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  #196  
Old 9 Nov 2011
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I'm off to see the Wizard!

Monday was spent like this.

Taxi from border to town center of Macara. Depart at 11am after all border b.s.

Minibus from Macara to Loja.

Bus from Loja to Cuenca.

Bus from Cuenca to Azoques.

Taxi from terminal of Azogues to my old hotel. Arrive at 10:40pm when all is said and done.



Tuesday. Go to the lawyers. Explain problem. Be rewarded for my efforts with a notebook size stack of paper from the prosecutors office in Biblian, where I received the first paper that "set me free". Go to lunch with the lawyer which he refuses to let me pay. Visit my 3rd family. Have dinner with them, and arrange transport to Cuenca in the morning.

Today, Wednesday. Get ready to go to Cuenca where I'll arrive at the terminal. Find next bus to Loja. Arrive there and find next bus to Macara. Arrive there, take taxi to the hotel there. Sleep. Cross border in the morning...

We'll see about all that.

A parting shot...



ONWARD!!!

--Alex
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  #197  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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The Wizard said, ¨Wait.¨

Last you heard of me I was leaving Macara, heading to Azoques. I arrived in good order, but not before a couple of other days in Macara.

On Friday, I went out to the town square to see what there was to see. That was where I came across a small motorcycle shop. Hmmm. I wonder if they have Suzuki parts. That insignia near the upper left of the door would lead you to believe so...



And they had Suzuki parts, but of course nothing bigger than a Suzuki AX100 or GN125. However, I asked to see every brake rotor they had. And I came across this, for a Chinese brand motorcycle… Hmmm. I’ll have to bring the bike back and see if it fits. It has 6 mounting spots, countersunk holes, and it looks surprisingly similar to the Suzuki XF650 rotor that I have a picture of on my camera. I won’t know until I try it, but if it fits, it’s an $18 solution….That is, IF it is my brake rotor that is the problem.



Somewhere along the way, I found myself staring at this bike. Haha. Any of you guys at home have teenagers that need an appropriately sized supermoto?



Then, it was off for some food. I have a habit of finding a restaurant that serves tasty food, and eating the same food for days on end. Order one to eat on the spot, and another to take with me. The name of this place was simply Parrilladas. (Grills)



Off to bed I went, stuffed. The next day, I woke up to some kids pushing themselves around on a busted big wheel truck. Racing down the street, crashing, rolling, etc.



Lots of yelling going on here…



After lounging around all morning, watching downloaded T.V episodes and the movie channel, I was hungry again. It was time to get some more meat.



This is in honor of the “Beer Fund!” YES!



From the grill, it’s onto the internet café where I blow young Ecuadorian mind with the fact that I can type with more than 2 fingers. No matter I can type 60+ words a minute (due in part to this Ride Report), any more than 2 fingers at one time…. Holy CRAP!

These three guys spent half of their time looking over my shoulder at my photos, so I spent 20 minutes showing them photos of the USA, the first few days of my trip, Kristi in a bikini in Mancora, Peru, motorcycles and photos of backflips. When it was time to leave, they tore ass out of there 3up on their bike.



After that, back to the grill. Eat some food while watching T.V. with the owner. The owner was in and out…



Then it was back to the room. On the way back, about 7 kids called out, “Heelloo Meester,” , “Heelloo, how err yoo.”
When they found out that I speak Spanish, it was a question free-for-all for the kids. It seems to me that the kids understand the adventure aspect of this journey more so than the adults. They haven’t been given the responsibility to work 6-7 days a week, and still have personal freedom. No Jobs, No Responsibilities. They ask me questions like. How long are you traveling? How many countries? To learn about other countries and to get to know different places? They forego the questions about money, about the motorcycle, and about my job. It’s not about that to them. I enjoy their questions more.

Soon however, they all bailed on me and took off in the back of a pickup truck driven by a 15 year old girl…



The next day was more of the same, and when Monday rolled around, it was time to hit up the border at 8am. Ready to leave, I gave the farewell salute to my hotel room.



Only to go see more of this… And discover I waited 4 days just to have the privilege of being told that I needed to go back to Azogues to collect more paperwork.



Well, no use spending time here. With minimal negotiating, I had found a Buseta (mini bus) that would take me to Loja, from where I would catch a bus to Cuenca, from where I would catch another bus to Azoques…



Before we left, we were already overloaded. 12 people in the van, and luggage on the roof.



