It’s winter, but there isn’t much sense in going to warm places, because of… This! I’m red as a beet, and I forgot my cap at home. But at least I’ve got a very nice car in nice orange colour. The keys are inside, so I’m ready to take a tour of Lima. Well, not really! I’m getting another car. Amarok, what else? Our working mule. Except this one has different stickers and licence plates. It’s ready, and I don’t want to take any chances in one of the most dangerous traffic regimes in the world.In Ljubljana we have 1,200 taxicabs, New York has 13,000, but Lima has 230,000 taxicabs! Just take a look. A cab, another one, that one probably isn’t legit, but it’s still a cab. On second thought, I’m getting out of Lima. The capitol of the third largest South American country has a population of 9 million, but isn’t crowded at all. There’s plenty of parks here to cool yourself down, and it’s quite clean as well. Especially here in Miraflores, the upstanding part of town. Lima has a rich history, it’s connected to many ancient civilisations that had prospered in this area. The Incas being the most well-known. Of course, they had met the Spanish, which didn’t end well for them. The Spanish had attacked the Incas, took over their lands, and transformed Peru in one of the most Christian countries in the world. Traces od that era can be felt today, the amount of churches here is staggering. But I’m not interested in that though. That guy has guts! I think I’ll try it out myself. But I’m going to wait for the tsunami first. Apparently they’re really common here. Ahh, here it comes! Matej says Amarok is great for all weather conditions, and will never let you down. I’m going to put his claims to the test on the many mountain passes that I’ll cross on my journey. I’ll go as high as 5,000 meters! Drive 200 kilometres to the south and you’ll see a completely different world. The desert. Great for a bit of fun with my Amarok. I’ve just gone by locations where they advised me not to stop if I ever want to return home. Car rental is very expensive in Peru, an Amarok will cost you around 100 EUR per day. But luckily I’ve met a Slovenian woman who’s married to a Peruvian, and they use an Amarok as their company car. So I got it a bit cheaper. However they don’t treat it as nicely as we do. It’s only 2 months old and it’s practically beaten up. Hardly surprising considering the abysmal traffic here. This one has an updated
diesel engine producing 132 kW (177 HP), 12 more than ours, but the difference in transmission is the most noticable. It runs very smoothly compared to ours. I’ll take it with me if I can squeeze it in the overhead compartment. Man, it’s hot in here! But peaceful, just look at the dunes. This is the Paracas national park, home to many species of birds. And a few remnants of old civilisations from 6,500 BC. Amongst which was a very old flute, and a petroglyph from 200 BC engraved into solid rock.Incredible! Look at that! And there’s even a road made of salt. Very cheap to mantain, because there’s no rain. Just add some salt from time to time. Too bad it’s raining in Slovenia, we could use this instead of tarmac. An ocean used to cover this whole area, so there’s plenty of fossiles to be found. I won’t be driving here. I went to an island not far from here to see sea lions.Only 12 EUR per person for a two-hour trip, well worth the money. Besides sea lions you’ll see birds and penguines! It’s a bit smelly, but worth it nonetheless. Guano, bird poo, which they gather every 7 years produces a nice income for the locals. I just had to see this cathedral. In 2007 an earthquake destroyed this arch, but the bell tower is still standing. The beaches here are incredible. One is named the Devil’s beach and is absolutely stunning, and one was bright red. I’ve also found out how they make Pisco, their traditional brandy. I call it simply grape schnapps. They mix it with lemon juice, egg white, and sugar. They sure have a sweet tooth here, even the wine is sweet. I’m off to see the dunes of Ica which hosted the Dakar Rally. This sand really does get into every nook and cranny. You don’t want to know where.I’m at the final location before the mountain climb. But first, I’m going to get wet. And not just anywhere! This is a tectonic crack in the vicinity of a town called Palpa. The water is nicely warm and full of fish, which give you a pleasant pedicure. Time to get wet! Now this is an essential part of gear before the trip. Coca leaves. It helps coping with extreme altitudes. The locals say it helps to deal with sickness. And apparently you don’t get addicted. Tastes just like herbal tea. I’m already driving on the Andes, on the altitude of our highest mountain Triglav, and the road is very nice. I expected gravel but was pleasantly surprised. It took a good half hour to climb to 3,000 metres, and
I’ve already experienced all types of weather. From burning temperatures to rain turning into snow and after that slush on the road. I can’t imagine how the Incas were trying to outrun the Spanish in these conditions. The views, however, are astonishing. From gigantic lakes just behind the corner to natural stone cones which look fantastic. They also have scenic green valleys, and indifferent alpacas and cows. The traffic isn’t nearly as dense as I’ve expected. I’ve only overtaken a few lorries, and the Amarok copes well with the differences in altitude. A piece of advice.If you see a lorry, overtake it immediately, because it might not make it through the next bend. This Amarok is a lot like ours. It has switchable four-wheel-drive, but I’m mostly using just the rear wheels, which smoothens the ride and improves the handling. Perhaps I should put some more weight in it to make it more comfortable. An adobe, perhaps. A local mud brick. Extreme altitude does have an impact.Not behind the wheel, but here on 4,500 metres, you can tell the difference. No fast moves, they say you have to move in slow motion when you’re this high up. I’m still not sure whether it’s the altitude or the coca. But that road down there is so good, it would be a paradise for bikers if we had one like it in Slovenia. I got up at 1:30 AM, but it was well worth it, because today I might finally see that of which I’ve been dreaming as a kid. The train ride here was very interesting, because