Monday, January 28, 2013

Lagoon time.

The last few days were a struggle, the life with 4 colors and an existence anchored in the simplicity of life on the road was much easier than watching time go by in one place, no matter how nice the beach. Movement brings calm in life for me, a motion, the slower the better, gives me a sense of purpose, a feeling of worth. Sitting on the beach for days should have been relaxing and fruitful, but after 2 days I yearned for the throttle! We hit the road on day 6! I started likening the time to that spent in prison. Now that we are back on the road I feel a sense of anticipation and excitement for what is to come again! Today brought us closer to the arrival of Lisa and Brooke. What a change in dynamic that will be! Both me and my dad are looking forward to it and we have dubbed it phase 7 of the trip! I can't wait to share this with my wife! We rode closer to BA today and stopped at an estancia to see what the life of a gaucho was like on the pampas, only to discover that most of the ranches are heavily commercialized and just a hotel with horses. The cost was exorbitant and the most expensive night we would have had on the trip to date. We opted for a campground around the corner for less than a quarter of the price. The campground has wifi and a pool and is on the shore of the lagoon. The lagoon is the second in a chain of lakes and is spring fed. It even comes with palapas out of a Dr. Seuss book. (Pictured). We have our hammock, which is worth it's weight in gold, in a nice stand of trees and the breeze is blowing through the tent while we dine on pasta and argentine wine! Life is good.

We washed the bikes for the first time in months! There is something about a clean machine that makes it feel like it is running better to me. The ability to check things for leaks and tightness and get a close look at the bike must have something to do with it. We noticed a build up of dirt near the rear shock on one of the bikes tonight and upon closer examination found it to be from clutch fluid that was spewed during the change at the last service interval. It felt good to diagnose it and find the cause. Doing that gives one a new sense of security in the machine. Just like in life, when you solve a problem or come to an epiphany that renews your perspective. Motorcycle maintenance, for me, is one of life's best teachers. Read zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance if you ever get the chance. You can thank me later. We head into BA tomorrow, big city here we come!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meat sale!

Had a good day today, woke up and made breakfast for ourselves on the beach. We had bacon and an egg scramble with peppers and tomatoes and onions. It was a nice change from the typical argentine medialunas (croissants) and coffee. We oiled up and stayed out in the sun for the rest of the day lounging on the beach and plotting to stay up late for a good steak dinner. We had an excellent cut of meat each, Argentina really does have legendary cows, and recalled the day in the sun. There is a plane that flys over the beach at about 200 feet with a giant speaker blasting advertisements all day long. Pretty annoying! I think that they may have set a new record today for number of people on the beach. I put two pics on here, one in each direction. At night when the beach cools down people head into the center of town and they close the streets at about 9 for a big party and dinner. It's quite a place. We are going to head back to the big city tomorrow, enough sun and sand for a while.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shout outs!

Just wanted to thank Don Gemig and Kelly Mahoney for following the trip so
closely! Hope to see you guys at the welcome home party in march!