Oh, and a cargo cooler from the hospital between my feet. I wonder what’s in there.



This girl woke up with a super sore neck. I wonder why! She slept the 3.5 hours to Loja and her head kept snapping to the left on every corner, in between being wedged into the drivers seat.



In Loja, it was time to eat for the first time that day, at about 3pm. 1/4 Chicken with Pineapple juice it was, but not before finding and booking a spot on the next bus for Cuenca.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I remembered to take a photo of a snack I like to buy when on the busses. Candy Coated Peanuts. I don’t know what is used to create the candy coating covering the peanuts, but it tastes like honey. I like them a lot. $0.40 a pack and it tides me over. I carry two most of the time when on the bus, and will stock up for the bike.



The bus to Cuenca was another drawn out affair, picking up and dropping off passengers throughout the 120 mile trip. It was 4.5 hours before we arrived. I tried to sleep. I don’t think I managed very well.

In Cuenca, I asked around for a bus to Azogues. There are no buses that go ONLY to Azogues at 9:30pm, but there are a few buses that stop at the terminal on their way to further destinations like Guayaquil, and Quito. I got on the one that left 15 minutes later to Quito, and an hour later I was back in Azoques. How lovely. From the terminal, it was a cheap $1 taxi to Hotel Rivera where I walked up like I never left, and was given a key to room 110. It was now 10:45, and 12 hours after I left Macara.

I went to bed shortly after arriving, and got up around 9am. I went to see the Lawyer another hour later, and again, just walked in like I never left. The lawyer knew what I needed, and that is when he drove me to the Prosecutors office where I laid my hands on THIS.



Which it turns out is 43 pages of gloriousness. As you can see here.



After securing the pile of papers, the Julio the Lawyer proceeded to drive me back to my hotel. However, before we arrived we happened to drive by a cooked pig on the side of the road to which I remarked, “Puerco!” (Pig) To which he immediately pulled into the restaurant displaying the pig, asking if I was hungry. I was indeed hungry.



So, there we ate, and we ate like kings. Around here, you either take charge or follow; there is little form of joint processing going on. So, I followed. He asked me if I wanted a , I accepted. Then he ordered the food. And the food came. First it was a small plate of choclo (a type of corn) with fried sections of pulled pork accompanying it, along with a 1 liter for me, and a coke for him.

Next came a much larger platter of choclo with slices of crispy pig skin laid on top. Julio (Lawyer) asked me if I had ever tried it before, which I hadn’t, and then remarked that it is delicious. I followed his example, salted a piece a bit, and ate it. It’s not my form of delicious, but it was good.

Then the next course arrived; a massive plate of meat, another coke for him, and one for me. And we proceeded to eat all of it. And the meat was some of the best I have had yet. Again, as like the first time I ate with him (breakfast after my second hearing), I tried to pay, and he refused to allow me to do so. I asked why, and he told me “You need it for later.” And that was that. I had to sit back down and finish eating.

At the end of the meal, he drove me back to my hotel where he dropped me off. I shook his hand and asked him for a photo. This guy was very nice to me, and he never allowed me to pay one cent for his services, which without I would most likely still be in Azogues. I met him first, the first day I was in the Police station after the accident. He gave me his card, and told me he could help me, because I would need a lawyer. I thought he was simply looking for a job. It was in the car that he told me, “Remember in the police station, when I gave you my card? I told you I could help you. Thanks for letting me.”

Thank YOU Julio!



Well, back in the hotel before 1pm, I got busy checking my email, Advrider, Horizons Unlimited, Facebook, and my traveling idol Hubert Kriegel‘s website “Thetimelessride.com”. (He’s been on the road 7 years. I truly think that no one else can really compare. HONESTLY. Oh, and he’s 65 now.)

After chatting for some minutes with the Euro girls, it was decided they were too busy with the children at the orphanage to meet. So I got off my ass to go say hello to my 3rd family again. When I arrived, Aida was there, the eldest of her 5 other siblings. Also, Diego the helper was on hand (as usual). They were both surprised to see me, and asked what I was doing in Azoques. More paperwork. I need more paperwork. To which Aida simply shook her head.

After asking my plans for the next couple days, she realized I would need to go to Cuenca the next morning, where her sister worked and who could give me a ride. I was to come back to the shop at 6pm, to talk to them when her sister got home from work, and I would be informed on what time to meet in the morning.

