After 20 hours of travel time, five hours of sleep and seven hours of time difference, I Wake up in a small Hotel in Paracas, 100 kilometers South of the Peruvian capital, Lima. I'm fighting fatigue and jet lag, but on this cool Sunday morning, the voltage is greater than anything else. Because today is the Land Rover Experience Tour in 2017 starts a modern caravan, consisting of 16 Land Rover Discovery-, and three-Range Rover Sport, the South American Wilderness of Peru.
Six happy winners of the previous multi-stage qualification will be accompanied on the 14-day adventure trip from the Land Rover Experience Crew, some journalists (including me) and a TV team. They put 3,500 kilometers, the largest part of the terrain and far away from developed roads. I'm on the first stage, at least four days. On the program, sandy desert sections of the Pacific coast and rocky mountain passes up to 4800 meters above the sea level.
My first challenge: Although the trunk of the Discovery 1.137 liters picks up the Luggage, it will in the seven-seater is pretty tight. Four bags come up on the rear bench, a range of beverages in the rear footwell. It can't be helped, because the baggage compartment is already full with tents, chairs, a large catering box, washing utensils and a fridge. No wonder that the spare wheel and the emergency fuel had to be canisters on the roof rack. After the Briefing from chief instructor Dag Rogge, our Route starts relatively unspectacular over 60 miles of paved roads. Shortly after the Ica, we switch to Sand. Chassis high, in the off-road program, select the appropriate mode for the all-wheel drive, air pressure in the tire is lowered. A total of 80 tires, mind you, which takes time. After that, we split up the vehicles into three convoys and disappear into the yellow dunes. 100 kilometers today want to be unwound, before we reach our destination on the Pacific ocean.
We plowed landscape is enormous. Quickly, almost 40 degrees Celsius in the morning 15. The climate control system of the Disco is working at top speed. Out? Better not, because after a few seconds on the hot Sand you feel the soles of the heat even through the Shoe. The tire temperatures by the rise in air pressure is noticeable. Less contact area and therefore less Grip on the traction-free surface, we don't want to risk it. Who wants a Land Rover, to dig? So once again a bit of air out of the tires. Another recipe against the Stuck? A lot of Gas and don't stop.
We follow this advice and do with no problems good range. Until we reach shortly before the finish, there is an approximately 60-Meter-high dune that separates us from beer, dinner and camp for the night. Dag estimates that the scary pile of Sand is expected to have a slope of about 45 degrees. We keys slowly to the edge and leave us in our Ü-Two-ton sleigh fall in the slope. The boat starts to slip pretty similar to the skiing in deep snow. Soft, silent, fun, dangerous. It is important not to draw strong (this happens almost by itself), or to curb already existing tracks should be used. The sole arrived, I then fully on the Gas. The three-liter supercharged V6 to grabs with 340 HP and transported to Bay the car into the sea. Hello, Punta de Asma. As a reward, we enjoy locally caught fish that we enjoy as the Locals uncooked and ungebraten, only "cooked" in lemon juice.
The next Morning is breaking. One of the Peruvian cooks comes up to me while I man my einrolle tent. She says something in Spanish, pushes me and handed me a business card. I think I may come back. We leave the sandy environmental protection area and reach over to Paracas, and Chincha Alta is a huge garbage dump. It smells like rotten waste, small reptiles chasing after innumerable flies. Get out of here fast: The Andes, and with them a lot of extremely narrow, washouts, and thick, rock-strewn gravel tracks. While the Discovery in the vast plains almost small, occurred, the length of 4.97 metres, mostly, but the width of about two meters. Fortunately, there are on the first stage after Chavin hardly any traffic. We fine-tune quickly to a height of 3,200 meters. So it should go the next two days, promises us Dag. In the evening, in the Village of Chavin, cooking with the Locals for us, goat, Corn, and potatoes in a hole in the ground. Even the mayor came. After the meal, and your words, "I'm glad you're here, come back soon" there are music and dance.
On the following day, it goes up to 4,800 meters altitude. At the fuel stop in front of the entrance to the mountains, my front passenger buys a in Peru, very popular Inca Kola. His conclusion after the first SIP: "It's not just looks, it also tastes like bubble gum with a touch of Alpaca-the urine." To me the South America-effervescent tastes anyway. What helps you to climb? Among other things, about 28 inches of ground clearance and axle articulation of 50 centimeters. In addition, the Disco is in the terrain so easily that even I'm going to be a professional off-road drivers, though the air buzzed. The oxygen content is so low that even a few steps make an effort.
Without having taken a shower as all the participants I'm going to the last daily morning Briefing. There, Dag speaks of a time of arrival in Huancayo 13 PM. But if Peruvian grandmothers can't make it on the first attempt, to drive stubborn herds of the road, can take 225 kilometers already almost ten hours. Also, it is on the one-lane main traffic artery is quite common that you meet a fully occupied coach or a Truck. Then usually helps only to store the all the Land Rover convoy in the manageable alternate bays, the Format of which is sufficient only with difficulty for all our cars. But it gets even worse: all of a Sudden, a Truck is on the right in a rock and the left, in part over the abyss. 45 minutes later, the Truck with a dangerous goods Container comes free with many helpers, of our troops, again.
The following descent (on mainly sealed road) then as a kind of liberation. . We can leave the Disco to fly for real. Don't get us wrong: The Experience is not locking in the colonial-style through Peru. On the contrary, The Team has renovated in the run-up to, among other things, a school. Against 17 clock we happen to border the city. We have done it. We think at least, because a South American city, traffic can be for European based drivers pretty nerve-wracking. Rules? It's not there. The most important component of any vehicle? The Horn. But, fortunately, the ensure LED turned off Lightbar on the roof as well as the sheer size in the narrow and hectic streets of the 400.000 inhabitants of the metropolis for lack of respect, and we honk the horn for us successfully in the middle of the city, to our destination. A real Hotel. And finally a warm shower instead of a bath in the sea or in rivers.
Here I leave the illustrious troupe. You will now be on the way in the direction of the rain forest. From Huancayo it's supposed to go over to Satipo, Rio Ene, La Merced and Cusco next to Machu Picchu. One more week of 1,070 kilometres, completely different Terrain and new challenges for man and machine. What is stuck? In addition to the breathtaking landscape of Peru, and enormous hospitality, the all-terrain qualities of the Land Rover Discovery 5. And if it's not just the crowded, the error memory must be read out via a Laptop, most of the repairs still with cable ties or duct tape.(ml)