14 September 2012

Cusco, Peru to Quito, Ecuador

After a month of dickin around in Cusco, I got Suzi patched up and hit the road hard (new rear shock, new piston rings, new seals, new starter, new relays).  Riding dawn til dusk for the next 12 days to reach Quito, Ecuador.  I followed the Andes as high as possible most of the way.  Plenty of time spent around 13,000 feet up.  Lots of dirt, switchbacks, camping, and even some asphalt thrown in for good measure.

replacing the chinese POS shock with original suzuki (thanks mom!) has softened the ride.

apparently i had a dirty suspension

guinea pig is a traditional dish here, so we went to the clay oven guinea pig place


ryota, a japanese cyclist who rode down from mexico shows how to eat your pet

dirty head from bad gas, altitude, and worn piston rings

I finally realized I could solve my starting issues by making an adaptor plate  for a yamaha starter motor.  my bike starts easy for the first time since february.

have you listened to ''on the road again'' by Canned Heat?  way better than willie nelson's version.

pretty poor in the rural areas

hard to read, but the brand of the trike is ''Defrost''

usually it was overcast and cold

lots of enduro camping.  rallying through fallow fields to find a quiet place at sundown

advertisement for a guinea pig farm

i liked the sunshine on my Suzi

main street is happenin

long way down?

there's always more roads to explore

a little frost on the pumpkin up high

i scrounged a new 90/90 pirelli mt21 for the front here.  this guy kindly twisted the tube on install , so i got  to spend a while on the side of the road later on.

guard dog on an old honda

hit some paved for the altiplano

This looks fun! Here it is on youtube

lunch stop.  veggies, meat, rice, soup, and a drink for a dollar fifty.

tiered agriculture is a lot of manual rockwork

this plaza has a giant glass beet and some ceramic mushrooms.  why not?

i met this romanian riding from mexico on a bicycle.

one lane twisty

popcorn hanging out to dry

ruined tube thanks to the mechanic who changed my tire.  there is usually a good reason the labor is cheap here.  But the level of work is SO bad, they should pay you to mess up your bike. 

climbing to the Cordillera Blanca outside of Huallanca

Cordillera Blanca

me and my girrrrrrrrrl

Dropping down the other side from 4700m

A gal makes sandwiches like that, I could make room for her on the 200!

Big mountains down here!

Cañon del Pato

I stopped counting tunnels at 30

stockin up on oranges in the desert

back into the canyons on the 1 lane twistys

back to dirt in 10 minutes and it opens up

Pallasca downtown

livin on the edge

patchwork farmland

i stopped counting switchbacks at 30

this one should be paved by the end of the year.  make a note...

old graveyard

These guys from Andasmarca were on their way to a soccer match, 2 hours walk away.

stopping to ask directions from the miners always leads to a friendly chat

best town name of the andes.  hands down.  Shitabamba.  I wanted to add some hyphens for effect.

Victor on his 135 led me to Cajamarca, getting rid of the chicken strips on my knobbies.

the women are serious about their hats in the andes and you will see everything from tiny bowlers all the way up to the 10 gallon variety.  it absolutely cracks me up.  but i hate taking pics of people i don't know without asking.  many plazas have a gazebo showing the local style.

dropping into Cañon del Rio Marañon  10,000 vertical feet drop in 30 miles.  2 cyclist friends lost their bikes over the edge when the wind blew them off their kickstands!  Bummer guys!

it's tropical at the bottom

bad time to have a problem with my horn...

fog at 11,000 feet

shut up, shut up!  (what it means in spanish)

coming back down outta the fog

the ride along the rio utcobamba was fast and sweet

back on blacktop on the rio utcobamba

just another dawn patrol

and then i was in the amazon?

i caught up with jolly olli on his 70cc Honda.  Dealing with helicoils thanks to a Peruvian mechanic overtightening his head bolts.  The local farmer, Wilmer, offered us bananas and papayas straight off the tree!

local ladies with my ride

ceviche, a traditional peruvian dish

Olli gets excited about another ridiculously adorned mini-bike.

mud rallying to the border with ecuador

i like the giant puddle in front of the immigration office

we made it!

and just like that, we was in ecuador

sharing maps and a pitch in dinner with steve, 3 years out of england on his bicycle.  his blog is here

dawn on the first day in ecuador...  good things to come!

i have long believed that brushing your teeth is more fun with a good view.

this guy cracks me up.  Olli left Germany in 2008 on an XT600 and switched to this hoss in Pakistan.

dawn patrol

ecuador is way ahead of peru in infrastructure

got the bike washed off.  the carhartts needed a rinse too.

wearing out the middle part of the tire on the Panamerican highway coming into Quito.

I'm in Quito waiting for a Brasil visa.  Gonna buy a boat next week and put Suzi in it and ride down the Amazon.  Stay tuned for more shenanigans.


Anonymous said...

Hey Matt: Which river into Brazil? Led the 1989 Balsa raft Expedition down that way, through Ecuador into Peru... ran into unexpected war between the two countries. It had been going on in the jungle since 1949! So it could be going on even now. Everybody at that time denied it was happening. But it sure was.

Matt said...

Rio Napo. We'll be putting in at Coca. So we will join the Amazon at Iquitos.

dd_traveler said...

"last chance to be a boy"... it was adventure 100 years ago and still is :) Any plans to reunite with your bicycle?

Matt said...

that is a great book, dedra! thanks! i wish we could have done the river of doubt. the bike awaits me in colombia. i am quite excited!

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