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
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
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