Pin through skin, Phil in Cusco, Peru

Time to start the catch up on blogs…

From November 18th, when I crashed, to February 12th, 2014 I was based out of Cusco Peru. Waiting to heal. This was a frustrating time, but there was a lot of fun to be had as well. I got a “job” working bar at Loki hostel: always a good time. There were some more challenges and set-backs health wise. And some visits from old friends.

My clavicle had not been healing well, the xrays would tell me.

Minimal to no new bone growth. Spine looks nice though!


I likely hadn’t been helping out my clavicle much, since I was still using my left arm, albeit not for anything heavy. This held true until the day we head out to the country with our family.

Many rocks to be moved. I did what I could to help out right handed, and made for a great supervisor.


During all the rock moving, my instincts resulted in problems. While moving a wheelbarrow, Luis-Angel fell backwards into a hole.

This hole.


I happened to be standing right beside the hole, so I quickly reached out to grab him by the collar. This stopped his head from hitting a log, but wrenched my left shoulder a bit in the process. Engaging in furthur actions like this would not speed my healing, so I decided to relegate myself to a sling to protect me from myself.

Sling #1: thermal underwear edition.


Sling #2: Donated sling from Joadan edition.


Even with the sling, I still developed a problem with a pin that seemed to be shifting within the bone. The pin made a tent out of my skin for days, and eventually poked through.

Tented pin skin.

I made “shoulder doughnuts” out of gauze to try to protect the skin, but it was to no avail.


Seeing what I’m currently made of: a pin pokes though.


I had serious concerns of infection, since that pin would make a stainless highway for bacteria to travel right into my bone. I went into see the surgeon Dr. Zaravia with my concerns, but he didn’t share them.

“Just keep it clean” he said. “Sometimes we leave pins sticking out of the skin for months”… Great.

I kept it clean meticulously, but for the first time I felt that perhaps this injury would really be the end of my trip. My thinking was “if it gets any worse, I’ll have to bail back to Canada and a doctor I have some faith in”. I was quickly losing trust in Dr. Zaravia. The pin was uncomfortable, and the new hole in my shoulder often leaked fluid and blood.

Taking the local buses around town didn’t prove any better for my health. While standing in the door well in a “combi-bus”, I was unable to escape the rapidly opening folding door. It caught my foot and wouldn’t let go, crushing it as I tried to fight back against the door.

I was caught right in that non-existant gap between the door and the side of the step-well.

Jayne was yelling for the driver to close the door, but was countered by some other patrons trying to help but mistakenly yelling for him to open the door! In response, he did nothing. With Jayne pulling with all her might, I slammed my whole body against the door. Combined, the forces were sufficient to just move the door enough for my foot to slide out of the trap.  Fortunately I escaped with only mild flesh wounds and nothing broken. No safety releases down in these parts!

It didn’t look much worse in real life, so I had to suck it up.

But life goes on.

After Jayne continued onwards with the boys after Christmas, I quickly found myself in need of something to do to fill my days. Having had a great time partying at the “Loki” hostel over a couple of nights with Josh and Jordan before they left, I inquired about working there. It didn’t pay, only providing free stay and discounted food and booze, but it was something fun to do. Even with one arm in a sling, my days working in a bar when I was younger made it a pretty easy job.

Not all work was work.


The famed “Blood Bomb”: Vodka, grenadine and redbull.


Fire and alcohol, what better combination?


Wilson tasked with painting the whole bar. The beginning of laser-firing dinosaurs and transformers attacking Machu Picchu. Makes sense.

Loki Cusco is one of the largest hostels in South America with almost 300 beds! It is a party hostel through and through, so while a good nights sleep was a little tough to come by at times, there was always a good excuse. Great people to work and party with while I recovered.

A second Christmas season this trip meant more mangers again, and Micro-Kelly couldn’t resist. She sure loves those mangers!

Many more mangers!

Sweet baby Jesus’s!!


New years would bring old faces into town. Great to have a catch up with moto amigos we met back up in Central America!

New Years reunion with Heather, Oli, Tanya and Ernesto!


Hung out with Oli and Ernesto over the next couple days doing maintenance and drinking a beer or two. I had hoped that I might be healed in time to ride on to Bolivia with them, but it wasn’t to be.

Common with the early new Gen KLR’s, Ernesto had a pretty severe oil consumption problem. This oil “change” only ended up swapping out 500cc’s of oil.

Ernesto was heading to Uyuni, Bolivia, to catch the Dakar rally. I really, whole-heartedly wanted to catch some of the rally as well. I figured if i was going to make a trip of it, I might as well go big, so planned a trip south to Salta, Argentina. There I would be able to reunite with Jayne and the boys, and also catch three whole days of Dakar! I worked at Loki for two weeks, then set course south… by bus.


Motorcycle Minute:

Jugs. Oh Jugs what did I do to you?!

Curves in all the wrong places.

My crash had broken a lot on Jugs, much more than one minutes worth, so my next post will fully update you on the recovery of Jugs.