Inca Trail

Life is not what one lived,
but what one remembers
and how one remembers it to recount it.
(Gabriel Garcia Marquez)


A rally of 55 days in South America, October and November 2001. 25 thousand km of large spaces, almost half of dirt roads, crossing the Andes over 5,000 meters. All organized by John Brown (Scottish Malt, Le Jog, London-Cape Town) since two years he is working on this project. We met him last November in Llao Llao, during the Mille Miglia in Argentina while he was verifying the hotel accommodation and controlling the Patagonian roads.

The route of the Incas can be done even today, four days of walking,  indeed fascinating, but you need different legs. That path between mountains and valleys leads to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. The Inca empire stretched from Colombia to Argentina, our rally will tour much broader. Earlier the territories of Misiones, the city fortresses built to subtract the indigenous from slavery by the Jesuits. Then, they became open pit mines in Bolivia, where the Indians were dying 30 years old to extract silver. The history of these populations is the story of a fierce domination, civilization and wealth made disappeared by the conquistadors. Lima will be the northernmost point of the path, and then we will travel throughout the Patagonia until Ushuaia and back, where we can find whales and glaciers, penguins, and boundless landscapes. Departure from Copacabana, the festive arrival of the Sugar Loaf.

Each crew a story. Richard Newman with a Chrysler built in 1029. Paul Markland and his son on a Buick full of trouble. Secrest on that '49 Ford that would be able to walk without wheels (and shortly it will do it). Do and Ann Meeus on Jaguar XK140, the same that were overturned in "Around the World in 80 days." Denham on Alvis, with the co-driver that we have rarely seen sober. Alexa, stoic gold medal, on the Austin A90. Caldwell with his Ferrari, others with muscle Mustangs. Then Diana and Rick Dick-Pryce with their Austin Healey, John Mathew with Pagoda and his son, Zica Capistrano and Inigo on the  Porsche 356, the craziest among all. Willie Caruana from Malta, Thomas, and Maria Noor, in search of the best restaurants. We are always close to Philip Perez and Ricardo and Silvia Fox with their enthusiasm. Jenkins-Aspinall, new friends, John, who even had his first flight (as a pilot) on Nazca lines.