Sunday, 16 February 2014

Arequipa Road 34 C

Sorry for the late report ladies and gents but we have been out and about... we haven't forgotten you tho .... promise

Great ride .... that is what we were told .....yes you know who you are.

Actually, we had fun, the first part out of town was a typical Peruvian stunt drive avoiding 10 near death experiences ... we then made it to the end of our street.

Once outa of town the road was very boney and rough and with the unfortunate pasting of rubbish ... not ideal for a national park entry.

Eventually we made it out of first gear and as we left civilization as we know it the road conditions improved that is when we saw the only vehicle for nearly 200km.

The road

Getting high

Mum nature was bein a good girl and provided us a nice clear day but very cold, we did however get to 4802 meters so high enough to be chilly even when sunny.

A cool salt lake appeared (actually I think it is always there) with some groovy colours and our cream on the cake Volcano in the distance having an eruption.

Our vantage point here was cool with a very smooth section of road for about 5 km, see the volcano having a spit

Our mission was to get to the second lake but the road turned very soft and pebbly so we chickened out as it was turning into very hard work.

Spotting a shortcut we did an overland direct to cut the triangle, we knew it would eventually go somewhere and we were right...

After nearly 1 hour of no mans land we came across the road we wanted to take back to Arequipa, this road/track however was very sandy, rocky, rough and required attention on my part.

This took us around to the lake where we only had to cross the damn to freedom however there was a monster sand drift across the road and softer than a tire with a nail in it.

Where Maya is standing was very soft, the grey stuff to the right was very sinky

At this point we had already wrestled several sandpits and were tiring a bit.

With NO way through for us there we turned back and took a side track that had not been used for years by the looks of it, it too was bloody soft and required Ellen pushing and me gunning the throttle and cutting a trench for about 100 meters, sweatin and grunting we finally made it to an almost flat part desperate for a breather (noting we are at 4600 meters, 15100 ft here).

(whose dumb idea was this )

Gob of water and a toffee cafe lolly and we were back into it, TMK Peruvian Dakar overland non race, getting Maya up on top of the sand was a mission and we were surprised how much a 3/4 spent Heidenau can dig however we get get up and skimming riding directly up and across a plateau in search of a another possible way.

We had spotted a turnoff some km back and were hoping to catch this one as well, persistence pays and soon enough we were united with a sandy track, this wasn’t a total get out of jail free card but it was superior to our other options which was ride back 150km from where we came from or try and cross the super drift.

All tracks here are just sand of varying degrees of hardship

We plucked our way around sandpits and rock gardens and finally got to the dam, crossed the dam to freedom and came up behind a locked worries, quick ride around the gate through the sand and we were on the home straight, only 68 km of bone jarring, filling dropping track to go.

By this time the cloud had set in with a bitey little smattering of fog and a lacing of chilly rain to cap it off so we were keen to drop some altitude, eventually it started to drop and we could see sun then in the distance Arequipa.

With the last part of the ride under sun it was pleasant but our return time saw us re enter town at rip hour ....hmmm, no prob, no cases, no rules other than to get there.

Happy to park Maya up, sit in the sun for a while and have a bloody good hot shower.

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