Peru, Huacachina - Mountain Peaks to Desert Oasis

Waking up late into a dead hostel was nice, we got some blogging done, I had my 6 pieces of bread to attempt to make a decent breakfast, and we rode the bikes through the hostel again from the courtyard to the street.  We also said by to some friends we met, Benjamin and Elle who have been riding their XT600 two up down from Alaska for the last eight months.  You can see their blog here: not up to date; get on that you two...

The Cusco hostel with Ben and Elle.  Note: those are the step we had to get up to park our bikes in the courtyard.

Overlooking Cusco

Departing from the great city of Cusco, we ventured off in search of the coast, and first, we needed lunch, we stopped off in Abancay at a small cafe and had some Arroz Chofre, or Chinese style fried rice.  Very good!

The riding through the andes has been an sight to see, with the elevation changes and the multiple strechs of 30km constant hairpins.  I literally think the ourside of ours tires are getting more wear than the center.  There has been an abundance of peg grinding on this journey through the andes.

Once we got out of the sacred valley, we set out sights on Chalhuanco for the night.  Small town in the Andes, which was also very busy due to the street crews stopped there for the night.  There was also and Easter celebration which rolled through the streets, with seemingly the whole village following a sculpture of Jesus on the cross.  

Had an early morning to get a good start and off we went along the river for a gorgeous ride and again up into the clouds.

We gained elevation and lost is about 3 times on route to the coast, all the way up to 4500m and down to as long as 1000.  This over about 600km, makes for some tough riding on the KLR.  This is overlooking our final decent onto the coast, were the clouds and heat had been waiting for us.

The first town we came to was Nasca.  We hadnt planned on seeing the nasca lines, but we were literally driving through them, so we figured we could take a look.  After paying a couple of soles to get up this rickety old tower, and laughing the whole way about the whole situation, we got a see a few of the smaller lines intermixed with some truck treads also.  Albeit, the proper way to see the lines is from the air where you can take in the football field sized pieces of art, but our view was a little underwhelming.

After finished marveling the lines, we headed for the desert oasis of Huacachina.  Where as Eduardo had mentioned, dune buggies and quads have taken over from the classic sand boarding.  Very touristy, although you can see why with its undeniable beauty of the surroundings.  It being easter weekend the place was packed and after searching around, there were no rooms to be found. After chatting with one of the hotel managers for a while, we convinced her to let up set up our tent on her terrace for 10 soles, or about 3 loonies.  It was a little odd, but still a far cry from the ditches we had set up in before.

The roads went from these twistys to

to these
then to this