What a day of travel.
664 kms over the hills and mountains of Peru.
We got up at 4:45 am to have breakfast and be ready to go by bus to the garage to pick up Denise at 6:45 am.
She cranked up well as usual and we were under way @ 6:55.
This was to be a no points day due to the fact that the day was just too long in duration to have events enroute that would make it even longer.
So we set off out of the narrow city streets, easily finding our way to the highway and into the countryside.
We weren’t in any hurry today because there were no deadlines or timelines to meet.
Before us, as has become normal, the mountains towered to either side of the road as we travelled through the valleys ascending slowly but surely upward, into foothills and surely into the mountains. The views were as always magnificent. Villages and people activities passed us by as we casually moved on.
Some general scenery between Cusco and Nazca
We knew that there was a mountain to climb, to an altitude of 4554 meters. This was to be achieved in the short distance of 30 kms beginning from 1500 metres.
This entailed some mountain climbing in somewhat the real sense of the word.
Not straight up but long mountain side roads ending every time with a hairpin bend then repeat.
Sounds ok but made difficult with lorries slowly crawling up too and not permitting a passing manoeuvre as he too was crawling around bends too tight for his rig so the norm for them was to pull out wide before the bend to get the unit around. Slow progress.
Nothing we could do to speed up our progress.
Up and up and up.
When we thought that we were at the highest point, we were disappointed as there was more yet to go. Cold, wet sometime, sleet and some snow. Windy too.
Denise carried on, Steve beginning to show some degree of personal discomfort due to the extreme driving requirements. Gear changing continuously.
More scenery enroute
When we finally got to the topmost mountain, it was down in the same manner. Hairpins and mountainside roads. Using the motor as well as the brakes and gears we descended back down to a village or two only to be directed back up to do it all again.
As we went up, the side of the road fell down further and further sometimes falling away 1500 meters into the vales below. Beautiful.
This procedure occurred 3 times. Up then down again ascending up to 4200 meters and 4150 meters respectively.
The last hike was 163 kms long traversing the mountain tops, up and down and around.
Denise served us well though Steve ensured she wasn’t over stressed. She did show some discontent but didn’t miss a beat in the altitude.
We didn’t stop for anytime except for gas twice.
It was dark when we got into our digs for the night.
Exhausted, Steve more so as he was the one in the gym all day working the car. I was just the ballast giving directions when needed.
The last instructions of the day before arriving at the destination was a long rough road drive heading into what seemed to be nowhere. At the end of the road there were two green gates, closed. Hearing our arrival out side a man opened the door in the gate, checked our number and let us in.
Inside was a large compound where all the other cars had already been stored and it seemed like we were last in.
As it happened we were not last as there were many behind us, but we were relieved to stop.
Steve just went straight to the room after checking in, had a shower and went to bed. It was 7:15 pm when we got in and he was in bed by 8.00 very sore and weary.
Slept like a log.
I’m writing this on the day after as the phone battery had run out of life too.
Today we have brief flight over the Nazca lines.
Should be interesting!
Then this afternoon it’s back to rallying albeit for a short run of 218 kms.