Huacachina / Nazca
Leaving Lima behind, I headed towards to the famous oasis in the desert at Huacachina. I rode with my buddy Steve taking the main road out of Lima. Winds and trying to maintain speed with the WR can be a challenge sometimes. I put two gallons of fuel before leaving Lima and only after about 100 miles the fuel light came on again. At first I thought that maybe my handy work changing out the fuel pump caused a leak somewhere, but it was just the bike struggling against the wind and only getting 50 mpg vs my normal 60-70 mpg.
We arrived in Huacachina, a refreshing change of scenery from trash to a town that actually cares about keeping the streets clean. Obviously tourism is a huge influence on this.
Spending a couple of days there, I took the opportunity to challenge my skills in the sands of the desert. Huacachina was a staging point for the famous Dakar Rally last year, and I can see why it's an appealing location. The desert sands can be unforgiving here.
Taking the bike out into deep sand is an experience. Being an instructor with PSSOR, I know all the priciples of riding in sand, but it's something that I have not practiced in a long while. At first I was all over the place. Getting stuck, sinking the bike and getting one hell of a workout. But, after sometime and convincing myself of the technuques I managed to have myself a decent ride. Dakar Racer I am not, but I managed to boost my confidence in riding the sand. Something that will be useful later in Bolivia.
Huacachina is a popular spot for tourist. Steve and made friends with other tourist and shared a couple of beers.
The next day, we decided to opt in to a buggy tour. For about $10 you can take a two hour buggy tour that includes sand boarding.
After Huacachina Steve and I headed towards Nazca. Home of the famous Nazca Lines. On our way there Steve had heard about a canyon that is supposed to be pretty incredible. There were people offering tour for 200 Soles, but after doing some research online ,I found a gps track to the canyon which is out in the desert.
Being a bit apprehensive about how hard it would be to get there, we were pleasantly surprised to find the track going to the canyon was quite solid and not the deep sand I was thinking it to be!
Turning off the main road, the landscape quickly turns into a Mars like environment. It was incredible. At some points following the gps, the road disappears and we were cruising across the open desert like fighters from Star Wars.
Canyon de los Pedidos
Arriving in Nazca.
The best way to see the Nazca line is by plane, but at $90 for 30 minutes I opted to try my luck at one of the view points.
Disappointing view of the Nazca lines.
I spent the night in the city of Nazca and made friends with some other moto travelers heading north.
The other famous thing to see in Nazca is the mummies at Chauchilla. The cemetery was discovered in the 1920s,but had not been used since the 9th century AD. The cemetery includes many important burials over a period of 600 to 700 years. The cemetery has been extensively plundered by grave robbers who have left human bones and pottery scattered around the area.
So that wraps up another chapter in Peru. Peru is quite a large country. My next stop will be Cusco, gateway to Machu Picchu.