Sunday 06 January 2013.
This day had everything. Heat, cold, dry, rain, hail, feeling depressed, feeling very well…….
Last night one of the travellers in the hostel, pointed my attention to a hummingbird, just outside the hostel. This was the first time in my life I saw one that wasn’t caged.
I took a picture on which you can’t distinguish it’s wings, because they go so fast.
When I started today’s trip at 08:00, it was already hot. Nazca is desert area, so I estimate it was some 28° C when I left. Within the hour I was in the mountains where it got so cold already, I had to change to my winter gloves and put the insolation lining in my jacket. Later on, it started to rain and it even hailed from time to time. There was a cold strong wind all the time.
Although there were some spectacular views from the long winding road, it simply was to dangerous to stop. The roads are pretty good but there are few guardrails and most trucks and buses have the tendency to cut corners. Most hairpin corners and even the non-hairpin ones, are cut out of the rock. There’s no way to know what’s around the corner, so defensive riding was imperative.
My destination Abancay was 489 km away; riding 30 to 40 km/h through the mountains really made me doubt if I could reach Abancay before nightfall. Last night the hostel organised a saturday night party, so I didn’t sleep all that long. Riding through the mountains, feeling cold and wet (rain pants only kept dry for about 10 to 15 minutes) I really wasn’t in the best of moods. Worrying is never good and the result was that I felt like I forgot everything I learned of riding winding roads. On top of everything I almost ran out of fuel and there were no fuel stations anywhere. With the fuel taps on reserve, I kept the clutch in as much as I could so the motorbike would idle and roll out. Fortunately, the road just started to descend in to a valley and for about 35 km I could easily practise the idling.
Arriving in the valley of Apurimac was a nice surprise. A river floats next to the road the whole time. Everything looked lush and green. The temperature was comfortable and the road excellent. After I filled up at a fuel station, I started to feel a lot better and got in to my confidant riding mood. Despite the rain that occasionally did stop, the only thing I really had to consider was the crossing of livestock. Cows, sheep, donkeys, goats and Llamas were abundant.
Because the road was in such a good condition, I made up a little time, really enjoying hanging in corners. 30 minutes before arriving in Abancay, 2 other big bikes joined me. They were from Colombia, but I didn’t get a chance to talk because I lost them in the busy traffic of the town. The last surprise of today, was that I couldn’t fill up on Euro 95, because the maximum they sell here at fuel stations is 90 RON. I needed no more than about 5 litres or so. Hopefully The bike won’t have problems. When I arrived at the hotel, I had been on the road for 10 hours. To state that I was tired, is an understatement.
In the hotel I repacked and threw out even more. The large bag on the back has gone. I re-allocated everything I keep over the other bags and I will wear my backpack while riding. Because of the rain and the dangerous road, I did not make many photo’s.
The destination for tomorrow is Ollantaytambo, just before Machu Picchu.