Well, back I went at 6pm, where we sat in the shop until her sister arrived. Aida talks more than I do, which is saying something (really), and I was happy to answer her questions that never ceased. How is your family? Do they know what is happening to you? What do they say? Are you going to bring your girlfriend Kristi back here after you get married? Etc. My family is good, they do know what is happening to me, they want me to come home, and yes of course I will bring Kristi back here some day.

Well, I wasn’t getting off easy, and after the sister arrived, I was ordered to the family room adjacent to the shop to sit and wait for dinner. Right… Dinner! Ok!


What you are looking at is a huge pile of rice with chicken, a plate of potatoes with sausage, and a coffee cake! AWESOME.



After dinner, which ended at 9pm, Aida’s sister (I don’t know her name) asked for a photo. She went to retrieve her antiquated digital camera, but the batteries were dead. So I took her memory card and put it in my camera to take a couple photos for her, of three sisters and a gringo.

In turn, I was able to take a photo of them. Sister, Inez, and Aida. At this time, Grandma was already off to bed. Aida, on the far right is 5’2”. Like my grandma was. She reminded me of my grandma Valerie. All about family, cooking to much food, taking care of others.





Too be continued.
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  #198  
Old 10 Nov 2011
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After dinner, it was off to bed for me. The next morning, the sister was parked in front of the shop at 7am waiting to take me to Cuenca with her. I was more than happy to accept the ride, and off we went. We first picked up her nephew to take him to his school, and after dropping him off, she dropped me off at the terminal. I don’t know when I will see the family again, but I hope one day I do!

At the terminal, I booked my bus to Loja, a fabulous 4-5 hour journey that I would be making for the third time. The next bus was 45minutes later, and so I had some food. Breakfast was “Seco de Carne” which is basically a plate of rice (might come with beans) and some meat. I gobbled it up. Then I started waiting. As I waited, I was joined by these two women. They seemed happy at least!



The bus was scheduled to depart at 8:30, but only arrived at 8:35. We didn’t leave until 9:15. What’s new? Here is a view of the terminal from the outside.



On the bus, just down the way, a bunch of vendors hopped on selling food. I bought a bag of some type of cherries for $1 after being hesitant at first, but then being persuaded after the vendor insisted I try one. They were alright, and I was bound to be hungry later.

Well. Here we go again. As I type, I sit on the bus in the terminal in Cuenca, waiting to depart for Loja. My 3rd family gave me a ride to the bus station where I arrived at 7:45. The next bus to Loja was scheduled for 8:30am. I paid the bus fair, and had some cheap food. Now I am on the bus that only just arrived at 8:35 to collect passenger. I expect to depart an hour late. Oh well. Such is life where I am currently.



Nearly everyone sleeps when on the bus, and it was my intent to do the same. I stayed up very late the night before in anticipation of two 5+ hour bus rides. I wasn’t disappointed. This little girl was passed the whole time.



The bus arrived in Loja at around 1:30pm. The next bus wasn’t leaving for Macara until 5pm. So, I took it upon myself to heed the advice of the bikers I met the week before, and try to find a front brake rotor for my Dr650 while in Loja. Off I went in search, and met lots of cool bikers, one mechanic, and two taxi drivers. Alas, I didn’t find a brake rotor. In the midst of it all, I got a photo of the mechanics shop. He searched high and low for a rotor to no avail.



When I got back to the terminal via taxi, there were several people waiting for a ride. I grabbed my bags, and hopped out of the taxi to let a middle aged woman have the taxi. As I turned to leave with bags in hand, the woman called out “Oye! Oye!” (Hey! Hey!) I turned to look, and she asked me, “Is this yours?” In her hands she held the most prized possession of everything that I own on this trip, nothing withstanding. She had my camera!

I blame my mother and father for this. You see, as someone has mentioned earlier, I am tall, and it is obvious. I have already discovered and discussed this phenomenon once (think Lima bus station with Kristi). I am tall enough, that when I sit in the back seats of cars, or on buses, etc, my knees sit above pant pockets, and the contents tend to slide out. This time, it was my CAMERA! AHHH!!!

And so, I narrowly escaped losing my camera. THAT was close.

