Day 64/164: Santiago Ica to Nazca – 124 kilometres

1,300 up and 1,300 down

A cold morning again once more, again about 8 degrees. It was really foggy and hard to see and lots of trucks and cars. I was wearing my high viz stuff.

All of a sudden after about an hour the fog cleared, bright blue skies, hot sun, temperature jumped up 10 degrees in an hour.

I started the ride looking forward to the rest day but feeling a bit daunted by the 13 kilometre hill at 57 kilometres that was in our riders briefing. I got to 53 kilometres, stopped and bought a drink, had some fruit, reapplied sunscreen, and got mentally geared up for the challenge! I got to the hill, went up about 4 kilometres, then the rest of it was down 😀 :D.

Nice little downhill chunk just before the lunch truck (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Nice little downhill chunk just before the lunch truck
(Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

I got to lunch and could see another hill stretching up into the distance – I was thinking that hopefully it is not like the hill before the last rest day, which turned out to be 15 kilometres.

Great spot for lunch - an abandoned roadside restaurant (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Great spot for lunch – an abandoned roadside restaurant (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

I left the lunch spot with Michelle and Tony. Thankfully the hill was about 4 kilometres up, and then down again. After about 5 kilometres Tony got a flat, and said to Michelle for us to head off and he would catch up.

The rest of the ride was rolling hills with a few steeper climbs – it was really hot! The desert stretched away on both sides, and although we were riding well the day seemed to drag. Tony caught us up about 5 kilometres out from Nazca, and then was riding too fast for us to stay with him.

When we got to town the lunch truck passed us and went round a roundabout so without looking for flags we followed. Thankfully Luiz noticed us behind him and and stopped and said he was going for ice and we needed to go back to the roundabout and turn left! It turned out our mistake meant we did not go past some raised road markers that two other rides fell off on. Sue fell and grazed her arm and broke her helmet in 3 places.

We got to the hotel, nice rooms, quite big, a few were still having doors hung when we arrived! We are staying Nazca Oasis Hotel.

Thankfully the hotel does laundry so just needed to sort out gear and then shower and relax.

We had beer at the bar and paid as we went, but the girl who served us kept asking for our room number and name. This was all being written in scraps of paper and given to the guy at reception. I was highly suspicious that this was going to translate into being charged twice, so I got Luiz to speak to the guy at reception, and got the scraps of paper for our table back.

A group of us decided to head off into town for dinner. We went to the reception to order two taxis. After waiting for ages an unmarked car turned up and took one car full  into town. Then after about 15 minutes it arrived back for the rest. We reckon it was a relative of the guy at reception.

We managed to regroup in town, and went to a nice looking restaurant. By this stage it was 7:30 and we were getting pretty hungry. By the time our order was taken and the food arrived it was nearly 8pm. We were looking with envy at those eating. Alex, a young guy from the UK who joined us in Lima, looked a bit nervous when his food came out at least 5 minutes before anyone else’s and we were all staring at it. The food was good, I had steak stuffed with cheese and mushrooms.

There are no tuk tuk’s in Nazca but plenty of beat up old cars, with or without signs, stopping to provide rides.

It was nice to get into clean sheets, with no alarm set for the morning.

Endless road and dunes and then mountains as we continue along.  They planted splindly little trees along each side of the road for about 50 km.  Don't know if they are surviving (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Endless road and dunes and then mountains as we continue along. They planted splindly little trees along each side of the road for about 50 km. Don’t know if they are surviving (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

Typical mountains in this area.  Dead tree along the road (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Typical mountains in this area. Dead tree along the road (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

A view of Rio Grande.  We came down through the pass on the far side and are going up on this side(Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

A view of Rio Grande. We came down through the pass on the far side and are going up on this side (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

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Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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