I posted some more photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/roarflolo

I’ve uploaded some more photos here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/roarflolo

and I’ll upload more as I have more time ūüôā

We’re back in California and after taking care of my huge pile of mail and a ton of bills, cancelled car registrations and other stuff I finally unpacked my bag, got my very old helmet, my old worn gloves, the keys for my Suzuki SV650 and I went for a RIDE! ūüôā

The SV650 feels like a monster after spending so much time on the KLR650. WOW!

I’m going through the photos and will put them all online later this week I think.

PS! You have to register and log in to post comments, we’re getting too much spam.

After my last deal fell through on Tuesday, I was discouraged, annoyed, and restless to sell my bike on Wednesday morning. If I was back home and had the time, I could just wait until I found the right buyer. But I was in Cusco, traveling, on vacation, and I didn’t want to spend every day trying to sell the thing when I should be out enjoying where I was at.

I headed to Parque Industrial where everybody sells their vehicles near the airport and prepared myself for all the interest the bike would generate. “Dos mil siete,” “Kawasaki seis cincuenta,” “Quince mil kilometros.” My spanish got better but I wasn’t happy with the guys making their low ball offers and just the way they acted. One young guy was overly aggressive, annoying, and put me on the defensive. The guy from the previous day who I had a deal with showed up, too, dropped his price and wanted all my gear. That was annoying after we had agreed on a price the previous day and I wasted my entire afternoon waiting for him. He eventually became unreachable that day.

I left around 10am, a bit frustrated, and was surprised that the sketchy, young guy, who wanted my bike very badly, was following me on some old, old Honda 500 dirtbike. He pulled alongside of me at speed and tried to get me to pull over to negotiate on the bike. I kept waving him off with a no, no, no, but he persisted. I sped up, he sped up, I slowed down, he slowed down. We were close enough that a small swerve would have locked us up for an ugly crash. Finally, he pulled off but what a psycho!

I returned to the hotel and ran into the guy that bought Roar’s bike. He was interested in my bike for his brother but his offer was another low ball offer like the others and much lower than what he gave Roar for his bike. I negotiated the offer a little higher and then left for the Honda dealership in hopes of standing outside and selling it there. After standing there for a few minutes I asked, why am I doing this to myself? I was holding out for a better price which I could surely get on the big market day on Saturday but at what cost? Time, money (hotels, food for extra days to stay), and peace of mind.

I returned to the hotel and called up the guy that bought Roar’s bike. Even though it was a lower price, I liked the guy and I knew that he could close the deal. The biggest problem with selling the bikes was that they were not registered in Peru. To make them legal, the buyer accepted the responsibility of paying the import taxes which were 40% of some number of the value of the bike. Who knows how that is determined.

I went with the guy to the bank while he withdrew the money (another problem since few people here have the means to buy what, essentially, is a large, luxury motorcycle). We went to an English center to get a translation of the title. Finally, we went to a notary to sign a two page contract (I was listed as “Don Andreas Osman” which was really cool) and translations of the title. The brother and I placed a fingerprint by each signature and we waited while each of the three copies was stamped by at least five different stamps to make them official.

This process (including the money and motorcycle key exchange which occurred at the hotel) took all afternoon. At the end, the guy took us to his museum for photos of his brother, me, and the bike “para recordar.” After the photos, he took me for a tour of his museum, and they both walked me part way back to my hotel before giving me big hugs and wishing me luck. I’ve never had a sale of a vehicle happen like this before and I felt good about the whole thing, even the price, and even the way they smooth talked me out of my helmet for $200.

These guys had been riding their whole lives and¬†in their late 40s, early 50s, they were like little kids about these motorcycles. The guy kept talking about how the bikes would be together and you could tell how excited they both were. I could just imagine them riding out in the Valley where they lived and how people would look at the huge bikes in awe and how they would tell the story of how they bought them from two gringos who road them down from California. Although I’m not emotionally attached to the bike at all, I like the idea of these two guys continuing to ride the bikes together.

Thursday, we joined the sheep of other tourists, and rode a train to Machu Picchu. I had to contain my feelings for hippies, dirty backpackers (and even some clean ones, why do they carry so much stuff with them?), and super lib travelers, but it wasn’t too hard as Machu Picchu is really such a unique, amazing place. Beautiful, impressive, awesome, just like everybody says it is.

Without the bike, I felt that a part of me is missing. I can’t just get up and go wherever I want to. God, I am just like every other traveler again. I have to take¬†a taxi, a train, or an airplane to get from place to place. Until this trip I was always one of those people and I don’t know if I can go back to that (well, maybe for short trips). But the freedom of having your own wheels, your own means to get from one place to another when you want and how you want is fantastic. You experience more of the land, the beauty, the people than you can when you are rushing by on a night bus or hopping by plane. It will be nice to go home for some normalcy but I’m hooked. I’m doing this again. I want to do the original South America loop but I don’t know what will be next. Africa, Asia, Norway, Australia, New Zealand. They all beckon and they are all on my list….

