Follow the published narration and story of two friends traveling South, through 15 countries and two continents. From Ottawa Canada to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rob and Nik are set to embark on a journey meant to take a year, to be completed in a mere 2 months.

January - March 2011 : A year in the making..

We promise this blog will not only be awesome to read, but PACKED with info on how to plan your own trip........

the RIGHT way.

With only two months to complete the trip, we'll be cramming in tons of VIDEOS, PICS and useful and hopefully funny info.

Stay tuned for the Extended Video Log on my YouTube Channel after the trip; this blog is only the beginning....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stephen Dam, This Cold One's For You - Rob

I promised I would dedicated this post to my best and most dedicated fan Stephen Dam. Everytime I come online, he jumps at his keyboard and CAPS LOCKS' "When's next post!?!??!?!" followed by "Your grammar and punctuation are disgusting". Well SORRY 4.0 GPA, it's always 11pm-12am when I write these, following a full day of relentless full-awareness, heightened attention, risk adverse riding; following a really bad nights sleep the night before because the beds are unique and the noise is mucho. I do try, and will try harder because you are my bestest fan!! So this ones for you, a post of coldness, as I still thaw my frozen fingers and feet from the highest altitude + rain filled day.

Also another comment before I begin the post::!!:: Dan I saw the camping equipment lying in one of the Nazca lines from the lookout!! But some quick fingered Peruvians snatched it! In all seriousness if I would've known it was there, I wouldn't even think twice about grabbing it, I hate camping and the only gear I have with me is my 30.00 cdn tire tent and a sleeping bag in case we can't find a hotel. No room for camping stuff, camping is nasty, I mean no offense haha. Not that I'll point fingers, but if I'm clean, that leaves a few sticky fingers at the wine station, but I won't point fingers because they all read this too haha. Serious though, hope you can find it or it pops up somewhere.

Onto the daily news!

We left Lima knowing we had a long drive to get to Nazca. Luckily its all more straight desert highway, which means easy riding, easy on the bikes, and no problem covering a lot of distance. The ride out was very interesting. Long gone was the hustling traffic of the city, but the two lane highway remained, lined with massive billboards, tourist attractions, and fancy resorts. So it looks as if south Lima is where all the richy's go for fun in the sun. The billboards alone kept us entirely entertained most of the morning, I wish I had pictures of how creative, intricate or big they could make them.  Along the way somehow we managed to see 8 other riders. That's a TON, almost as many as we've seen this entire trip so far. Most were riding BMW's, all were outfitted to the maximum in the desert. Which brings me to a funny point. If you're a rider and you're reading this, you have probably asked yourself why the hell these idiots dress down, or don't have the proper gear. We sometimes ask ourselves the same thing, but at the same time, so far so good, its good on the budget, and at the same time, we're amateur, and we enjoy riding as if it's a normal ride. Of course, its important to have the right gear on the way down to the asphalt, but we have found it really nice to be riding in tshirts etc. in the brutal desert. Its nice to take the break.

Anyway, so we get to Paracas, Nik's recommended spot to eat some lunch. Its a bit more expensive here, and really nothing to do unless you want to stay at an all-inclusive or ultra-luxury resort. I had a budget lunch of 2.00, of which the order was only placed after Nik finished eating, and it was the wrong item, the other item I ordered never even came. BUT, the next part made up for the lackluster experience. We decide to go see the Paracas National Park as it supposedly had some nice views etc. I'll let the pictures do the explaining....
The tiny tourist town of Paracas (bad picture I apologize but everyone at this point was unnerving me, everyone tugs and pulls you in directions to do things and buy stuff)

Here comes the most adventure-some park we've experienced so far!!

There's roads here....but because the whole thing is hard sand dunes, you can ride anywhere and we are 400 feet above the ocean on top of a dune

We're that happy!!!

Its hard keeping the bike from not rolling down all the hills, I might use a zoom of this picture to sell the bike in the next few weeks lol

This sorta shows you how high we are; the dunes in the distance are rideable too!

Nik contemplating life, or something like it, sitting 400 feet above the ocean

I just like folding my arms because it looks like I mean business, that and I'm a little scared a chunk might fall off and send me into the surf below

This is me hill climbing, to put in perspective Nik's standing almost half a kilometre back. I wasn't sure at first on doing it, but no regrets now, its one of the most exhilarating things I've ever done, no rollercoaster can ever top this. Gunning it 120 kph 60 degrees up a hill

And of course 150kph on the way down

Nik's turn, me from half way up the hill. We loved this park so much, for 5.00 soles, we could've spent the whole day here riding around the dunes,
But unfortunately we had a time constraint, and not to mention needing gas. Again, a gas scare, when traveling through Peru you really have to watch your fuel expenditures, the distances between towns are quite decent, and many of the towns either don't have a gas station, or are fresh out. So when traveling, even half way through a tank, I'd recommend checking and topping up just to be on the safe side. So we made the rest of the drive no problem to Nazca. The lines that everyone stops for are, I suppose, worth a stop, but for no more than a few minutes to see a few lines and maybe a shape or two in the sand. We wouldn't pay the money to climb the miserable tower set up along the highway, so we climbed a dune a few hundred feet further. We didn't get to see much, but no one really raves about the sites anyway, they are more impressive in aerial shots found on google maps.
A few of the lines here are really all we got to see. The more impressive scene was the flipped car just down the road..which of course I didn't get a picture of (the winds here are ridiculous, and make it difficult to take out the camera for some good quick shots on the run).

