Member at large, Sagot, brings us updates on his DualSport adventure in South America

. By Sagot

Member at large, Sagot, has done what many of us have only dreamed of doing... He's upped and left... Left his job, shipped himself and his "better half", Pam, and their two Dual Sports all the way from wet and cold Canada to the warmer climates of South America..

Follow his journey in the TouringZone, feel free to questions .. I'm positive he'll be more than happy to answer..

Click here to go to the TouringZone

Pardon his spelling etc... by the time he posts he'll have had a Cerveza or two!

For those of you that have missed it, here are some excerpts from the beginning of his journey......

By Sagot

November 25, 2004

Got the bikes out of Customs today. Any body who thinks that they are realy good at ridding in traffic should pop down to Lima and have a go. No one pays any atention to any kind of rules of the road. It is like being on a race track in a race, with everybody viying for position, but at 60km/hour!! Sheer madness and I cant wait to get on the open road.
The roads are just trash here! A Dualsport bike is a must!
They have 97 oct. gas at the pump! Tryed it but it was to much for my old 1989 dr600 (Ping, Ping!) and I went down to 90.
We are staying with a nice Peruvian family for $11 US a night. Our host is Dutch and speaks english and spanish. He has been our interpreter through all of the customs shit. Great guy!
Having a great though, drinking Pisco Sours and Cristal servesa. Pisco is a 48% booz made from grapes. Very good.
Im a slow typer but ill try to up date when I can.

November 29, 2004

Stopped in Pisco for the night in a really nice-looking secure hotel out of the main center of town. They even had a locked parking area for the bikes, but the place turned out to be very loud. There was a preacher in the church behind yelling into a mic until 11pm that night. Even I felt like repenting.

We left the next day, headed for Nazca and possibly Chala, this little tiny place on the beach I had heard was nice and relatively undiscovered. We were sort of going back and forth trying to decide whether to go to Chala or not as it is a bit off course and could turn out to be a total dive but the decision was made for us when we stopped in Palpa for a cold one (cokes people, we{re riding...). We came out to find I had a flat rear tire. But we couldn{t figure it out because there was nothing on the tire anywhere. Anyways, the great thing about Peru is that the guy working at the fanciest grifo (gas station) in town (i.e. the only one with compressed air) does not care one iota if you want to unpack your bike and disassemble the thing in the front of his establishment. Hell, it actually drummed up business. 2 gringos in the heat heaving their own tire apart. Anyways, it seems that we didn{t get the tube in perfectly smooth when we changed the tires before we left Canada and there was a wrinkle in the tube and it rubbed a hole that all the air finally had a chance to leak out of when we finally stopped after burning through the straightaway in hot desert-like conditions all day. We got the new tube in without problem and the whole process went relatively smoothly. We knew that we were bound to get a flat at some point, but we were surprised to have it happen soon (our own rushed fault). We only one spare tube between the 2 of us, and 17inch tires are relatively unusual here so we took it across the street to the llanteria (tire repair place)- no one actually replaces tires or tubes here- they just fix them. For 4 soles($1.20US), they made the old tube as good as new- no word of a lie. They put a patch on it and put it in a vertical vice. The top of the vice has walls on the top so that can put some fuel in the compartment on the top of the vice and set it on fire and vulcanize the patch so it becomes part of the tire. Yes, I was somewhat concerned to see what appeared to be the tube on fire, but it is a very good patch job.
Ps. If you are ever having touble breaking the bead on your tire on the side of the road- try useing the side stand of another bike.Just place the wheel, break disk up, and carefully lower the side stand onto the bead and pop! No side stand- just run it over with the other bike. No other bike' figure it out!

December 3, 2004

We left Nazca and stated up to a place called Puquio in the west side of the mountains. We climbed from 300m (1000ft) to aprox.4000m (13000ft)!!! in 100km!! It was awsome. Switch back after Switch back with short sections of medium curves. This would be a top ride on a grunty sport bike, like a Ducati or KTM 920 or a VTR. One or two gears strait up! As it was I havent changed the stock jetting yet so the old DR600 was a bit wheezy but did a comendable job with 45kg of gear hangin off the back. Although power was down all of the trucks (mayby 8 total, like nobody on this road!) were having a hell of a time! Shit I could have gotten of an pushed the bike on by.
After a weezy night for ourselves at 3300m (needed a midnight coca tea to get through the night), we started off down a nasty water-trough dirt road which only lasted a couple a kms and then on to good pavement again. Guess what, another perfect road to a plateau with the same kind of riding. The only problem was that the plateau happened to be at 4500-frikkin meters!!!! This was a long straight cruise with some bends that would have your Busa or your 10 topping out at whatever speed it could possibly attain at this altitude. Too bad you can´t feed a bike Coca tea. WE stopped at a festering little roadside cafe at 4400m and drank more tea and ate papas frites as close to the sun as either of us have ever been. Good times.
After holding the throttle rocker open with one finger for a couple of hours, the road started to head down again, and fast. With the same amazing curves, but this time with some warmer weather and sunshine to add to the phenomenal riding. We had to stop and take pictures of these unbelievable corners heading down into the lush green valley, which leads to the town of Abancay. Good thing the ride was great cuz the town sucked.
We are now in Cusco, eating good feed, heading out towards Macchu Pichu to see if its true what they say about these Peruvian masons. Leaving the bikes in Ollantaytambo, half way there were the road ends and only the train carries on.

December 9, 2004

So Machu Pichu was very cool. I wanted to buy some land up there but they said it was holy or somthing. Just kidding, the place is amazing, they just picked up and left when they heard that the spanish were coming but the spanish never found it. The stone work looks like it was machined from billet rock!
Back in Cusco we met a guy named Martin, from Switzerland, who is riding from Alaska to Ushuaia on an F650 BMW, so we all hooked up and headed off to Puno after a late start (noon) due to a very inept UPS station.
We were ridding as fast as you can on these roads but the 60 km cross wind were causeing me some problems. It seams that the wind was acualy sucking the air out of my open air box (to try and lean out the mixture) and I couldnt go more than 100KMH or the bike would shut down.
We hit a town called Juliaca 40KM before Puno. This town was a frikin nightmare! Peaple and buses and bicycle taxis and three wheelers and chickens running all over the road while you dodge and dive out of the way like a vidio game. The problem is that there are no health packs just arownd the corner!
We got through just as dusk was falling only to find that the main road was blocked with debris from some protest that day so we had to follow the taxis and busses on the sholder till we cleared town! Buy now it was dark.
Any one who has ridden of driven anywere south of the U.S.-Mexico border knows the #1 rule:
I will tell you this rule is absolutly a must. The problem is that you cant see anything. There are no lines and no cat eyes and the on coming trafic just does whatever they want with ther lights, signals and road position! We will never do that again.
Anyway we made it to Puno and only had to clear two large steps to get our bikes in the hotel lobby.
Next day was a good ride to the Peru-Bolivia border and the crossing was a breeze, nice peaple and free.
So here we are in Copacabana, staying at the nicest Hostal in town for $17.00 US per night! Last nights three coarse meal, including a bottle of wine and a chocolet fondu for desert, for 3 cost 127 Bolivars or a whopping $27.00 US!!! We allmost feel bad paying so little. Oh well.

Click here to go to the TouringZone

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story