November 26, 2006 GMT
Cusco Peru. Machu Picchu here I come

We left Piura and made it to Trujillo for the night. There were some very nice views of the beach and villages along the way [if you could ignore the desert].

Nice towns and had some of the best Chinese food ever in Trujillo. We found some very nice stops for breakfast along the way.

We made it to Casma where I toured the ruins at Sechin. It is not a very big ruin but there is a very well preserved pyramid base with very detailed carvings all the way around.

I THINK they show some kind of major war (the info pamphlet was in Spanish). :=) Lots of bleeding heads and such. It was interesting though to be standing in almost 4000 year old ruins that are that well preserved. From Casma we moved on to Lima. We stayed in the Miraflores section. It is a very upscale section with a LOT of night life.

From Lima on to Nazca where the famous Nazca Lines are laid out. They are HUGE drawings in the sand and rocks (or lack thereof) that canít be discerned from ground level only from the air.

I HAD to take a flight over them of course to get the pictures. There are many theories about why, how, and who did it all. I, of course, am convinced that the aliens did it or at least helped them lay out the diagrams! :=)

As we left Nazca we passed this.

Cerro Blanco, the worldís highest sand dune. 2078 meters, and yes people come here from all over the world to slide down it in cardboard boxes. From Nazca we made it to Cusco but not without a LOT of effort. The road climbs up into the Andes and as you would expect, it is VERY winding and HIGH. The gps said the straight line distance from Nazca to Cusco is 221 miles but the road distance is just over 400. For my friends in Southern California, think Decker Canyon Road, only make it 400 miles long, put it at 14,000 feet and the wind and cold that goes with that altitude. And if all that wasnít enough there was a MAJOR landslide that covered the road for several hundred meters. It stopped ALL traffic in both directions except for some crazy American motorcyclists!

LOTS of wildlife!

And even more scenery!

The gps said we got to 14,915 feet but my fingers were so cold that I couldnít work the camera so had to settle for this picture.

I saw a LOT of altitude on the gps (just before it FROZE up). Just kidding, but we ainīt in the desert anymore. :=) Speaking of deserts. Maybe I was just not paying attention while reading the other motorcyclists travel blogs, because I donīt remember them talking about the desert in Peru. EVERYONE talked about the Atacama Desert in Chile but dang, the northwest coast of Peru is a major desert right down to the Pacific. I was a bit surprised. There are 100 mile long stretches with NO vegetation whatsoever and when it is there it sure isnít much.

We are in the mountains now and it is cold so I am sure I will look back on the desert heat with longing! The Atacama Desert is not too far away though.
I also want to tell you about several other motorcycle travellers we have met in the last few days. John is from B. C. Canada (Peachland).

He is 71 years old. He flew to Caracas, Venezuela, bought a 125 cc Chinese motorcycle (that is being kind, itís really a scooter) :=) and is doing a three month circumnavigation of South America. He has almost no pack and rides in sandals. He also has no windshield and a very little helmet. He is a retired logger, I guess that is what made him so tough! John is having a GREAT time and Sal and I sure enjoyed his company. We will see him in Tierra Del Fuego since he plans to be there for New Years also. We also ran into Yoshi and Yuko Ishizawa.

They were on some kind of large scooter and were doing their trip in stages. In April 2005 they started in Los Angeles and made their way to Prudhoe Baby and back to LA. This year they are going to make it to Santiago, Chile. VERY friendly folks. Hope to see them down the road. On the road from Nazca to Cusco we met this fellow. I have forgotten his name but he is a REAL biker.

Riding a bicycle from Quito, Ecuador to Santiago, Chile.

We made it to Cusco, in spite of the road conditions and checked into a hostel on the main square

right under the famous biker bar in Cusco, The Norton Ratís.

I can fall off my bar stool right into my room! Had a very nice dinner,

you thought they were just for sweaters huh, and retired early. Sal on the other hand closed the local club. We are making arrangements for a trip to Machu Picchu and I will update again after that. I also uploaded MANY more pictures starting here.

More from Down the road!

Posted by Rick McDermed at November 26, 2006 09:43 PM GMT

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