Friday, January 23, 2009


Well the last time I checked in we were in Ecuador in the rain. That was last Friday. It got worse. We had decided to travel on Ecuador highway 35, which is the Pan American highway. It should be renamed the Pan Am Trail. For three solid days we clawed our way down the spine of the Andes. The road was washed out in many places, and last Sunday we waited at the hotel for 2 hours before even starting out because a massive landslide had taken out about 200 yards of the road. There were so many landslides that we just got used to dodging the piles of rock in the road. In other places the road was just nothing but a trail of potholes. We did not stop to take pictures because it was a soaking, muddy mess.

We finally made it to the border Sunday night and got the bikes washed off Monday morning before crossing to Peru. The crossing was relatively easy, and we were warned about the police in the towns along the way. Things changed immediately in Peru. We were stopped by police a couple of times the first day, and they treated us well. Got our photo taken with a good group. Also, the stench from the garbage in norhtern Peru was overwhelming. I never want to go back to Sullana Peru again.

We took a rest day, watched the inauguration, and started out again on Wednesday. We got to within 6 km of our target in Barrancas when we were stopped by a cop. Our prior contacts had all been good so we figured no big deal. He took Marty´s licence and then started to accuse us of speeding in a 35km zone. It was one of those places where they drop the 80km limit to 35 in about 10 feet. The short version is that he would not give the license back until he got cash, and gave no ticket or receipt. So that left a bad taste in our mouths. This is the only instance where speaking Spanish did not work in our favor. We think the guy would have given up if he could not do the shakedown in Spanish.

Peru is basically a big pile of rock and sand. We have crossed so much desert here. There is nothing in Peruvian desert. Nothing- just sand and rock. We are high in the Andes now and it is still mostly rock. But Peru has good roads. Compared to Ecuador this is heaven, with one exception. The highway to Cuzco is so bad for about 60 km. They have let the surface degrade to the point there is no surface, just thousands of potholes. The road is so bad that it has shaved hundreds of miles off our tires and broken pieces off the motorcycles by impact, shaking, and vibration.

We are going to try to be in Cuzco tomorrow, do the Machu Pichu thing, and buy tires if we can find them. Sorry we have no pictures. The computer broke and we are trying to recover the photos and figure a new way to transfer our photos to this blog.


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