In a couple of hours, Roar and I fly to Lima and will spend the weekend there for one last hurrah before heading home. I know that he intends to post a lot more pictures when he gets back to his own computer with a good connection and I will probably do the same. But sadly, this trip has come to an end and I know that I will dwell on the experiences for a long, long time.

Here’s to the next trip and to anyone else out there who makes their own next trip…

Salud! Prost! Skal! Cheers!!!

Andreas Osman

Lima, Peru… it’s far, far away!

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The road to Nasca and the Nasca lines… we we’re in a very small plane just a week after the crash… didn’t bother us after surviving 100’s of attempts on our lives by drivers in 9 nations

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The road from Nasca to Cusco has some amazing riding in high altitude over a few mountains and along rivers running through valleys… and Llamas!

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Oh… and it’s not always easy getting into the hotels… no valet either!

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After a nice day of relaxing Sunday, Roar and I hit the streets to sell our bikes on Monday. We checked a couple of motorcycle rental¬†shops¬†with some interest but no real hits. I¬†bought¬†a marker and some paper¬†and we put “se vende” signs on our bikes. We returned to Plaza de Armas near our hotel¬†after an appointment to show the bikes to some one. We just stood there debating what to do when the signs demonstrated their worth.

First one person and then another, mostly just curious, stopped to ask questions. In just fifteen minutes we were fielding questions left and right. One guy was interested in Roar’s bike and I helped to translate. I turned around to talk to a couple of other interested people and a moment later Roar was walking with the guy back to the hotel.

The cops came up to me and told me I had to move (I think because we had been getting too much attention). I waited till Roar got back and the interested buyer hopped onto the back of Roar’s bike and they took off for the bank.

Roar ended up getting a pretty good price for his bike and now it’s in the hands of a happy Peruvian rider and his son. Long story short for me is that I haven’t sold my bike yet. Loads of interest, only a few offers, some too low, and one that I accepted this morning, seemingly has fallen through since I can’t get in touch with the guy.

Nevertheless, we have made firm plans (we already paid our money) to take the train to Machu Picchu and have a guided tour on Thursday. That gives me tomorrow to try again with the bike. If that fails, my best hope is to hang around until Saturday. That’s the big day for people to sell vehicles and many people have assured me that I can sell it then for sure.

I envy Roar that he is bike less with a pocketful of cash. He has no plane ticket and can go wherever he wants to. I’m still shackled to the bike (funny how I loved it so much before!) and probably won’t fully relax until it’s gone. This feels like the end of the trip and transitions tend to suck. If I had the time and money I would love to continue but I can’t. I gotta go back to work.

Cross your fingers for me!

Yep, we made it to Cusco. Kind of sad that the trip will be ending soon. More on that later.

The Pan America highway south of Lima is a nice and fast divided four lane highway that lasts about 100 kilometers. Sure enough, the desert started again right away and the section along the coast was filled with sand dunes, empty desert, and small hideaway beach communities for the well off.

One stretch was long and straight and had a strong, howling crosswind that strained my neck, no kidding. It’s interesting when you approach a tractor trailer because you lean so hard into the wind normally that you have to get ready for a vacuum and straighten up momentarily¬†as you overtake the truck since he shelters you from the wind. Then as you approach his front you need to lean hard into the upcoming wind that threatens to blast you off the highway.

Six hours of riding and we arrived in Nazca, whose most famous attraction are the Nazca Lines. These lines were dug 30cm deep into the sand to reveal the lighter lower layers of rock by ancient peoples two thousand years ago. They are large and the funny thing is that they can only be viewed from above and the best way is by small airplane.

A plane crashed here a couple of weeks ago and it has been big news here. Five people died. So, we took one of those plane tours this morning and the Lines are interesting and worth checking out. There is quite a bit of damage from people that drove vehicles across the lines and some natural damage from El Nino from some years back but they are intact for the most part.

Immediately after our early morning flight, we packed up our things and hit the road. Nazca is at about 1200 ft and I knew that we would be headed straight up into the cold of the Andes by looking at the map. The first stretch of road¬†was full of tight switchbacks up and up and up. Desolate, rocky, arid desert turned gradually greener and greener as we made our way up pot hole filled roads with few guard rails to prevent you from falling off the mountain. This made me nervous and I kept my pace slow. I didn’t want to push my luck by hitting a¬†bump in the road while leaned over in a turn that would cause me to head straight out of a corner.

