I had a lively week. Nazca Indians spread out all over the place at Chauchilla, useless bloodshed at Puquio (boy, do I like bullfights), one of my best bike rides ever through the cordillera de Huanzo on my way to Cusco and an almost fatal crash at Anta when a truck took a left turn while I was overtaking. Life just couldn’t be better. I was a little worried about Peru. How does a sandpit attract so many tourists? This country is a joke, an overestimated phony and I almost sunk in a small depression. Then I took a left at Nazca, climbed up into the mountains and my bike life took a turn.
I love the mountains. It’s fresh up there in the sky, just below the clouds. The heat in this trip is sometimes killing me. Most of the time you’re alone when you’re up there. You watch at the sky, watch at the snowy peak of God knows what kind mountain you were staring at, you watch at the vicuñas and alpacas that sometimes jump in front of your bike (they go mad when they hear the sound of the bike and loose their sense for direction). You cruise through little Andes villages where people seem to live hundred years back in time. You talk at an altitude of 4000 meters with the Alpaca shepherd Faustino who had never talked to a stranger before about the value of your bike (“More than you’ll ever earn in your life, my dear Faustino. Here have a smoke”). You take a nice shit in the open, feel how the wind plays with your bud hair and wash your hands in a nearby river. You see smoke coming out from a chimney for miles and wonder how the farm looks like when you get there. You step of your bike and look in this valley, ways down you see the structure of alpaca farms like oil on canvas and if you look closer you see that those tiny little white spots in the landscape turn into alpacas. You drive your bike and realize that you’re practically on the top of the world, all by yourself. You stop at a little village, buy some groceries (cigarettes and matches) and you become friends with Melisa, the 12-year-old daughter of the owner and her friend Jaquelin, you leave after an hour and the whole family waves you goodbye. And after a days ride you arrive at your destination, you see a fellow motorcycle traveler and say “hey man how are you doing”, he takes his helmet of and turns into a she, Maria Young form Ireland traveling on her Honda Virago all by her self for eight months. I mean, what you’ve just read and seen was just an ordinary day.
And that’s not true. In fact it was a very good day. Finally I got to see more of Peru than sand. I absolutely love the place, the mountains, the people, everything (minus all the tourists). I truly believe that I touched the soul of Peru that day. I got in contact with the locals, thanks to my Spanish, my smile and my bike. Life can be so damn easy from time to time, no joke. So the next day you feel grand and want the same as the day before. You wake up, slept good, ready for the ride, ready for another adventure. You touch the ignition and absolutely nothing happens due to a dead battery. Anyway, you decided to make it a go to Cusco and have one of the worst biking days of your pitiful life that had his apotheosis at a village called Anta where you’re about to overtake a truck when the driver decides to take turn to the left and you end up almost killing yourself. I mean, you can’t expect anything out of life, just aim at and hope for the best. Have a nice day.