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Old 01-06-2011, 09:40 AM   #21
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Yikes! I suspect that I will be sitting in the back of the Moto with my head buried in my jacket on all of the mountainous roads! I'm good on the salt flats though!
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:24 AM   #22
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Here are some pictures from the recent running of the Mototaxi Junket! I know, it looks positively awesome, doesn't it?

Mototaxi Junket Winter 2011: Team Why Not? by Stu Darnley - a set on Flickr

Most of the teams have made their way to Peru by now, despite some epic breakdowns and waylays. Some details on the Adventurists blog here:
The Adventurists Blog

I can't wait!
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:09 AM   #23
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They huffed and puffed but they finally got her top side and lashed down
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:46 AM   #24
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Wow, that is a bunch of work, Lance! I might have just strapped it the ladder instead!

An update from the Mototaxi Junketeers confirms that next year's run will be entirely in Peru, from Lake Titicaca to the Ecuadoran border. Nearly 1/2rds of the mototaxis were not permitted across the Bolivian/Peruvian border despite having what was the "right" paperwork.

Although I would have loved to see Paraguay and Bolivia, I think it is probably a good plan to have it all in one country, like the Rickshaw Rally they do in India.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #25
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We are six months away from launch of the 2012 Mototaxi Junket! I've got our vaccinations all lined up, we're studying Spanish diligently, and got our motorcycle permits. I just had to show off the cool logo that our friend Bobby designed for the team--we'll be printing it on t-shirts to give away to those who donate to the charity we are supporting, Practical Action.

Check it out! I think it is fantastic! And had to have an excuse to share!
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #26
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Sarah, I'd like to hear some more detail, and that web site doesn't seem to work well for me.

In January, you and hubby are going to fly to Peru and rent/buy a mototaxi and then travel around with a bunch of others who are doing the same? Is that about right?

Sounds good!
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #27
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Oh, T-Al, that is the site for the charity--sorry! We are working on the website, already have the domain, but just haven't gotten anywhere with it yet. Hopefully this weekend.

Meanwhile, we do have a very basic site as part of the Adventurist website and a Facebook page (I did send you a suggestion to "like" our page when I started it-wink wink).

I'm thinking of trying to use a blog site like Tumblr for the website, though. What I hope to do is be able to post updates that go to the website and the Facebook page and that I can update from the road with progress reports and pictures.

However, in a nutshell, we and probably 15 or so other teams that have signed up with the Adventurists will converge in Cusco at the end of December. We have paid an entry fee that covers the mototaxi rentals and insurance for them down there plus we have to raise 1,000 pounds for the official charity of the rally, which is Practical Action. Once we get our motos, we are completely on our own, with no support or backup of any kind or even a suggestion of routes to take to the finish. There is a party 2 weeks later at the finish line for whoever makes it in time. The distance appears to be somewhere over 1000 KM, but it is hard to tell on the map.

The mototaxi is a Chinese made Lifan motorcycle married to what can best be described as a small sofa. They say it handles more like a sofa than a bike! It has the horsepower of a handful of family dogs and is prone to constant breakdowns.

Here's the Adventurist website:
Mototaxi Junket | The Adventurists
And here's our (temporary) site there:
Team Website
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:36 PM   #28
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However, in a nutshell, we and probably 15 or so other teams that have signed up with the Adventurists will converge in Cusco at the end of December. We have paid an entry fee that covers the mototaxi rentals and insurance for them down there plus we have to raise 1,000 pounds for the official charity of the rally, which is Practical Action. Once we get our motos, we are completely on our own, with no support or backup of any kind or even a suggestion of routes to take to the finish. There is a party 2 weeks later at the finish line for whoever makes it in time. The distance appears to be somewhere over 1000 KM, but it is hard to tell on the map.
The mototaxi is a Chinese made Lifan motorcycle married to what can best be described as a small sofa. They say it handles more like a sofa than a bike! It has the horsepower of a handful of family dogs and is prone to constant breakdowns.
You're sellin' the heck outta this.

Sounds like an opportunity for serious immunizations, will/insurance reviews, and pre-arranged check-ins so that the hostage rescue team can be standing by...
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:57 AM   #29
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New wills...check
New immunizations...check
Finding travel medical insurance to cover trip...errrr, work in progress!
But I did pass my motorcycle beginner permit test last week!

