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Jan 11th - Jan 21st 2011

Bolivia Cont. & Peru

 

11/01/2011

Start Mileage - 32,571

Miles - 229

Copacabana (Hostal Sonia) - Moquegue (Hostal Holiday or Holiday Inn)

Shower coffee and leave by 10:45.

Paid BOB1 toll to get out of the town before the 10 minute run to the border at Kasani. No problem exiting Bolivia, through all necessary offices in about 20 minutes then a short hop up the road for the Peru entry. Lorraine stood in a huge queue for ages before realising she was in the exit queue, once in the right queue we were officially in Peru in no time. Next I had to go and get the bike stamped in at the Aduana which took for ever, their computers went down as soon as they started to process me, getting to be a regular thing!! About an hour later the bike is sort of legally booked into Peru, I have a hand written entry form with a codicil at the bottom stating the computers were down. No Policia to deal with so we are soon on our way heading for Ilo on the coast.. Petrol and money needed, not sure of the deal we would get from the border moneychangers we only changed some of our remaining Boliviano’s into Peruvian Soles (about £9 worth) but no fuel at the border, bound to be some along the way Ha Ha!! We stopped for lunch at Desaguadero, the first biggish town we came to, took most of our Peruvian money and no ATM in town.

As soon as we left Desaguadero we were climbing again and the weather turned from warm and drizzly to cold and raining and was getting worse. At 4,800Mtrs we are at the top, freezing cold, hail, rain and fog. With the black ice warning light (below 2 Deg.C) flashing on the dash for the first time since France, it is too cold to stop and put extra layers on so we ride on through it hoping we will soon be on the descent again. Our other problem is fuel, the computer is showing 65 miles range left in the tank, which will increase as we start the drop down again but we don't know how long that will be!!

We had 100KM’s of riding the bleak Alti Plano before we started the drop down again, the mist cleared, the rain stopped and it started to get warmer. We pulled up at the first opportunity for a smoke and to get some heat back into our bones. With the bad weather we are not going to make it to Ilo today so we stop at Moquegue, and it is hot again! First priority as we get into town is to get some money, park up and send Lorraine to find a bank. While Lorraine is away I notice a fuel station and the board displaying the fuel prices …… Soles 16.10 …. I hope that is wrong or it is going to be nearly £100 to fill the tank and we won’t be spending much time in Peru!!!! We had heard Peru was expensive but……………….

Found a hotel with good secure parking, Hostal Holiday or, as one big sign stated “Holiday Inn”, not quite that upmarket!! We offloaded the bike then went in search of food. Some nice smells coming from a street stall, it looked good too and was busy so we opted for that. A plate of chips, noodles, Salchichas (sliced up hotdog sausage!) and what looked like small pieces of beef … which weren't, it was very chewy and not very tasty. I asked the woman what it was, she explained it was fried chicken crops, will avoid them in future.

 

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12/01/2011

Moquegue (Hostal Holiday)

There was lots of noise outside the room this morning then we heard a key going in the lock and the door opened, it was the old woman that owned the Hostal, she apologised and quickly left, strange!

After this mornings shenanigans, we padlocked everything away as best we could before going out. When we went downstairs the owners daughter explained all. Last night they had seen us going out but not coming back in. Thinking we might have gone to a nightclub or a rough bar in town and got ourselves into trouble they were knocking on the door earlier on this morning to see if we were back, obviously they weren't knocking very hard and it was about a half an hour later they came back up with the key to check the room before calling the Policia. We assured them we weren't the night club type and that we were very rarely out after midnight, nice to be thought about though.

This morning we spent a good few hours just watching the goings on in the street from our room window, the market stalls being set up and the daily routine of the locals. After all the morning entertainment we went out into town in search of some lunch, but everywhere is closed .. for lunch!!! Eventually fed and watered we went back to the hostal to find two Canadian registered bikes in the parking area. We asked at reception about them and the girl told us they were in room 206, just down the corridor from us, she had put them there because they were bikers like us. Not knowing if they were sleeping we just slid a card under the door with our room number on. 10 minutes later Darryl and Angela, who are heading South knocked on the door, they were just going out for food so we arranged to meet later. We went across the road for a Cena and bought some beers then had a  good couple of hours on the roof chatting. I asked Darryl about the fuel prices and he confirmed that they were the highest they have had so far and that it was hacking into their budget, I didn’t want to hear that!

 

13/01/2011

Start Mileage - 32,800

Miles - 60

Moquegue (Hostal Holiday) - Ilo (Hostal Ruibo)

Darryl and Angela left at 07:00 this morning, we waved them off from our window then went back to bed for an hour!