San Clemente del Tuyú

The drive out of BA was quite a bit slower than the drive in. On our way in to make some connections at the dealership and get a few new spokes and a tire, we had speed limits of 130kph! We flew right into the dealership without so much as a slow down. BA is a cool place, it reminded me of Paris. I can't wait to explore the neighborhoods when Lisa arrives! We finished our business at the dealership pretty late in the day so we ended up in the big city for a night. The hotel was a dump, no A/C and it was hot in that little room! I opened the window so we could breathe and I was treated to a rat circus. The big grey furry rodents ran up and down the drain pipes just a foot outside of our window all night long. I don't really mind rats so I left the window open and just figured that they wouldn't bother us if we didn't bother them. The only problem was that each time they went up or down the pipe it rattled pretty loud and kept me awake in the pool of sweat that I was in. At about 5 am, when the rodents had tired themselves out, the bar scene came back to the hotel and smacked their headboards against the wall for about an hour before passing out. Not the best nights sleep. The next morning we decided to lighten our loads on the bikes a bit and ship some things home that we didn't use. We got all repacked and headed to FedEx. The cost was outrageous, 200 USD for a small backpack weighing about 3kg. We kept the stuff and headed out of town only to be greeted with gridlock semi traffic heading for the port. We crawled along in our claustrophobic semi enclosed lane for about an hour until we were finally spit out on a crowded highway of cars all headed for the beach. About half way to the coast we tried to find some lunch, but everywhere we stopped was closed, so we settled for sardines and crackers in a park after we stopped for gas. The station attendant was smoking like a fiend as he pumped gas! (pictured with cigarette in hand). Of course, right after we ate we drove through a town, with what must have been, 100 smoking BBQ grills and the juiciest looking steaks sizzling away. We made it to the coast in the late afternoon and I have to say, I have never seen anything quite like this place. We drove through a mostly quiet town, looking for a campground, to finally take an extended rest while we wait for my wife and friend to arrive. The streets quickly turned to sand and the sand got very deep! Soon we were riding on the beach! I had no idea I could even ride the big GS in that deep of sand! My dad and I came upon a roundabout and the sand sent him in the wrong direction so he just went with it! Riding against traffic! It was worth a few laughs for sure. We eventually gave up on the camping and found a hotel for the same price, after some haggling, as the campground! The hotel even has a private lockup for the bikes and the front desk father and son team both ride motos and speak a bit of English. I think that the motos may have something to do with the smoking deal! We changed into our swimsuits and headed for the beach which was over a set of sand dunes. When we crested the dunes the beach stretched for miles in both directions and there were more people than I had ever seen at the beach. The people must have numbered in the tens of thousands! All with umbrellas and little shade tents, clad in their tiny bathing suits playing beach games and sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. It was surreal, there were so so many of them! The beach is clean and the people are nice and all seem to be having a great time, that explains the deserted feel of the town! We were lucky to find a place to stay at all, as this is a tiny town and must have a hard time handling this volume of people. I bet it gets pretty wild at the bars late at night, or should I say early in the morning as bars don't really get going until 2 or 3 am. I haven't been able to stay up that late yet, but I have it on my to do list. I tried taking a nap yesterday in hopes of getting up for some fun later, but I just slept clear through the night. I will give it another shot today! Sorry I don't have a picture of he beach, it was rainy today and I didn't bring my phone yesterday. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Just thought I would post a few quick pictures at a wifi cafe. The river is the border with Uruguay. The motos are parked by the river at our camp in the trees last night. Santo Tome is a town that we drove through yesterday. Some really cool old signs for the city! A couple of cool Iguazu falls shots in there as well.

Today is starting off great, we are going to a place open for "breakfast" on the town square and had some coffee and ham and cheese sandwiches. We are going to make BA today and might even pass through and head down to mar del plata for a few days on the beach while we wait for the girls.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Green, red, blue and white

There are four things that fill my life as I ride through the pampas of Argentina. The rich red soil, the endless fields of green grass and forests of eucalyptus, the limitless blue sky, and thousands of pillowy white clouds. It's simple, just 4 colors, but the depth and richness and variations of them as we float through the countryside on the trustiest of metal steeds, fills my senses and soul with a simplicity and calmness that I remember from my childhood. The smell of the rivers as they flood the land brings back images of northern Wisconsin in the summer time. The cows graze on the prairies and drink from the streams as the sun makes its way across the big blue sky each day. Gauchos ride past on horses wearing fun circular brimmed hats and sipping from mate gourds. We need only 3 things each day, food, water and gas. We seem to fit in nicely, even when we stop riding. People and children in particular, gather and ask a few questions then just relax with us by the bikes as we rest up for more time in the saddle. We are riding for Buenos Aires, and the miles are coming easy lately. We feel like we could keep going and going. Before you know it 350 miles have flown by and we search for a place to camp. The search is short as camping appears to be the national pastime here. We have settled on the shores of a river that borders with Uruguay today. The deep sand on the shores was an entertaining ride in. I chefed up some simple paella tonight and swayed in the breeze in the hammock by the river for a nap. I don't have very good signal so I will hold off on the pictures today, until I can find some wifi. The simple life continues tomorrow. Peace out!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Iguazu falls!

