Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From the Andes to the Coast

Daryll writes:

We ended up spending a few extra nights in Huaraz as I needed to do an oil change and both Angela and I needed the comfort of having a toilet in our room.  Our next destination was to be Lima.  On our trip to Peru 5 years ago, we spent a few nights in Lima, so were just using it as a stop over point before we continued down the coast. 

I think we were at about 3200m / 10,170ft but as we climbed the pass out of Huaraz we reached an altitude of 4100m / 13,451ft, the highest we’ve been so far and were rewarded with spectacular views of the Ancash Mountain Range.  The region is crossed by two mountain ranges: on the western side, the Cordillera Negra (the Black Mountain Range), which has peaks without glaciers, and on the eastern side, it's the Cordillera Blanca (the White Mountain Range), which has many peaks covered with snow and ice.  Between these two mountain ranges, the Santa River flows to form the Cañon del Pato from where we had just come.

Ancash Range
As we started to descend, the road turned into any bikers dream ride.  We twisted and snaked our way down the pass from 4100m down to 1600m.  It was an unbelievable ride that took most of the morning but the views and landscape was exhilarating.  As we descended into the valley, we had to stop a few times to take off a layer or two as it started to warm up closer to the bottom.

Altitude - 4100m

Ancash Region from One World 2 Explore on Vimeo.

There is something about Peruvian dogs; they are the worst we have encountered so far.  As we ride by small villagers,the dogs start to attack us and run after the bikes.  It’s fine for Angela as she leads, so they tend to go after her, realize they can’t catch her and then stop in the middle of the road waiting for the next victim to pass by.  I really don’t care for them too much and just increase my speed, rev the engine and bolt through.  Once we got down to the coast, we continued into Lima and rode into afternoon Lima traffic.  There are no rules in Latin America and Peruvian drivers are by far the worst as well.  They drive with God on their side.  They will pass on blind corners only to stop a few minutes later and then have to pass us again.

After Lima, we headed to Huachina, a small oasis town surrounded by gigantic sand dunes.  On the way, we met Ian and Tony riding two-up on an 1150GS and planned to meet once we got to the town.  They are also riding south, but taking a bit more time than us.  After settling into the hotel, Angela found a new friend, apparently there were 6 of these guys at the hotel, but we only saw 2 of them.

The big draw for backpackers is the sand boarding down the dunes and the dune buggy’s that you can take onto the dunes.  We had enough of riding for the day, so just wandered around the lagoon and met up with our new friends for an evening beer.

New photos added to the Peru photo album.
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