the railroad was right next to a foaming river. All I have to do now is wait for the bus and hope it doesn’t start raining. I’ve bought myself a poncho just in case. It was pouring down but the skies finally cleared, so take a look at this! Do you know where I am? At Machu Picchu. Yes, you heard correctly, it’s pronounced Pikchu. I’ve asked the locals. Just look at this view. Amazing. Machu Picchu is the sacred city where the last Inca kings fled. The Spanish had not discovered it due to its remote location.That’s why it’s so well-preserved. From here the Incas ruled their people. That semicircular building is the most important. It’s the sun temple where they sacrificed llamas. No, not people. On the first day of summer, the sunshine would shine directly in it, which was the beginning of a new year for the Incas. Speaking of the sun, it’s getting really hot. This is a seed sowing calendar which would tell them exactly what and when to
sow. This is how the old Incas would wash everything from their feet to … their hands. This is only one of the 16 working fountains. They’ve been active for over 500 years. One last view of the Machu Picchu from Intipunku, the Sun Gate. Looks like the weather will hold, I’m going to take this Inca trail to Cuzco. Apparently it takes 7 days. Not everything went according to plan. I’m tired, freezing and wet. I can’t wait to heat up the Amarok and get some sleep. I’m feeling better, but I’ve left Cuzco in the morning because it was still raining. The Saqsaywaman temple, or ‘Sexy Woman’ which we, non-Peruvians, like to call it, is a must-see. You’ll see enormous rocks which form a spectacular structure. The Spanish and locals almost completely destroyed it by using the rocks to build houses in the nearby city. Remember those pretty roads from a while ago? Well, they are, but only those in between cities. The roads in towns are a mess! Potholes nearly broke down my Amarok, I can’t imagine driving around in an ordinary car. Everything is filthy and smelly, the traffic is horrible, really not for an average European. But hey, that’s world for you. It’s imperative to park your car in a secure parking lot, but even these are not for ordinary cars. Look at this mess, I’ve had to remove a pickaxe from the mud yesterday, otherwise I would kiss my Amarok good-bye. Yesterday I’ve arrived to Puno near Titicaca.You’ve probably heard of this highest navigable lake in the world. It lies on a surface elevation of 3,812 metres. But first take a look at all this filth. They’re disgusting. I can’t believe it, and such beautiful landscape. Believe me, you don’t want to smell what I’m smelling right now. Luckily I haven’t put any new scratches on the Amarok, even though there were some very close calls. The altitude is causing problems to many people, but I really don’t feel the impact. You get sunburnt very easily though, no matter how much sunscreen you’ve put on. Look at that. Disgusting! This really is a sad sight to behold.People sleeping in the sreets, millions of dogs, and trash everywhere. No matter how hungry I am, I just don’t wish to spend the next five days on the toilet seat. Just a few kilometres away there’s a completely different story. I’m standing on solid ground of one of the Uros floating islands. Actually I’m not, they’re made of reed. Look, a flamingo! The boat ride here was
fantastic, as well as the fishing later. I’ve also learned how they make this islands out of reed. And you probably haven’t noticed they’ve clothed me in their traditional garments. It’s quite a paradise here. Far from the city noise, I think I’ll conclude this trip right here. See you in Geneva. No, not yet, I have so many things that I have to show you still.I thought our host would set the whole island on fire when she showed us how to prepare their traditional meals. The islands are anchored with 13 anchors, which is good if you don’t want to wake up in Bolivia. On the way to Arequipa I’ve stopped to check out the Sillustani archeological site, where they had burried the nobles even before the Inca times. Some of these towers are magnificent along with their locations, a nice place to start an afterlife. I’ve seen a mini tornado and the huge volcano called Misti, and this right here is the highest point of my journey at 4,800 metres.Just take a look at the Garmin. Now back to the valley to get some oxygen. I’ve descended more than 5,000 meters, lower than from the highest European peak. I’ve reached the Pacific after the drive on the Panamericana and through the desert. The road wound beautifully right next to the ocean and past dunes. It was covered with sand, I felt as if I was on another planet. Ever since I’ve reached Peru, I’ve been driving on roads, sand and water, which leaves only one thing – air. Only one important thing left to do now. I need to find a plane. I’m a bit anxious, I haven’t flown in such a small plane before. At least I’ll get a clear view of the Nazca lines. The Nazca lines are amazing! It was worth it. I’m not feeling sick yet, so eveything’s going to be alright. You can only see this arm and that tree from the ground. It’s worth spending 60 EUR for 30 minutes of flying. The Nazca lines are geoglyphs, apparently made by people over 1,500 years ago.The reason for their construction and methods are still unclear today. We can easily distinguish forms such as the hummingbird, monkey or the dog. There’s even an austronaut, which is kind of out of place. The pilot even showed me a supposed dinosaur, which isn’t well-known. You can see lots of interesting things just next to the road. While driving north I’ve seen more than 2,000 years old geoglyphs. To conclude. I drove over 3,000 kilometres, about the same in altitude, spent around 300 EUR on gas.A liter of
diesel will only cost you 90 cents. They also have tolls, but I’ve only spet about 30 EUR on them. And about half a pint of sunscreen, but I still got burnt. Peru is an excellent destination for all who are fed up with European roads And those who yearn for fantastic scenery on the other side of the world. I recommend you get mobile network though. I’ve been using Google Maps to navigate, Garmin only worked in larger cities. And the Amarok worked as expected, just fine. Does it have chrome around the fog lamps? No? Ours is much better. .