After a quick jaunt onto the internet at the café, it was back to busing. This bus ride would leave at 5pm, and finally arrive in Macara at 10:40. On the way, I drank about a gallon (4 liters) of water, as I was sweating the whole time. It would seem that there are some clouds going around, and well, that means rain and the threat of more. Temperatures drop about 10*f to around 65*F (18.5*C) and all the locals start to freeze there asses off. So, bus windows are closed, and everyone wears a jacket, while I roll up my sleeves and travel pants, unbutton my shirt, and drink lots of water.

In my effort to close the window slightly on behalf of the person being frozen solid behind me, I was lucky enough to get my thumb in the way, allowing the window to stay open slightly. I might have melted otherwise.



Further down the highway, in the same town where I met the bikers on a KLR, F650GS, and XF650 (Freewind), a woman hopped on the bus selling choclo. I jumped on it, for only $0.50. I would have been better off with some “frita” too, which turned out to be friend beef chunks, but missed out. I did enjoy the choclo though.



Next to me sat Gustavo Ramirez, a guy that “lives” in Loja, but who works in Cariamanga, a 4 hour bus ride away. He works 8am-5pm with an hour break for lunch, from Monday to Friday, living in a campamento with the other workers. Every Friday after work he returns home to Loja to be with his wife and 3 children. He is 28yrs old, and his children are 6, 4, and 2. His wife is an accountant of some sort for another company. Gustavo is a large industrial machinery mechanic and works on things such as excavators and back hoes.

I asked him if he likes his job. He replied with a firm and believable “SI!” He told me that he earns and gets paid $500 every month at the end of the month. He was on the bus on Wednesday as he was allowed a day off to get some medicine for his throat which was bothering him. He chalked it up to the cold weather. He wouldn’t be paid for that day though. It was too bad.

We talked about my motorcycle, my adventure, my job as a truck driver, and compared our commercial driver licenses. I asked about his wife and children, and his job. He asked how much food costs in the USA. I told him that cooking your own food was the cheapest, but that restaurants where I lived were about $8-$15. Not the $1.50 meat and rice plate I had at the bus station. He told me his meals were expensive at the camp, and cost $2.50 each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He paid for his bus rides home also, $5 each way, and thus spent $47.50 every week on food and transport to work. That’s $190 of his $500. $3/day for other things brings him to $250 in expense, the rest of which he can provide to his family.

He asked about my wages. I told him honestly that I was earning 12-16 times more than he did, but that circumstances weren’t the same either. I couldn’t take a bus to work. Food is 3 times more expensive. An apartment where I was working is $750/month per person. Gasoline is up to $4.50/gallon, not $1.48. We have to have cars, and car insurance. He couldn’t believe how much I had to pay for a room in an apartment ($425 when in school), or that I have $15k in University debt that I pay down every month. The fact that we easily pay $10 for lunch or $10 for a cinema ticket was pretty intense for him.

In the end, we agreed that we were happy, and that was the most important thing. Not much else matters if you are angry or unhappy. We exchanged phone numbers, and I gave him my email. He gave me a small wallet sized photo of himself to remember me with, and I showed him my photos that I carry (of Kristi, my brother, and my mom and dad). He got off the bus in Cariamanga (1hr from Marcara). His luggage was a small bag, and a 5 gallon painter’s bucket with a lid. He looked back at the bus as he walked away and waved to me. Damn. What a nice guy!

Here is the photo of Gustavo Ramirez.



After the bus station north of Cariamanga, few people besides Gustavo and I were still on the bus. We had been stopping every few minutes to drop off and collect passengers the entire time. Finally, for the last hour and fifteen minutes, I was the only passenger left on the bus. There was only the driver and the assistant left on board besides me.



When we got into Macara, I tried my hand at telling them to drop me off at the next corner. They willingly obliged. I thought I recognized the corner previously passed, as the one that held my hotel. I got off the bus and walked back. AND… This is me laughing because I was on the far side of town!!! HAHAHAHA!!!



Well, that didn’t work out so well did it! I saw a guy in a truck, and I asked him where the center of town was. He told me the way, and I started walking. Not 2 minutes later, a car pulled up. “Hey! Hey!” called the driver. I looked at the car, and realized it was one of the customs officers that had helped me last Monday. Where are you going? To Hotel Bekalus. I’ll take you. Aweeeesome.

And we went! He was driving a brand new Toyota Highlander Hybrid. For a couple minutes, I was “highrolling” in Ecuador!