We finally made it to the falls today! We had our first flat tire the other day which consumed about a day of screwing around with that mess. We were able to plug the tire at camp, but we both felt that was a temporary solution. We rode to the nearest town 50 miles down the road and started to search for a more permanent solution. Things were getting bad with the tire when a nice local guy at a motorcycle shop said he would like to help. His name was Roberto. He proceeded to lead us around town on his bike to all the motorbike shops looking for a new tire. The search was exhausting, we must have hit up every shop in town! When no tire could be found we went to a "gomera", what they call a tire-store in Argentina. The guy was a pro, he had our tire permanently patched up in 10 minutes. We were on our way, but we decided to search for an air compressor to make the next flat tire a little easier. We even managed to find one and bought it but upon testing it out we discovered it was broken and had to return it. With most if the day gone we were determined to make some progress towards the falls and headed on down the road. We found a camp about 80 miles short of the falls and decided to take it. It had two swimming pools and was quite nice. I chefed up some pasta for dinner and we rested up for an early start.

We got up and made it to Iguazu early and had a hard time finding breakfast again. We have come to the conclusion that Argentinians don't eat breakfast. The don't start thinking about dinner until 8 pm either! They also take a siesta everyday. I like their laid back lifestyle. Everything closes from noon to 4. Once we got into the park we spent the day walking around the massive waterfalls! It was epic, I think it was the coolest waterfalls I have ever seen. I took about a million pictures and we even rode the jet boat up the river and into the falls! We got soaked, and the boat was a blast. We had to be doing 25 mph upstream! The day was full of monkeys, coatamundis and parrots. I liked it here, a lot. Tomorrow we resume the southerly direction enroute to pick up my wife and our friend Brooke in BA. The third phase of the trip is going to be great! I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Salt, emu and steak!

Today's road creatures included emu! That is my first, person sized, bird I've seen in the wild. We spent most of the day riding in the rain. The rain ended at about 12000 feet, and then the heat set in, the rest of the day was at well over 100 degrees. We rode past salt flats that were as far as we could see to the horizon. We rode through windy roads where the switchbacks numbered in the 100's! The mountains went from red to green and we saw countless red brick ovens along the roadside. We think that they are used for making charcoal for the asado grills. Love that Argentine steak! We stopped for lunch on the roadside and I got attacked by ants. I got one on my left hand, and noticed my ring in the picture I took of it. I sure miss my wife. She is my inspiration in life and I should have brought her with me for the whole trip and not just the Argentina portion.

The highway was littered with butterflies today. So many that it seemed as if it was snowing! The steak at lunch was every bit worth the hype. Excellent cut followed by ice cream! Today marks 2 months on the road. A long time by anyone's schedule!

Woke up the next day to grueling temps again, 104 by 2 pm! We stopped for lunch on the road and ate beneath nests of green parrots in the eucalyptus trees. So many that it was loud from the chirping! The road was as straight as could be all day, good and bad asphalt. We stopped for the day at a public campground. Found a ton of them on google! Thanks is to the internet for making life easier! See you tomorrow for another hot day!

0 to 16k in half a day.

It's hard to believe that the Atacama desert can be this cold! We went from sea level to 16k and it is 38 degrees! The day was filled with extremes. We even saw flamingos in a lake at 15k! The idea was to cross the desert in one day so as to avoid spending the night in harsh conditions, didn't take many pics again due to the mileage, sorry. We didn't anticipate crossing the border into Argentina, but ~100 miles from the border we hadn't found a place to stop and we ran into the exit point for Chile at San Pedro de Atacama! Strange that it is this far from the actual border, but I guess things aren't always what you think they will be. We got behind a tour bus load of people in line and got everything squared away. The entry into Argentina was hours down the road so we hit the gas. We got there in the late afternoon and got things taken care of on their end. It took hours out of the day but we still managed 356 miles! The stretch of road after the Argentine border was the last extreme of the day. It was raining quite hard and then it turned to snow, soon we were riding down a snow covered highway, trying to find a place to sleep. The precip eventually stopped and we hit the hay for the night. I can't wait for some good Argentinian steak! Eating canned foods on the road sure saves time and money but 1 hot meal a day before bed is really making me crave some grilled goodness!

