21.12.16 Lima, Peru
After a couple of busy days on the long stretch of the Panamerican Highway to Lima, Peru’s capital city, we arrived in good time, about 1pm.
The previous day had brought its usual set of challenges, with the wind high enough to whip around the side of my sidecar screen and open my visor for me, and toll booth stress, where we rolled into the truck lane, and were made to get off and push backwards into oncoming traffic, so that we could take the dirt ‘motorcycle lane’, which is free. Otherwise, I guess we’d have had to pay a truck price. There seems to be different rules at each booth, sometimes they’ll just raise the arm for us.
The endless noise has become an accompaniment to our lives, the blaring music, slightly off tune tv’s, banging, digging, tooting, shouting, oh boy, it’s good to get some respite in a motel room at the end of the day. The buzz of life is tremendous here, colour flashing everywhere, reminding me of the busiest ants nest I’ve ever seen, with all these people claiming their space in this life, in a way that we just don’t seem to have to do at home.
Anyway, we probably both had a sense of ‘phew, nearly there into the busy city’, as we were making our way towards Motos Del Peru, for an oil change and new tyre. We had been communicating with Felipe from the shop for over a week, and he had arranged a Backpackers Hostel for us to stay in for a couple of nights.
Famous last words, we suddenly found ourselves rolling to a stop, and of course, that’s where the real Lima began. Two hours later we had moved about 3 miles, the weather was scorching, and the tempers were rising! It was a tough experience for sure, inching along, with the constant lane changing by others, and never really seeing a reason why you have to wait for so long.
Of course, eventually we made it through, and started to make our way along the further 10 miles we needed to go, with me shouting out the turns, and Paul doing a wonderful job of maneuvering the mad traffic. We made it onto a highway that was fairly smooth going, and were happily riding along until a policeman stepped out in front of us with his stick raised. We could not understand what he was saying, whilst he bashed a few times on the windscreen of the bike with his stick but thought the upshot was, motorcycles are not allowed on this road, you silly foreigners! He let us go on………. Thank goodness. As usual, we hadn’t seen any signs telling us that it was no entry for bikes, and it seems hard to understand why he was more interested in us than stopping people for running red lights, or driving like lunatics, but hey, what do we know.
So, we arrived at Motos Del Peru, somewhat harassed, and you can imagine our delight when a) they’d never heard of us b) they are fully booked and c) the bike and sidecar doesn’t fit through their door.
After a time of deliberation and a call from the Service Manager to Felipe (who it turns out is an associate of the shop- more of a hinderance maybe, someone who does PR, and Internet management), we were asked to return at 8am, and the job would be done outside the shop.
So, off we went, and found the hostal, had a look around the nice area of Miraflores, and were asleep early, in readiness for an early rise this morning.
We arrived at the shop at 7.20am, so determined were we to avoid the heaving traffic, and as I write we are waiting to go back and collect the bike with new tyre, and oil change. Fingers crossed!
This has been a good morning, we have found some useful bits of shopping, I’ve had another haircut (including a great head massage), and we found a supermarket that sold imported European goods! We bought cheese and salami, how exciting is that, I guess you’ll never know unless you haven’t eaten it for three months……………..