Over the Andes Into the Desert


I´m writing this post after spending 19 hours in bed with a raging fever, maybe too much street meat? I made it over the Andes and have descended down into the Atacama desert, the driest in the world. “It feels good to be out of the rain.”

From the town of Puquio it was just under 100 miles to Nazca, home of the famous Nazca lines dating as far back as 200 BCE carved into the desert floor depicting animals, shapes, and lines. There were some large climbs in between but ultimately I would be losing nearly 13,000ft along the way.


Once I ascended to 4330 meters of the Pampas de Galeras, and the thousands of Vacuñathat reside there, I had a nearly 60 mile downhill ride. The temperature soared as I went down and the scenery changed to pure austere desert. I had great views of the largest sand dune in the world, Cerro Blanco. It sits just outside the city of Nasca and is 3860 ft high and 6791 ft above sea level.

Cerro Blanco can be seen behind me.

Cerro Blanco can be seen behind me.

I spent Thanksgiving eating a pizza and having a beer in a touristy bar in Nasca. However, I have seen turkey´s in Peru on a few farms, they were quite large too, but I have never seen them prepared as food.

Once I am rested and shake this fever I will head out to the desert oasis of Huacachina, then follow the Pacific coast until I reach Lima. I´m looking forward to exploring some of the desert along the way and reaching the ocean, marking a true trans-continental ride. Until then I am fascinated by the severe emptiness of the desert landscape.

No hay nada.

No hay nada.

11 Responses to “Over the Andes Into the Desert”
  1. Keep on Walking (or biking). What you are doing is what makes life interesting for the rest of us. :-) I’m impressed!


    by Gene Whitmer
    on 28. Nov, 2009

  2. Feel better Doug! Thinking of you… I am living vicariously through you…

    by jess
    on 28. Nov, 2009

  3. We have a team meeting on Dec 15th to talk about 2010 racing. I think you should come and join the Blue Hills Cycling Club. You already have the base miles done, just do a few intervals when you get back and you’ll be a Cat 1 before you know it.

    by Pete
    on 28. Nov, 2009

  4. Everything you’ve done on this journey is almost super-human. I guess I should take back the comment about boycotting the cockfights.We talked to Sara and she assures us that you’ll get help with the cockfight addiction when you get home.

    by Kathy & Eddie
    on 29. Nov, 2009

  5. Sorry about the fever–we are praying for you and your safe return. This is not easy for any of us.

    by Mom
    on 29. Nov, 2009

  6. Keep up the amazing work Doug.. you’ve almost done it for goodness sakes! just think back on all that you have been through, and all the distance you have covered.

    by sara
    on 30. Nov, 2009

  7. Awesome man! The home stretch! Stay tough and kick that fever!

    by Yost
    on 30. Nov, 2009

  8. awesome photos!

    by GD
    on 01. Dec, 2009

  9. You are awesome Doug. take care.. see you soon and love the pics and please no more fevers

    by Carol (Auntie)
    on 01. Dec, 2009

  10. Another amazing chapter in your journey – didn’t realize there would be that much to see passing through the Peruvian desert onto the coast, as the Nazca lines are quite distinctive from watching those old Chariots of the Gods programs when I was a kid.

    by Ken
    on 01. Dec, 2009

  11. So releived to hear you are feeling better and on your way…what an incredible journey! Thanks for sharing it with all of us and I look forward to welcoming you home.

    by joni donahue
    on 03. Dec, 2009

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