Heck, I figure we can take the bus tour when we are old, if we live that long! For now, though, I'd like to stretch the corners of my comfort zone while it is still possible to imagine sleeping in a ditch for the night.

Fuego--there are still spots available and you already have good life insurance!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:31 AM   #30
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Fuego--there are still spots available and you already have good life insurance!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #31
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But I did pass my motorcycle beginner permit test last week!
Oooookay.

A couple weeks ago a local surfer paddled his standup board the 300 miles from the Big Island to Kauai. (That was nuts. Nobody should do that, even if they can claim to be trained professionals.) If there's anything sensible about his achievement, it was that his EPIRB was equipped with a GPS transmitter. He also had some equipment allowing him to send brief texts, which of course was used for blogging. But in an emergency his signal (or "last detected emissions") would have given rescuers a good starting point.

How do you guys track each other's progress and send up rescue flares? Of course the terrain, atmospheric conditions, and lack of telcom infrastructure may conspire against you.

I'm trying to imagine the reaction of the Charleston constabularies if a bunch of Paraguayans, Bolivians, & Peruvians wearing wild t-shirts hopped off the plane at the airport, rented motorcycles, and roared across the Cooper River Bridge "lookin' for adventure, and whatever comes our way"...
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:18 PM   #32
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Well Nords, there you go, making a perfectly reasonable point when there isn't any good reason to do what we are doing!

Well, there actually is one, and that is that each Junket team raises money for a charity that does work in the area we travel through. So we can do a pointlessly ridiculous journey yet feel good about helping others! And Practical Action does great stuff in Peru, for sure.

But yeah, I'd guess that it helps with the Peruvian authorities that they know we are fund-raising along with hell-raising. Charleston cops would certainly freak out-but the authorities have now seen about a half dozen of these Junkets roll across the country so maybe not as alarming.

That dude on the SUP is completely crazy-I'd never do that. You put SAR in jeopardy and others who might need rescue when doing stunts like that. No one will be rescuing us. We may join the Explorers Club though, and I think they are pretty good about getting bodies back to the embassy, lol.

We will be traveling on roads, crappy roads for sure compared to ours, but roads that are traveled every day by Peruvians going about their normal lives. So if we break down and our spare parts are insufficient, we hope to flag down help as countless others have done in Junkets past. There are many pictures of Motos in the back of a lorry tooling on to the next town.

I think, and MichaelB has agreed, the people of rural Peru are pretty friendly and if we are respectful, we will expect kindness in return. For me, this is as much a cultural trip as anything. Rarely are we "forced" by circumstances to rely on both our own wits and sometimes the kindness of strangers. And what better way to practice my Spanish than hanging around a dusty town square waiting for somebody's cousin who is a mechanic to get word we need repairs?

I know I'm making light of some of this, but we really are okay not knowing very much about how the trip will actually progress. And if we die, well at least we will make the evening news and you all can say "hey, I knew that stupid girl, Sarah!".
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:50 PM   #33
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Is Don (or someone) going to take a motorcycle mechanics course before y'all go? Or is it going to be a wing-and-a-prayer? I'll donate, but you have to leave me the Stella Rose in your will in case of mudslide or llama stampede. You know you're nuts, right? I may have done some equally crazy things when I was young like you, but at least I was always under the influence of something.

Looking forward to hearing the plans between sets at Floyd. 3 weeks! Don't fall off the bike before then.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:44 AM   #34
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Very good idea about the class, Harley. Don is pretty handy at fixing stuff--gotta be around our place with all the POS vehicles and we'll be taking/buying tools as recommended by past Junket participants, but he hasn't actually looked at a class. I'll check into it, as he's definitely the chief mechanic!

Let's see how many beers you buy me in the beer garden at Floydfest, then we'll discuss adding you to the will! But I should mention that Stella is an expensive mistress, engine and all, speaking of mechanics. He'll be spending some quality time in the bilge this weekend tracking down a cranking problem, then coming up for air long enough to get the Airstream running before we drive her to see you at Floyd!

