Visit Nasca Lines
Trip Start Nov 14, 2006
42Trip End Apr 2007
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We leave Cusco very early. Coffee and breakfast has been prearranged for 5:15AM -we have a long day ahead of us! We hire a taxi to lead us through the streets of Cusco to a gas station for fuel and then to the edge of town and the highway to Nasca! We will travel 300 KLMS (it took 7 1/2 hours) through the mountains, winding roads,deep canyons.
OUT OF CUSCO PERU TOWARDS NASCA
WHAT A FANTASTIC RIDE - EVERYTHING WAS PAVED EXCEPT FOR THIS SHORT SECTION.
We stop for the night at the town of Chalhuanca which is half way between Cusco and Nasca. Unfortunately, in the first 2 hours, a bike with a young couple passed us on one of the turns. In the next turn,they went down in front of us. The road had become slippery with the mist of the clouds and the low temperatures. We stayed to make sure they were okay before heading on! Now I was extremly nervous causing Leonard to be over cautious. Next thing I hear from him is we have no back brake! We stop at a gas station and were told that there is a mechanic at a town 5KLMS further down the mountain. After much searching, we located the mechanic who appears competent to help us. Well thatīs what I thought until his friend brought him his bottle and glass of beer and placed it on the curb beside him! It was 9:00 AM! Well,he certainly did know what he was doing, topped up the brake fluid, bled the brakes, cleaned up the bike,let Leonard test it! All was fixed within 20 minutes!
348 KLMS left to go, higher up through and over the mountains, more switch backs, canyons and then desert! We finally arrive in Nasca.
Nasca is built in a valley. Over looking the town is Cerro Blanco (2078mt), the highest sand dune in the world. One of the tours offered here is to go to Cerro Blanco and go sand boarding;;;;; snow boarding only down the sand dune;;;;; If Leonard was 10 (perhaps 20) years younger he would have certainly tried this. Also located here are the world famous Nasca Lines. Large numbers of lines, not only parallels and geometrical figures, but also designs such as a dog, an enormous monkey, birds (one with a wing span of over 100 m), a spider and a tree. The lines are best seen by air and in the mornings. So we booked our tour for 8:00 AM. a 1/2 hour flight - 5 passengers and a pilot in a small cessna. Our guide mentioned the wings would tip and dip towards each figure and we should follow the wing tip to view the figures. Good thing we were also told not to eat prior to the flight. The plane tipped, dipped and circled in order that all passengers could get an excellent view of the figures! This also was amazing to see. A truly unexplainable phenominum still being investigated today!
ADDITIONAL NOTES BY LEONARD
1. It was unbelievable that a couple on a much smaller bike could actually pass me. At least it was unbelievable until they lowsided the bike on a curve. Luckily they just slid down the highway with the bike and no one was hurt.
2. The back brakes on my bike failed again after being fixed going into the next valley. I just lose all pressure. The brake pedal will not even return to its original position. It has something to do with the brakes getting hot from being used to aggressively going down hill. And some of the hills here are 15 KM of switchbacks from the top of the mountain to the valley below. The brakes worked find until I used them too often, then they fail, but then after not being used for a while they work fine again. I changed my riding style using a lower gear when traveling downhill which unfortunately also results in riding slower. I will have the brakes attended to in Lima.
3, We are presently traveling with a fellow from the US who fell into a window when trying to get his bike into the hostel courtyard in Nasca. After a pile of stitches in his arm and hand at the local hospital, he will be alright. We are staying in Nasca an extra day to allow him to heal up a little. Great service at the local hospital, he was taken right in and the cost was only $50.00 US. What is a little scary however, is the lack of equipment they have in the emergency room. A tank of Oxygen and not much else.
NASCA PERU HOSTEL
Just need to ride the bike up the ramp, through the doorway (with the glass door open), and into the small courtyard. A piece of cake.
4. The highway traveling continues to keep everything exciting. During the day there are always farm animals grazing on the side of the road. However, earlier in the morning the farmers move their animals from their front yards down the highway to an area where the animals can graze. Some sections of highway are like riding through a barn yard complete with piles of shit and all. Someone then sits with these animals for the rest of the day. Mind you, the animals are a lot easier to see than the potholes.
5. I hope my notes are not creating an impression that this vacation is an unpleasant experience. Just the opposite, we are having a great time. Sure there are challenges every day, but that is why we travel like this. If nothing ever happened, if there was not some excitment every day, we may as well have stayed at home and watched the discovery channel on TV. I can compare this trip to my overnight marathon snowmobile trips, or week long hunting trips camped on some island. It is the unexpected things that happen, the obstacles that you overcome, that give the most enjoyment and satisfaction, this is what creates the memories.
Mind you, Karyn does not like hunting and she certainly does not like marathon snowmobiling trips. But she does like to experience different things. She wants to do more that just relive last months or last years experience over again and again for the rest of her life. At least I thing she does.
We have seen all different types of country, the scenery has been unbelievable From high up on mountain tops to picturous valleys, from snow to desert. And sometimes all in one day.
PERU - HIGH IN THE ANDES
A HERD OF ALPACAS CROSSING THE HIGHWAY . ALPACAS ARE FARMED, THE RIBBONS TIED NEAR THEIR EARS ARE USED FOR SOME SORT OF IDENTIFICATION.
We are meeting all kinds of different people with all kinds of different outlooks on life, Trying different foods and drinks, seeing how different people live and interact. The clothing, the customs, are all so different from what we are use to or have ever experienced. The world is so much more that just what we see in North America. But what seems to hold true most of the time,is that most people are basically good. Most everyone we have meet have been very kind and very patient with us. We have been treated great whereever we have been. I am sure there are evil people everywhere, but based on my experience the percentage of evil people in less developed countries is no higher and probably alot less that what we have in North America. 10 weeks down and 12 weeks to go! Continuing to have a great time!
Leaving Naca tomorrow for Lima to get bike serviced.
The link below will taken you to pictures from leaving Cusco to arriving Nasca.