Bicycle Touring South America

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Chaotic3vil, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Chaotic3vil

    Chaotic3vil Member

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    Haven't post here in a long time. If been gradually off trials with an occasional weekend session but since I started communting more I ended up spending more time on the touring bike which developed into this trip. We did 1000+km through Peru and Bolivia. Started with 5 days at Marino house and ended we ended up in some crazy enviroments. The trip was around 5 months altogether and heres a glance of the places we went through.

    I have tons of pics so I'll update it while im organizing it.

    Hope you you guys enjoy it. Feel free to ask questions.

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  2. Blackstick

    Blackstick Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely amazing. Cannot explain my jealousy!
     

  3. Motoscoot

    Motoscoot New Member

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    Great pics! Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. toyota200x

    toyota200x In the present moment

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    Badass!
    Thank you for sharing. Amazing photos and terrain.

    What were some of the most difficult moments?

    How is the Marino business doing?
     
  5. Chaotic3vil

    Chaotic3vil Member

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    The most difficult moments we faced was terrain and climate adversity. We were never lower than 3200m altitude and highest point was 4500m. Facing altitude sickness at the beginning was terrible. One breath and sea level is two breaths at the those altitudes. You get there with 50% of you're normal shape. The first night we had flu symptoms, headaches and anxiety. We rested 5 days in Ayacucho, Peru (3000m +) after the initial days at Marino's house, in order to climatise a bit before leaving to the mountains (Andes). Eventually after slow progression and acclimatization for two weeks we where normal and got stronger by the day (coca leafs ftw).

    Besides acclimatization issues we where changing environments 200km in 200km. This is common in the countries where the Andes Mountains cross. Forests, tundras and jungles. We got some pretty rough and dangerous roads through out the entire trip with snow storms, -15ºc at nights, 6 hours rains, snow, ice, sand, 50cm deep mud, salt, destroyed roads with water crossings, crazy wild dogs, rocks falling from the ridges to the road etc. Progression was quite slow in some parts. Occasionally we got dead ends and broken bridges that couldnt be avoided with the GPS.

    The worst moments we had where in high altitude. The air gets thinner, you got less atmosphere shielding from the UV light, crazy winds, freezing cold.. It felt like landing on the moon somehow. Some where quite inhospitable places where you can stay up to 5 days without seeing a person.

    The first memorable moment I got was my girlfriend flying in a tornado in Bolivia at 4000m in a sand/snow storm. The tornado with 10m diameter formed in the upper part of the valley near Laguna Hedionda, crossed the valley and literally swallowed her and threw her off the bike, she went face first on the ground, her bike flew 6 meter to the opposite side and her sleeping bag got 20m up in the sky. The bike got totally trashed. Stayed 1 hour doings crazy shitty fixes in order to get the out of there safe. While fixing the bike, we got caught another 3 smaller tornados. My girlfriend scouted them while I fixed the bike. That same night we got -15ºc, water froze, my alfine 11 internal hub froze the first 3 gears in the hub.

    The second worst experience was climbing 300m altitude in 4km for 7 hours full of rocks and non stop rain on what they called the seven serpent road, crossing the Salkantay peak to avoid tourists into Machupichu. At the end of the day there was no clear camping spot, raining non stop, fog, temperatures getting to the minuses with some snowing and the temperture of our limbs where getting seriously compromised mixed with torturous mental and physical fatigue. My girlfriend got in panic, I was thinking that If I'd quit at that point I would be seriously be in danger with no help because it was in the middle of a ridge, water was comings seriously fast down the mountain in small rivers (huaicos) and there was no place to pitch the tend with freezing tempertures at night. Eventually I pushed further a couple of meters forward while my girlfriend tried to get her body heat back to normal. Found and small straw shack after crossing multiple water streams and rocks. We ended that same night with all our gear wet, sleeping really tight to each other, boiling tea every 2 hours until the sun came up.

    Meeting Marino was awesome. He's a really humble guy with a lot of dedication and hard work. He lives in the sweetest spot in Lima for framebuilding, got heat treatment facilities and post office 5 mins away from his house by bike also Peru and China have good import agreements which is really good for him regarding metal source. His shop is one of a kind and some of his methods are pretty interesting and smart. He got two bmxers helping out and he has shit load of work exporting all over the world. Had the opportunity to share some quality time with his family and we had a good time with some tasty traditional food cooked by his wife, rode some bike around the town with Marino, good talks and in general an awesome vibe.

    Leaving here a picture update:

    Also got some crazy snowstroms and funny video clips that I'll leave for a next post. (need to upload)

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  6. not-topzies

    not-topzies Member

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    wow, these are really great.