I rode from Huacachina to Cusco in two days. Here’s how the 470 mile ride went. Day 1 I rode 350 miles to Abancay then to Cusco the second day. If you started early enough I suppose you could make it in 1 day but it would be a really long day of riding.
Not far from Huacachina is the town of Nasca. Depending on what sign you read it’s sometimes spelled Nazca. No official spelling I guess.
I think the only reason the town is on the map is because of the famous Nazca Lines. The lines are a series of hundreds of images created in the dry land depicting animals and symbols. They are thought to have been made around 400 AD. Many people take flights around the area to see them but I wasn’t interested enough to pay the $100+ and instead opted to just stop by the roadside viewing station. For about $1 you can climb up a tower and see several of the lines. I was more impressed that the lines in the desert have lasted so long. You can read more about the Nazca Lines on National Geographic.
After too many miles through the boring desert I turned onto the highway heading east back into the Andes and to Cusco. The road climbed up and eventually I had to stop and close all the vents on my riding jacket to stay warm.
Riding through the high plains there were hundreds of vicuña. I was riding along and there was a group of vicuña 20 feet off to the side of the road ahead of me. Just as I approached one ran in front of me and out of the corner of my eye and another began sprinting to run across except I was in its way. For a few seconds me and a vicuna were racing who could get in front of the other. I could see panic and determination in it’s eyes. If the vicuna could have seen through my visor it would have seen the same thing. I hit the throttle and bolted out of there. It was an exhilarating 5 seconds. Sorry no photos of these llama like animals.
I stopped for the night in Abancay. Not much to really say about the town. I found an expensive hotel and settled for a cheap dinner at the local Chinese place. Chinese food here is called chifa. It’s delicious and cheap!
The next day the ride up to Cusco from Abancay started off slow. I was in no rush since it was only a 3 hour ride but my day still started early as I was woken at 5am by multiple roosters nearby. Once I was on the road I stopped to take a photo and noticed my chain was much to loose. I adjusted it and continued on. Instantly the road climbs up from the valley. With the sun shining on the mountains it was a beautiful ride.
I met a few other travelers on the road. A Canadian couple riding two up on a 1200 and later I met a couple who were cycling from Colombia to Argentina. The road drops back down into a valley and along a river where the temperature quickly rose again. I stopped at a fruit stand and had a mango.
An hour later I was riding on the narrow cobblestone streets of Cusco. I found Hostel Estrellita and when I arrived there were 5 other motorcyclists, including Canadian Ian and American Ian. Plus there were 4 bicyclists. I’ll be in good company the new few days.