Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

July 10th , 2002.

Credit to to Nazca

-- Story by Erin or Chris --

Thursday, July 4th – Independence Day in the USA! What a better way to spend it than to go for a ride with our new American friends to the Sacred Valley. While on the train the night before, Chris mentioned to Jesse and Rob about the possibility of them renting motorcycles in Cusco. Well, both of them being m/c riders back home, they didn’t need much convincing----just the girls did! We wound our way up through the newly snow-capped mountains and into the famous Sacred Valley. There are many interesting ruins and villages along this road, an easy one-day circuit, and a great weekly market in the town of Pisac. After checking out a few of the ruins we stopped for lunch in Pisac and wandered around the market. On the way back, the chain on Jesse’s rental bike fell off and by the time we got it fixed up it was too late to stop anywhere else. We rode back to Cusco mostly in the dark, a difficult task for Jesse as his bike had no headlight (or tail light for that matter!)

Getting together with our trekking group was cause for another celebration. We met at the biker pub, Norton Rats and took full advantage of the 2-for-1 drink offers. By the end of happy-hour 2 hours later we were well buzzed and had nothing but french fries in our stomachs. The group decided to go out dancing and we partied the night away until 3:30am the next morning!

Friday, July 5th – Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, we decided to meet the LA gang in the afternoon to go visit the Inca museum. Hung-over and foggy-headed we all managed to meet at the specified time and place and hung out the rest of the afternoon together. We finally bid goodbye to our new friends in the evening and promised to stay in-touch, hoping to meet them again in their family retreat in Mexico.

That evening, Kfir was in the cooking mood and made us a lovely Israeli dinner, enjoyed by several of his close friends (which have become our new friends-----Betel!) It was an early night for us, still recovering from the previous evening and also wanting to get back on the road the next day.

Saturday, July 6th – Off to Nazca. We know the middle section of the road to Nazca is under construction and impossible to pass during the day because the close it to all traffic. Liam had ventured this way the week before and sent us an email detailing his nightmare adventure to finally cross it. No one in Cusco could tell us for sure what the situation was. We developed our own new theory, to cross that section on Sunday when, we hoped, the construction workers were off. We figured we would drive 200 kms on Saturday to Abancay, the beginning of the road works, then complete the last 400 kms on Sunday to Nazca. We had a beautiful ride through twisty mountain roads. At one point, we could see Abancay in the valley directly below us, only 7kms away according to the GPS, but the road sign said there was more then 30kms. It took us nearly 45 minutes to descend through all the curves and switchbacks – wow!

Sunday, July 7th - Well, the best laid theories… As it turned out our theory was partly right. The workers do work on Sunday but only up until 1pm, when they finally open the road again until Monday morning. For part of the construction we were allowed to go through. But, just after 10:00am we were finally stopped in our tracks by security officers. We were told we had to wait until noon for the road to be opened, but Chris argued (negotiated) with the construction engineer, who then agreed to let us go through at 11am. The engineer then made the international hand gesture for money, which Chris promptly rejected.

11am and we are off and running again, traversing small river crossings, sandy patches and dodging the many tractors and loading trucks. Further on down the line we are stopped again at about 11:40pm. Workers on this section of road were dynamiting the adjacent mountain to widen the road. There was no negotiation to be done here! We wait about 20 minutes and they finally stopped for lunch and let us pass. Then, 45 minutes later and 1 km from Chalhuanca and the end of the construction we are stopped again. Seems that part of the mountain collapsed onto the road and they were clearing it. Another 10 minutes pass and we are finally free of it! After a quick bite to eat in Chalhuanca we race towards Nazca at 2:30pm.

We climb, climb, climb up to 4,600 meters and find ourselves on top of the world. Here, the only things that exist are hardy farmers with their huge llama herds, living in cold-looking stone houses. There are snowy patches everywhere on the side of the road and it was freezing to say the least. Surprisingly, we stay at this altitude for some time, crossing some kind of very high plateau. When we finally crest it and come down it takes us over an hour to reach the town of Puquio which we can see the whole time below us. This road beat all for the number of switchbacks we rode that day! By the time we reached town (a dusty little place) it was nearing sunset. Chris, much to my objections, pushed to stay there for the night. At that point I just wanted to get to Nazca and have a comfortable (warm!) place to stay. Turns out that Chris was right as the rest of the road was in poor condition (lots of potholes) and chock-a-block with switchbacks all the way to Nazca. It would have been treacherous going in the dark of night for sure!


Women weaving at the side of the road

Authentic Peruvian Tourists:  Jackie and Rob

Leaving Cusco

Even at 4,600 meters, you have to watch for animals crossing

Some guys just take the curves too fast

  Previous Chapter | Next Chapter


TOP | About Us | Costs | FAQ | Journal Entries | Links | Motorcycles | Photo Gallery | Supporters | Guestbook | HOME

  Sure, send us an email E-mail Us

There are probably dozens of errors on this website (if not more).   
If you notice/have any problems, please send us an email: Webmaster

The goal is not the destination, it's the experiences along the way.