Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 130 (138km): Our hand has been forced

A change in plans, we unfortunately had to leave the Sierra and go to Lima. The bikes still aren't quite right; Alberto's is in the worse shape. We'll be doing a lot of highway riding in Chile so we need the bikes in tip-top shape. Our only option was to take them to the dealer to get sorted out.
Leaving our camping place

We got up really early because we wanted to drop the bikes off at the dealer as soon as possible. We were cruising down the road, and since it was early in the morning the air was fresh. We stopped at a gas station for gas but they had no power so we couldn't get any. We rejoined the highway but we were going slow looking for another gas station. A pickup truck went flying by us and then a police car appeared in the left lane. Then all of a sudden they were pulling us over. We were a bit confused but pulled over. 
Camp early in the morning

We both thought that it was the cops from the toll booth yesterday that we snubbed. It turned out it wasn't those cops just some random cops trying to tell us we were speeding. Apparently they saw us passing buses back on the highway and “it had taken us a while to catch up to you”. So we played the game of not speaking Spanish and giving them our fake licenses. The guy pointed at my speedo indicating that I was going 160kph. At that pointed I laughed since I have never even gone that speed on this bike. I find the windblast troublesome after 120kph let alone 160! At that point I decided that they were completely full of shit and I was going to leave but one of the police officers was writing up a ticket but he was being really slow about it. I got off my bike and went to talk to him. I was making hand gestures for him to speed up because I had places to go. He started asking for our title documents, at which point we just keep pointing to the driver's license saying that's all we use in Canada. Things were going nowhere so I gestured that I wanted my ticket and license and that broke the deadlock. Once they saw that I was unconcerned with getting a ticket, plus they didn't know how to ask for money in English, the game was over. We got our fake licenses back and continued on our way.

That's the other problem with driving around in populated Peru, there are annoying police. The funny thing is that they are pretty lazy about trying to get money. They don't put up much of a fight and quickly lose interest. I thought we would end up getting stopped several times on the way to Lima but that was the only time. 
Riding to Lima

We soon reached the city and the fun driving experience that brings. I tried to kick a cab driver's mirror off because he tried to run me over. I couldn't reach it though. All in all it was as crazy as I thought it would be, so in that sense it was uneventful. One comment I will make is the aversion Latin American drivers have to driving over bumps, even small bumps. Traffic came to a standstill just because there were some tiny bumps on a bridge. This slowing down trend is something I've noticed this entire trip and it baffles me. We aren't talking Lamborghinis with zero clearance. We are talking about 4X4s and old beater cars.

We found the BMW Dealership without much trouble and quickly handed over the bikes to the mechanic. We had phoned two days ago so they knew we were coming. They were very helpful. 
At the BMW dealer in Lima. I wish it was under different circumstances
They only had one mechanic, or so I could tell, and he was working on Alberto's bike all day. The bad news is that it doesn't look like an easy fix. He checked the spark plugs (all good) and replaced the oil (no change). While replacing the oil he found debris (metal and gasket) which is not a good sign. He tried a few other tricks but nothing made the bike sound better. He is now going to have to take apart the engine and try and track down the source of the problem. The only bike that has been looked at is Alberto's. We left the bikes there and took a cab to Alberto's uncle's house.  
La Gringa being dissected like a frog
Alberto keeping an eye on things

The bikes are now in the hands of the professionals and hopefully they can figure out what's wrong with them. My Dad only JUST got his bike back after needing the brake disc fixed after the lady ran over him in the ferry terminal at the beginning of our trip. I hope we have better luck. Cross your fingers.

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