We joined forces with three other adventure riders in Peru to ride an unknown road through the selvas (jungle) from Machu Picchu to Ayacucho. The region has been closed for over twenty years due to “The Shining Path” terrorist activity. Luckily, no one told me this before we left.
After riding for two days and repeatedly being warned to not ride after dark, we arrived in the final town of the route called San Francisco, which was nothing like the one in the United States. It dawned on us that we would not be able to reach Ayacucho that night and that we would once again need to stay in the jungle. We stopped for much a needed bite to eat and were swarmed by local school children who wanted us to autograph a piece of paper or a textbook. Most of them had never ever seen a tourist or gringo before.
All this activity resulted in one of the locals offering to host us on his farm for the night. The offer was too good to turn down. We rode through some rough muddy roads, one landslide, and innumerable water crossings to arrive on his farm in pitch dark. On riding through his gate we heard a huge commotion of shouting and watched as about thirty military personnel ran towards us with their guns out, ready to take us out if necessary. Our host jumped out of his car to calm the crowd and let them know that we were with him.
When we realised that the farm and airstrip was guarded by military, we named the farm “Hotel California”. Though it was a true paradise, we were secretly worried that we might never be allowed to leave. Our fears were unfounded though. We camped in this paradise for a total of four nights and waved the military goodbye on our way out, hitting the open road again.
My name is Megan Snyman and I am riding my motorcycle from Ushuaia to Alaska with my husband Matthew. We have been on the road for eleven months now and have seen seven countries. Follow us on our adventures at The Great American Trek.