Packed up and on the road by 09:45 stopping at the first fuel station we came to … Soles 16.10 displayed on the price board but as soon as I pulled up to the pump I breathed a big sigh of relief .. It’s S16.10 a Gallon, I didn’t get the full details from Darryl last night, we can stay in Peru for a while longer now.

A short run to Ilo and we arrive at 11:00, a very nice, clean and modern seaside / fishing / Naval town. As we had arrived early we found a café on the front before searching for a hotel and sat for a while with coffee and empanadas.

After riding around for ages checking out Hostals we eventually found one that had secure parking separate from the hostal but just up the road a bit.

Nice Chinese in town for dinner with a few beers then back to the Hostal.

 

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14-15/01/2011

Ilo (Hostal Ruibo)

14/01/2011 - Wandered into town for lunch then walked around the harbour area for most of the afternoon, watching the Pelicans. Walking through one of the backstreet markets we found Amarula Cream which we haven't had since South Africa, and it is cheaper here! Also found a printer that would run off some calling cards for us very cheap. After what we considered a successful afternoon we went in search of a “Suave barro” , we ended up in a friendly, if a bit grotty, bar near the fishing port. Nobody else in there apart from a family with a little lad and a couple of friends and the staff. We go in for one or two then get talking to the others in the bar. After a few beers, most bought for us, we are asked to be God Parents for the little kid and invited to their house for a party tomorrow. No commitment given by us to be God parents!! but we accepted the invite to the party. After a couple of hours and a few more beers, we all pile into a couple of taxi’s and go out for dinner. We are taken to a local restaurant where everything is cooked on an asado out in the street, best Lamb I have had in ages, sure I ordered Pork though! Again the family picked up the bill, they just asked that we donate some money for the lad. We gave what we had thought the food was worth on past experience and a bit over the top.

A few more beers took us way into the early hours so we said our goodnights and took a taxi back to the hostal with the promise that they would come and pick us up tomorrow at midday for the party.

15/01/2011 - Woke up a bit fuzzy this morning so just laid in bed watching T.V. until the taxi comes for us at 12:00.

12:00 came and went and no taxi, maybe it was 16:00 they were going to pick us up when the sisters finished work!

16:00 came and went, guess they were either too drunk to remember inviting us or we insulted them with the donation for the kid last night, we shall never know.

Day is pretty much ruined with all the waiting so we just head into town for dinner and to pick up a few beers.

 

16/01/2011

Start Mileage - 32,860

Miles - 193

Ilo (Hostal Ruibo) - Arequipa (Hostal Wayra River)

As we were taking all the gear downstairs ready to load up we got talking with one of the other guests in the Hostal. He is from Buenos Aires in Argentina and travelling on a 200cc moto. We walk up to the garage together to get the bikes, it’s only about 200Mtrs up the road but a one way street the wrong way to ride back to the Hostal. We get the bikes and ride around the block the right way to get back to the Hostal and just before we take the last left turn we get tugged by the local cops for not wearing helmets, must be the only town in the whole of South America that stands by that law or did the cop think we were both “Gringo’s” and was on for a bit of coin?? Fortunately the guy from B.A. did all the talking and we were let off with a slapped wrist.

We have to ride back to Moquegue and hang a left towards Arequipa, desert but tarmac all the way. A bit windy at times but a good ride.

We had a Hostal to head for out of the “Very Rough Guide” but couldn't find it so we pulled into the Plaza at Arequipa and got the usual crowd around us asking questions. Lorraine went to find the tourist office but it was shut. A tour agency knew of the Hostal we were looking for but didn’t recommend it as it was in a “Dangerous” area so Lorraine went around a few others near the plaza and found one just around the corner at not too bad a price with parking as well. As we were sat in the Plaza trying to make up our minds where to go we got a tap on the shoulder, we turn around and what a surprise .. it’s Skip and Rachel, they are in a Hostal the other side of the plaza, same price and facilities as we had found so we follow them there. Parked up in the courtyard, offloaded and showered.

Out for dinner, another good Chinese for next to nothing then back to the Hostal and sat till 01:00 catching up ,drinking wine and Amarula.

 

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17-18/01/2011

Arequipa (Hostal Wayra River)

17/01/2011 - Today we are going to see the reason that we came to Arequipa, Juanita also known as the “Inca Ice Maiden” or  the “Lady of Ampoto”. Discovered on Mount Ampato in 1995 after a volcanic eruption melted part of the ice cap.

The well preserved mummified body of an 11 - 15 year old Incan girl sacrificed to the Gods is usually on display at the museum in Arequipa. (Pics here) but just our luck today must have been bath day as she wasn’t on display, they did have one of another two mummies that had been found in the same area though, no photography is allowed in the museum so no pics. An interesting museum and free entry.

