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Monday, May 19, 2014

Enjoying a Pint @ Norton's | Cusco, Peru...

Monday, May 19th, 2014

First off, let me start by saying RIP to Jeff Powers, founder of Norton Rat's Tavern in Cusco.  I've read about this place for years, and have looked forward to the day where I would ride up and enjoy a pint.  Well here I am, bike parked outside, having said pint, and figured it would be a good place to post an update.  Jeff opened Norton's 17 years back, but was unfortunately killed in a motorcycle accident this past November near his home in Tarapoto.  I didn't know Jeff, but after reading for years about him and his pub on ADVrider and various other sites, know he was a special man, and someone I would have cherished to have met.  Here is a touching memoriam written by a fellow ADVrider.  

I feel like an absolute idiot.  I struck up a conversation with the bartender, and her name is Yahira.  Turns out, after several minutes, it dawned on me that she is Jeff's late wife.  After apologizing profusely for drudging up past memories, she told me to "stop", and insisted on helping me find assistance with my current bike issues (fork seal, rear tire, bent rim, etc), and we chatted for some time.  Seems that the inviting, motorcycle friendly vibe lives on here at Norton Rat's Tavern.  For those who haven't been here, please make it a stop when in Cusco.  It may sound silly to some, but it was equally important for me to be here at Norton's as it is for me to take the trek to Machu Picchu while in the area.  Signing the bulging guest book, that dates all the way back, was a real honor and pleasure.  And the food ain't bad either!  

So yeah, we made it to Cusco...  and boy are my arms tired!  And legs, body, bike, and spirit.  But, I'm excited to be here and happy that I've come this far.  Yesterday marked six months away from 'home', and the ride couldn't have been better to celebrate the day.  The road from Ayacucho to Abancay was long, but full of beautiful scenery and fantastic dirt roads.  We intended to stop before Abancay, but were making good time, so pressed on.  I will say the last hour was a bit of a slog, but who can complain from the back of the saddle? My bike continues to hiccup from time to time (hoping as easy as a replacement fuel pump, which I'll sort in Lima), and the other 'issues' are becoming more of a concern.  The fork seal has really gone, the rear tire I'm sure won't last until Lima, and although working and holding air for now, the bend in the rear continues to be top of mind while riding.  I have feelers out with several people to take care of the issues over the next few days, and have trust that it will all work out just fine.  That leaves me with comfort and a sense of relaxation, and I'm looking forward to setting up a home base here in Cusco for some much needed R&R, and exploration of the city, Machu Picchu and the surroundings the next few days.  

We'll be here for three or four days, and will head south/southwest/west through Puquio, Nasca, Ica, Pisco, and then finally Lima.  Before all that, and assuming I can get the issues buttoned up with the bike, we'll take the route N/NW and will park at the police station for the hike into M.P. from the back.  Any recommendations on that, and any other routes near/through the Sacred Valley are much appreciated.  All that can be sent to my e-mail address here: 

So that's it for now.  Figured I'd keep it short and sweet, but will post a few pictures, which everyone seems to be enjoying.  

Ciao for now, 

~ D


  1. Thanks for sharing such touching words about Jeff, my brother. This is why I love Facebook. I am sorry you never got to meet Jeff. I can tell by what you have written that you would have really enjoyed him and his knowledge of so many things. His family misses him every day and still cannot believe that he is gone, but words from others help in more ways that anyone can know. Safe Travels!!!

  2. By the way.. great pictures and nice bike! I KNOW my brother would love it!