As of Tuesday June 29th, I am in Lima, Peru. I got here pretty late and took the first accommodation that suitable. I am in the Miraflores neighbourhood which is quite high end and relatively safe. I looked at several backpackers hostels first but there was not sign of parking. This place, while more of a small hotel than hostel, allowed my to bring the bike into the living room overnight. Unlike last night’s accommodation, tonight’s attempt to have a hot shower has not be dowse by faulty electrical circuits. Man, its getting time for a hair cut. My last one was early on in Panama.
I went out for a brief dinner and had Chifa. It was pretty cheap compared to other stuff in this neighbourhood. Right near by is a bar/resto/club strip — something of a walk way — with all sorts of different things. A British pub. Pizza joints. And various other restaurants. People are really hustling for money and offering all the sorts of things you can guess — sex, strippers, drugs and so forth. I just wanted my damn Chifa — and for a 1/3 of the price of what things like pizza would have cost.
My experience in the Chifa restaurant was interesting. There were a lot of things to remind me of home. The K’Naan song used by Coke/FIFA on the TV. Scotiabank commercials. Chinese food reminds of me Toronto. And a Palachinta (Hungarian dessert) restaurant across the street. My friends and neighbours Paul and Gab have taken me for Palachinta in Toronto. Funny that all of this was in my face all at once.
I am not sure how long I will be in Lima. I have to keep motoring but a few things need to be done to the bike. For starters, I need a new front tire pretty shortly. This one has been keeping me going since New Mexico and the knobs are starting to wear out. In addition, I noticed today that one of my fork seals has started to leak. This will only get worse. The last thing I need is for it to totally burst and saturate my brake pads with oil or get all over my tire. Luckily (well not luck at all — preparations) — I have a spare set of fork seals with me. My clutch also seems to be slipping a bit at higher RPMs. I am trying decide whether it would be worth trying to replace the friction disks, or hope that the clutch holds out for a few more weeks. There’s now saying yet whether any local dealers actually carry the disks, and the necessary gaskets to do the work. As soon as I open up the clutch cover, a few gaskets and seals likely need to be replaced so there is a commitment here.
So I hauled ass from Trujillo to Lima today. I started a little late as I had to get an oil change. I found a small oil shop. I purchased 4 litres of Shell Rimula for about as much as I would at home and they help with the oil change. In the end, they asked that I bought a one litre bottle of Inca Kola which we shared in plastic cups. I think the oil change guys enjoyed having some special company. I don’t think it is very often that a bike pulls in there for an oil change — especially a KLR650 from Canada.
The ride down was quite long due to lots of construction. I believe it was a 550km stretch but it felt like it took for ever. Here and there I had to go through small towns and cities without by passes. That, getting gas, and the stop and go of road work really suck travel time. The ride down was mostly desert with same agricultural areas. There wasn’t quite as much garbage around today and the route was often rather picturesque. Here and there the coastline would show up revealing dunes and large waves. While it sounds tempting, it weather here is cool at or below 20 degrees celsius. That said, the last while has been very comfortable for riding in full gear, unlike much of Central America. The landscape was quite gorgeous at times with round mountains, sand dunes and other desert features.
Well, time to start looking for bike shops…