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Route PlanningWhere to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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You suggest:Challenging trails/goat tracks in Sth Am
I`m looking for silly ideas for a track here. Some of you must be as silly as I, or at least would like to encourage me off into the unknown? Yes, I must be getting bored.
Most of the route ideas I have found on the hubb are based on the scenery or with the purpose of linking places of interest. But doesn`t anybody else look at google maps, for example, to discover what appears to be a trail that isn`t on any map?
It can be a trail for goats, donkeys, natives, 4wds only, or whatever. Just preferably either legal, or with a low chance of the police stopping me. The only idea i have so far is a track through the Amazons region of Brazil, from Porto Velho to near the Venezuelan border mainly near a train line. And I read on the HUBB that French Guyana to Brazil sounds fun. Eastern Sth Am is preferred since I`ve already ridden down the west coast, but will consider all ideas.
If it helps your conscious to know, I have a `07 640 Adventure with 25-30kg of luggage (10kg of which is tools, mainly near the bashplate) in soft Ortlieb panniers/bag (waterproof, & bag floats). And part of the reason I want to go for a `proper` ride is that pretty much every weekend of my non-travel life for the past 20yrs I am either practicing at a MX track, in the forest, or racing. So dirt biking in the forest on another continent would be fun, even if current bike is a little heavy. I race Expert class in Enduro and have also covered about 120,000 on loaded bikes. My brother is somewhere on this continent too, on same bike, and may join if it sounds like fun.
You never know, we may be rewarded with a fun trail and great scenery, and if not, then at least the will taste really good at the end. Thank you in advance…
A rider after my own heart! I want a big thumper, and unknown trail, some log-hopping and river crossing, an adventure, and good friends....
Helps that I have lived in SA most of my life (on a dirtbike that is!)
So here goes: I will be describing in detail many trails in and outside of Peru as I have time with google maps, and personal photos..
This first one is more of a road, but can be challanging, with the most beautiful scenery ever! Huancayo to Abancay (near Cuzco, Peru) 3 Days, don't rush it! View Larger Map"> View Larger Map
You can star at either end: Cuzco-Andahuaylas-Ayacucho-Huancayo or Huancayo-Ayacucho-Andahuaylas-Abancay (and on to Cuzco). Stop and get gas every place you see it because they are few and far between. Our tanks normally gave us a 170km range, but we found we used 50% more due to the rough up and down. The distances are not huge, tho they seem that way (approx 250 to 350 km per day with 2 or 3 options for gas each day, albeit out of a barrell).
This map is cut off a bit, but you head through Chincheros and on to Andahuaylas.
You can see the whole description with photos of the 11 of us riding this at: Around the Block 2007 |
but here are a few teaser pix:
At the local "gas station" along the way...
So.. Hope this is not TOO much information. I will try to keep them coming as off the top of my head I have ten!
Here goes the second one. This is my favorite ride. We've done it many different ways, and it still requires one of those "is there a trail thru here or not... they tell me it exists..."
The Oxapampa valley is special. 150 years ago a large group of Germans and Austrians immigrated to Peru. They found their way over the Andes and down into a lush mountain jungle valley at 5,000 ft above sea level. They built their homes in the Germanic style, cleared the jungle and planted pine trees.
They retain their traditions to date with dress and food. They raise cattle and sheep, make cheese and the best German-style 'asado' you have ever tasted!!!
So, you come over the mountain and see below you this valley somewhere out of the Alps with wooden a-frame homes and carnations in the window boxes. You say to yourself: "Where did I take a wrong turn? Did I go thru a time warp and arrive in Europe???" View Larger Map"> View Larger Map
The first day head from Pucallpa to KM 86 on the Trans-Andean road to Lima to Humbolt. Turn left on the road called the 'marginal' that sort of follows the Pachitea River that dumps into the Ucayali, which is the main tributary of the Amazon. You can turn off the road just after Sungaro and spend the night at Puerto Inca on the Pachitea river. Or continue to Puerto Bermudez. There is a nice little hostel on the far side of town.
Next day will be 4-6 hours (crossing a few rivers) past Villa Rica and on to Oxapampa. Stay a few days there, then take the short ride north to Pozuzo (the more Austrian colony/town).
From Pozuzo there is supposed to be a road-then-trail west to Huanuco. If you want to know all the research I've done on this, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's one I have yet to try, but I am sure it is possible. If you are on a quest to do the PACIFIC to the ATLANTIC, from Lima to Belem, you could be the first one to connect this route. The 'missing' connection is from the Peru side (Pucallpa) at the Ucayali river to the the Brazil side (road that goes into Cruzeiro do Sul)... a total of only 80 km.
I have lived in Pucallpa and know the jungle around there. In Pucallpa, you will have rent a boat (pequi-pequi, very cheap) to take you down river North, then east) or up-river (South, then east) then up one of the tributaries that go closest to the road coming from the Brazilian side to the border (you can easily see this road on googlearth).
I have flown over this area in a single-engine plane and explored 1/2 way up the northern route. I think I would try this in the dry season (june-oct) even tho the rivers won't be as full, there will be many trails thru the jungle and some MUST reach the end of the road built by Brazil. then the road on the Brazilian side is most likely red clay, which is a killer in the wet.