The Chilean coastline

We broke camp in the sea mist right after the sun came over the dunes and dried out the tent. The coastline was littered with people all camping and having a great time enjoying the surf and the sun. There seemed to be a campground every coupe of miles. We kept riding, thinking it would never end and that when we came to the end of the day we would find a great spot. We were wrong, the beaches eventually turned to rocks and the campgrounds faded away in our memories. We thought that they would come back so we kept going. And going... Until we needed gas and that's a hard thing to do on these bikes with a range of 400+ miles! We pulled over in a shanty town and started to ask around, the man in the yellow house was everyone's answer. We found a yellow house and low and behold a guy came out with an couple of gallons. It saved the day! We headed further down the coast into Tocopillas and fueled up the rest of the way. With a full tank we set out to find a spot on the beach. The light was fading and we had to just hit the coast down the next dirt path we could find. It turned out to be just fine, tent on a nice flat piece of ground, listening to the sea pound the shore. Big miles again today, I think we are going to make Iguazu Falls early!

End of peru, border to chile

The trip is starting to become more than the sum of its parts. When I think back on all the places and people we have experienced no one thing stands out as spectacular, but the trip as a whole is really something!

We rode down from the highlands of peru and back to the coast through many passes of 15k feet. The terrain was so lush and then we turned a corner and it was barren and dotted with snow capped peaks made of sand. The wildlife was uncooperative on the way down, I clipped a dog who couldn't make up his mind as to which way to go, we both got away unscathed. My dad almost hit a cow. The temperature was all over the place and once we made it to the ocean we found a rocky shoreline with some flat space to camp so we called it a day. The waves were crashing so hard that the sea spray made it feel like it was foggy! We setup camp and explored the tide pools a bit before hitting the sack.

The next morning the border crossing went smoothly. The first town in chile, Arica, was nice so we decided to get cash switched and hit the grocery to restock. A really nice couple asked if we needed help as we looked at the map for a place to camp. They went out of their way and led us to a campsite! Incredible kindness from strangers, such a great intro into their country. They owned a restaurant and we ate there to thank them. It was really good. Its called cafe Del mar and they have a great burger so if you are ever in town stop by and show them some love! We swam in the ocean before heading to bed. It seems like Chile is a bit less impoverished. People have time for hobbies here, kids are playing and having fun, couple are walking through town with smiles. It's a nice place!