At hotel Bekalus, I got a room for the night, paid my 6 dollars, and passed out. It was 11pm and I had been on the move for 16 hours.

The following morning, today, I was up and checked out by 8:15am. Minutes later I was making my way to the town center to find a taxi to the border. At the border, I found myself talking to two completely different customs officers, who though familiar with my case were not the same guys that had helped me the past Monday. They weren’t the same guys that told me what I needed to come back with.

The guy in charge however, DID know what he was doing, and after a short discussion he told me what the next step was in my effort to extract myself WITH my bike, out of the country. I was instructed to make a copy of everything I had, all of it, and keep on with me, as it was MINE. I was to take the copied paperwork to the Aduanas office in town, and give it to the secretary, ask for a “recibo” and then ask to talk to the Director Districtal.

OK. OK. OK. Then come back? Yes. When you can talk to the Director Districtal, he can make the official paper/s that allows you to leave. “Today?” I asked him. “Ojala” he said. (I hope).

With the utterance of that one word, I was inclined to look out the window and take a picture, because I would be seeing it around the same time tomorrow. I would not be leaving the same day. I knew it, they just didn’t say it.

These guys are building a bigger and better bridge over the river to Peru. I felt the sudden urge to help them build it. I was going to be here long enough to see it completed at this rate…



I told the taxi driver that took me into town to take me to the Aduanas office. From there, I asked the officer standing guard where I could make some copies. He pointed me to the town center. With that, I walked 3 blocks to the first sign that read, “Copias”, and made a set of copies of all 43 pages, 7 of which had a back side to it. 50copies @ $0.05/each = $2.50.

Nice Christmas tree ladies J



Back to the Aduanas office I went, and after checking in at the door with the guard, I was shown the way to the secretary. I handed over the paper work, asking for a recibo, and to talk to the Director Districtal. She knew who I was from a phone call the guy at the border had made, and she began to get to work. She told me that I would need to wait a bit. I told her that was fine. Waiting is normal.

And so I waited a bit. After printing out two “recibo’s” she added one to each of my piles of paperwork. Then after a little while, she began to scan the original set into her computer… By that, I mean all 50 pages (including the double sides). She told me I would need to wait a little. Yes, that is fine.

And so I waited. That was when the secretary apparently got the nerve to wholly explain to me what “wait a little” meant in her terms. She would be sending the scanned documents to a lawyer in Loja, who would check the papers, and then send back a document that she would print, and that I could use to leave the country, legally, without problems. But I would have to wait a little, and come back in the morning, because the lawyer in Loja is always very “busy”. Ok. Ok. OK.

I thanked her for her time and on the way out, took a photo of this… What do you think guys? Should I get a tattoo of Ecuador on the palm of my hand like the one in this poster? I’m sure it’ll wear off before I leave this place, and if not, it’ll just remind me of my time spent here! Hahahaha!



And with that, it was back to the border to get my stuff for the night, and back to the town center. I bought a little bread from the bread store along with a 2liter bottle of water, went to the internet café for a little internet time, and then headed back to my hotel. Here I sit now, scribing away the history of my life, waiting for my favorite Parrallida to open so that I might order some food to eat, and some food to go. I intend to enjoy myself tonight.



I’ll hold off with the next “ONWARD!”, until I am in Peru…

Until next time amigos!

--Alex
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  #199  
Old 11 Nov 2011
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You win!

Did you ever read Kafka? You sure have experiences like his characters. You win because you're still stuck in Ecuador while I finally got out of the loop. My bike is running and I'll head out of Lima tomorrow. I'm sure I'll see you once I've crossed the border into Ecuador.

Seriously now. I'll probably take 2 weeks for northern Peru. So we'll probably run into each other in a few days. Time for . I'm buying.
Good luck!
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  #200  
Old 11 Nov 2011
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The Wizard told me to wait... ONLY AN HOUR...

Holy CRAP!

It sounds as though I may be getting out of here, on 11/11/11, a prime day for celebration when I cross the border. If for nothing else, I will allow everyone to get their hopes up on my behalf!

I went back to the customs office this morning at 9am as requested yesterday, and this time a man was standing over the shoulders of the secretary. He had a mildly stern look on his face, and he was telling her things like,

¨El senor esta esperando mas de un semana! Puedes tener prisa!¨
(The sir is waiting more than a week! You can hurry!)

