Along the way, I met a fellow adventure motorcyclist from Paraquay who was riding a BMW1200.
Outside of the town of Nasca I passed by the Nasca Lines.
I believe that these lines represented a tree.
I stopped overnight at a town called Chala that had this nice view of the ocean.
I continued on the next day through some pretty rustic looking areas.
And I passed by some beautiful beaches with a raging surf.
Until I came across this river.
Buses and large trucks were crossing the river, but the cars that tried to cross got flooded and stalled. I thought about riding or pushing my motorcycle across, but then came up with an alternative.
I rode back up the line of waiting trucks and found an empty one. I asked the driver if he would carry me across. He agreed. I recruited four bystanders to help me load my bike into the back of the truck. Then we road across the river.
On the other side of the river, the truck driver pulled up to a sand embankment and I rode my bike off the back of the truck. I kept my bike and my boots dry.
Then it was a little more riding through the desert to the town of Arequipa.
The next day I took a little day trip to the mountains.
I passed through some desert area.
I came across this sign...
Which was a warning to look out for vicuña. Vicuña are an endangered species that are related to llamas and alpacas.
I saw a number of vicuña run across the road, so I pulled over and snapped this photo.
I continued riding and came upon these snow covered mountains.
Desert riding and mountain scenary... what else could I ask for.
Certainly made for some fun riding.
Here is a short 3 minute video about crossing the river. There were a number of people along the banks watching as trucks passed through the water. At about the 1:50 minute into the video you may notice a few cars that attempted to cross the river and were stalled. I shot this video on my iPhone.
In August 2011, I purchased a new 2011 Suzuki DR650 motorcycle for a trip through South America. The engine, exhaust, chassis and suspension have been maintained in the original (stock) configuration. This approach was chosen to increase reliability and facilitate repair or replacement of items with original parts while traveling. The modifications were only made to the motorcycle to add durability, safety, comfort and protection. The prices listed below were the original costs of the items. The prices are listed to serve as a reference point for the cost of the build.
Many of you that follow this blog know that I really enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking. Whether it is camping in the front country or back country... it is all good.
I recently came across a resource that has really made it easier for me to research and plan my trips. The website, app and community are called TheDyrt. "The Dirt" is an idiom which means the gossip or real story. So getting TheDyrt is a play on words which translates to finding out the real story about campgrounds.
TheDyrt.com website allows users to search for campgrounds in the U.S. (currently only available within the U.S.) and read user generated reviews of the campgrounds. Sometimes the reviews are very general and sometimes very specific - down to the campsite number or cleanliness of the facilities. The website markets itself and its service as the Yelp.com of camping.
UPDATE as of April 2015. The roll-on roll-off ferry service Ferry Xpress to cross from Panama to Colombia has suspended their service.
The Darien Gap is a 30 mile stretch of land that lies between Panama and Colombia. It is thick jungle that is pretty inhospitable to most human beings. There are some indigenous people, guerrillas and drug runners that do inhabit the area.
There was one group of adventure motorcyclists that crossed through the Darien Gap in 1995 on specially modified motorcycles. Their journey is documented at Outback of Beyond.
For most adventure motorcyclists there are a few options for crossing the Darien Gap.
1. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a cargo ship and buy a ticket on a separate ship or airplane for yourself.
2. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a passenger sailboat that will carry both you and your bike.
3. Ship your bike from Panama City to Bogota on a cargo airplane and buy a separate airplane ticket for yourself.