Lake Titicaca

We decided to ride with our new friend from holland who also has a blog, about his motorcycle journey through South America as we were headed in the same direction. We all set out on the road and flew down on excellent motorcycling roads skirted by snow capped peaks with absolutely no traffic at 90mph most of the day until the rain started and we hit the city of Juliaco. The rain and traffic brought us down to a crawl and we battled our way, sometimes the wrong way, down one way streets clogged with muddy taxi bikes until we came out on the other side in a town called puno. It was the end of the day and we were wet and hungry and we had been unsuccessful at finding a place to camp along the way. Luckily we ran into some random motorcycle traveler friends along the way. The service technician at the BMW dealership that serviced our bikes in Bogotá Columbia told us that he was going on a ride with some friends as well and that he hoped to see us on the road, low and behold there they were! We all had some fried fish for lunch and decided to find a hotel together in Puno for the night. While we ate lunch some one stole one of the soft sided panniers off of our Dutch friends bike! Not a good introduction to the area. The group of six of us were quite a force rolling through this small port town and we decided to look for a hotel with secure parking in light of recent events. After many hotels being full we finally found a super cheap place to share with our new friends, thanks to the quick work of the Colombians! They recommended that we join them on a tour of the reed islands, Islas floatantes, so we all hopped on a boat at the marina. The boat was floating and the engine ran, but that is about all it had going for it. It was so rickety that the captain even kept a religious picture on the dash that he kissed before and after each successful voyage out into the lake. The boat did have one other functioning part. When he pressed the horn on the steering wheel it activated a car alarm which he liked very much. The alarm sounded during our ENTIRE journey out to the island city. We pulled up to a dock and offloaded the ship. The ground, the huts, the chairs, everything including the island itself was made out of floating reeds that grew in the lake! Each group of families constructed and maintained their floating home in the lake for generations. When the people originally settled out in the lake they did so to escape more aggressive groups and form a peaceful life for themselves. Nowadays, they still live there, but as a means of supporting themselves through tourism. Their two jobs are to make handicrafts and maintain the massive floating city. Hundreds of boats just like ours bring hoards of tourists in all day long. The group gets a presentation which explains how the islands are constructed and then we are transported by reed boat to he craft center where we can buy something to remember our visit. A little girl sang to us on our boat as we did a big circle in the city on our way to the island next door for tea and crafts. She was cute, but I felt bad that she had to perform everyday to help her family survive out there. After our trip to the islands we talked with the Colombians, Fernando, Daniel, and Edgar for a while and got to know them a little bit. We hope to see them someday in the USA for a motorcycle trip! Big miles to come as the next major stop for us is going to be Iguazu Falls! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu train reminded me of trains in alaska, it was even painted blue and yellow like they were. Trains like this have always delivered me to far off places full of the sights and sounds of imagination and wonder. This one was no different. We rumbled through a river canyon with snowy peaks towering above visible through the windows in the ceiling of the train. The river was a mess with giant rapids that made the water look like foamy chocolate milk. It made me long for my kayak, although it would take some serious balls to drop into that maelstrom! We passed by the start of the Inca trail. Some people got off to begin their 4 day trek to the ancient city there. We stayed on the train until its termination in Aguas Calientes. The train station spit us out in a market full of trinkets and blankets and everything you could imagine with shots of Machu Picchu on them. I think the market was designed to get you lost. I couldn't see the sky and the tunnels twisted and turned until I felt like I was in a maze designed to trap the tourist until all my money was gone, at which time the exit sign would be illuminated. I found my way out and started the, border crossing like, activities of getting on the bus to take me to the top of the hill. First we located the bus stop. Lots of officials waiting to take your ticket but none of them selling one. They pointed us in the direction of the ticket booth up the hill from the stop. We found it and it was closed. So we went back to the stop and asked again. He assured us we were in the right place so we went back and sure enough it was open this time with a line of people waiting to get their bus tickets. Ticket in hand we went back to the stop and he asked us for our Machu Picchu ticket. We had figured that they would be available for purchase at the entrance, silly us. He pointed us back up the hill and said that they were at the city center. We went through more shops and restaurants all directing us into their business until finally we came to a central plaza, which had a small door in the corner where we would join another queue for the next ticket. Two tickets in hand we finally boarded the bus. The road was a dirt corkscrew and the bus driver could have driven it with his eyes closed. There was a bus every ten minutes filled with tourists from all over the world. The buses raced up and down the hill on the one lane road that was nothing but switchbacks, passing each other inches apart with no guardrails as hikers who opted to walk up from town fought for their place on the road. The entrance gate was filled with trekkers from the inca trail that were identifiable by the backpackers uniform and bus riders who all carried heavy cameras just waiting for a shot at the stone city. We made our way in, guided by the flow of people until we crested a hill with a view that I had seen so many times in pictures, only now it was real and I was there. After a few minutes soaking it up we decided to explore the site. We walked up the first trail we could find only to be greeted with more ticket takers and the news that we needed to make reservations weeks in advance and pay more money to see this part of Machu Picchu. We asked what else was restricted in this way and found out that the other large mountain behind the city that you always see in pictures is also regulated in this way. We were able to find one part of the city that we could access without additional tickets and more money though. It was the Inca bridge. It was a pretty cool bridge constructed against the side of a sheer cliff so that the people could make their way out of the city. A marvel of ancient engineering for sure! We made our way through the city paths and marveled at what it must have been like to live in this place so long ago. I couldn't help but think about the fact that everything around us had been "reconstructed". I think I would rather that they left it the way that they had found it so that I could have seen it in its ancient form instead. Maybe do one building here or there to help our imaginations, but to do the whole city made it feel to new and fake to me. One small piece was left in ruins and I think I enjoyed that the most. I don't know why but it felt like a Disneyland world and not as grand as it would have been had it been left alone like the colosseum in rome or other things like that. We finished with what we were allowed to see quite a bit earlier than we had planned and our train home didn't leave until 5 pm so we set out to find something to eat. We had been wondering what guinea pig would be like so we gave it a shot along with some alpaca to boot! The guinea pig was not much more than skin and bone and it will be a one time thing. The alpaca was just like a pork chop. We passed the time at a happy hour in a restaurant by the river drinking cuba libres. The train finally departed the station and we had a good time with some Czech guys that sat across from us, talking about travel and life in our respective countries over a bottle of Pisco. Back at the hotel we got some sleep in anticipation of hitting the road the next day for the highest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Titicaca.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

High as a kite!

