Lima, the Motorcycle Arrives and the Journey Begins in Earnest
I left Italy on Friday 27 December 2019
and arrived in Lima the following day. My motorcycle was supposed to follow me, but the backlog caused by the Christmas period meant that it was dispatched a day late.
So, I took this opportunity to visit Lima and try out its famous cuisine, which offers excellent street food as well as restaurants.
On 30 December I was awake at 7 a.m., on my way to the warehouse beside the airport to meet Rafaela (the customs agent) and begin the far-from-simple bureaucratic process of retrieving my motorcycle, in the hope I wouldn’t end up waiting a week as a result of the end-of-year celebrations.
Thus began a wild goose chase in 7 stages: one for each of the 7 different offices we had to visit to sort out a thousand minor details before we were able to access the warehouse. I spent the morning bouncing from one office to another, like I was trapped in a pinball machine. Finally, in the late afternoon, the traveller’s “buena onda” kicked in. All was OK with the motorcycle, and I plunged straight into the traffic of Lima. It was total chaos: it took me almost two hours to travel the 12 km from Callao airport to the hotel, being stopped along the way by the police for taking a road which was closed to motorcycles.
31 December 2019
Finally, the journey began in earnest. The first stretch was Lima-Nazca, around 450 km.
That morning I was excited and a little nervous, but as soon as I got into first gear I thought of nothing but riding and enjoying the trip. E
verything went smoothly, apart from the heat, with the last 150 km consisting of (almost) total desert. A strip of asphalt stretches out in the middle of nowhere: no trees, no bushes, just the light-ochre desert broken up by a couple of hills, utterly bare of vegetation and marked by the passage of the occasional rainwater.
It had been an excellent warm-up. In the late afternoon, I arrived in Nazca and had soon found a hotel with a garage, a must-have at every stop. It didn’t take me long to organise a visit to the city’s world-famous lines for the following day.
It was 31 December, time to begin celebrating the end of the year.