My adventure ended in Santiago, Chile. My KLR was in bad shape, tires shot, both sprockets shot, chain stretched beyond saving, and etc. It was also very pavement-worn from being down so much, (darn)...
January 23, 2002 GMT - Chile - the desert hand and condor sighting
We stopped at the giant hand in the desert, a huge concrete hand, raising straight up about 200 yards off the road. We were taking some pictures and eating a donut, when Frank said, "Well, here comes one of our compadres...on a KLR." It was Mariola Cichon. She was heading for Ushuaia also, then up through Brazil, Uruguay, then over to New Zealand, India, and maybe Africa...
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 ...
January 14, 2002 GMT - Peru - over the mountainside
A truck approached us. The driver jumped out and we quickly up-righted the bike and got it over to the side, so the truck could squeeze by. Frank sat down in the rain and said ‘Dale, move your bike over a little so the truck can get by’. I really didn’t have any room to move, so thought I would take it off the kickstand and just lean it a little to the right to give a couple more inches. As my foot touched the edge, it gave away. I was tumbling and sliding with my bike down the mountain...
January 11, 2002 GMT - Ecuador and northern Peru - floating among the clouds
Today, we climbed to the top of the mountain and floated among the clouds, hwy good (sparse traffic) & we glided, floated, drifted...surreal. And then we descended; the curves got tighter but concentric, loved the sound of my KLR purring, coasting, and carving the mountain. It was a dreamy 265 miles.
January 07, 2002 GMT - Colombia - my favorite country!
Colombia is my favorite country, Pasto is my favorite city, enchanting, ...how beautiful. We stopped to have café con leche and sweet cake (not very sweet), 70 miles from Ecuador border (on top of a mountain overlooking Pasto). Saw a guy yesterday (a painter), on a moto with his paint buckets and 8-foot ladder. When we traveled on that terrible rock road, we encountered kids with a rope across the road to stop us for pesos, but more threatening was a roadblock with a big bamboo log across. Frank talked with the leader a moment and they opened a little for him to pass, but stopped me and demanded pesos. I glared at him and gunned my MC thru the opening...
January 02, 2002 GMT - Central America
A shoeshine waif approached me to solicit me. I said ‘no comprende’; ‘Boleo sus zapatuz’, he repeated himself, but a little slower. I said ‘no comprende’, he moved round in front of me, pointed to his eyes with 2 fingers, as if to say, ‘now pay attention’ and said ‘Senor, (I was sitting in a chair), he repeated the syllables very slowly; ‘bo-lay-o sus za-pot-os’. I burst out laughing, he smiled for a moment, but then shrugged his shoulders helplessly, and walked away, but not without giving me a parting shot of disgust over his shoulder.
December 29, 2001 GMT - Mexico and Guatemala - getting underway
Anyway, it put us in position to have to drive 120 miles at night to Esquintla, worst ride of my life, 3 hours of torture; my mask was fouled by insects so had to leave it up, which fouled my glasses. There was constant awful traffic with terrible glaring lights, cane trucks, 5 mph almost every hill. Then I met a man walking towards me in the middle of my lane. I clipped him with my mirror at 55 mph and almost went down again. I’m really glad to get to Esquintla - great room, shower & dinner.
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