This morning we part from Lima. My bike seems happy again. The weakest part right now seems to be the clutch. It is not slipping under general usage but is when I gun at at high RPMs. As you have read previously, it has been a trying couple of days. I have actually not seen much of Lima. Just the route between the motorcycle store and my hostel here in Miraflores. And a few rides to other motorcycle stores and machine shops.
Speaking of which, I had two new brake pins machined and so far it seems to be a pretty good darn good job, and seemingly easier to remove the pins due to the type of head used. I was pretty impressed by this. In fact, I am now a repeat customer. By this I mean Leo is a new customer.
Small dual sport bikes are pretty common south of the US. It took a while before I stopped turning my head when miniature old model KLR look-alikes went by. I was walking back from the MC shop the other day on the way to get a much needed shearing (*bad* helmet head) and I was like “Doo doo doo…shit, the *was* a KLR”. This went against my gradual transition to ignoring red plasticy bikes and the disappointment in not finding fell travelers. I look around and there was Leo sitting at a table. Which chatted for a little as he waited for a friend to show up and allow him access to a secure parking garage. I got Leo’s digits having made tentative plans to grab a beer that night. It turns out that we didn’t meeting as my several attempts to send him an SMS were in vain as I wasn’t using the correct country code.
While at the MC store, Leo walked in to pick up a new rear tire. I had told him the previous day that the store had the replacement to his worn tire. And had one for me to carry as a spare and a new front of the same model as my TKC-80 front was fairly worn and had served me well since the southern US. I am now using the knobbier Pirreli MT-21. Let’s hope it serves well as tire selection was rather slim down here.
So Leo and I will be traveling together for a number of days. At least until the Machu Pichu region. Leo has lived a significant time in the Netherlands but is Peruvian. He speaks at least Spanish, Dutch and English. Having a native Spanish speaker around is a welcome change. His KLR is much older than mine. I believe it is from the late 90’s but I forget the year. Leo’s rear sprocket was badly worn. Like real bad. I’m was surprised to see all of the teeth remaining. In fact, some had gone missing and he had to go to a machine shop for repair. A part of the previous day’s adventure was finding him a new sprocket and chain. We found a cheap chain and a sprocket with a few extra teeth which is sort of “universal”. We took it to the machine shop yesterday to get them to fit it to the hub properly which involves some precision hole cutting and drilling for the mounting bolds. It looks like it should work fine. Because of the few extra teeth, he is going to have more torque and power but a slower high end. This should be fine for the Peruvian mountains.
Riding with Leo will be a welcome change from riding solo. He has a lot of good stories and listening to some of his life experiences instills confidence in my that he is a good guy. He is also fairly familiar the the areas in which I will be riding after we part ways so we will be working on some route planning. Hmmmm…he is a little late. Maybe he cannot find my hostel.
I have already started the process of shipping my bike from Buenos Aires. There is a husband and wife combo there who operate a hostel, mechanics shop and an air cargo assistance service — for a small fee they do the call arounds, get quotes and so forth. This is a welcome service as it means less stress once I arrive in BA and it likely means I can get home more quickly if I am tight for time once I reach my destination.
In general, while I am still a little ways from coming home, I definitely feel like I am on the homeward stretch. Likely some of the greatest adventures are still to come but I only have two major cities left following Lima. La Paz, Bolivia, and of course Buenos Aires. Leo has quelled any time reservations I have about getting back “on time” — which is now a week or two later than expected.
Well, I called Leo and he is in transit so time for me to close up here. Bye!