Friday 22 May 2020

Nasca Peru 2013

For those that are interested I thought I'd share this extract from "The book" and no its not finished yet.

As we were heading into “Malaria” country we started taking our anti malarial drugs this morning, I immediately felt shit, probably a placebo effect. As we were loading up the bikes I noticed both Right pannier frames were cracked in exactly the same place invariably as a result of the rough roads and the right side was the side we carried our spare fuel cans so the extra 5 kg obviously stressed the rails, nothing I could do about it so I bodged them up and we set off for Nasca over the Andes. 
Nice overnight stop between Cusco and Nasca

It was a slow run, rising and falling in altitude, 3000 metres, 4000 metres then back down to the valley floor before climbing again, any trucks or buses we happened upon were invariably spewing out black reek, thick diesel fumes, at times when you dared take your eye off the road the scenery and drops were spectacular but we both preferred to pay attention! This day’s journey was in 3 parts, the first the roads were actually quite good and it was warm, then a fuel stop and time to be sick after I attempted to go to the most disgusting toilet, eyes streaming we set off, the road surface got worse and the road rose to 4400 metres at which point it got wet and cold for around 60 miles then we started the decent into Nasca and things got better again. Well they got better until almost in sight of the sea but still high up the truck we were following almost crashed into another truck coming around the hairpin, the truck went straight on, all wheels locked and stopped just inches from the edge , then for some reason it was our fault, lots of angry gesticulation as we tried to push our bikes fully loaded back up hill to get around the blockage. Sometimes a reverse gear could be handy.
To be honest Nasca looked like a dump, we rode in and found a hotel but a tout hanging around told us he had a Hostel, much cheaper, we followed him and the place to be honest was ok but the owner and his mates were always trying to sell us something, bikes parked safely in the communal sitting room we set off to find food and then back to the hostel.
Bikes in the sitting room 
Fellow travellers were there including a group of Australians catching a bus to Cusco the next day, good luck with that I told them, take the sick bags, another young Dutch guy had just been robbed and had his camera taken.
Up early and a good breakfast, we had to get the pannier frames repaired so I removed them and we set off with the young tout to find a welder, for some reason the guy took us to a couple of bike shops which weren’t that helpful then we got directed to a mid terraced house in a shabby street, an equally shabby guy came out and said he could do it, wheeled his gas bottles out of the house and proceeded to weld up on the pavement with no goggles, a bit of a rough job but cheap and they were fixed again.
Welding al fresco
Back to refit the frames, some maintenance and out for a walk, touts everywhere, money changers on street corners, the people aren’t particularly nice and live just for today managed to get whisky at the supermarket for £5 a bottle, result!
The Hostel is a strange place, the fat owner probably in his late 30’s was watching cartoons on YouTube with his mates, he acted like a gangster and had a young Czech wife, Fiona was disturbed when she passed a room and the owner was lying with just his pants on (not pretty) getting a massage from one of his mates wearing Orange overalls. There was also a Belgian who was a bit weird, he drew attention to himself the night before by being sick in the communal sink where we had been doing our dishes (not at the same time) he wandered around all day with nothing on other than a nappy like thing ! Two Swedish girls came in to talk to us (and share the whisky) their pal was in hospital with suspected Dengue fever but we heard later it was Salmonella, they had also been robbed on the night bus.
We were glad to leave the chaotic Hostel and Nasca behind, heading just north of the city we arrived at the desert that has these Nasca lines , world famous but in my opinion a bit of a con trick, I paid 50p to climb the observation tower while Fiona watched the bikes.
This is what all the fuss is about
Fi watching the bikes
Bikes at rest
Soon after we had a near death experience with two overtaking trucks who budged not an inch when they saw us, we had to ride the gravel to avoid being minced, bloody crazy. We rode into Paracas which had been recommended and were immediately hassled by touts, we ignored them and made our way to the hostel which had been recommended but it was full so we doubled back to a hotel I’d seen earlier, it was full also the girl told me, I went outside to discuss tactics with Fiona and the girl came out and said they did have a room and there is secure parking, we ride around and the car park guy refuses to let us in because its full, much shouting and the girl runs out to tell him to let us in.
We sat and had a coffee whilst they got the room ready and when we went back to the bikes some kid had sat on the mudguard beak at the front probably for a photo and broken it , I was pretty angry but nothing to do but bodge it for now. We both decide we don’t like Peru now.   

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Still under house arrest

Not sure I should have used that title, it is more and more like we are living under an oppressive regime where to talk out against the state is punishable by death, never ever thought the governments of this island would get away with this, huge mistakes have been made by scientists and politicians who won't lose their jobs or healthy salaries, in some cases criminal negligence has been allowed to pass as the norm whist people die and people lose their jobs, livelihoods and minds.
Enough of that, I won't go into a full rant, this is what I'm missing, freedom, freedom to do what I want without harming anyone else, these pictures sum it up I think No words necessary, and by the way my hair is almost as bloody long now.

Sunday 10 May 2020

May 10th Coronavirus diaries

Dear Diary, thoroughly hacked off with this nonsense now, its almost half way through May and hardly a tyre worn, by this time of year we would already have racked up a few thousand miles, instead my "shopping" trips have not racked up treble figures. Anyway we had the "virtual" Scottish Guzzi rally on Zoom this weekend, I fair enjoyed it, great to see some of my motorcycling friends and good banter, abuse shared on screen and I have to say both mornings after I woke up feeling I had been at the Guzzi rally. In these strange times you have to get your kicks somehow cause we sure ain't getting them on route 66!
To keep it positive here are some pics of the Norton meeting at Applecross in 2012, good to see Alex on his Norton, get it fixed Alex!!!!

Cup of tea stop
Heading up the hill
Fiona on the hairpin
Alex muscling the Norton round
The campsite, remember camping?
Nortons assembled by the front
Group photo
Braw scenery
Nonsense being talked
David T pointing out to Davy P where he dropped a farthing in 1834
A convivial evening

Thursday 7 May 2020

Lockdown incurring madness

Is it right that our basic freedoms are being denied to us. I understand the overwhelming the NHS bit but as far as I am aware apart from Covid patients hospitals are quiet, A&E has never been quieter. What right does any government have to deny us the right to roam (providing the "distancing" measures are met)? I understand how contagious this disease is but the fact I am wearing a helmet, not speaking to anyone and just enjoying a poodle around on my motorcycle is surely low risk?
And before anyone jumps on the "oh but you could have an accident" bandwagon I suspect the great boom in DIY in these strange times is a bigger risk to our NHS.
On the eve of VE day its strange to think that our forebearers who fought for democracy, freedom and the right of free speech are being celebrated amongst a whole host of dubious measures depriving us of our freedom "for our own good"
Why is it alright for groups of cyclists to roam the country exercising whilst the rest of us can't (unless we cycle but that could overwhelm the hospitals with cardiac arrest cases)
Today we should have been leaving for our 6 month trip to the far East of Russia and back, tonight would of been spent at the Guzzi rally amongst friends enjoying the banter.
Am i pissed off? Damned right I am.
Next time the great hordes want to march waving their Chinese made flags, playing the bagpipes and painting their faces Blue chanting FREEDOM, think on, we have none, only an illusion of freedom and that has all but disappeared.
Apologies for deviating away from motorcycling but I am angry.
Normal motorcycle banter will resume soon, very soon, one way or another!!!!!