Alpaca Rally

 

 

 

THE ALPACA RALLY

THE ALPACA CLASSIC RALLY

“Hands down one of the most exciting rallies of 2016. Cartagena to Lima – with the option to take part in an additional stage through Peru’s southern highlands.

Six years after our first foray into South America on the infamous Patagonia Rally, we felt a return to this most mysterious and beautiful of continents was long overdue. ‘The Alpaca’ was originally inspired by Coleman’s Drive, the account of John Coleman’s incredible  journey from Buenos Aires to New York City in a 1929 Austin 7.

The route has evolved considerably following the route survey, and after much discussion, we decided to run Cartagena down to Lima, with a loop around Peru’s southern highlands. Colombia, Ecuador & Peru are three truly phenomenal countries, offering up some of the best driving roads in all of South America. This is a real driver’s drive. Come and join us.”

~ Conrad
Rally Director

KEY DATES

  • Monday 2nd May – Arrive into Cartagena
  • Tuesday 3rd May – Cars out of port
  • Thursday 5th May – Flagging off from Cartagena
  • Monday 16th May – End of Stage 1 (arrival into Quito)
  • Thursday 26th May – End of Stage 2 (arrival into Lima)
  • Friday 27th May – Participants NOT taking part in Stage 3, cars to port
  • Monday 6th June – End of Stage 3 (arrival into Lima)
  • Tuesday 7th June – Cars to port in Lima

 

DRIVING HIGHLIGHTS

1. HONDA TO MANIZALES
Steamy rainforest, steep cliffs and wind-swept plateaus.
2. MOCOA DEATH ROAD
The name says it all!
3. QUILOTOA LOOP
Stunning views, Lord-of-the-Rings-esque scenery
4. AVENUE OF THE VOLCANOES
Insane! The world just drops away from the road
5. CHACHAPOYAS TO CELENDIN
Wow! Watch this recce vid
6. CANON DEL PATO
Tunnels, unpaved single lane cliff-edge tracks. Take a peek
7. CARRERA INTEROCEANA
Nazca to Cusco via Chalhuanca, vicuñas, pampas, switchbacks. Perfection!
8. CUSCO TO ANDAHUAYLAS
What a drive!
9. AYACUCHO TO TARMA
Epic cliff-hugging track through a lush valley.

PARTICIPANTS

1 Richard Fenhalls (UK) / Heather Milne-Taylor (UK) Land Rover Defender
2 Peter Gerstrom (UK) / Carolyn Brigg (UK) Jaguar Mk2
3 Paul Kane (USA) / Mary Kane (USA) Ford Mustang
4 Christian Spleiss (CH) / Boris Schnorf (CH) Chevrolet Blazer
5 John Noble (UK) / Jean Noble (UK) Mercedes 280SL
6 Paul Merryweather (UK) / Sandra Merryweather (UK) Mitsubishi Pajero
7 Alastair Caldwell (NZ) / TBA Mercedes 280SL

 ITINERARY

DAY -2 CARTAGENA 0H00 / 0KM
DAY -1 CARTAGENA 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 0 CARTAGENA 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 1 CARTAGENA TO MINCA 5H00 / 250KM
DAY 2 MINCA TO MOMPOX 7H00 / 380KM
DAY 3 MOMPOX TO MONTERIA 6H00 / 250KM
DAY 4 MONTERIA TO MEDELLIN 6H00 / 250KM
DAY 5 MEDELLIN 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 6 MEDELLIN TO RIO CLARO 3H30 / 220KM
DAY 7 RIO CLARO TO PEREIRA 8H00 / 330KM
DAY 8 PEREIRA 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 9 PEREIRA TO POPAYAN 6H00 / 340KM
DAY 10 POPAYAN TO SAN AGUSTIN 3H30 / 140KM
DAY 11 SAN AGUSTIN TO PASTO 8H00 / 260KM
DAY 12 PASTO TO QUITO 7H00 / 360KM
DAY 13 QUITO 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 14 QUITO TO BANOS 7H00 / 315KM
DAY 15 BANOS TO CUENCA 5H00 / 325KM
DAY 16 CUENCA 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 17 CUENCA TO MANCORA 6H00 / 350KM
DAY 18 MANCORA TO CHACHAPOYAS 10H00 / 670KM
DAY 19 CHACHAPOYAS 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 20 CHACHAPOYAS TO CAJAMARCA 8H00 / 300KM
DAY 21 CAJAMARCA TO CARAZ 10H00 / 480KM
DAY 22 CARAZ TO LIMA 8H00 / 410KM
DAY 23 LIMA 0H00 / 0KM

