This is me in Peru. I am on a dual sport bike riding from Cusco, Peru, to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Machu Picchu. Not sure if you can see the hairpin turns going down the mountain behind me, but it made your buns clench and your palms sweaty just looking at it, which is a combination you don't want to have when chasing after a "loco" Peruvian who seems to only slow down after he gets a flat tire. Lucky me, I had to ride the bike with the flat tire till the next village in the jungle, only 50 miles away down the other side of the mountain.
While driving along sheer cliffs in Peru, I tried to remember trips I've been on in Canada that were more terrifying. Funny thing was, I remembered a lot of bike trips in Canada that were scary. Just this past year I "might have" softly flipped my bike and gone head over heels into a ditch. All in one slow motion like a Cirque Du Soleil move, I flipped, stood up, and turned around to see my bike take its last slam to the ground. We were all laughing about it moments later. To think that my mother prayed extra hard for me down south, when a simple trip to Walmart might be the end of me.
The trip to Machu Picchu was amazing and without much trouble besides the flat tire that was awkward to ride with. The trip back was a different story. Apparently gas prices rose and people were upset, so they blew up the roads with dynamite, cut down trees, and lit tires that were thrown on the road. No one was allowed to pass through...but since we were on dirt bikes, we could weave our way through the rubble and madness. Our tour guide turned to us and said that he would do all the talking. He then told us to keep our engines running, and if he took off, we'd be on our own to catch up to him. Exciting, right!? After he was done talking with the villagers, he said, "Let's go...BUT they may throw rocks at you and try to block your way somehow...oh, and don't take any pictures, they won't like that." It just got really exciting. Who wants to do a motorbike trip over the mountains and through the jungle without a little rioting, right? Man, I miss South America.
If you click on South America, you can see more pictures of my amazing adventure down in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.