Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dirt, Hail, Rain, Fog and More Dirt

                      WE ARE NOT ALONE!!!

There is a motorcycle shop in Lima called Inca Riders. From left to right is Paul, Jorge, me, Jorge and Fernando.  Jorge standing on my left is the manager, the others are hanging out at the shop.  Tried to get a t shirt and business card but he didn't have either.  We hung out for a little while, then headed out of Lima on the road to Tarma- the pearl of the Andes.  We pretty much have just been travelling for the last few days so pictures are mostly just scenery and whatever you see along the road.

   At this point we were at 15,807' above sea level, the mountains in the background are even higher

This kid lives across the road from the sign above,  he runs out and sells snacks when vehicles come by.  We bought several and told him to keep the change.  It's got to be hard livin at this altitude,  everything is so barren and not much happening at his age.  If you look close you can see the hail falling.  Yeah it was cold!

It's barren but still has a certain beauty about it,  but then you go down the other side of the mountain and you see the following.

       Mining,  the only thing going on up here.  They are totally destroying the landscape.
The mining companies bought the land from the government, from what I understand,  then forced the residents out of their homes.  The next two pictures below is the town that was built for the displaced residents.  Schools, electric, plumbing it's all there, but put yourself in their place, would you want to be forced out of your humble home on the mountainside and stuck in this situation?  I'm sure their quality of life has improved but I think they also lost a lot.  Some were not happy, as I definitely would not have been either.

Further down the mountain range, we came across La Oroya.  We turned toward Tarma before we got into the town,so we don't have any pictures.  What is important to know is that due to runoff and other unsafe standards, the US mining companies have managed to put this on the list of one of the top ten most polluted places on earth. 

So, as we headed for Tarma, the Pearl of the Andes,  the asphalt turned into twenty miles of dirt road.

 They were still clearing the latest landslide, we only had to wait for the truck to be full, then we got through.  We made it to Tarma(below) but don't have a clue why it's considered the Pearl of the Andes.  I know the people from Lima come here on the way to the Amazon because the road to the closest river port goes through here.  From the river port there is access to the rest of the Amazon basin
Climbing out of Tarma the next day, we headed for an eventual visit to Macchu Picchu.

We stopped for some fruit and snacks and met this guy, Mark.  Riding his bike from Colombia to Rio de Janiero, he was one of many bicyclists that we have seen on the road.  More bicycle than motorcycle travellers.  This was at the beginning of a road that follows the river for 93 MILES,  luckily we were both headed downhill.  The road eventually turns into a single lane, smooth, curvy river cliff hanging ride.  Another one of our favorite roads on this trip.  

                 These were hot springs spewing out of the mountainside.

     I think there was a lot of copper in the rocks, giving them the green tint.  Just my best guess.

         I have no idea how trucks going inthe opposite direction can get by each other.

                                          Faces in the rocks?
   Stopped in Huanta for the night after we missed a turn and ended up on thirty miles of goat path.

                                             Road Hazards to Watch For

   Out of Huanta the road was asphalt and climbed up to the top of a mountain range where we rode the ridge for most of the day.

        Eventually heading down this set of curves. What goes down, must go up.

                And back down again.

            These guys were smart enough to stand in the shade.

                         Stopped in Talavera for the night.

        Left Talavera and planned on being in Cusco for the night, 200 miles away, but that wasn't to be.  We rode straight into mountaintop fog and rain, so that slowed us down to twenty miles an hour.  We rode in that for a hour, then we hit road construction and got sent on a detour of 50 miles of potholes, dirt and rock.  That was at twenty miles an hour on the straight stuff.  We ended up in Abancay about 75 miles from where we started, wore out and aching in the aarms, legs, back and butt.  At least the sun came out and the scenery was cool.

Abancay is in the valley in the center of the picture,  we saw the town two hours before we got to it.

This was the final assault right before the dirt road ended,  the dirt is sliding on the right in front of the bike and also right where the vehicle is.  This was the worst part of the road and we blasted through as soon as the car went by,  I think the dirt blocked the road behind us.  We hit the asphalt and rode the last ten miles into Abancay,  by 2:30 we were off the road.  A sorryful day of progress but at least it was slow and steady.  Hopefully next post will be after Macchu Picchu and the Sacred Valley a few days from now.


  1. WOW ..incredibe,. Was that a gold mining operation? How about a picture of the odometer. Also picture of the car dealerships. Did you run across the pedal bike guy again? That spare tire looks like a smart idea. Also how about a picture of the overnight digs and the internet cafe.

  2. Love to have a pair of ass for the farm lol throw them on the back of your bike and you will almost look like the moving van from a few pictures ago. Quite a bit of groung you're covering Beautiful scenery my gosh, you are so lucky to be able to do all this Keep on a bike n

  3. Waiting for you machu pichu report. We are glad you guys are doing well. Regards from Chihuahua, Mex.