After the museum we took a walk around town, had lunch then caught a collectivo to Yanahuara or Kjanachuara in the Native language. Yanahuara is a town built out of Sillar, white volcanic rock, and supposedly the best place for views of the volcanoe Misti and where a lot of the rich Arequipians live.

We got back to the hostel at 18:15, found a note pinned to the door from Skip and Rachel saying that they were going to meet a friend of theirs, Karl, and then eating at the Istanbul restaurant at 19:00 …. quick dhobey and change then back out again.

3 beers later and no sign of them , looking at the menu here we decided that it was to expensive to eat and guessing that Skip and Rachel had gone elsewhere so we went to find a cheaper eatery. Just as we walked out of the door S&R came bimbleing up the road towards us oblivious that they were an hour late. Skips watch had packed in, a likely story!!! they had missed the meeting with Karl as well.

We found Karl in the empanada shop that we had lunch in, he was already eating so we decided to eat in a Moroccan restaurant that we had seen earlier and he would join us later. A good evening, not too bad food we thought and a few beers although Lorraine went down with the squits later on and spent most of the night in the loo!

18/01/2011 - Lorraine still not good so she spent most of today in bed. Just a munging day.

As we will be riding in mostly the same direction I asked if Skip and Rachel wanted to tag along, they agreed.

So began Trev and Kev’s Big Adventure!

 

19/01/2011

Start Mileage - 32053

Miles - 101

Arequipa (Wayra River Hostel) - Chivay (Qhapaq Nan Hostel)

Breakfast, packed and on the road by 09:30.

A nice ride up through the mountains, the map said that there was ripio along the way but we didn’t come across any.

Lots of Alpaca and Llama along the way and a few stupid dogs that appear from the middle of nowhere and try to chase down the front tyre. Lots of stops along the way to take pics so the short ride took us a while, we arrived at Chivay early afternoon.

As we pulled into Chivay we were stopped at a barrier and told we had to pay S35 each to get in!!! Thinking it was a tourist rip off we asked around, we can get away without paying if we are just passing through but to get to the Colca Canyon we had to pay, no choice but to cough up the dough.

Finding a hostel was the easiest yet, we were approached by a guy handing out leaflets for his newly built hostel and it was a price we liked .. cheap! Easy to find, there is only a couple of streets in Chivay, good secure parking and free coffee all day.

Into town for a late lunch and a walk down to the Inca bridge that the locals are all proud of and keep telling us to visit it.

A walk around town and into a local restaurant for Cena, nice and cheap but one of the smaller servings we have had and not very hot either, still, it filled a gap and the price was right.

We found the alleged “Highest Irish Pub in the World”, yes there is an Irish pub everywhere you go!!!

Very quiet and apart from a few licks of green paint, the odd Irish flag and a few Guinness posters that was as Irish as it got.

Started to get a bit chilly so we got some beers to take out and went back to the hostel to watch a movie.

 

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20-21/01/2011

Chivay - (Qhapaq Nan Hostel)

20/01/2011 - Run to Colca Canyon today, a nice dry and sunny day so should be a good ride. Breakfast at 08:30 on the road for 09:30. The canyon runs for over 100KM’s then the road continues on to Arequipa, it is also twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA at 4,160m. We are just going to ride as far as Cabanconde, the village at the end of the Canyon .. About 120KM’s.

3and a half hours to get to the end and 1and a half to get back, a great ride with great scenery and great weather. Lots of picture stops on the way and we even got to see a few Condors at the Cruz del Condor, the highest point of the Canyon where the Condors can be seen riding the thermal up lifts of air. A stop for lunch at Cabanconde then turn around and ride back. It stayed dry and warm until we got back to Chivay, decided to stay another day and visit the thermal baths tomorrow.

Night times are getting colder and colder again so out to dinner early, found a good restaurant with tasty, big pizza’s.

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21/01/2011 - Took a Tuc-Tuc to the thermal baths 3 KM’s out of town, we have seen the Tuc-Tuc’s in a lot of places in South America, not only as taxi’s but with flat beds on the back they are used as small trucks, I want one!

Not expecting much from the thermal baths we only planned on being there an hour tops, we ended up staying for at least 4 hours. With 5 pools at different temperatures we kept chopping and changing. The inside pool was a bit to sulphuric with it being enclosed so didn’t stay in that one to long, the rest were good though, I was the only one that liked the really hot one so we spent most of the time in the middle temperature pools. It was a bit of a dull, overcast day and it was threatening rain, while we were in one of the pools a huge thunderstorm came in and we were getting bombarded by hail but it was too nice in the pool to get out so we just kept ducking under to avoid the hail .. Weird!

With all of us shrivelled up like old prunes we called it a day and went in search of fodder.

Back to the same restaurant as last night, a few beers and back to the hostel.

 

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