Few things in my life can compare to the almost monthlong trip I took around Peru to follow the Dakar Rally on a Kawasaki KLR650. It sounds melodramatic, but it was really that good.
Starting on January 1, 2019, and ending just before February, my Dad and I experienced all the ups and downs of the trip of a lifetime. Traveling across the Atacama Desert, over the Andes Mountains, and right into the bustling cities, we saw landscapes that I had never even imagined. We witnessed the sheer brutality of the trucks in the rally, the cars, the bikes, media helicopters buzzing all around, and the total utter chaos of the local fans. These are the highlights of my trip across Peru to follow the 2019 Dakar Rally, which as it turns out, was the last one that will be held in South America (the rally moved to Saudia Arabia this year).
Our first night of camping was after a whirlwind trip of many days in transit, finally making it to the city of Arequipa, in southern Peru, to collect the bikes. In the afternoon of what should have been our first full day of riding, we were determined to get started. We hit the road in the setting sun to leave Arequipa along one of South America’s busiest highways, the Pan-American.