 

ADDITIONAL PERUVIAN HIGHLANDS LOOP:

…a couple of us will be driving this after the rally. If you’ve got an extra 2 weeks to play with and want to do this as well, by all means join us

DAY 24 LIMA TO PARACAS 4H00 / 240KM
DAY 25 PARACAS TO NAZCA 3H00 / 200KM
DAY 26 NAZCA TO CHALHUANCA 6H30 / 340KM
DAY 27 CHALHUANCA TO CUSCO 6H00 / 300KM
DAY 28 CUSCO 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 29 CUSCO 0H00 / 0KM
DAY 30 CUSCO TO ANDAHUAYLAS 9H00 / 340KM
DAY 31 ANDAHUAYLAS TO AYACUCHO 7H00 / 250KM
DAY 32 AYACUCHO TO TARMA 9H00 / 350KM
DAY 33 TARMA TO LIMA 6H30 / 275KM
DAY 34 LIMA 0H00 / 0KM

FAQ

What driving conditions can we expect?

We were expecting to have to break bad news of long days on bad roads with promises of stays at amazing hotels, but we don’t need to. Don’t worry, you still get the luxury boutique hotels, but in the remotest of locations we’ve largely found perfect (fresh) tarmac. It seems Peru (and to an extent Ecuador) have recently released an ocean of cash to their road building ministers, and the effects are clear for all to see. We often found ourselves driving at night here, just because we endeavoured to follow each and every squiggly side road and then ran out of hours in the day. It is a doddle though. Signposted turns, reflectors. Safety barriers don’t feature. There are the odd bulls standing in the middle of hairpins, black as night, but apart from that things are a lot better than we had anticipated. That said there some tough sections, sections of mud/unpaved/graded tracks, and sections of horrific tarmac. But all are perfectly passable. Assuming mother nature decides not to throw a spanner in the works with landslides or volcano eruptions

What support crew will there be?

There will be two support vehicles and five crew members, among whom are Conrad, Adrian, a photographer and 2 full-time mechanics

Fuel availability issues?

Next to nowhere accepts cards. On the whole fuel availability is OK. The longest stretch between pumps is ~340km on stage 26 (Nazca to Chalhuanca). The road book marks fuel stations in remoter areas so you’ll be able to judge. If you do splutter to a standstill…we won’t leave you to the buzzards

What are the regulations for RHD cars?

South American paperwork and bureaucracy approach farcical levels in places. As far as we are able to ascertain after contacting respective ministries for tourism, embassies, and chambers of commerce: there do not exist explicit laws prohibiting the temporary importation of RHD vehicles into Colombia, Ecuador, or Peru. This sentiment is supported by the wider overlanding community, and Adrian’s experience conducting the route survey in our RHD Landy. The issue was never raised; not at the port, nor at any land border or police checkpoint. Now, there is a caveat: we can’t promise that the state of the world won’t change come 2016. Presently, as far as we are aware, the South American countries that DO prohibit the importation of RHD vehicles, both temporary and otherwise, are Chile, Bolivia, and Paraguay. These laws were put in place to stem the tide of cheap Japanese cars flooding in.

