Day 168 – Huacachina, PE to Chahuanca, PE

Day 168 – Huacachina, PE to Chahuanca, PE      02/05/11      Mileage: 304

I was on the throttle shortly after 8 and eating up tarmac across the open desert south of Ica.

My route took me by the famous Nazca Lines so that was worth a quick stop and 2 soles to climb the observation tower.

You could also take a tour by plane for around $50, but in the end I decided to skip it and keep rolling. The road turned sharply up into the desert mountains and the air was once again getting thinner and colder.

I don’t have any pictures from the last half of the ride because it was abject misery…cold driving rain, fog and countless switchbacks which while fun on dry roads, suck the big one in the pouring rain when all you want to do is make time to end the suffering. I pulled into Chahuanca like a drowned rat and took the first room I looked at…which I was told was the honeymoon suite.

I had a hearty dinner in the restaurant downstairs and then retired to my suite for some well earned rest.

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Day 167 – Miraflores, PE – Huacachina, PE

Day 167 – Miraflores, PE – Huacachina, PE      02/04/11      Mileage: 221

After a quick breakfast I packed the bike and rolled south down the Pan American towards Pisco. It was a pleasant if somewhat boring rip down the pavement, that is until excitement came knocking on my door. I was riding down the right lane and had just passed a truck a few moments before. From behind me I heard screeching tires and as I looked over my left shoulder I saw a car sideways in the left lane skidding out of control. I wailed the brakes with a squeal coming from my own rear wheel, only to see the car careen into and across my lane and over the embankment! I pulled over onto the shoulder a fair ways up the road just in case it caught fire. (Don’t ask me why I know what a safe distance from a burning car is….trust me I know, right Tracy!)  The truck that was behind had pulled over as well and the truck driver was half way down the embankment when I started running back to the car. We helped the driver and passenger up to the road and miraculously aside from the woman being in hysterics (and rightfully so) and the driver having a cut on his forearm, they appeared to be OK.

I took this picture as I was running back to the car. The guy in the red shirt is the truck driver and you can just see the driver in the white shirt crawling out of the car.

The woman in black was the passenger.

The driver went back to retrieve some of his things. The left wheel is totally jacked which could of happened in the crash, but could have been the cause of it if he broke a tie rod or ball joint.

To say that they were lucky is very much understating the fact. Hell, I was shaking a bit myself because had I not gotten on the brakes hard myself they would have side swiped me for sure and taken me out too. Did I say the Pan American was boring? Scratch that. Back on the bike I continued south and pulled off in Pisco for some lunch, and of course, a Pisco Sour. I can’t say that I drink them at home, but when in Rome, right?

Road food?

Continuing south towards Ica I had read that there is a little oasis in the desert just to the west called Huacachina. It was about the right time to stop for the night so I decided to check it out. I rolled into what was once an oasis for sure, and may have still been after some development, but honestly the place as a whole was kind of run down. That being said there were some nice hotels and I found a comfortable room at the Huacachinero.

After settling in I hiked up to the top of the sand dune behind the hotel and was treated to some great views of the Huacachina, the dunes and a nice sunset.

The two big activities were dune boarding (snowboarding on the sand dunes) and dune buggy rides. I didn’t have time for either unfortunately as it was already dark and I was pulling out early tomorrow. Got to leave something for next time!

So after a dip in the pool, some wifi, dinner and a few beers with some of the other guests…I packed it in.