Thursday, December 22, 2005

Final Day in Cusco

Disappointed that my ribs and calf are still painful today, in fact, worse than yesterday! This planted the seed early to remain yet another day.

Dropped off laundry and bought some detergent to wash up gear that was still covered with dirt from the Santa Teresa ride.

Ran into Jerry (Jeremiah) outside the same "Perumototours" shop I'd seen Anne parked at a couple days ago. From all reports, these guys are a great asset to travelers. Jerry's R650GS looked immaculate and scratch free! And he has basically done the same trip as me. Different riding styles (careful versus reckless!)

Had the bike cleaned at a gas station, where the workers wash vehicles using small buckets, which they repeatedly run back to refill at a 55-gallon drum. (They've never heard of a hose?) For all the energy and effort the young man put into it, the bike still looked pretty crappy! But then it only cost a little over a dollar.

Visited a few motorcycle shops looking for a new faceshield, but my upscale "Arai Quantum" helmet is not something you find here.

Puttered around the motorcycle for a while: topped up the oil, sprayed "WD40" on a sticky brake pedal and clutch lever, straightened up a rear turn signal, torqued bolts.

Went to "Trotamundo's" for a sandwich, staying on to try and finish up the blog. A beautiful day. I kick myself for not being on the road.

Late in the afternoon, I started packing up the bags. I hope to get an early start in the morning and have a long ride, perhaps to the Bolivian border, tomorrow.

***

11:30 p.m.

Enjoyed a last "gourmet" dinner in Cusco, at Jack’s: chicken curry.

At "Trotamundo’s", I wrapped up work on the blog. It's "up to date"!

Bought a phone card and called Jessica from a payphone on the Plaza. She got all “A’s” this semester at Sonoma State! (As a parent, I'm obliged to brag about this.) She's spending Christmas with Sergio’s family for the first time.

While we were talking, I nodded to a fellow who wanted to shine my shoes. Soon, three kids whose earlier offer for a shine I had turned down, showed up and began howling that I was obligated to use them. One called me “fucker”! I had just about enough of this crap, and almost grabbed the kid by the neck.

When the fellow who was working on my boots finished, I asked how much? "15 Soles", he said, pulling out a price list to show me the price for a "shine with special treatment" (he had rubbed on a little water repellant material.)

A twenty-minute shine in Lima cost about a buck, and this guy wanted to charge $4.50 for a ten-minute, half-ass job! I gave him 6 Soles, still too much.

I'm very ready to move on!

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