Friday, September 27, 2013

Laguna Paron in Huascaran National Park

We took a ride up into the mountains today to go hiking in the national park.  Lake Paron is the largest and most scenic lake in the park. The road up was another fine example of where NOT to take a Harley.  Twenty miles uphill of rugged,rocky four wheel drive goat path.  I call these 'KTM roads" because that is the only motorcycle suitable for these kind of roads.  Halfway up we entered the national park, then the road got worse.  An hour and a half to ride twenty miles but the scenery was magnificent so it was definitely worth the effort.  Pictures may be repetitious or of different angles but the peaks dominated the scenery so that is what we took the most pictures of.

                             Park entrance at 11,000 feet

              We hiked back on the left side of the lake to mountains in back.

                                              Over 13,600 feet.

      The water level was really low,  you can see dry lakebed at far end of lake.

                Dry lakebed I mentioned earlier.

             Gettin' my pose on.

     Part of the goat path we rode up the mountain.  Check out how steep Andes can get.
          Scenes on the road back down.

                                        Nothing runs like a Deere.

                    Eucalyptus trees in a scenic valley coming out of the park

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pictures From Peru and Fifty Miles of Dirt Through Cañon del Pato to Caraz

We hit the road after breakfast and came across this moving van

We have seen so much trash and garbage in every country it's sickening.  This was the first time we saw what seems to be people living at the dump.  I thought that only happens in the movies.

                       Back into the desert 

            You know what snow fence is,  this is sand fence

           Nothing for miles around but Coca-Cola can afford a billboard

We ended up stopping early in Trujillo.  We stayed an extra day to hunt down a rear tire.  In Ecuador it was impossible to find a16" rear tire for a heavy bike.  I did finally track one down in Quito, at the Harley dealership, 6 hours away.  They wanted $593 for a rear tire and $395 for a front tire.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I think I invented new cuss words for that guy.   Needless to say I waited until I got to Peru.  I found one in the first place I went.  A Pirelli for $110.  I had a guy change it and he charged me $2.50,  I gave him $5.  Tire situation taken care of,  we went downtown to the square for a look around.  


        Check out the size of this door. It's about 6 inches thick.

This was a pedestrian only section of shops and restaurants.  We noticed a crowd gathered so we went to see what was up.  These two guys were painting pictures...with spray paint.  I saw them use cardboard, newspaper and sponge.  You gotta see this.

      If you look close near the center of the photo,  the orange flames.  He just got done lighting the spray can to use the flame to dry his paint.

  He did use a stencil for the couple in the corner the rest was freehand.
        Finished product

       His buddy was already started on his creation.

           Not done yet

      Finished product,  he only used a stencil for the dolphin shapes.

   Some roasted corn for an appetizer,  tasted pretty good but also like corn dust.  Kernels were about the size of a marble.
  This isn't the first time we ate chicken foot soup, but it is the first time we took pictures.  Now what do you do with the chicken feet in your soup?   

                                   You eat them!

On our way out of town we stopped at Chan Chan.  A UNESCO World Heritage site.  Also the largest adobe city in the world.  I don't have the link handy but you can Google it for further information 

                       The king in his court.

                     You'll have to research this one too.  It is a hairless breed used to guard the palace.  Don't remember the name, sorry.
          The XXXXXXXX was their representation of fishnets.  The Pacific Ocean is only 1/2 mile from this site.   There are nine palaces found so far but this is the only one restored.

   This is an artesian well in the center of the complex.  So far they found 150 wells. Besides fresh water, the reeds growing were used to make boats for fishing.  
They built the walls, five feet wide at the bottom, three feet wide at the top. Earthquake resistant.  This was in 900 AD

      Still excavating this site as well as the rest of the complex. Bone fragments and pottery in the hole below.

             This was the kings tomb, raided by the Spanish back in the 1500's.
       The inside of an exterior wall. These were thirty feet tall all the way around the palace. Most  of the city of Chan Chan has been eroded and covered with dirt and sand, so excavation is very slow. I think they started in 1964 and this was the only palace out of nine or ten that has been recovered.  Like I said you need to look up further information.
      Moving on, this is an example of the boats they made out of reeds.

Back on the road,  we saw several acres of marigolds growing.

   More sand dunes.  Trust me, between a month at the beach and riding through desert for a few days. I had enough sand.

We stopped for the night outside of Chibote in order to take a ride up into the mountains through  Cañon Del Pato or Duck Canyon. You can google it also.   This was fifty miles of dirt/gravel road to the town of Caraz.  The road was rugged with some washboard, switchbacks,  twists, turns, steep hills and dusty dirty riding conditions.  We loved it. There are about forty tunnels cut into the rock, some long some short but all were fun to ride through.  Pictures speak for themselves if there isn't a caption.

   These are peppers drying in the sun,  you could smell them in the air.  Almost like being pepper sprayed.  

         Gotta keep an eye out for buses and trucks in your lane.  The closest call was a speeding ambulance that went into a broadside toward us, luckily I had seen him before he saw me so I was prepared and evaded.

         This tunnel was so long it had 5 or 6 windows to let in some light

We finally made it to Caraz, four hours later.  The hostal had courtyard parking.

We then took a walk around the square while the sun was setting behind the mountains 
   Cut outs for us to clown around with.

                         Palm trees with snow caps in the background
These mountains are in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.  These are some of the highest  in Peru.  The highest is over 22,000 feet.  Hopefully we will be able to find it tomorrow.  This area is well known for adventure trekking up into the Huascaran National Park.  Next update in a few days.  See you later, goodbye.