(Picture above is from the eastern edge of the Colca Canyon in Peru.....on my way home! The Andean Condors fly every morning further west in the canyon, and what a site that is.)
How great it is to be on the road again! (Writing live from a cafe in Cusco, Peru right now, about 2 weeks after leaving Santiago.)
Updates to this blog have been lagging, partially due to scarce and slow internet so far. Plus, when I get the opportunity to use internet, other priorities are taking command (like the launch of http://www.rideadv.com/, which is now up and running!)
First impressions of Peru are great in that the people, food, and scenery all are very welcoming. I'm taking the time to zig-zag back and forth a bit to confirm what are good tour routes, and what is worth while (for RIDE Adventures.) Plus its been a little slow moving as I take alot of extra time to meet with different motorcycle rental and touring companies along the way. Had 6 good meetings thus far with providers in Chile and Peru, and will have a few more here in Cusco before leaving. Not to mention a few visits with buddies like Pier in Arica, Chile and Karen down in Iquique. Great to see everyone.....
Below, a curious onlooker spotted me eating lunch and thought "Mom, did you see there's a bald gringo eating in our neighborhood restaurant?" This was just outside of Juliaca, Peru, about a week into my trip. My lunch cost only 2.50 Peruvian Soles (about .95 U.S. cents.) I thought the owner of the place was kidding. It was delicious, and filling.
Puno, Peru was celebrating the anniversary of their University. Not the 100th, or any special number...it was just their annual 3-day (that I saw) non-stop parade & party that was quite a spectacle. Pretty much all day long, and into the night, the marching bands and costumed locals were relentless in this celebration.
Easily the most impressive part of the ride so far has been my time in the Colca Canyon, still here in Southern Peru. Aside from its dimensions, colors, and farmed-patterns, it's also home to a famous viewing point of the Andean Condor, indigenous to the area. Every morning, bright and early, tourists from all over line the walls of the canyon in specific viewing points to catch a glimpse of the early morning hunting flights. The condors pass us by pretty close in many cases...the whole while with this beautiful canyon in the backdrop. Definitely worth the drive if you're in the area.
While I was in Arequipa, a pass through the Plaza de Armas helped me notice the trend of pigeon-feeding going on there. Of course the locals sell little bags of bird feed, and I watched this little-local go through 3 bags of this. How long would she stay and feed the birds if you let her? All day.
Very busy as I mentioned, so that's all for now. I've been here in Cusco about a week now waiting for a new tire, and I'll be off to see Machu Picchu and part of the Inca Trail in a couple of days.
More news soon!