January 20, 2002 GMT
Recuperating, running obstacle course to Cusco, Peru

On this road to Cusco, we encountered many obstacles that were put there by the strikers; we could get through though, because they weren’t being manned. Also had to cross many shallow streams, deepest about 12’, and it rained on us. Also encountered 100’s of cattle and sheep on the road We hit pavement and went 4 more hours to Cusco (8:00 p.m.,..very long day).


Just showered at our "swank" (NOT!) hotel in Chincheros

1/14 - We’ve been in Chincheros 2 days now, not much to do. It’s been raining for some time now, kind of cold in my walking shorts. I left Frank at desayuno, (breakfast), writing in his ledger. He thinks we can leave tomorrow for Cusco, I doubt it. X-ray showed a fracture of the collarbone, but no separation...swelled up though. Spent the day yesterday washing clothes (and Frank’s) and trying to clean & put my bike back together, pretty beat up. It started heating badly when we arrived here after our mishap, but after cleaning mud out of the radiator, appears to be okay now.

It’s quite beautiful here, but wish we could go - I’m anxious to be home and see my Kath.

There are 2 crazy parrots here that scoot around sideways, bickering and screeching constantly; pretty comical. Rosa says they are sisters, Lolita and lumas. We’ve been eating all our meals at this one family’s place, Letoya (Mom), Herlinda (college student), Emerson, Leyla, & Eli.

They are warm, engaging, and wonderful. Though I’m ready to leave here, I dread the 120 miles of the same rock & rutted mountain road till we hit asphalt. Was hoping to talk with my Kath today, but probably tomorrow if we can make it to Cusco. They did have a phone here in Chincheros, but it was programmed only for about 20 cities in the US, and Omaha wasn’t one of them.

1/15 - Wednesday Can’t leave today, as planned. Seems there’s a sort of ‘political strike’, and villagers are blocking the roadways to all traffic for this day (damn!)

1/16 Yesterday, the sun shone on the mountain across the way and rained on us all day. Today, the obverse, so far (9:30 a.m.) Just got back from visiting Latoya’s family casa. She is so proud of their orchard, mostly hard peaches (but good), on a grassy bank. When they knock down the fruit with a stick, it drops and rolls and they laugh and chase. Example of a meal cost: Desayuno (breakfast), plate of rice, covered with large scrambled eggs (huevos), rolls & butter and 2 cups of café con leche (latte) cost 8 sols for Frank & I together, about $2.50 U.S. This is Wednesday and we’ve nothing to do but wait till the 24-hour strike is ‘total’ (finished)...8 a.m. tomorrow. Frank can lift his right arm up a little today. I gave him my Tylenol PM capsules last night and he slept a lot, he says. We eat every meal with our Peruvian family and try to converse mucho.

I’m really missing Kath, want her here, she’s a part of me, and I love her.

The world has come to a standstill for Frank and me. All shops are closed, and roads...we were invited to eat with another family in the ‘centro’ (knowing we couldn’t buy anything), we declined, saying we were dining with Latoya & family. They were inquisitive and doubtful, saying she was closed w/penalty for doing business. We told them we were ‘amigos’. (So they dropped it). It’s 2:30 p.m. and time is dragging, can’t think of anything else to clean. Been sleeping at least 12 hours a day. Frank sleeps more, and he needs it. He just went to unlock the garage to get his MC manual to have something to read.

I find myself thinking of Kathy constantly...I see me seeing her and kissing her.

Almost everyday, I witness some bizarre scene that I say I’m going to record, most of the time, I forget. I recall in a busy city in Nicaragua, there was a man on a moto hauling a full size box spring on back... one carrying an 8 foot ladder & buckets, one family with papa, mama, and teenager on the back holding a 5 gallon bucket in each hand. Frank saw the same and said mama was holding a baby.

In Lima, on a 4-lane fast moving street at rush hour, we were in the right hand lane, suddenly the traffic slowed to 2 mi per hour. The traffic whizzed by on our left. It took several minutes for each vehicle to bail out of the lane...and when the last one made it, we saw the hold up was a man pushing a wooden cart down the middle of the lane, not even our MC’s could pass. I beeped him to let us by, but he ignored us, we just had to wait to get around him.

In Chincheros, where we were kind of marooned, I noticed early on our first morning an incessant honking of one of those squeeze ball bicycle horns. I figured it was a kid trying to annoy people or entertain himself. But everyday, at different times, it would start up again. Then I saw the culprit...about a 10-year-old girl walking along honking. Frank found out later that she was notifying the community that the fresh bread was done at the bakery. I thought for sure that the townspeople were being tolerant of a deranged little girl.

1/19 - Cusco We left Chincheros 7:00 a.m., climbed from 8600 feet to above tree line, 11,000 plus. We rode 120 miles of rock and dirt, hard to appreciate the wonderful scenery. Had to watch intensely where your tires were rolling.

At 9:00, Frank’s front tire went flat. It was quite a challenge to repair with Frank’s bad shoulder.

Frank, with bandaged shoulder, fixing a flat!

On this road to Cusco, we encountered many obstacles that were put there by the strikers; we could get through though, because they weren’t being manned. Also had to cross many shallow streams, deepest about 12’, and it rained on us. Also encountered 100’s of cattle and sheep on the road We hit pavement and went 4 more hours to Cusco (8:00 p.m.,..very long day).

The city was spectacular, loved the lights and the feel. Police pulled us over right away, we played dumb for the infraction (wrong turn, I think), and he got frustrated and waved us on. Found a nice hotel right away (dark though). Went to Machu Picchu @ 6:30 a.m. on Friday (exhausting train ride) and back in Cusco at 8 p.m.

1/20 - Sunday Had pretty primitive quarters last night in Pamato. Yesterday a.m. leaving Cusco, I said, ‘Frank, we’ve driven over 7,000 miles’ and tried to give him a high five, but with his bad shoulder, had to settle for a low five.

When we left Cusco, we went south & up to about 7 or 8,000 feet for 300 miles on a high plains plateau road... 42 to 60 degrees. We got pelted with sleet, and later drove thru some shallow wet snow. Saw thousands of adobe and straw homes, saw a big white rock (about 12’) in the middle of the lane where it had been dragged under a vehicle for 150 yards before dislodging...left a white chalk mark... must have created quite a scare. But the stone was left there, of course, ...for someone else to hit, ...and drag.

Frank & I were in a quandary; we came to the end of the road (pavement) and suspected the rock road that continued went into Bolivia (illegally). We had to do that or go north.

We did the rock road... for about 9 miles and changed our minds...came back and went the long way around. Lots of (100’s) llamas & alpacas, they tend to get in the road and are erratic when we get close. Frank passed up eating at a ‘Subway’ in Cusco - WOW!

Saw thousands of 1-room dwellings today constructed of basket weave panels. When we dropped down off the high plateau, we experienced massive sand piles thousands of feet tall, (they were majestic), lots of wind again, but appears we may finally be out of the rain.

Posted by Dale Thornton at January 20, 2002 12:00 AM GMT

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!