Rally of the Incas 2016

November 13 - December 9, 2016


DECEMBER 8, 2016

Nazca to Paracas

Nazca Racing

After the twists and turns of yesterday, today the rally was treated to a much more straightforward day along the main road to Paracas.

It was also a much more leisurely start, with time allowed for crews to either have a lie in while the peacocks in the hotel grounds patrolled and shrieked or take a pleasure flight over the nearby Nazca Lines, which was probably the more peaceful option.

These Lines are a group of geoglyphs etched into the desert sands. Covering nearly 1,000 sq. km and composed of over 10,000 lines, we saw the hummingbird, the hand, the whale and the monkey. Some of the figures measure 30 meters wide and stretch more than 9 km and the figures are most visible from the air or nearby hilltops.  The Lines were declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1994.

The route for today was a short one with only one regularity, the Rio Grande, which comprised a short steep loop off the main road and on the approach we shared the road with trucks laden with cotton, potatoes and onions.

There was drama even before this section started when Andrew and Gina Long who had obviously spoken too soon when they dared to congratulate themselves on getting their MGC to the finish line with only a day to go. An engine fire at the start of the regularity brought back memories of their ill fated Classic Safari when their Crossley gave up the ghost also on the penultimate day of the rally, 

Luckily for them though, Jamie Turner and Bob Harrod were nearby and after an hour or so of working on the car they got it going again with the aid of some split pins and springs to replace the carburettor linkages which had melted away. The air filters couldn't be salvaged however so Andrew was praying for a grit free run for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately for him and those crews in open the cars, we were back in desert country today and the road from the regularity to the night halt was swept by sand from the Grand Tablazo de Ica carried on a savage westerly crosswind. After the mountains of recent days, David Roberts quipped this morning that the ‘Happy Valley Rally Club’ had now morphed into something akin to operation desert storm as its members, past, present and future, saddled up for some serious sand blasting as the route progressed.

Lunch was taken in the small town of Ica where the chicken and chips ‘menu del dia' was devoured gratefully by one and all.

The night halt this evening is the exceedingly well appointed Paracas Resort where the, by now traditional, sweeps party is in full swing in the car park.

Syd Stelvio



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