And yeah, I know we're nuts. Funny thing, that--what attracted me naturally to financial planning is being able to evaluate risk as it relates to life, finances, employment, investing, etc. And now you are telling me my risk meter is broken! Ha! I snort in your general direction!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #35
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Gosh Sarah, you're a lot braver than us. Last week while in Madeira we did an 8 mile mountain walk with a guide - group of 7 couples from 5 countries. We saw a lady in front of us fall and break her arm and about 20 minutes later a guy from another group coming towards us collapsed with a heart attack. Our guide and 2 other managed the situation while we waited. There was also a doctor and 2 nurses in the 3 groups. The 2 Russians in our group were able to help with language as the guy who'd collapsed was Russian and none of the 4 Russians in that group spoke anything other than Russian.

After about 30 minutes they reckoned they had him stabilzed enough to let us past but just as DW and I got there he crashed again (heart stopped) and we had to wait while they did CPR again. They then rolled him on his side on the narrow path for us to get by. Following our guide's directions we then lead our group on about another 1.5 miles and waited for him in a spot which was wide and had plenty of shade. Another guide joined us shortly after we got there and kept us appraised of the situation (via cell phone) until our guide joined us. Because of the remoteness of the area it took mountain rescue a long time to get to the poor guy and our guide didn't think he would survive as his heart stopped many times during the 90 minutes they were with him, and there was still another 90 minutes of carrying to do by the rescue team, but at least they had oxygen etc.

Sorry to sound so miserable Sarah, but please be sure you have plans for what to do in case of accidents, sickness etc.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:59 AM   #36
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But yeah, I'd guess that it helps with the Peruvian authorities that they know we are fund-raising along with hell-raising. Charleston cops would certainly freak out-but the authorities have now seen about a half dozen of these Junkets roll across the country so maybe not as alarming.
You probably want to have a short document written in spanish (and quechua if possible). Still, a bunch of gringos in mototaxies aren't likely to be confused for something dangerous.

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We will be traveling on roads, crappy roads for sure compared to ours, but roads that are traveled every day by Peruvians going about their normal lives. So if we break down and our spare parts are insufficient, we hope to flag down help as countless others have done in Junkets past. There are many pictures of Motos in the back of a lorry tooling on to the next town.
"Crappy" and "traveled every day". Hmmm. Not so sure about that. I've not traveled around rural Peru but I have driven through the Andes in Venezuela, more than once. There are lots of areas with little traffic, roads that are washed out or difficult to navigate, and no nearby town. Or, a town, but no mechanic.

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I think, and MichaelB has agreed, the people of rural Peru are pretty friendly and if we are respectful, we will expect kindness in return. For me, this is as much a cultural trip as anything. Rarely are we "forced" by circumstances to rely on both our own wits and sometimes the kindness of strangers. And what better way to practice my Spanish than hanging around a dusty town square waiting for somebody's cousin who is a mechanic to get word we need repairs?
Still agree. But not all areas are populated. Getting stranded could be a problem. How bad? Not sure without knowledge of the specific route. My recollection is your route goes through both mountains and coast. Mountains are probably the greater risk - road damage, sparse population. What's your plan B if someone goes missing or gets stranded? GSM cell phone?

I bet the biggest problem turn out to be a shortage of toilet paper and a critter in the bushes...
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:46 AM   #37
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Good concerns for sure. However I should mention that literally hundreds of people have done this trip. The spring junket in April had 30 people who all survived, the summer one coming up in a month will have closer to 40 going, and our rally group will have probably more like 50, if the signups are any indication. The Adventurists have been doing these in South America since 2009, and the route was just changed to be only in Peru--they used to go from Ascuncion to Cusco and back--that is traveling through Paraguay AND Bolivia plus Peru. No body bags yet, but one guy broke his collarbone and another pair lost their moto off a cliff but jumped to safety.

We hope to travel in caravan with some of the other motos, when possible, to help each other with repairs and so forth. We'll have a comprehensive medical kit, spare parts, and a Spanish (good call on having it in Quecha, too, Michael) explanation of what we are doing to show people.

Maybe it is all that time on the sailboat, but we really don't freak out about being stranded somewhere. I mean, if I'd had a heart attack when we were living aboard and cruising through the Bahamas, I'd surely have died before the paramedics got there. Too bad, but I got to see the incredible color of the water after a summer storm passes over the Caribbean. Fair trade for the risk.