I did ride the Huancayo > Huancavelica >Ayacucho > Chincheros >Andahuayalas > Abancay and it would be my favourite in Sth Am so far. Not really difficult, but the scenery is spectacular and people very friendly and interesting also. The scenery definitely did get me, particularly in the high plains south of Ayacucho, because for the first time in 70,000 travel km I overshot a corner as a result of not watching the road! Fortunately i managed to get my speed down from about 90km/h to about 40km/h before I went over the edge, albeit sideways because I was still trying to make the corner. Bent and broke a few things on my bike but repairable to ride, and I flew over all the large rocks so was fine.
I'm currently riding with my friend Johan(HU:Swedish Rider), and we`ll be in Ushuaia tomorrow, and then intend to be in Buenos Aires on 24th to meet a non-biker friend for a week of rock n roll, and then,´no se. Your detailed description is excellent. A Pacific to Atlantic ride gives me a good idea to contemplate until BsAs…
Not particularly challenging for a man of your stature Simon, but did you ride the Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama track that the 4WD tours do? Past the coloured lakes and geysers and over the 5000m pass on the Bolivia / Chile border
The difficult part of the Huancayo to Ayacucho route was going via Pampas, not Huancavelica as shown here on the map in BLUE
Where you leave the pavement (red line) and get onto the gravel (orange line) it climbs to just over 15,000 ft.
Then you drop down into Pampas on a tristy "road" where you begin to encounter the 'bull-dust' (the Peruvians call it el "polvo tramposo"), thick talcom powder dust with golf ball sized rocks hidden in it. Just what you want in a tight corner with a 1,000 ft drop off! In Pampas (pix below)
The police there directed us to go right up the main street behind the monument which ends in a 'goat trail' virtually straight up the mountain you see behind us. After a few miles, it turns into a 'proper' road with great views
before it drops quickly down to the Mantaro valley where the Hydro-Electric dam is (pix below).
Then follow the east side of the river until Huanta, then Ayacucho. Now that's a ride!
Okay, here's number 4 (Cuzco to Brazil / or VS VS). Now this is a little known route is pretty good shape. I include it here as I know you are coming back up this way and might make it an option. We knew it was passable, but it still held alot of surprises. Here it is in google maps:
Lonely planet may tell you that it can be done in one long day from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado (520 km), but don't try it. Cuzco to Quince Mil is a good day, then easy day on into Puerto Maldonado. From there to the border is about 240 km, part of it paved. This is the part that could be difficult in rainy season (Dec to April). You hit new pavement at Ibaria (60 km from the border), then on the Brazil side it is all pavement. Puerto Maldonado to Brasileia 110 km into Brazil is a good day.
(overlooking Urcos on the way up pass # 1)
(Trans-Oceanic project to better this road)
(over top of pass #2, almost 16,000 ft)
This route is covered in detail on my trip website: Around the Block 2007 | so I won't repeat it all here. Don't have the accident we did!!!
This is one that we tried to do, but time constraints kept us from completing it. It's one of those cases where Google Maps says there is a road, and Googlearth seems to show one, but it is not a real road, just connection of paths. You will ABSOLUTELY need a GPS for this one! Here is the link for the Google Map: View Larger Map"> View Larger Map
Here is the .jpg map:
This trail goes from Cabixi (pronounced (Cabishi) on the Rondonia state line with the Mato Grosso state line just miles away from the Bolivian border.
This is the jungle plateau that Col. Percy Faucett discovered in 1901 when he was surveying the Bolivia-Brazil border. he described it in his journal saying that it was possible that pre-historic dinasaurs could still be up on this jungle plateau, not able to get down.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle read this comment and based his novel: "The Lost World" on this idea, and of course Micheal Crichton took the idea and developed the book and movie of the same name.
This moto trail starts in the north goes south along the Bolivian border beside this "Lost World" plateau until Vila Bela do Santisima Trinidad. At one point there are 2 waterfalls in on your right called the "waterfalls of love"......
Our problem is that we did not set out early enough, and it was in the middle of a 'frio' (cold blast from the south), and we turned off the trails we were seeking and found our way back out to the highway, tho it took all day. I REALLY want to try this again with enough time!
You asked for one on your trip back north, so I'm going to jump to my # 9. We went into this one blind because of necessity, but you don't have to. I will map it and detail it here, but the description and pix of our adventure is on: Around the Block 2007 |
There will be no immigration at the border, so it would be good to 'check out' in La Paz. There is a customs office exiting Bolivia at Puerto Acosta.
It would be a good idea to set out early. It is not ALOT of Kms, but it was too technical in places to be doing in the dark like we did. And make sure it is a nice day, I can't imagine how it would be rainy or overcast! Stop for gas whenever you see the opportunity. We stopped in Corabuco and were fine all the way to Mojo, and we only have a 170 km range on good roads.
The pavement (such as it is) goes as far as Corabuco, then gravel, then dirt into Puerto Acosta. Beautiful scenery beside the lake, but the wind does howl down from the snowcapped Illampu peak on your right.
The 'road' from Puerto Acosta leaves out the back of the plaza and it immediately turns into a rock scramble. Lots of fun unless you think you may be lost in the dark like us! It will eventually turn into a pretty nice road. You will come to a small town in a flat valley, but that is not Peru yet. Find the road west out of there over a ridge beside the lake and you will wind down to another town (be careful of the thick dust with golf balls hidden in it!), and at the far side will be a chain across the road. The 200 mt flatland beyond is the border. Cross over and enter Peru.
It was dark for us and we saw no police or immigrations anywhere so we kept on going to Mojo. From there it is another 38km to Huancane where you hit pavement again to Juliaca. There you can get 'regularizado' on all your paperwork, tho they might send you back to Puno for that (40 min ride).
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