Holy CRAP! again!

After just a few minutes of them talking about the Director Districtal, Abogados (lawyers), Aduanas (customs) and other things, he looked up, and asked me if I could just wait an horita (little hour), they were waiting for the lawyer in Loja to revise my paperwork and create a ¨Providencia¨ (declaration) that I can use to leave. Just come back in an hour please.

My mind jumped into overdrive, but I immediately shut it down.

Yea, only an hour, that is fine! No problem, I will come back in an hour, 10:15am, no problem!

And so I sought out internet to pass the next hour. I have 25 minutes left.

MAYBE, I cross the border today.

--Alex

p.s. mekongfrank: Time for . I'm buying the second round.
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  #201  
Old 11 Nov 2011
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Off to see the wizard again!

Here i go!!!!
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  #202  
Old 11 Nov 2011
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¨Tenga paciencia. Espera por favora.¨

¨Have patience. Wait please.¨ said the secretary at the customs office.

If she actually knew who she was talking to, she wouldn´t have opened her mouth. Given her ignorace of the situation I have endured, I will not fault her. Instead, I will just do as she suggests, and have patience.

At 10:15am, I was back at the customs office. I was asked to please come back at 4pm.

I left, and went and got some lemonaid to aid my immenent drop in blood pressure, fighting off a heart attack.

It helped. I got some bread and water, and went back to the hotel, checked in again, and played a computer game for 5 hours. Mindless nothingness to ease the pain of boredom and waiting.

I went back to the office at 4pm, to hear the statement above, ¨Have patience. Wait please.¨

The secretary had just gotten off the phone with the lawyer in Loja that was supposed to revise my paperwork and create a ¨providencia¨ for me so that I could leave. Instead, for whatever reason, it didn´t happen. Thus he told the secretary, ¨Mañana, mañana.¨ Tomorrow, tomorrow.

I asked if tomorrow, REALLY meant tomorrow. She said, tomorrow, yes, tomorrow.

She doesn´t have a darn clue though what the hell she´s talking about. She´s just relaying the info from the lawyer, who is on his own schedule, and as I have no one on my behalf, I too am just being fed the same. I will wait. I have to. If I want my bike that is!

A thought occured to me today. I left Ecuador via immigration last thursday. I have not been in the country legally since then. I was stamped out. I when I leave the country, I will have been in no-mans-land for at least 10 days. I hope it doesn´t matter!!! If it throws me for a loop, well, I´ll be royally effed.

So, now, I wait, more. All that means is that I will have more good food, tasty lemonade, and sleep well again.

Not backwards yet, but definitely not forwards.

--Alex
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  #203  
Old 12 Nov 2011
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That truely sucks!

Alex, I was just about to write you on FB when I thought I should check your blog first. Looks like you're still stuck in the manana-loop!

I'm more or less lucky so far. My bike is running fine with the new rear shock and repaired front wheel. I'm now in Casma, 400km north of Lima, and visited two archaeological sights near Barranco (200km north of Lima).

On the less lucky side, there is a "paro", a strike/road block, just south of Huaraz, so I'll take the road from Casma and come down the Canyon del Pato tomorrow. Sunday I should be in Trujillo, or rather Huanchaco, the beach 12km north. I'll be there a couple of days, I guess you'll show up. Give me a call once you're in Peru - in the evening of course, won't hear it ring while riding. My Peruvian cell #: 992906219

Worst part of the day was that I faced a whopping 432 Soles (2.7 Sol=1US$) speeding ticket today. No use denying it. Ridiculous speed limit of 60km/h, I was going at least 140. I settled with the pigs for 100 Soles cash - which is too much (met 2 Columbians who were pulled over twice within 15 minutes and paid first 10 Soles, 2nd time 50 Soles) and of course I should have had them issue the ticket. Neither on the road nor at the station are the cops in Peru allowed to take any cash. You have to pay at a bank and if you do that within 72 hours you get a 50% discount. But who should care when he's leaving the country within a week or two.

Watch out on the Panamericana. A friend just told me the worst part in the whole country is the 120km stretch from about 30 km north of Barranca until about 80km before Lima. Corrupt pigs by the dozen. I saw 5 teams on the 50 km around Barranca. No kidding! I paid 20km south of Barranca. I had been stopped before that, about 100 km north of Lima. There the cop didn't even ask for my papers, much less money. He had just stopped me to have a close look at my my bike and a chat. Go figure...

