Day 81 to 83 – Peru – Sand, Concerns and Final Thoughts

2016-12-01 – Day 81 – Lima, PE to Ica, PE (337 km – 6:30 hrs)
2016-12-02 – Day 82 – Ica, PE to Arequipa, PE (720 km – 9:30 hrs)
2015-12-03 – Day 83 – Arequipa, PE

This entry will be short and I will let the images tell the story.

The fact to have to rush to Santiago spoils my plans and it is with regret that I leave Peru tomorrow.

It is a country sometimes dirty, poor, loud, with a bad city traffic, but I regret not going to Cusco and after, towards Bolivia.

I spent the last days crossing arid deserts, right by the ocean. It is ironic to see all this blue water, on the one hand, and complete dryness the other side.


The reason of this eagerness to get south is that I must replace my rear suspension which spills oil. It is only a question of time before I am not able to ride it anymore, and because the solutions offered in Lima were too expensive and would have required me to wait for several weeks, I decided to try my luck in Santiago, where a replacement part awaits for me.

I must keep an eye on the problem and at the end of my long driving day of driving towards Ica, I can see the situation getting worse.


The road between Quito and Ica is very ordinary, and the city of Ica, even more.

The only positive point is my visit to the Tacama vineyard, the most ancient vineyard in South America. I had a nice afternoon taking advantage of the nice and cool terrace to taste the good wine. A nice surprise!








But returning in town also means this sorry scene, sometimes lasting for kilometres. The smell is difficult to support in this heat.


Therefore, the city of Ica represents a good exemanple of the side I like a bit less about Peru. Besides the constant dirtiness, traffic is bad and noisy!



The town centre is correct at most. There is a serious effort to be made to recover from the last earthquake of 2007 and scars are still very visible.


I leave very early because I want to get to Arequipa, 700 kilometres away, and spend the weekend there.

The road is monotonous but I must say that I nevertheless appreciate the deserted landscape because I am not used to it. Colours are sometimes very nice and the occasional oasis I come across are impressive. And the fact I can drive at good (and fun!!!) speeds on straight roads segments, sometimes for dozen kilometres is also appreciated.








Arequipa will only be a stop for me. I know the place, having visited it 5 years ago. The city, the second in importance in Peru, has nice white buildings, but its main attraction is Canyon del Colca, where I will not be able to go because of the bike’s bad suspension.

Besides, this city was supposed to be my starting point for my next adventure into Cusco, and then towards Bolivia.

Even if nice, sunny and warm, my head is elsewhere and I’m starting to think, once motorcycle is fixed, to come back to Canada for holidays to spend a little bit of time with my girlfriend, my great 80-year-old mother and my friends…

For the moment, I must concentrate on going to Santiago. Tomorrow, another border to be crossed.

Next post will be from Chile!





Coup de cœur: Laguna 69
Disappointment: Most of the small cities I had to cross were not very nice
Most welcoming city: Difficult to say… People are sometimes distant and I must initiate contacts most of the time. Perhaps the small city of Pallasca, to have me in after one long and difficult of motorbike day
Best atmosphere: Miraflores, Lima
Where I would spend a full month in winter: None
Where I will not return: Piura
The surprise: The impressive size of the mountains and how roads were constructed there
The nicest road: The route north of Huaraz, along the river
The ugliest roads: Around Piura
If I had to do it again: A suspension change BEFORE leaving, so I would not miss Cusco!
Next time: Planning the ride in the most isolated roads with a partner
What I missed me most: Seen from Peru, Ecuador is a much more organized country. I missed to almost calmness of this country had to offer.

Number of days: 12
Distance: 2800 km

Next Article (Recent) ⇨

Day 84 to 90 - Chile - Finally, I made it to Spain! Wait a minute, I'm in Chile?!

2016-12-04 - Day 84 - Arequipa, PE to Iquique, CL (742 KM - 7:50 hrs) 2016-12-05 - Day 85 - Iquique, CL to La Serena, CL (1329 KM - 13:50 hrs) 2016-12-06 - Day 86 - Iquique, CL to Santiago, CL (451 KM - 5:00 hrs) 2016-12-07 - Day 87 ... Read more

⇦ Previous Article (Older)

Day 74 to 80 - Peru - A Navigation Error into Isolation

2016-11-24 - Day 74 - Huamachuco, PE to Pallasca, PE (176 km - 9:00 hrs) 2016-11-25 - Day 75 - Pallasca, PE to Huaraz, PE (253 km - 6:00 hrs) 2016-11-26 - Day 76 - Huaraz, PE to Laguna 69 (et retour) (176 km - 5:00 hrs) 2016-11-27 - Day ... Read more

Marc Ouellet

Adventurer at heart. Travelling on 2 wheels to South America soon!

  • Michel B

    Ah ah elle commence à te manquer ta p’tite copine…!

    1. Marc Ouellet

      Toi aussi mon vieux gaulois!

  • Michel B

    Les Canadiens ont battu les Kings 4/4 et 3/2 aux shoutout

    1. Marc Ouellet

      Les Quoi? C’est qui ça les Canadiens?

  • Stéphane

    Toujours passionnant de lire de tel récit.

    1. Marc Ouellet

      Merci Stéphane!

  • Francis Derome

    Je viens de lire les 3 derniers post….je suis sans mot….haha fou !!!!

    1. Marc Ouellet

      Effectivement Frank, mon passage au Pérou a été rock and roll! Je m’y attendais un peu, mais pas de ce niveau là! Je suis rendu La Serena au Chili. Ma suspension est complètement morte, et il me reste 500 km à faire jusqu’à Santiago! Tout un défi de conduite.

      Heureusement, les routes ici sont comme un tapis, sinon je serais vraiment dans le trouble…

      À +

  • Steve B

    If you have the time to backtrack to ride Bolivia, I highly recommend the Uyuni saltflats and altiplano. That was the best country for off asphalt adventure. I did it on my Harley which definitely was the wrong motorcycle, Actually it was the wrong motorcycle for the trip altogether but I made it. Death road was okay but in reality even an Ice Road Trucker could do it so its not all its cracked up to be.

    1. Marc Ouellet

      I need to go back home for a couple of weeks during the holidays. When I get back, all attack the Patagonia leg of the trip, which will probably be the most difficult.

      Once done, I’ll see if I have the motivation to go back. One thing if for sure, I don’t have it now. My head is pointing south!

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