South America Blog Posts

Week 31 – New Year, New Drone!

A couple of months back, when I was cycling out of the Peruvian Amazon, towards Cusco. I had an accident with my drone. It hit a palm leaf while flying at around 5m high. The fall wasn’t enough to damage the drone itself. But the camera dislodged from its mounting and pulled on the cable that connects it to the rest of the drone. Unfortunately, this cable ripped in two.

Reviewing my options

I contacted DJI for a repair, as the drone is still covered by warranty. But the warranty is only valid in Europe. Which meant I would have to ship the drone to Europe for it to be repaired or replaced, then have it shipped back to South America. Shipping isn’t great here. It’s expensive and there are often long delays if the package arrives at all. So this wasn’t a good solution for me. Also, DJI don’t sell spare parts for you to repair a drone yourself. So I looked online and found a supplier for the part I needed. I ordered it and it never arrived, luckily I got a refund.

My solution

So I was faced with a problem. I could ship the drone back to the UK, get it repaired/replaced, but then I didn’t feel confident getting it back to South America. So I decided it was probably easier to buy a new drone here and then sell the old drone after it is repaired/replaced. But electronics are so expensive in Peru. I’m assuming it is because of the import taxes. But there is a big markup on things like mobile phones and drones. I managed to find an official DJI supplier, a shop called CoolBox who sell all kinds of gadgets. I ordered online and got the drone delivered the next day. I’m really excited to get it out and get some footage as I continue north. I shipped my old drone back to the UK from Lima. I figured it was better to send it while I’m in a big city.

Moving on

My Peruvian visa ends around the 19th of January. So I need to cross the border on or before that date. My plan is to take a bus most of the way up the coast, then cycle up around the coast for my final week in the country. There are still protests happening in Peru. In fact, they have become quite serious. But they are down in the south, so travelling up north should be easy. It should be nice to get back on the bike after a break.

South America Blog Posts

Week 30 – New Years Eve in Lima

Happy new year guys!

A quick trip to Lima

In my last blog post I talked about the protests in Peru and how they had stopped overland travel while in full swing. With an announced gap in the protests, I decided to take the opportunity to head up to Lima. As I only have a couple of weeks left until my Peruvian Visa expires, I need to cover a lot of kms in a short period of time. With that in mind, I took a bus from Urubamba to Cusco. I stayed one night in Cusco, with the family who own the hotel I was staying in while I was in Urubamba. They are a really kind family and it was nice to say goodbye to them before I headed north.

The bus from Cusco to Lima was really long, around 1,100km, which took around 22 hours. I was super tired when I arrived in Lima, but I needed to cycle through the city to get to my CouchSurfing host’s place. I was staying with a local family in the North of the city. I was so grateful to find a host, as it was New Years Eve. So I assumed that people wouldn’t want to have a stranger staying with them. Luckily I was wrong and I got to stay with Angie and her family.

New Years Eve in Lima

This New Years Eve was a little different than I have experienced before. Firstly, everyone was wearing some yellow clothing, as yellow is seen as good luck. The celebrations didn’t really start until midnight. We all went up to the roof of the house and watched the fireworks being set off all around the city. We stayed up there for 20 minutes or so then headed down into the house for a strange tradition. On the table were some bowls of different foods. Specifically, lentils, quinoa and some kind of corn. Each of us then ate 12 spoons of each of these foods. One spoon for each month of the coming year. This tradition is supposed to make sure you have a prosperous year ahead. Then it was time to eat fruit, drink champagne and dance. Around an hour later we sat down to eat a meal of roasted meat and potatoes. I was so tired after the night on the bus, that I struggled to stay up as long as the rest of the family. So I hit the hay at around 2:40am.

Looking ahead into 2023

My plan from here is to get myself sorted with a replacement drone while I am in the capital city. Then take another long distance bus up to the north of Peru. I want to spend the last week in the north, visiting a few beaches and then cross over into Ecuador. I’m really looking forward to getting further north. I have heard some great things about the beaches up there. Plus the weather should be nice up near the equator. One thing that I really want to do this year is get some sailing experience. I am hoping to crew on some boats in the Caribbean to see what the sailing life is like. If it works out, I might end up getting myself a small boat to liveaboard and travel by boat for a while. But I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.