About : RASAM

That's this Ride Across South AMerica from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Lima, Peru. It is 5,410 kilometers or 3,360 miles, which I will ride in two segments. Part I goes from September 26 to October 17, 2004 and is from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Salta, Argentina: 2,595 kilometers / 1,612 miles. Part II dates are November 7 to December 5 and is from Salta to Lima: 2,816 kilometers or 1,749 miles. Many people ride the coast of South America, especially along the Pan American highway. Few, if any, ride across the continent. There is a dearth of support--hundreds of miles without accommodations or good supplies. The only reason I can do it is that I will go 'safari-style'. A support and gear (SAG) wagon will carry my supplies.

Huacachina 154k, 90m**

New Team! Lisa, the wife, showed up. Here we all are at our hotel at the start of the day. It has been great riding with Dalton and Steve, but much of the day today I rode with Lisa, and Eduardo. They and Steve took turns riding and driving. Lisa rode on and off maybe 30 miles today. Eduardo, maybe 40 miles and Steve rode around 55. I rode the distance.

Lisa and I rode out of town while Steve and Eduardo resupplied the coolers in the Fiat. When they caught up, Eduardo decided to ride. The three of us:

As you ride north of Nazca on the PanAmerican Highway you ride right through the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Nazca lines. They actually carved the highway right through the Nazca lines before anybody really realized they were there. More details on the Lines in yesterday’s update.

Today riding through the Nazca Lines we rode by couple of towers put up along the road so viewers could climb up (for 1 sole = 30 cents per person) and see some of the ancient designs carved into the desert floor. Steve took a picture of the three of us at the top.

Eduardo rode through this first desert out of Nazca, through the Lilpata canyon, then up a big 1,000 foot climb,. Since it was his first day of big riding, we have to show some Eduardo photos.

That middle photo is Lisa and Eduardo on the big climb. You can see three or four switchbacks in the background. The last shot is Eduardo riding to our break at the top. He’s smiling because I am bringing him a cold Gatorade as I take the photo. Here is Lisa taking a picture of Eduardo stretching his legs, and the team at the top.

After this there was a moderate downhill and 25 miles of boring, flat desert. As we approached Ica, our destination for the night, we rode along a major irrigation canal through a bunch of semi-urban villages strung along the PanAmerican Highway. At one point there were a bunch of kids playing in the water.

Our Lonely Planet guide suggested staying 4km from Ica in a lagoon resort called Huachachina. It is a pool of water about the size of a football field surrounded by 1930’s era mostly run-down and some abandoned buildings, all ringed by huge sand dunes. It was or is so conceptually picturesque here that they put it on the back of their S/50 note (= $16) The local activities are dune buggy rides and sand-boarding.

The lagoon was an oasis that used to have curative properties, but that original water went away and now they pump in city water from Ica, but there are fish and plants in the water. Except for our hotel, the other couple on the lagoon are backpacker hostels with rooms with shared baths for $10 a night. Lisa now has influence over these updates. She selected these last three pictures of our hotel (the lagoon is behind the flags), the lagoon itself with Lisa in the foreground and the dunes in the background, and of me trying to do this update.

34 riding days done, only two more remain….

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