When we woke up at 13k the tent was so covered in ice that the rain fly sagged into the mesh of the tent. We had spent the night in well below freezing temps, but the amazing marmot sleeping bags kept us warm and toasty! We got up several times during the night to see the stars as we were miles from any man made light source and the thinner atmosphere made for an unprecedented view of the night sky. There were more stars than black space in the sky! The ice on the tent and bikes was like small towers of crystal and melted in the morning sun. The herds of guanaco strolled trough our camp as we broke things down for the days ride. We had ridden a ways off the highway on a dirt "road" until our progress was halted by a raging river. The river was now a babbling brooke. The river must have been swelled by the downpours in the distance as we went to bed. Once we had dried out the tent and the bikes in the intense sun we hit the road only to stop a few kilometers away to listen to a group of people in a small brick hut playing home made instruments. It was a blue grassy tune and the people danced up a cloud of smoke on the dirt floor in the hut! The women were all dressed up and the men were dancing their hearts out! The road began to wind down in elevation until we hit about 5k and the temps climbed accordingly. The elevation didn't seem to be bothering us so we pushed on over the next pass. I checked the GPS at a mountain lake and we were already up to 15k! The view was like watching a movie with snow capped peaks piercing the blue sky. Alpine lakes dotted the landscape and we went down and up two more times before running into the night. The closer we came to cusco the more the guanaco gave way to herds of alpaca. Hundreds of them grazed in the limitless green pastures as waterfalls cascaded all around us. The last pass took us up to 13k and it began to rain, the sun had set and we couldn't find anywhere to set up a tent. We rode and rode and the rain began to drive into us like riding through a sheet of water. The road was packed with cars that felt it necessary to flash thier brights as they went past us rendering sight impossible. For 34 miles we rode like this until we hit the city of cusco. The city lights shone in the distance as a teaser of a possible dry place to rest. The roads were now flowing with muddy water and the sewers spewed geysers of brown sludge as we passed by. The roads were as steep as San Francisco California only they were cobble stone and slick as snot. We made it to the first hostel we could find and drove our bikes right into the front lobby where they would ride out the storm. The room was quite possibly the worst to date. We slept in our camp gear and tried to fathom the madness we had just rode through. At one point during the worst of the weather we had pulled into a gas station to yell at eachother a bit and a dog began to attack us, I had so much steam built up that I let out a roar and chased the dog away running with his tail between his legs! We made it out that night via taxi to the main town square and went to the norton bar for a beer to wind down before bed. It was well deserved and it even got us some info about the next days journey to Machu Picchu.

The sleep was good until about 4 am when the noise of the city set in. We got up and got going as the hotel didn't lend itself to calm clean relaxation. The train station was open so we bought some tickets for the train from ollataytambo to aguas calientes. The road to ollataytambo was to be straight forward and the farthest we could ride on the bikes so we set out for a short day on the road. The ride was breathtaking, with hanging glaciers atop jagged peaks glowing in the distance above fields of crops and animals grazing. We stopped and bought a few small braclets from a little girl in a field on our way to the river crossing that would take us to roads end. Once we made it down to river level we were met with a crowd of people gather ed around the bridge. The bridge was closed and had seen better days. It had a use at your own risk sign on it for pedestrians but all vehicles were prohibited. We were instructed by local authorities at the bridge that there was an alternate route that was equally good if we just went back a bit. I asked about the road conditions and either my Spanish has deteriorated or he lied outright! The road turned to dirt and then we hit a small town with absolutely no signage at all. After about 4 attempts at getting directions were on the right path. The only problem was that the path was a mud road that crawled down the side of a mountain! One lane switchbacks with traffic in both directions was bad enough, then it started to rain. We made it down to the river and crossed and older worse looking bridge than the one that was closed and made it to ollataytambo. The road was made from rock and the one place to camp was down a trail too narrow to fit the bikes. A marching band rolled through town and it was fun to see. We ended up with a cheap room at a hostel. The driveway into the hostel was two cobble paths with slippery grass in between. I went first and a big rock came unlodged under my tire and I went down instantly. No damage as the crash bars did their job perfectly. Only the pride was scratched. We met a nice guy from Holland who helped us right the bike. He is traveling south as well, and in much the same direction as us on a 90's super tenere. It's always so nice to hear other stories from the road! We head to Machu Picchu in the wee hours tomorrow, looking forward to it as it has been quite an arduous journey to get here!