With this information, you are free to make an informed decision on your choice of car. We are not imposing a restriction on this issue ourselves, and shall be bringing our RHD Landy back out as one of the support vehicles. We would highly recommend bringing a LHD’er so as to minimise any risk of border difficulties. And actually it is rather unpleasant driving on the outside anyway, overtaking blind and what not. If you do decide to bring a RHD’er, just be aware of the facts

What's included / not included?

Included: 27 nights accommodation & breakfast on a double/twin sharing basis; return shipping to the UK as double container load; 4 rally parties with dinner and drinks; rally support team and full-time mechanic; border crossing assistance; 3rd party insurance (SOAT); rally hamper, – pre-programmed GPS unit; comprehensive road book, road maps; a tasteful selection of rally clothing.

Not Included: Flights; fuel; road tolls; ferry tolls; entrance fees; lunch and dinner with the exception of the rally parties; breakdown/repair costs; marine insurance; side-trips; anything else not on the inclusion list

How does the shipping work?

The shipping costs we are working off assumes double container load ex. Tilbury, UK. Those wishing to ship from another port of origin may face an additional charge.

How safe is it?

There is a general preconception that South America is a big old scary place, but 5 weeks on the road should serve to dispel that. There are the basic problems that you have almost anywhere in the world (pick pocketing and petty theft). Just be aware, leave your valuables in the hotel when you venture out at night, and split your cards/cash into multiple locations just in case. We never leave the cars on the street overnight. Each evening we park at the hotel’s secure parking area or we use a nearby facility. Colombia’s political problems continue to bubble away in the background, but guerrilla-held areas are largely in the remote South-Eastern jungle regions, areas through which we won’t be travelling. Ecuador is perfectly safe. Peru’s guerrillas have dwindled to near extinction. The only section of the rally which passes through a questionable region is stage 32 between Ayacucho and Tarma. On this day we ask that participants drive the Rio Mantaro valley in convoy and don’t tootle along alone. On the whole, we would not say there is any reason to be especially concerned

The Galapagos...

A lot of you have been asking about them, why they aren’t on the itinerary, and whether we can put them there. The rally is, first and foremost, about the driving. Leaving the cars behind in Quito for a week mid-rally would not sit well with all, and so the decision was made to offer this as an optional post-rally add-on. Secondly, exactly what constitutes a good trip to the Galapagos is highly subjective. Some may wish to go native and live among the finches and frolicking turtles for 3 weeks, others may be content with a 2 night in-‘n-out. So…long story short, we’re happy to advise you on the Galapagos but they won’t be on the main itinerary. We recommend flying there from Lima via Guayaquil or Quito after you’ve crossed the finish line and sealed the container. June is a great time to visit the islands, just before the cold weather sets in, and when the turtles are at their most frisky

Is it competitive?

This is a touring rally, and will not be formally competitive. That said, we shall be implementing a variation of our “fining system” introduced on the 1st Jewel of India in 1999, whereby participants will be charged penalties for various misdemeanors, with proceeds to charity. All fun and games! Snitches and grassers welcomed!

What vehicle regulations do you impose?

All entrants will be considered. This is not a competitive rally we do not see the value in specifying exhaust noise criteria or cut-off dates. That said, Conrad will consider your proposed car, and if he thinks you’re being a fool – he’ll tell you. Ground clearance, ruggedness, reliability, and failing that – repairability are key. Bear in mind the region of the world, the remoteness of some of the drives, and the harshness of the unpaved stages. Yes our mechanics are there to assist you, but no amount of mechanicing is going to get you over the Andes with 2 inches of ground clearance

BLOG

8 BEST ROADS
Day 26 & 27. Nazca to Cusco. We split this drive into 2 stages, stopping overnight in Tampumayu

DRIVING NIRVANA
Yesterday I was lucky enough to stumble upon the most spectacular drive I’ve ever done in my life.

PRISTINE PARACAS
It’s hard to convey the allure of the Paracas Reserve through writing, but this is a very special place.

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