The Floating Islands

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Uros, Peru Before I left Peru there was one more place I had to see. On Lake Titicaca, outside the small city of Puno, is the town of Uros, Peru. It's not your typical town. Actually it's nothing like your typical town anywhere in the world. Uros Peru is a town made up of man-made floating islands. I boarded a boat in Puno for a short 30 minute ride through the Titicaca National Reserver where the islands are located. The Uros reed islands consist of more than 40 islands varying in size … [Read more...]

Gasket Search in Cusco

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The morning I went to leave for Machu Picchu I started the bike and quickly realized I had a problem in my exhaust system. The rest of the hostal probably realized that too. Sorry! Then I remembered that on the ride to Cusco a few days earlier I thought my bike was loud but I ride with ear plugs and I forgot about it till just now. Since I already had my ticket to Machu Picchu I rode there and would fix it when I returned to Cusco. I'm not sure how but the gasket is no longer there from where … [Read more...]

Machu Picchu

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On a cool foggy morning in Agua Calientes I was awake before sunrise and headed down the dirt road toward Machu Picchu. It was 5:15AM and the streets were empty. The shuttle busses were lining up at the stations but I wasn't taking a bus, instead I would hike up from the river valley on the footpath through the thick forest. I wasn't interested in doing the mutli-day Inca trail hike but hiking an hour to see one of the 7 Wonders of the World seemed like the right thing to do. Besides, paying $20 … [Read more...]

The Road to Machu Picchu

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The road from Cusco to Machu Picchu doesn't exist. The closest town you can reach by driving is Santa Teresa. From there you have to either walk or take a taxi to the Hyrdro Electric Station where you can pay to ride the train or save your money and walk along the railroad tracks for a couple of hours to the town of Agua Calientes which is the town just below Machu Picchu. You could also pay hundreds of dollars and take the train from Cusco. I left Cuscu by 8 AM and was at Santa Santa … [Read more...]

Nazca Lines and the Road to Cusco

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I rode from Huacachina to Cusco in two days. Here's how the 470 mile ride went. Day 1 I rode 350 miles to Abancay then to Cusco the second day. If you started early enough I suppose you could make it in 1 day but it would be a really long day of riding. Not far from Huacachina is the town of Nasca. Depending on what sign you read it's sometimes spelled Nazca. No official spelling I guess. I think the only reason the town is on the map is because of the famous Nazca Lines. The lines are a … [Read more...]

Nothing But Sand

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Huacachina, Peru In the desert south of Lima is the small oasis of Huacachina. It's surrounded by nothing but sand. And not just sand, but thousand foot high sand dunes for miles. Seeing the photos alone made me want to go there. I didn't know the town was an overpriced tourist trap but I probably would still have gone. I just wanted to ride on those dunes. I have a little sand riding experience. Not enough to make it easy but I've been on sand dunes before and once I got going it was a … [Read more...]

Burgers, Beer, and Brew in Barranco

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Big cities means more people, more neighborhoods, more variety, and best of all more restaurants. In the small towns all you get is the basic rice and meat centered meals. When I got to Lima I spent time in the Barranco neighborhood. Here are a few places I enjoyed. Twist Gourmet Burger Bar Featuring hearty burgers and good craft brew. This small burger restaurant was a little pricey for my usual meal budget but well worth it. Avenida Grau 384, Barranco, Lima Tostaduria Bisetti In … [Read more...]

Krochet Kids Peru

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Knitting New Futures I had been debating wether to even travel to Lima as the last thing I wanted was to ride my motorcycle on Lima's roads with their notoriously crazy drivers and traffic. But there is something in Lima that isn't anywhere else so I decided to make the ride down from the Andes to the desert. What's in Lima that isn't anywhere on my route through Latin America is Krochet Kids Peru. Six years ago friends of mine from college started the organization Krochet Kids intl. to help … [Read more...]

I Feel It In My Fingers

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The sunny days were over and I had an invitation to go to Lima so I packed up early to hit the road. Of course when I was leaving the sky was clear and I could see the Cordillera Blanca mountains in the distance. Once I was on the road heading towards Lima I entered thick morning fog that hid the warm sun. The first hour of my ride was the coldest I've been on this trip. My fingers were near frozen. I kept my left hand pretty much on the exhaust pipe to keep it warm. Every few minutes I … [Read more...]

Caraz and Laguna Parón

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The city of Caraz sits in a valley at 7,500ft, just below some of the highest peaks in Peru. It's a quiet town where I haven't seen any gringos and doesn't seem to be on the tourist map as much as Huaraz to the south. I drove around the main plaza to ask the nearby hostals about accommodation. I finally found Oasis Hostal just off the main plaza. They brought out a small ramp so I could get my motorcycle in the alleyway. 20 soles for my own room, parking, and wifi. I was in need of … [Read more...]

Canon del Pato

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When I started looking into doing this trip I followed a few blogs of other travelers doing a similar trip. I saw the videos of Radioman riding through the tunnels on the narrow dirt road in Peru and couldn't wait to ride through them myself. I left Santa by 7:30 and rode highway PE-12 to Chuquicari. There PE-12 turns to a narrow unpaved gravel dirt road that follows the Santa River. Don't follow the paved road to the left over the bridge. From Chuquicari to Yuracmarca the … [Read more...]

Longitudinal de la Sierra

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Today's plan. Santiago de Chuco to Caraz. 200 miles on 3N which is named Longitudinal de la Sierra. From what the folks in Santiago told me, the whole route is unpaved. I woke up before 6 to get on the road early. That plan ended when the gas station wasn't open until 7. It was even more delayed when the gas station workers and locals all wanted to get photos with the bike. The people here are so friendly so I didn't mind hanging out for a while. From the moment I left town I was riding … [Read more...]

Santiago de Chuco, Peru

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It was such a beautiful sunny morning in Cajamarca I was tempted to stay another day. But I decided I'd continue south. I wanted to eventually get to Canon del Pato and Caraz so I mapped out a route on Peru 3N with a stop about halfway in the town of Santiago de Chuco. Leaving Cajamarca I quickly left the city behind and was one of only a few vehicles riding out of the valley on 3N. About a half hour into the ride I was coming around a corner and quickly realized my rear tire had gone … [Read more...]

Cajamarca, Peru

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I didn't have much of a reason to stick around Chiclayo so I was on the road by 7:30 heading south on the PanAm. Once again riding through a desolate landscape and through small towns. Occasionally the land would turn lush with green farms then back to brown nothingness. I wonder why the other towns don't irrigate like the others. Coming from Ecuador this place overall is a dump. Trash is dumped all over the place. It doesn't seem to be that they don't care about not being clean because I … [Read more...]