I'm taking the risks seriously, but I've followed the prior teams progress very closely, emailed for advice from them upon their returns, and will take what we can for provisions. After that, Providence will have to take us where she will.

We aren't machete-ing our way through the jungle with cannibals, but we are taking a ill-suited small unreliable vehicle through very inhospitable territory that includes the mountains and desert coastal roads. If our parents knew what we were doing, they'd be just as alarmed as y'all.

Michael, I am very grateful for your counsel and take it very seriously. But in the end, I can't populate those towns with people or with mechanics, nor can I predict the heart attack that Alan saw on his hike. So we either stay home and wish one day that we'd had the cojones to try it, or we go for it. We'll either have some hella good stories or those nice new wills we signed will get a workout.

And thanks--I already bought our travel toilet paper! Never be without that again, after Mongolia's "natural toilets"!
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #38
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Gosh, Alan, I think you have something that attracts interesting events to you.

Sarah, based on the experiences of my friends who rode their touring bikes in Peru you may have some adventures, but I'm sure you'll be safe. These blog entries should give you a feeling for what to expect:

Our Long Haul Honeymoon: Lima to Chala: Sandstorms, stomach bugs, and Peruvian hospitality!

Our Long Haul Honeymoon: Chala to Tacna: More random acts of Peruvian kindness, brutal headwinds, and gastric distress





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Old 07-08-2011, 01:41 PM   #39
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Yeah, I'm with Al. I suspect you'll have a blast, and will have more great stories for when you're old. I'm a bit jealous, but I've never been THAT adventurous (on purpose, anyway). Going to Rome and Venice without a plan was about it for me. I'm joining the People-who-live-vicariously-through-other's-adventurist club.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:00 PM   #40
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Good concerns for sure. However I should mention that literally hundreds of people have done this trip. The spring junket in April had 30 people who all survived, the summer one coming up in a month will have closer to 40 going, and our rally group will have probably more like 50, if the signups are any indication. The Adventurists have been doing these in South America since 2009, and the route was just changed to be only in Peru--they used to go from Ascuncion to Cusco and back--that is traveling through Paraguay AND Bolivia plus Peru. No body bags yet, but one guy broke his collarbone and another pair lost their moto off a cliff but jumped to safety.

We hope to travel in caravan with some of the other motos, when possible, to help each other with repairs and so forth. We'll have a comprehensive medical kit, spare parts, and a Spanish (good call on having it in Quecha, too, Michael) explanation of what we are doing to show people.

Maybe it is all that time on the sailboat, but we really don't freak out about being stranded somewhere. I mean, if I'd had a heart attack when we were living aboard and cruising through the Bahamas, I'd surely have died before the paramedics got there. Too bad, but I got to see the incredible color of the water after a summer storm passes over the Caribbean. Fair trade for the risk.

I'm taking the risks seriously, but I've followed the prior teams progress very closely, emailed for advice from them upon their returns, and will take what we can for provisions. After that, Providence will have to take us where she will.

We aren't machete-ing our way through the jungle with cannibals, but we are taking a ill-suited small unreliable vehicle through very inhospitable territory that includes the mountains and desert coastal roads. If our parents knew what we were doing, they'd be just as alarmed as y'all.

Michael, I am very grateful for your counsel and take it very seriously. But in the end, I can't populate those towns with people or with mechanics, nor can I predict the heart attack that Alan saw on his hike. So we either stay home and wish one day that we'd had the cojones to try it, or we go for it. We'll either have some hella good stories or those nice new wills we signed will get a workout.

And thanks--I already bought our travel toilet paper! Never be without that again, after Mongolia's "natural toilets"!
Sarah, I'm not suggesting there is too much risk at all. If one of my daughters said she wanted to go, DW would have a fit, but I'd write a check for the plane fare without giving it a second thought. I expressed my thought on real risk in earlier posts.

I had an opportunity for a unique trip in Peru 30 years ago and passed it up, figuring I'd have other chances. Shortly afterwards the Sendero Luminoso took over Peru and for 20 years made travel within Peru impossible. That has since changed but the opportunity I had turned out to be a once in a lifetime, never to repeat. I have made bad decisions in life and can live with most of them, but this is one I regret.

Peru is a great country to visit. I've been there many times and plan to return with DW someday.
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