steel horse odyssey

steel horse odyssey

around the world by motorcycle

more shit happens

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 01 Dec, 2012 03:41:38
With new soldered carbon brushes and a charged battery we left for Puno. After 200 kilometers I noticed that my gps and light didn't work anymore. I pulled up next to the road and there we found out that the alternator had died. We had checked it yesterday and it was ok but now it had sadly passed away before its time. We were in the middle of nowhere and just as we were going to put on the spare rotor a Brazilian motorcycle expedition passed us. They were very friendly guys and they offered us a ride back to Arequipa. So my bike was put on their trailer and for the second time I made my way back to Arequipa with a broken down bike. In Arequipa I took my battery out to have it charged and put on my spare rotor. The next day as we were ready to leave again for Puno I tried to start my bike but it didn't run. The battery turned out to be very low. It had not overcome the battering it had taken the last couple of days. We asked a taxi driver to drop us off at a place where we could buy batteries. We were lucky to find a Yuasa battery of exactly the same measurements as my Hawker Odyssey PC 680. We mounted the new battery and believe it or not we actually made it to Puno that very same day.

colca canyon engine breakdown

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 25 Nov, 2012 23:53:45

After a leisurely stay of nine days in Arequipa I left for Colca Canyon, one of the deepest gorges in the world. The night before we had a goodbye diner with our Austarlian friends Andy and Linda with whom we had a great time. The ride to Colca Canyon was a beautiful one. The first stretch was rather barren and I had to cross a 4800 meter high pass that took me on to a marshland plain. After the descent to Chivay I entered a lush and green valley with terraces and I rode into Colca Canyon. The scenery was stunning and I stopped at the Cruz del Condor view point to take some pics. When I wanted to move on to Cabanaconde my bike refused to start. There I was in the middle of absolutely nowhere with a dead bike. I checked the fuses and looked for loose contacts. I managed to push start the bike and I rode for a couple of miles with my light and gps switched off until I entered a tunnel. My light didn't work and I had to slow down so much that the engine stopped again. I didn't see a thing and I had to push my 300 kilo bike out of the tunnel touching the wall to feel where I was going. A truck driver helped me ride through the tunnel by driving behind me with high beam on. I managed to get my bike back to Chivay. There I took out the battery and had it charged in a work shop. I suspected something was wrong with the alternator or the diode board. The next day I had much trouble starting the bike but eventually it ran and I could ride it back to Arequipa. When Kevin and I checked the alternator we found out that the front carbon brush had worn to 25%. There was insufficient pressure to push it onto the slipring, hence the intermittent charging of my battery. We hopped in a taxi and managed to buy new brushes in a car parts supply store. "Rodolfo Diesel" was so kind to let us use his work shop so we could solder the new brushes onto the stator while one of his clients lectured us on the beauty of Arequipa women. Problem solved, time spent: 2,5 hours, cost: 2 dollar.

the white city

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 16 Nov, 2012 21:04:54
Today we arrived in the white city of Arequipa. White because many buildings are made out of white volcanic rock, called Sillar, that has been ejected by near by volcano Misti, like the cathedral on the central square and the Santa Catalina convent. Arequipa is a very elegant city with many well kept colonial style buidlings. It has a very nice Plaza de Armas, a central square surrounded by beautiful buildings and with a nice park. The climate is very pleasant, due to the altitude warm during the day and rather cool at night. We are going to kick back here for a couple of days.

back on track

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 16 Nov, 2012 20:39:09
After a two week break in Surinam I am back on the road again. I met Kevin again in Lima and from there we rode to Nazca. Nazca is famous for the Nazca lines. They can not be seen on the groud but from an airplane you can clearly see large drawings in the desert depicting a humming bird, spider astronaut and more. Since we had seen the lines in 1996 we decided to skip them now and rode on to the Chauchilla cemetry. That is the only burial site in Peru were you can actually see real Inca mummies.

lima reunion

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 24 Oct, 2012 21:14:33
From the Cordillera Blanca I rode to Huanuco, from there on to the Peruvian altiplano at Cerro de Pasco and then down to La Merced. La Merced is nicely situated amidst green hills. The climate is pretty hot and humid but for me that was a welcome change after the icy mountain winds of the Cordillera. I had a leasurely day of doing nothing in La Merced and after that I took the carrera central heading towards Lima. The outskirts of Lima are very poor with the shanti towns of the Pueblos Jovenes scattered on the barren hills. But central Lima is like any big city and the going around was fairly easy on the broad thoroughfares. In Lima I met Vish Bhoja and Ivan Sanchez again. We had been traveling together for a while in Costa Rica a couple of months ago. They both work as teachers at the Newton college here in Lima. I am staying at Vish's place here in downtown Miraflores and I could park my bike on Ivan's driveway in La Molina. It was really nice meeting these guys again and we had a couple of beers to celebrate the reunion.

wuthering heights

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 18 Oct, 2012 01:46:54
I plotted a route around Huascaran, Peru's highest mountain, that turned out to be spectacular. I crossed the cordillera blanca to the east side over a 16,000 feet pass. The dirt road was very rough at some points but it was well worth the effort. Stunning mountain views! I was riding so close to the glaciers that it felt as if I could touch them. The east side of the cordillera is hardly touched by tourism. The scenery is scattered with small settlements and little villages. I saw indigenous people in a type of dress that I hadn't seen before. I spent the night in the village of Yanama. The next day I took a high mountain track via Sapcha to Chacas. For hours I didn't see anybody on the road except for some sheperds herding their sheep and pigs. Via Chacas and Punta Olimpica I crossed over to the west side again heading down to the village of Carhuaz. Before Carhuaz I was held up by a road block due to construction work for two and a half hours. In the evening I arrived in the city of Huaraz after a hard but rewarding ride.

the bridge

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 15 Oct, 2012 05:06:38

From Trujllo down the coast I had to do another 70 miles on the panamaricana. At the town of Chimbote I turned inland to ride via cañon del pato to Caraz in the Cordillera blanca. Way before cañon del pato the paved road suddenly stopped and it seemed that I had to cross a bridge. I was already in the middle of that bridge when I found out that I had to go another direction. In front of me the loose wooden beams that I was riding on had vanished. I couldn't turn my bike around and I even couldn't stepp off my bike because underneath me was a 60 feet deep void and I could see the water flowing rapidly in the river. I was stuck. The only thing I could do was wait for help. I waited and took the camera out of my tank bag to make a few shots. After ten minutes a little truck showed up. The driver and his friends held my bike so I could carefully step off. The four of us gently rolled my bike backwards off the bridge. I was really happy I met these people otherwise I would still be on that bridge now.

desert boredom

PeruPosted by Jan Lamers 15 Oct, 2012 04:38:28
The first two riding days in Peru were amongst the most boring days I had on this trip so far. The coastal desert in Peru is far from an inspiring place. Everything is ugly. The scenery, sand sand sand as far as the eye can see. Towns are ugly, run down and full of litter. The strong wind gusts blow sand onto the road and my neck and wrists get sand blasted. People drive like madmen here on the panamericana. The only advantage is that I cover ground quickly on my way to the Cordillera blanca. I stopped at Trujillo for two days to recuperate.