We saw less and less people and less and less traffic the higher we rode. This stretch was isolated and the altitude contributed even more to this feeling of being out there by yourself. The air is crisp and thinner, you can tell it’s not filling up your lungs the way it should. The sky is extra blue, bluer than I ever remembered seeing it with puffy white clouds and some scary looking grey ones. Our bikes felt it, too, and they chugged along with less air to combust. They hardly had any power and I had to keep the RPMs up to get anything going. When stopped the bikes barely idled and it felt like they would go out with the next breath.

Near the top of that first long ascent I saw some llamas off to the side munching on grass. The mountains here had no trees but rolling hills of grass, brush, and rocks. I couldn’t help myself and went off road to see the llamas up close. On another trip I would have loved to do this all the time and stay off the road and ride up and down the hills.

Roar’s GPS told us that we hit a maximum altitude of 4548 meters (almost 15,000 ft)!

This section of road was a lot nicer without the huge dropoffs. Plenty of nice sweeping turns and hardly any traffic at all. I used the whole road (since I could clearly see no opposing traffic) and felt like I was riding on a racetrack. I concentrated on riding lines and apexes in a way I don’t normally get to do. And you’re faster without even trying too hard.

That night we stayed in a small town south of Abancay, which appeared to rarely get gringo visitors. Thank God, I hate seeing hippies and dirty backpackers. One group of small kids were so interested in the white Norwegian that I thought Roar might be taking some kids with us.

The next day, continuous excellent riding. We paralleled a river through a gorge and the twisties were incredibly fun. The altitude was getting to us and my body was tired and achy most of that day. But I knew that it was our last day and I powered through. Although we peaked at 15,000 ft most of our riding was between 7000 and 12,000 feet.

We arrived in Cusco yesterday and it is probably the most impressive of all the old colonial towns I have seen in Central and South America. It’s amazing. Wait for the pictures to see for yourself.

We met our friend, Chris, from the boat to Cartagena. He had just finished the Inca trail and we were lucky that he was staying an extra couple of nights. Cusco has great nightlife and I’ve been told it’s crazy every night of the week. Roar and I found out the hard way that you can’t drink the same amount that you do at sea level without paying the price for it the next day. Cusco is at 11,000 ft and the alcohol works a lot quicker here. If you’re not acclimated to it (and maybe even if you are) do yourself a favor and drink less . We’re still hurting today.

So now, we just have to sell the bikes and see Machu Picchu….

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We’ve¬†reached¬†Cusco¬†after¬†some¬†of¬†the¬†absolute¬†best riding¬†on this trip!¬†The¬†road¬†from¬†Nasca¬†to¬†Cusco¬†is¬†absolutely¬†fantastic¬†and¬†I¬†will¬†post¬†more¬†photos later.

We’re doing all right and after riding almost 9000 miles we’re ready for 9000 more down to Ushuaia and back…

It took us three days to get to Lima from the border with Ecuador. We stayed in Piura and Huanchaco before arriving in Lima in the evening on Monday. The riding was fast and easy on well maintained, straight for the most part, highways. We made excellent time but I did miss all the twisties from Colombia and the Ecuadorian Andes.

Most people probably think about Machu Pichu and the Andes when they think of Peru. Some might think jungle. But I never thought that Peru would have deserts. The coast of Peru is covered with desert, ranging from the type with some plant life and some irrigation to reclaim desert land to rocky moonscapes to sand dunes to totally lifeless desert. The desert started in the north just outside of Piura and only stopped for us just shy of Lima. I don’t know yet if the desert continues south but we will find out.

I love the desert and we will post some of the amazing pictures we took of the deserts in Peru.

We are currently in the Miraflores neighborhood of Lima. We took the bikes to the shop for an oil change and servicing and will pick them up later today. Miraflores is the really nice part of town and reminds me of northern Bogota as far as the quality of the area, the people, and the fun nightlife.

We have a couple of leads on selling the motorcycles and we have had a lot of interested people. In Piura, one Peruvian guy approached Roar and tried to buy the bike from underneath him. I don’t think we will have too much of a problem.

A couple of guys have told us that it will be easier for us to sell the bikes in Cusco (near Machu Pichu). To the both of us, that sounds like the perfect ending to our amazing trip and I think that I will be able to make it back to the States in time. So, tomorrow we head to the Nazca Lines and hopefully, we will arrive in Cusco a couple of days later (by April 19th or 20th). We’ll sell the bikes there if all goes well, see Machu Pichu, and I will return to the States. I can’t speak for Roar but he talks about doing some more traveling. Why not??

We’re in Peru at last… almost 8000 miles of riding and we crossed the border today. This was the weirdest border yet and some money changers gave us fake Peruvian bills… bastards! A lesson learned and not too much money lost.

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We saw the pacific again… can’t remember when we saw it last. Bright sun too ūüėČ

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Right across the border to Peru the desert starts and goes right down to the ocean… not too hot because of the ocean breeze. We had to stop a couple of times to take some pictures and once because Andy’s bike keeps losing screws.

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Nada m√°s!

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