We arrived in the famously overcast Lima on a Wednesday afternoon and with a long list of car problems to fix we immediately stopped off at a tyre shop to get the suspension "torsion bars" adjusted. It took all of five minutes and made an amazing improvement, no longer were we riding directly on the bump stops and bouncing onto them heavily over each and every bump. Best of all we now actually had some ground clearance and could stop the daily denting of our bash plate!!!! We also wanted to get the tyres rotated but it was too expensive and the shop didn't have the three new wheel studs we needed to put in first. So an afternoon of searching for Dodge Durango wheel studs ensued.
We went to three different repuestos that advertised Dodge parts but were eventually directed to the big expensive Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep dealership. It took five security guards dressed as soldiers to radio each other and direct us into some parking. But the highly secure shop had none of the other parts we needed, such as a new hand brake spring, it did however have the wheel studs and nuts. Of course though we needed an account to buy them so they spent 30 minutes making us one then they couldn't get it to work. Bored I went and sat in the car to do some blogging, an hour later Will returned saying it took them that long to figure out that they should just charge it under someone else's name if ours wasn't working!!! What smart cookies. We now had our new wheel studs and nuts so we stopped at a different tyre shop and had them replace the worn threaded studs. In this same afternoon we also brought a new air filter, new bolts to replace the missing ones on the bash plate, new bolts to refix the rear bumper back on (it had lost all the plastic clips around the tyres) and a wire brush for cleaning the studs when rotating the tyres. We even still had time to stop at a mall and look for some new jandals for Will but couldn't find any. We then finally checked into the highly recommended Hitchhikers Hostel near the beach in the classy Miraflores district where we car camped in their courtyard. It was a nice enough place but had a few strange groups of people staying and the courtyard could be quite noisy at times.
Wanting to get fit for some more up and coming climbing we woke up before 7 the next morning and joined the masses for a run along the foreshore. Being closely watched by the numerous blue uniformed park rangers who made sure the park was kept in top condition and dog poop free. With the run over we had cornflakes and powered milk for breakfast then set to rotating the tyres. We managed to do it with only one jack, three bricks and a bit of plywood. Hopefully with the torsion bars tightened our front tyres will stop wearing out so badly on the inside now.
The next day after another ocean side run we went to the fantastic supermarket a few blocks away and brought all the food we would need for five days of rock climbing at the famous Hatan Machay 325km north east of Lima. We splashed out on a few items such as mainland vintage cheddar from New Zealand! That's right some Peruvian supermarkets stocked good old NZ mainland and anchor dairy products, whoop whoop. Having also brought 21ltrs of water and 12 cans of beer we realised we would have a problem carrying it all back. No problem said the bag boy I'll walk your trolley down to your hostel with you four blocks away, now that's service. We then stopped by the Havanas jandal shop for Wills newest pair and next navigated our way back onto the Panamericana north towards the climbing mecca Hatan Machay.
Rochelle & Will