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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 490 Wednesday August 27, 2014

The adventure is now Huanchaco, Peru. Last Thursday I left Vilcabamba and rode to Macara where I departed Ecuador and entered Peru. The border between Ecuador and Peru at Macara is very laid back, the border officials on both sides are friendly and it took just over a hour at the border and I was riding again. Peru, west of the Andes, is all desert...actually much of the western coast of the Americas, from California to Chile, is desert. The roads that I have ridden on so far have been quite good and many fuel stations here offer four choices of octane levels of gasoline, from 87 to 98. It is quite a thrill riding a 100 horsepower bike at sea level with 98 octane fuel. The Triumph has developed the first problem it has had in 65,000km. It appears a spring in the gearbox has failed and the shifter will not return to the neutral or stand-by position. I have ridden about 300km since the problem takes a two step method to downshift...I must lift the shifter to the stand-by position then down to the next lower gear while upshifting is much less a hassle as gravity returns the shifter to the proper position. I have rigged a bungey from the frame to the shifter and I hope this will make riding easier. I have contacted the Triumph dealer in Lima and they have told me bring it should be no problem to repair and I will take it there next week for service.

These are photos of a visit to the museum and archeological site of the Moche culture near Trujillo. The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru with its capital near present-day Moche and Trujillo, from about 100 AD to 800 AD, during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state. Rather, they were likely a group of autonomous polities that shared a common elite culture, as seen in the rich iconography and monumental architecture that survive today.

There are several theories as to what caused the demise of the Moche political structure. Some scholars have emphasized the role of environmental change. Studies of ice cores drilled from glaciers in the Andes reveal climatic events between 536 to 594 AD, possibly a super El NiƱo, that resulted in 30 years of intense rain and flooding followed by 30 years of drought, part of the aftermath of the climate changes of 535–536. These weather events could have disrupted the Moche way of life and shattered their faith in their religion, which had promised stable weather through sacrifices.

For security reasons photos were not allowed in the Museo Huacas De Moche where many of the treasures from the site are on display. The Peruvian government did not gain control of this site until 1991. Before then the site had been looted for many years.

This is the Peruvian Hairless Dog which is a breed with its origins in Peruvian pre-Inca cultures. In Peru the dogs are kept at national site like this one to help maintain the breed and for display.

These are mud bricks each with different markings. Probably groups were required to furnish bricks for construction of the pyramids and temples and each group had it's own marking system.

This is one of the tomes that have been found in the small pyramid that was discovered in the past few years. The small pyramid had seven built on top of the other. The first two levels have worn away due to erosion and looting.

This is Andres from San Paulo, Brazil. He is riding his BMW R1200GS from Brazil to Los Angeles, California.We met in northern Peru and chatted for 15 minutes before heading of separate ways.

These are photos taken in and around Huanchaco where I am staying.

These are caballitos de totora which are reed watercrafts used by Peruvian fishermen for the past 3,000 years.  Named for the way they are ridden, straddled ('little reed horses' in English), fishermen use them to transport their nets and collect fish in their inner cavity. The name is not the original name as horses were not introduced to South American until after the Spanish arrived in the 15th Century. They are made from the same reed, Scirpus californicus, used by the Uros in the Lake Titicaca region.
Fishermen in the port town of Huanchaco famously, but in many other locations practically, still use these vessels to this day, riding the waves back into shore, and suggesting some of the first forms of wave riding. There is currently a minor debate in the surfing world as to whether or not this constitutes the first form of surfing.

A fisherman baiting crab baskets.

I am thinking of leaving Huanchaco on Friday and heading for Lima. I am planning to enter Lima on Sunday...usually less traffic than during the week. More will be revealed...

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