Nazca itself is in my opinion a pretty neat little town. Perhaps it was the fancy hotel we lucked into, or the awesome food we got, but I liked it. Nestled in between some massive sand dunes and archeological sites, the towns people have a humbleness to them unlike most of the rest of Peru. We found this little place:

Hotel Alegria
..for 7 bucks a piece. Can't really go wrong there now can we. Since the hotel was so cheap, we spoiled ourselves with a massive dinner at Roky's, a Peruvian chicken chain. We ordered a BBQ meal, they bring you you're own grill, stacked with a half chicken, two hot dogs, sausage (watch it, undercooked), pork roins, two huge salads, a 1.5 litre inca cola, a massive mound of fries and two pieces of cheesecake, all for 8.00 a piece.

After a massive run on sentence of a meal, we settled down and had a bad nights sleep (one guys car alarm went off so consistently we went out to deflate his tires). I had some mangoes for breakfast this morning picked from the tree at the hotel, and we headed off to get as close to Cuzco as possible. We made it to Abancay, about 3/4 - 4/5 the way there. People have said that the road to here is dirt, which makes no sense, its the nicest road in Peru to date. No rough patches, just solid, smooth, tight handling asphalt. We made it quicker than most people do, partly because we drive like maniacs. The ride took 6 hours, for which most was scenic and enjoyable, but at the highest point, which puts you close to 15000 feet, we hit 8 degrees Celcius and pouring rain for a good 70 kilometres. You basically get to the point of screaming words to your music, not even looking at the road, or trying to sleep conciously to avoide the pain of the bitter cold. To sum it up, it feels very similar to having completely numbed hands in the snow, then putting them under hot hot water. That scolding feeling is the same feeling for 70 kilometres.

Luckily it broke up as we went back down the hill and because Abancay is lower altitude its a little more manageable here. The ride close to town had some massive washouts, every so often you'd pull up to a waterfall in the road or a river crossing, literally. If you go too slow, the water rushes so much it'll take your bike into the river. You also get completely drenched through these, not as fun as it sounds.

The town itself is a little shady, but we found a decent place to eat and a decent place to stay with a nice hot shower, which I used to scold my hands properly!! We could've made it to Cuzco if we left a little earlier, but its nice to break early and have a decently easy ride tomorrow. From there we plan on riding around the back of Machu Picchu and doing it the cheap way through Santa Teresa and walking the railroad tracks. It'll save a couple hundred bucks, and if I don't post before then, the next time I'll post is in three-four days. Until then, much love to all my fans!! And give Dan back his damn camping equipment guys, or you'll get it when I come back....

The plaza of Nazca, I FINALLY LEARNED how to use my camera....found some useful settings that make pictures a little more vibrant, figures...trips almost over too.

Nik way up ahead of me on the curvy roads leading away from Nazca (beautiful scenery!)

There are a ton of crosses along roads like these...either from people driving like complete idiots (we run by a lot of people using the wrong side of the road) or from distracting themselves by the scenery. Either way, a bit of a wakeup call to pay attention.

Look! Vicunas!! South American llamas living in damn cold climates

There's some more of that camera magic I learned today

And more, in the mountains

Their fur is the warmest material you can wear

I wasn't kidding when I said waterfalls on the road

And damned big ones at that


  1. Thank you Rob!!!! Your blog and incredible photos continue to amaze me. Wonderful to see you both so happy!

  2. Hi Rob, Don't worry found the camping gear I was looking for, if you ever feel like camping give me a call, I have the equipment for you!!!! Just kidding:) Since you are a senior at the wine station thought you would know the ins and outs!!! Love the amazing pics and love reading the blog, amazing trip. Can'T wait to hear all about it.
    Take care.

  3. And to Mme Landon, never thought Rob would steal but maybe borrow which is cool with me. Rob knows Im good with that... I wouldve felt better thinking of him in my tent then the CT one:) Don't worry I'll pay him a whole case of beer when I see him:) Hope you can sell the bike. Love the pics from the waterfall all over the road simply amazing!!! and the sand dunes wow!! The quality of your pictures is simply amazing you should sell them to travel magazines!! Just a thought. Enjoy! Dan