Peru to Ecuador: In the Footsteps of the Incas
The cobalt blue waters of Lake Titicaca are dotted with fishermen in their reed boats. At an altitude of 12,628 feet, the air is crystal clear. White clouds hang low over the red and brown hills of the Altiplano, reflected in the mirror-like surface of the lake. Irrigated maize and potato fields line the shore. Low, mud-brick houses with glinting tin roofs break the carpet-like pattern. Plumes of wood smoke rise from their chimneys. Indian women in bowler hats and vividly colored traditional garments, with woolen blankets draped around their shoulders, spend the morning herding their llamas.
We ride our KTMs on a paved road along the shoreline of the lake until we reach the town of Puno. Two policemen stop us. When they check our papers with a certain air of authority, we know immediately what they want from us - a bribe. For sure, they are not going to get it, but we play their game
Peru has three distinctive faces. The coastal desert is dry and barren. The famous but rather boring Pan American Highway leads through this part of the country. From here the Andes rise over 20,000 feet into the sky and offer scenic mountain trails both on and off road, a great playground for the motorcyclist. On the other side they fall into the Amazon lowlands. Only rivers and dirt roads connect this part to the rest of the country. Rainy season is from November to March. Heavy showers in the mountains and snow on the high passes are common for this time of the year. June, July, and August are the coldest months, but dry.