Monday, April 27, 2015

Cusco to Lima via Nazca

Getting out of Arequipa was an hour long nightmare of crazy drivers and smoke belching diesel buses and trucks. I let the GPS take me to Cusco which in hindsight may have been a mistake. The first clue came at a 'road closed' sign. The watchmen confirmed it was indeed the way to Cusco and I would be fine on a motorcycle. The road was gravel and rough in places where rain had washed out sections but the real problem was an apparent lack of towns with gas pumps. In the end and after 250 k of gravel I cut my losses and hightailed it to the sealed road coming from Puno and Lake Titicaca. All the same I got into Cusco at 8.30 PM, in the dark and despite knowing where the accommodation was, it took ages to get there because of road closures. I was relieved to see the bikes of Colin and Robin already there. They had arrived earlier in the day. The next two days for me were effectively rest days while Colin went up to Machu Pichu. Robin, Dianne and I had already been to Machu Pichu on previous visits to Peru so did not go this time. I bought a painting or two for my sister and that was really about it.
Cusco has been the standout town in South America so far. It is clean, safe and picturesque. The people all have clean shoes and walk with the heads up. They look proud. The town is also chocker block with tourists and there is even a pub devoted to motorcyclists - the Norton Rats Tavern.
The next few days for me were to prove problematic. On the 660 km ride to Nazca my bike broke down. We think it fried the alternator, a problem I now find not uncommon to the wee-strom. The ride to Nazca was over 12 hours with stops and 660 km of twists and turns up and down mountains. A sports bike heaven and not bad for us either. My bike finally conked out right outside a motel so the decision as to where to stay was made.
Next day we took an 8am flight over the lines in the desert the town is famous for. This was really well worth doing because you would never have seen them from the ground. In the afternoon we did our best to get my bike to Pisco, a city on the coast, and once again it conked out right outside a motel. That evening we had a nice meal and toasted all the old soldiers with Pisco Sours - in Pisco on ANZAC day.
Saturday saw us tackle the 220 km to Lima. By now the bikes battery is struggling to keep the bike fired up and it stalled for the final time in the hotel forecourt - we had made it.
Look closer. They are LLamas not sheep.

The courtyard of our hotel in Cusco. Quaint old building. 

No sports shoes and jeans for these two old guys. Cusco.

Hmm! another church. It probably has a name but we are slightly over church's. Cusco.

Excellent coffee and cake in a funky upstairs cafe. Cusco.

Traffic police woman. She has a gun also.

Not an uncommon sight in Cusco.

Kids playing with toys in a dirty puddle.

Hah!! I'm not the only one with short legs.

Machu Pichu is why you come to Cusco. From an earlier trip.

5 Soles per picture please. You can hold the baby Llama for free.

660 kilometres of this to get to Nazca from Cusco.

Here we go - life in hand.

Not all the "lines" are animals. Some are just lines.

This is the monkey

The bird

The hands

We loved this guy. We were recharging my battery from Robins bike and had to move when this guy came along to water the grass. Note the rope from the truck to the orange cone and tyre.


Compass Adjuster NZ said...

I somehow knew you would comment on the tippy-toe cop.

Roger Arnold said...

Great pics Don great you living da dream