Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Running Out of Time -13 February 2018

13 February 2018 – I got up and took a quick shower before going down for breakfast. It was a Continental Breakfast but you still had to order your eggs. So that complicated the breakfast. After breakfast I went back to the room and wrote up a list of 5 statements in Spanish for the motorcycle shop because I’m sure they don’t speak a pinch of English. 1.  I would like to change my motorcycle engine oil.  2.  I have tools.  3.  I have oil.  4.  I can change my own oil.  5.  I will pay you to use your oil drain pan and take the old oil.

I rode my motorcycle to the shop knowing this would be a touch and go situation. I walked in the door and asked to see the boss man or lady. You never who is running the operation. In a few minutes a woman shows up all of 8-1/2 months pregnant. I showed her my paper with all the statements written on it. I showed her my motorcycle and told her I could work outside. She said that would be ok. She rounded up an oil drain pan from in the shop. I think they only had one. So, I set about changing my oil. I did it out on the street. I had the oil drained out, the new filter put in and the new oil poured into the engine. I saw another American roll up on his motorcycle and walk into the motorcycle shop. I’m sure he saw me but he never said anything.

I kept working and eventually he walked out and back to his motorcycle. I walked over and said hi. Come to find out he was attorney from Annapolis, Maryland. He was 78 years old and riding these mountains. I had to give it to the guy; at his age you need a good pat on the back. Although he did say interacting with his fellow motorcycle riders was a bit challenging. I ran into that when I was in Africa except it was the tour operators who were difficult to get along with. Anyway, he had commitments and we parted ways. I went back to finishing up with my oil change. I dumped the oil out of the pan and paid the shop $1.50 for letting me use their drain pan and taking the used drain oil. I rode out of there and headed back to the hotel.

On the way there I decided to drive down the road about 3 Miles / 5 Kilometers to get the new oil warmed up and circulated. On the way back, I saw a car wash and the guys were setting around doing nothing. I pulled in and asked if they would wash my motorcycle. They reluctantly agreed to wash it. They wanted to be paid first so I kind figured it would be a poor quality wash job. Anyway, they power washed off all the heavy dirt and then hand washed it. If they would have put 25 per cent more effort into the wash the motorcycle would have looked great. As it was, it looked good. When it dried off you could see all the areas they missed in their half-hearted wash. So, I was out of there and back to the hotel to get my route planned for Cusco.

Mary and I talked some about Machu Picchu. We thought I could fly out of Arequipa to Cuzco and save some time. Here how it shakes out….it was a 2 day ride and 3 mountain ranges to cross at elevations 13,000 Feet / 4000 Meters before getting to Cuzco. I would be 3 days there and then another two days back down the same road. A total of 7 days would be spent in that adventure. 5 days if I flew to Cuzco. Here’s the poop: I have to be at the tip of South America, drop dead latest, 15 March 2018 and I will have icicles hanging off my beard and mustache. I am prepared to ride to Cuzco thinking I’ll never be here again. So, the plan is to leave early in the morning and ride toward Cuzco. I went to bed.

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