Hello Everybody, remember me? I 'm sure you do,
I'm the Pommie chappie who sent you a little quiz a month ago....
Not as many replies as I hoped were received. Shame really. There
is a super duper First Prize and a host of other things to be given
The answers were: a - 5, d - 1, c - 4, b
- 2, e - 3
The tiebreaker answers were:
*Author of the 'physics' Text: Mr Curly Hare, Yachtsman (AUSSSC),
presently residing at Houston, Tx. USA
*Author of 'mad' Text: Mr Jack Kirouac in 'On the Road', presently
deceased, previously driving around the USA
And the winner is: Mr David Griffiths,
Yachtsman (AUSSSC) and Triathelete, Stoney Stanton, Leics. UK -
David wins a special prize: An evening of intellectual chitchat
and obfusification with 'TheBrightStuff'. Wow, I bet he can't wait..
Second prize goes to: Mr Matt Stackpole,
Honda XR400 Transamericaist, Denver, Colorado, USA - Matt wins a
leaking BMW shock absorber. He will however have to fish it out
of the rubbish skip in Lima... Alternatively, I'll buy him a beer
next time we meet.
There are no further prizes. Guess why?
Changed my name to 'Manco Kapac'
So, what’s new? Not much really. Have shaved, had a haircut
and changed my name to 'Manco Kapac' to avoid any chance of being
confused with Ernesto 'Che' Guacamole. Mr Guacamole, as you may
recall, wrote a document called 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. Can't
say I have read it, but apparently Ernie and his mate did not ride
their Triumph bike much round South America. It broke down shortly
after crossing the Argentina/Chile border. He should have called
the book the 'Hitchhiker Dairies'. I suppose Che had an idea that
"Motorcycle" sounded sexier that "Hitchhiker".
My old goat seems not to break down too much (It is difficult to
write this while tightly clutching the wooden desk with both hands!!).
It just requires new shock absorbers on a regular basis. Three days
ago I was in Lima to collect shock number 5 (FIVE). The 2 I had
with me, both gave up their respective ghosts. Not bad: a shock
a month.... Number 5 is hopefully intending to last a little longer:
It comes from the land of the smorgasbord, kneckebrot and ombudsman....
(If this is too cryptic: it is made by Ohlins of Sweden...)
Where is this all leading? I have finally realise that I am doing
something truly unique: I am the FIRST person to drive round South
America, who is NOT following Ernie's footsteps/tyre tracks, who
does NOT look like Ernesto, who's bike is more reliable than Ernesto's
(who rode a Triumph), BUT who had a grandfather called Ernest!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry about all the rude words
My last report (sorry about all the rude words in it; I was not
consuming any particular substances either, before you ask!) were
from Cusco, the capital of Incaland. A great party town, but far
too touristy. Here, I teamed up with a Dutch fellow called Marcel
driving a shiny happy Toyota Landrover-Recovery-Vehicle. Last time
we met was 18 months ago in Malawi in Africa.
The route lead across the mountains via Ayacucho to Huancayo (where
Marcel headed to Lima) and Goaty, Normy y moi continued to strut
our stuff to Huanuco and then via La Union to Huaraz in the Cordelierra
Blanca. A total of about 2 weeks with only mountains, Berge, montagnes
and Sierra. Totally super-duperly marvellous. A couple of bits were
paved, but most was dirt, gravel and mud. Great views, friendly
people and the chance to wrestle a Llama, or rather help a shepherd
boy (or should that be 'Llama boy') herd in his flock after they
had legged it. All in a days work for the seasoned biker dude like
me. Aren't I just soooooooooooo goooooooooooooood? Probably not.
The Toyota afforded a life of luxury and chatting to the bearded
Dutch fellow, Marcel, was fun too.
The drive to Huaraz was long and on an incredibly bad road ('what
road?'). At one point I smelt burning plastic. Do a check: Mud guard
on exhaust: No, Something fallen onto the engine: Can't see anything;
Stuffed if I know. Later on the bike was bouncing up and down like
an old Cadillac. Ahhh, that old chestnut: The shock had pretty much
blown all its dampener oil in one go and various plastic bits on
it had melted: hence the smell. Oh joy!!
My parents know nearly as much about my bike as I do: For me it
is a ‘field study' and for them it's more of a 'correspondence
course', although my dad understands a great deal of practical BMW
stuff too and already has a PhD. in BMW bike shocks: The system
works very well indeed and now being old and wise myself, I source
everything on the internet, my parents do the leg work and we use
normal snail mail (rather than those w***ers at DH Hell) and hey
presto: in 7 days there is a Ohlins shock waiting at Lima Post Office.
THANKS YET AGAIN MUM AND DAD!!! The wonderful Mr Motoguzzi Guzman
(as well as showing great hospitality) offers splendid assistance
and the new toy is mine...... Since Lima it has already held nearly
1000km. Yippie... Tomorrow the pavement stops and the dirt starts
again..... Watch this space.
Oh yes, while waiting for the offending article I even made it
4 days carrying all my own junk around the 'Santa Cruz Trek' including
a spiffing sunrise at Alpamayo Basecamp.
Am now in Cajamarca, behind schedule (what's new there?) and last
time I checked, over budget (definitely nothing new there....).
Will head towards Chachapoyas and the Kuelap Ruins tomorrow. At
some point my boat adventure down the Amazon to Brazil will begin.
Being behind schedule might mean delaying my return back to Europe:
If you had the choice of a British Winter and heading into a Brazilian
summer, which would you choose? Difficult choice, I know...
A final note. While driving near Ayacucho, we came across a French
fellow... Not just any French fellow though: He is RUNNING from
Lima to Rio de Janeiro (having already complete LA to NY and Perth
to Sydney!!!): 6000km in 75 days; that is about 80km a day - every
day! He looks younger than me, but was born in 1953! Check his site
So, there it is: Will have to love and leave you. A quick mail
from your end would be most welcome.
the horrible events of New York and Washington, I sincerely hope
all is well with you and your family and friends.
pro: Goat and Norm