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Monday, June 2, 2014

Lima... That's a Wrap!!!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

After a week in Lima it's time to ride on.  While I've enjoyed it here, I'm ready to roll... 

It seems as if it was split into two parts.  The first half was spent in Miraflores with my buddy Sam.  We were able to explore a fair amount of the city, enjoyed our time together, and were able to get my bike dialed and ready to roll (end culprit for cutting out/stalling issue ended up being a clogged charcoal canister, which was removed after 20mins of wrenching).  The second half I moved over to Barranco for a bit more flavor, and have really enjoyed the artsy and culture rich neighborhood.

One of the highlights of my time here came yesterday.  Julio from Commercial Gildemeister BMW Motorrad invited me to join the BMW club for a nice breakfast and chat in the morning at the shop, then a very spirited group ride to Pachacamac to watch and enjoy some enduro racing and a concert.  It's funny, sometimes when you join a 'BMW adventure group' for a ride, it turns out to be a slow paced, non-dirt, highway crawl to a bar to chat bikes, with not much actual riding, much less 'adventure'.  I was pleasantly surprised when Julio and the boys took off down some semi-rough rocky dirt roads and railed it all the way to Pachacamac.  Julio is a dirt rider at heart, and was ripping the demo F8 sideways, and jumping over berms essentially the whole way.  I opened up the throttle on my bike and could barely keep up.  It was an awesome day filled with good riding, great people, fun racing, and solid networking (even met a few people that may be interested in buying my bike eventually).  Julio, if you read this thanks for the invite and the hospitality!  

I also met a girl named Carmen here in Lima.  She's really nice, funny, successful, and full of zest.  We've had some great conversations along the way about travel, relationships, and life.  Carmen has been showing me around the city, which has been really nice.  Having a beautiful personal tour guide in a city the size of Lima is a very, very welcome change.  We've checked out some nightlife, restaurants, and sights.  Not to mention she has a nice car, so I feel like a VIP being chauffeured around town.  Thanks C!  I owe you.  If I find my way back to Denver, I'll show you around my town as well...  ;)  

This city is amazing...  After riding through the Andes and countryside of Peru, seeing indigenous families living in grass huts at 16k+ feet, poverty in fishing villages, and thousands of bamboo huts in the desert, the evident wealth in parts of Lima is a shock to the system.  Last night I met Carmen at Larcomar, which is a high end mall overlooking the ocean.  As I strolled around waiting for her to arrive (yeah go figure, a Peruvian being late) I couldn't believe I was in the same country.  The mall is nicer than most in the States.  Equipped with Starbucks, designer clothing stores, and high end bars/restaurants, the candy coated Larcomar has everything a Lima socialite needs to feel pampered and whisked away from the real Lima/Peru.  I will say, my $4 Juan Valdez coffee was quite nice!  Nothing wrong with the mall, or the people that frequent it, I just continue to be shocked by the contrast that Peru provides.  One minute walking down Angamos popping in autorepuestos looking for an air filter and drinking incredibly cheap maca (a grain similar to quinoa served warm / like a tasty oatmeal drink), the next having a coffee in a super chic, polished BMW dealership in the wealthy neighborhood of La Molina.  That's been my experience...  Peru, the land of incredible disparity.

Another fun highlight from my time here came when Sam was dropping off the rental bike.  He picked it up from Toby at Around the Block Moto Adventures in Huanuco.  However, since he was flying out of Lima, he dropped it off at one of Toby's friends houses.  When we pulled up, Neil (aka Bluebull on ADVrider) opened his garage and it was full of motorbikes.  He invited us in and we chatted bikes and racing over a couple of beers.  He and his wife are both great, and it was really neat getting a rundown of Dakar and various other rally races from an actual competitor/racer.  Not to mention looking over his fleet of bikes, including his current Rally Raid race bike.  I'm a road racer at heart, but being here in Peru riding actual segments of Dakar have piqued my interest much more in off road racing.  In fact, I just downloaded the Erzberg Rodeo from this weekend and plan to watch it over a beer later.  

Tomorrow I'll wake up and head out early.  I want to get to Paracas in time to explore the park, and to see if there is a place to set up my tent for the night.  I've heard several people tell me that the best camping is very isolated, but that it can be dangerous as well.  I'll have to scope it out for myself.  If so, I'll probably continue south after exploring the dunes/coast, and will spend a night in Nazca.  After that, it's a looooong ride/day to Arequipa (as shown on route map above) where I'll spend a couple of days, one of which I'll use to explore Colca Canyon.  After all that, I'll hit Puno, Titicaca, and will cross into Bolivia. Can't.  Freaking.  Wait...  I'm ready to get back on the bike and explore!  

I think that's it for now.  I feel bipolar in my postings.  The last couple were a bit melancholic, but I couldn't be happier as I write this.  The bike is back to normal, I have some amazing riding ahead, and I had an incredible conversation with Nina this morning that lifted my spirits.  Life is good.  Life on two wheels is amazing!  Looking forward to experiencing and sharing more soon...  

'Dawn is coming, open your eyes', 

~ D

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