Saturday, November 3, 2012


Nothing much to report for the trip to Puno.  I was looking forward to seeing Lake Titicaca.  During my high school years I was in the concert choir.  We did a sort of rap song that included geographic locations including Lake Titicaca and of course that became a topic of conversation among us choir members.  So this is for my very good friend Wayne Cowin who was also same the senior Concert Choir.  And yes, I am wearing Harley Davidson rain gear.  Me in front of Lake Titicaca. 

Here’s the bike, nice picture eh!  Good PR for KTM.

One thing I need to mention is we have traveled over 4,000 miles already and have had no trouble with law enforcement.  After all the stories we heard, we had been concerned.  If anything by now we had somewhat become complacent.  Well, when we got near the city of Juliaca a police car pulled in front of us and began wand signaling us over. 

When he came up he asked for our SOAT.  SOAT for you who don’t know is the basic liability insurance.  We had purchased SOAT in Colombia and had read that there was a treaty signed between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile which allowed spanning coverage between countries. Honestly, the rules are so vague and confusing about insurance, I am not sure what we had, but at that moment it WAS the insurance that covered us in all those countries. 

We had heard from another moto rider that he was shaken down in the exact location for a 110 peruvian, because he couldn’t produce a document.  First we said we were from Texas and couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish, and they could not speak English.  We told them about the agreement and produced our SOAT from Colombia.  They argued it didn’t work for Peru.  Eventually after 30 or 40 minutes of arguing back and forth, I believe we started cutting into the profits and they finally let us go, no charge.

We were again stopped at the edge of Puno, and they wanted the same thing, SOAT.  I got off the bike, told him I didn’t speak Spanish, but “here we go again, with the SOAT.”  He said something that I vaguely understood as “you have already been stopped?” and I said “si!”  He just shook his head and waved us on. 

Again, finding the hotel was a problem.  It wasn’t where it said on Google or Mapsource.  So we ended up stopping at another hotel we passed.  It was a very nice hotel, it even had hot water.  Not all do you know.  But the WiFi left much to be desired. 

Internet service in South America runs generally on Copper.  You can see it strung everywhere.  I imagine even some of the backbone is copper.  Therefore, even if you have a strong wireless signal, everything gets bottlenecked into the main trunk.  I have things to say about global competition and things that countries in South America that we have visited so far will need to change in order to be competitive.  The internet backbone is one of them.

Everything is good.


  1. Just caught up on the blog. Sounds like a great trip. Is your vacation from vacation related to your riding partner? I didn't see anything about strife but your reputations precede you :)

    Hope all is well and enjoy the ride.


  2. Hey Gary, thanks. No strife. Chuck's wife is down with him in Santiago, so I would have been on my own. When I looked at the cost to hang around Santiago for two weeks on my own, I felt that the cost of a plane ticket was a push. May be not, but it is a vacation. I will be back in Santiago on the 29th. I still have some updating to do to my blog.


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