Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nasca to Cusco

After leaving Lima the first stop in the next leg of the journey was the Nasca lines.

They are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the desert in southern Peru. The lines are shallow designs made in the ground by removing the reddish pebble and uncovering the white ground beneath. More than seventy are zoomorphic designs of animals. One hypothesis for the lines is that the Nazca people created them to be seen by their gods in the sky.

After leaving Nazca it was once again time to cross those damn Andes mountains. Both Fred and I broke a new altitude record of 4545 meters (14,911 feet). It was freezing cold with a temperature of 4 degrees and once you added in the windchill it was well below zero. Both Clive and I had frozen fingers by the time we were finished riding.

The Alto Plano at the top of the Andes was full of Llamas grazing. I also nearly had myself a new Llama sweater due to a near collision on the road. Damn things scurry like rabbits along the road not knowing which direction they are going.

Here we decided to stop at the top of the mountains in a Peruvian village for a hot chocolate and a much needed warmup (see the snow in the background brrrrrrr). 

Now one of the nice things about being on the Alto Plano is it is flat so you can drive at a steady speed. But once you start to descend from the top of the mountains you are faced with miles after miles of crazy turns.

Now this may seem fun for a while but after four plus hours it can get very strenuous do to the need for constant concentration otherwise you could easily make a mistake on a turn and find yourself over the edge.

The decent back down to Cusco was beautiful though.

Welcome to the city of Cusco which is a buzzing place full of tourist due to it being the stepping stone to Machu Picchu.

And as always the people are friendly and helpful. Here is a picture of us getting a police escort to our hotel since we had know way of finding it. It include flashing lights and the odd siren to move traffic along. Gotta love it!

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