed to be to get my tyres and it turned out that the Hotel of Peru motors was only 1km away so I walked up there to organise the logistics for the tyres. I talked to Lars on the phone and the plan was to be there at 10am next day and work from there so that was easy and sorted so I walked back to take a look at the town which looks nice and a vast improvement on Puno so I grabbed some dinner (Burger King first time this trip which is surprising as it was quite tasty!) I walked some more and then back to the hostel working on this blog.

I have been trying to upload 100’s of photos onto SmugMug for past couple of days, as I had no Internet in Machu Picchu crap Internet in Cusco and for the past couple of days intermittent Internet so I am nearly caught up. Problem is I cannot update blog until pictures are loaded as they are linked so one of the reason blog running behind and that the story that I am sticking to 🙂

Dramatic Views!

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Arequipa, Friday, 11 January 2013, Day 192

Who else looks in the mirror and sees this or is just me 🙂

Well as I did not have to be up early I enjoyed me nice big room and I had a bit of lie in. Then I headed up to the hotel http://www.lagrutahotel.com home of http://www.perumotors.com where I was to me meet with Carlos the mechanic who was going to sort out new tyres for Daisy.

Carlos and Eddy turned up and I followed them to the workshop, which was pretty large, with lots of rental bikes. Yes they did have a large selection of tyres but they all looked a bit ropey to me and were being stored in the sun but I guess beggars cannot be choosers. The first problem was that the 90/90/19 front tyres they had needed an inner tube and I am running tubeless and the only inner tube they had in stock was 110/90/19 inner tube it is a shame they did not have that size tyre. I was not going to risk putting a big inner tube in a small tyre this is a recipe for disaster so me and Eddy got on his little 250 Honda trails bike and we hit the streets of Arequipa looking for the right size inner tube and or a larger front tyre. Now I hate riding pillion at the best of times but on the back of a Peruvian local through his local town I can tell you I was shitting myself we never had so many close calls in such a sort space of time. I guess he knew what he was doing but I did not so I had my eyes closed for most of the time 🙂

We went to a couple of small bike shops no joy on a bigger tyre and we where going further and further away from the shop and I was getting more nervous on the back when eventually we found a tubeless 100/90/19 front tyre so back to the shop (One handed on the back of the bike now as I was now carrying a new motorcycle tyre) where Carlos had already fitted the rear 140/80/17 so not quite spec but should work! (Famous last words specs is 110/80/19 and 150/70/17 so even if you do not know about tyre specs you can see that front is thinner by 10mm and higher by 10mm and the back is also thinner by 10mm and higher by 10mm so some synergy there but that means that bike is 10mm higher and that all I need with my already to short legs this is going to be interesting that is for sure)

Eddy set to work on the front I was expecting a bit more delicate handling but nope loads of brute force and hammers no tyre changing equipment just tyre levers and using of the side stand of another bike to break the bead. All this works but I was expecting something more professional probably it is much better if I was not around to watch and just get the finished product as I was cringing as he had his full weight on one of the brake disc on concrete floor as he tried to pry the old tyre of.

Was expecting a big higher tech but this works!

Next job was an oil change but they only had 10/50 oil and Daisy likes 10/40 so I declined on this (I was not really confident in their ways of working if truth be known).

I got 2 empty oil containers to be used as extra fuel cans for the next bit of the trip, as fuel may be more scares as I head south.

So all done and dusted so how much did it all cost. I had paid for the front tyre already and had the price for the rear one from Lars plus a bit of labour.

The tyres were half the price I paid last time in the US and they where reasonably cheap there so if this experiment with size’s fails I will be not be too much out of pocket.

Back to the Hostel and I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Arequipa in the drizzling rain. Pleasant enough town but I am ready to hit the road and a new country I have been in Peru to long and I need a change.

Arequipa main square nice!

Choices Choices Choices

Arequipa to Arica, Saturday, 12 January 2013, Day 193

Straight roads to the hills!

Then twisty in the hills

I am in a bit of a funny mood I have been to Machu Picchu I have got me new tyres so all of my immediate goals I had have been achieved leaving nothing else left to do except the big one and that is the bottom of South America and that one seems miles away and that is what is so daunting and at this stage looking at the maps I am doubting my ability to be able to do it. I have no idea what is causing this lack of confidence perhaps I know more now than when I started and I was totally naïve when I set of on this adventure in June but as I have progressed my knowledge about the road ahead has grown and this is what is scary if only I could go back to being totally ignorant maybe that could help. Knowledge is king so they say but in this case I rather not know and meet up with it blindly and deal with it as it comes but at the moment I am fretting about the road ahead rather than looking forward to the road ahead. Ho hum onward and forward and all that. (Suck it up you ponce!)

Today is time to say goodbye to Peru and hello to a new country Chile maybe that will lift my spirits. ( I think I am a new country junkie :-))

Hope they where not aiming at fast moving yellow objects!

I had big plans on getting on the road early as I was heading to Arica, which was 430km away plus a border crossing. Out of the mountain Type Mountains into the desert Type Mountains so in other words still huge mountains only the colour changes from green to brown and temperature from cool to warm I stopped for breakfast in a strip of Road Side Cafe’s I have no idea which one to pick so I chose the one in the yellow Inca Kola livery and order some fried eggs and they also had some nice pork sandwiches as well so that perked me up. A lovely but cautious ride to the border as I was feeling out the new tyre set up as I had no idea how the new combination would  work but seem to be okay most of the issues are in my head and in reality they seem to be working as they should no strange feedback except the odd twitchiness over the tar mac banding where they have tried to fix the road but you get that with all tyres so it looks like my gamble (lots of in depth research actually) on the replacement tyres may have worked.

Had to go in the one with the Yellow Inca Kola livery 🙂 for breakfast.

I got to the border at 3pm and my GPS was telling me I would not reach Arica till 6pm and it was only 20km. So before I start another GPS rant it was right as there is a 2 hour time difference between Chile and Peru do not ask me why but meant that I was going to be late getting to my final destination as I still had to get over the border.

First the simple bit get Daisy exported out of Peru. Problem one huge queue one lady doing both export and import but she did export first as that is just a rubber stamp exercise. Problem 2 I needed a form not sure what it is called but it is the holy grail document at this crossing it had all your details on it and it gets stamped at every part of the process on both the Peru and Chile side and when you get all the stamps they let into Chile so first thing I had to do was to locate this form and get it filled in then next the stamps you need are

  • Export Bike Peru
  • Export self Immigration Peru
  • Import self immigration Chile
  • Customs Check Personal Chile
  • Import Bike Chile

So when you have all 5 stamps you hand in this special form and you are now in a new country.

This all took 1.5 hours so patience and the ability to stand in queues is a most and little more Spanish on my side would help enormously but I got through and made some new friends along the way.

Short run to Arica to a place called Sunny Days Hostel and I am booked in I have a complementary Lemon Juice and small piece of cake which is nice it about 8.30pm here so later than planned next stop money and food all within a stones throw from where I am staying. There’s a market but it is closed already but I find a sandwich shop and end having a huge meat ham cheese sandwich, which really hits the spot.

I went for a walk down to the beach caught the tail end of the sunset and stumbled on a 7 a side rugby full contact competition being played on the beach. So I settled in to watch this and it was great. There was sand flying everywhere, which added a whole new dynamic to a 7 a side rugby match. Unfortunately I got there to late and the game finished quite quickly so I wandered back to the hostel and worked on the never-ending chore of Phillys Big trip Blog. It was late when I went to bed but in my reality early due to the 2-hour time difference.

Another pleasant sunset!