Good Luck Manana!
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Old 13 Nov 2011
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I am in peru!!!

I made it. Left at 2pm from Macará and made it to Chiclayo last night and had an awesome time with a family that owns a Polleria in town. Was so happy I even went to church with them.

Left late this morning and am now in Trujillo and am going to meet Frank (see post above), a German on a R1200GSA in a beach town just north of here. Huanchaco

Lima tomorrow.

Cusco Wednesday.

La Paz, Bolivia on Friday.

I´m headed south to Buenos Aires. I have friends that will be there, and I have already seen Peru and Bolivia. They are awesome on a bike, but it´s not something that interests me right now.

Argentinian steak and wine is on my radar, and I´m hitting the awesome cities on the way. Time to go to the beach now. Frank offered to buy the first round of . I´ve got the second.

--Alex
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Old 14 Nov 2011
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Happy Dance

MVI_0065.MOV - YouTube

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EK3EjxeRu_k?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Lima Tomorrow.

ONWARD!

--Alex
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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Hi Alex, glad you've made it to the other side.

A few posts back I asked you what the rotor was? from reading your latest post I now know you were on about brake disc. I'm from the UK and have never known it called a rotor before. You learn something new everyday as the saying goes.

Be safe and take it easy mate time to enjoy again.

Pete.
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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Leaving early, arriving early, sleeping lots, eating more.

I am in Lima. I am leaving within minutes. Going halfway to Cusco. I stop regularly, whenever I feel like it, and eat lots of small snacks on the way to prevent getting tired or drowsy.

I'm making good time, but I can tell you, it's like like before. Much more relaxed and in control. All is well.

Yesterday I left Huanchaco, north of Trujillo. I spent Sunday afternoon with Frank.



We sat around and shot the shit. He's been on the road a long time and had some great advice to share, and knowledge of the area as well. It was a good time to be had.

Frank bought the first round! He kept going, when I went to bed. He's got time to hang around. I have a mission.



I'll try to arrive less ready to sleep, and slam out a new ride report soon!

Woo!

--Alex
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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On the road again.

ONWARD! I'm loving your reports and photos. Stay safe Alex.
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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Good to have met you!

Hi Alex,
wow, your post is 12 hours old, so you must be way south of Lima already. I'm still in Trujillo but will leave tomorrow for Cajamarca. The Peruvian coast and the Panamericana are nothing to write home about so it's back to the mountains for me!
After hearing your story I wonder what Ecuador has in store for me. I should be in Vilcabamba on the weekend.
Have a good ride to BsAs, I hope to see you in Washington State!
Cheers, Frank
BTW, looking at the photo above, I'm sitting in that same spot right now, having one of these cold ones again :-)
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Old 17 Nov 2011
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From the Pacific Ocean, to the shores of Lake Titicaca

I´m alive and well in Puno, Peru now.

I rode 35 miles from Chala, Peru on the Pacific Coast to Puno, Peru on the shores of Lake Titicaca. I started at 7:30am, and arrived at 6:30pm. I rode from the ocean to the altiplano. Zero feet elevation to 15,200 feet (4500meters).

I got stuck in the mud for 30 minutes during a ride down to a lake to see Flamingoes, and rode 30 minutes through thunder and lightning, rain and snow, to arrive on the other side in sunshine warm enough to dry me off.

It was all AWESOME.

The photos I took are kick ass. I will be posting them all tomorrow or the next day. I have too many, and when I am riding as far each day as I am, I like to sleep 8-9 hours. So bed is calling my name soon. My body wakes up after 7hours or so, and I have to make myself rest a little more. No sense being tired!

I´m heading to La Paz, Bolivia tomorrow. Going to go make use of the 5 year visa that I got in the summer of 2008. Get my monies worth out of Bolivia. It is only 257km (160 miles) to La Paz tomorrow, and I am going via Copacabana, Bolivia. There was a man there 3 years ago selling rings and jewelry that he made out of coins. I have to anniversary edition Peruvian Nuevo Sole coins with machu picchu on them. On one side is the date 2011, on the exact opposite side/location of the coin it read´s Machu Picchu. I´ll have two rings made if he is there. One for me and one for Kristi.(Nothing toooo special now guys).

Bed time now!!

--Alex


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