Monkeys and Parrots to Peru’s Deathly Mountain Roads
Anderson's east-to-west cross-continent portion of his journey took him through a lot of changes. When we last updated you, he had been traveling with motorcycle club member, Pescador, through Brazil's Amazonas state. Next was to cross a very remote, western state of Brazil called Acre, a place fabled by Brazilians to not even exist! Yet the people of Acre seemed to have similar disbeliefs about the outside world when they were uniquely surprised by Anderson's white skin.
Soon after, the two crossed the border into Peru - it was Pescador's first time in the country. Whereas Pescador had dominated and was mostly in charge of dealings in his home country, it seemed Anderson was the better Spanish speaker and had prior experience with Peru on his previous lap south. Thus it was probably only natural that he took the lead on the road.
The first Peruvian regions they visited were very jungly, replete with monkeys, parrots and eco, jungle lodges. But a steep mountain climb took them rather suddenly up to dry, rocky mountains dotted with alpaca. Pescador ran from the road with excitement. It was the first time in his life he had seen snow!
After an extended stay in Cuzco where Anderson caught up on work and blog-writing and from where Pescador visited Machu Picchu, the two finally parted ways. After mostly riding with friends and good company through Brazil and up to Cuzco, Anderson was now again on his own.
Back out on the highway, Anderson felt that Peruvian drivers were aggressive and poorly skilled, a dangerous combination. But he said that the roads were some of the best he had seen for a developing country. Nevertheless, there were still many rough and scary roads, including a narrow, gravel stretch banked by a precipitous drop and at least 100 memorials to people who had died. As he continued riding through the mountainous, 'Andes' swath of Peru, he remarked at how gorgeous the mountain scenery was and how "otherworldly" the chaotic, rural shuffle was in small villages.
In Lima, he reunited with people he had met on his first pass, and he also completed the east-to-west stretch across the continent, a dissection pretty close to the continent's widest.
We already know Anderson is planning to ship his motorcycle back to the US so that he can finish the rest of his song destinations, of which there are many American ones remaining. We also know he has had an endless headache dealing with how exactly to do this. For a period, he had been considering shipping from Lima, Peru; then Quito, Ecuador seemed pretty certain; but last minute obstacles made shipping from Bogota, Columbia to Miami, Florida the final preferred option. On to Bogota!