Monday, May 30, 2016

Lima Survivor

The hostel we stay at turns out to be a gathering place for overlanders. We meet a biker from Canada and one from Colombia. There is another Canadian with a 4x4 and we have a good time exchanging stories and experiences. We explore the neighborhood for a while and upon return meet John Downs who has been traveling around the world on a motorcycle for a long time. He is an inspiration to many on ADV Rider and it is great to meet him in person. The circumstances could have been better though, as his leg was in cast after he had become a victim of the Lima traffic. It was a horrific story but it was amazing to see how well he was recovering and how positive his view on life was. What a great guy.
A bunch of adventure riders from all over the world.
And then there is the other great guy, David, who broke up his own ride South and rode for 2 days straight, crossing borders, just to be there for John. What a beautiful “family” we have around the world! The afternoon is filled talking to John and catching up with David. In the evening a childhood friend of Azure's, who lives in Lima, guides us through some beautiful parts of the city and tells us about some of its history. We have a simple local dinner accompanied by breathtaking piano music. Azure goes over to compliment the musician with a tip and he asks her where she is from. When he eventually decides he wants to leave, everyone asks him to play one more song. He sits down again and starts playing “The Star Spangled Banner”. The gesture is so beautiful it brings tears to Azure’s eyes. We have an amazing evening with “Tim 2” taking in the city of Lima.
A delicious Peruvian dinner, served by traditionally dressed servers (not to make the tourists happy but just because that is the way it has always been) with piano music in the background and great company. Awesome evening out!
A beautiful mural in Miraflores.
Although we only wanted to spend two days in Lima, there was still so much to see and do. One of the things on our list was to pick up some tires for our bikes. Back at the International Motorcycle Show in Orlando we had briefly met with a representative of Metzeler, a German tire producer with a wide range of quality tires. Azure’s riding confidence had grown significantly after installing a set of Metzeler Sahara 3’s on her Transalp and many of my miles around the world have been on Metzelers too. We reached out and when we received word from Metzeler that they wanted to support our journey, we were beside ourselves. Azure is going to need new tires for the Laguna’s Route in Bolivia and my Metzeler Tourance rear tire, that I installed in Quito, will probably not make it all the way South to Ushuaia and back up to Santiago. A mere 12.500 Miles/20.000 Kilometers ;) With Lima being the best place to pick up tires, we agreed with Metzeler to pick up a set of Karoo 3’s for Azure and a rear tire for me. The tires look like they can handle any terrain, especially the sand in Bolivia. As soon as we put some miles on them we will let you know how they perform.
Packed with tires, we return to the hostel and start preparing for an early departure the next day. Sadly David is not yet ready to leave Lima, but we agree to meet up again down the road. 
Take Off! Thanks for the picture David!
The early departure is postponed by a flat tire on Tim’s bike and our continued search for oil for Azure’s ever thirsty bike. We get stuck in traffic for a while but it is far more organized than when we entered Lima. The South of the city seems more developed and cleaner and outside of Lima ocean view mansions line the side of the road. What a difference. We make quick work of the PanAm heading South with a short stop in a Laguna in the sand dunes near Ica. It is extremely hot and the shade of the palm trees is a blessing. 
Azure got pulled over for speeding again... But officer, my bike was getting to hot!
Just kidding. She just loves uniformed men on bikes. ;)
It was good to see some green in the landscape again.
We rest a bit longer than planned and it is not until late in the afternoon that we reach the famous Nazca Lines. Since we lack the funds and the courage to get into one of the badly maintained airplanes providing birds eye views of the lines, we restrict ourselves to the views that are offered from atop a roadside tower. Out of over 800 lines, 300 geometric figures and over 70 animal and plant drawings, spread over 500 square Kilometers, we only get to see “The Lizard”, “The Tree” and “The Hands”. 
We ride through the desert for many miles but damn it's beautiful!

What do you make of it? The drawing in the sand I mean! ;)
Zoomed in... well??? Hands?
This should be the tree.
And this is the beautiful view on the other side of the tower: Transalp...Africa Twin... the road ahead!
They are very impressive but I guess you do have to be airborne to get a full appreciation for this ancient mystery, the size of which leads some to believe that they must have been created by extraterrestrials. From a hilltop further down the road we see a few more lines that run to the horizon but we can’t make anything out of it. 
There are lines all over the place. I'm very impressed with how straight they are though.
The view from the hill... I'm convinced! It's an alien landing strip! And we have proof...
... we actually caught a glimpse of an extraterrestrial! 
More proof! Bright Led like lights chasing me down the road.
One of them almost caught up with me. Pretty scary with that dark visor!
Lots of communication with "space" in the town of Nazca as well
In the town of Nazca we meet two riders from Colombia and grab a bite to eat before we set out towards the city of Cusco, high in the mountains. The road starts climbing as soon as we ride inland and thankfully it starts cooling down a bit. We fail to find a suitable spot to camp before dark but having five bikes kitted out with Rigid Led’s, lights up the surroundings and soon we find a flat area for our tents. 

1 comment:

  1. So many people on bikes across South America and I'm stuck in an office :-(
    Glad to read your blog as I prepare for my trip in 2 years.
    You ask: "What do you make of it? The drawing in the sand I mean!"
    I'm not sure I even saw the drawing in the sand ;-)
    Stay safe, I'm enjoying your trip.