Shortly after leaving Nazca the landscape became magic. Once again the Peruvian desert spread a symphony of thousand colors in front of me. To my right, the Pacific Ocean shone from turquoise over green to dark blue. After some 450 km of pure enchantment, I finally and definitely turned my back to the Pacific, and headed east. The road now rose gradually to Arequipa, located at 2300 meters at the foot of the Misti volcano. Arequipa has had this well-deserved nickname of the white city from the silar , a pearl white volcanic rock. Most of its public buildings are built in silar.

The Santa Catalina convent is in Arequipa and is the largest monastery in the world.

When I arrived in the city, panic!  My new engine was overheating; this was the first time since I am on the road. I checked the water and oil levels, both were normal.  Then I let the engine cool down for a quarter of an hour and drove the last 3 km to my destination. I do not know what the reason for the overheating might be, and this does not please me at all. By the time this happened I was driving in heavy traffic downtown Arequipa, but it was not very hot, and I drove in much bigger heat and heavier traffic before without any problems.

My night was not the most comfortable one.

This morning I left very cautiously, quite nervous, scared even, and staring all the time at my temperature gauge. But all remained normal, and with the temperature of my engine, my adrenaline level returned to a normal range.

The road resumed climbing rapidly, and peaked at some 4500 meters: I am in the Peruvian Altiplano. I saw many colonies of wild vicuñas and llamas and grazing along the road. The scenery is just grand and reminds me the Tibetan plateau, although it never could match the unique colors that one sees in Tibet.

Now I am in Puno at the Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 3800 meters. In just 36 hours I climbed from 0 to 4500 and will spend my night at 3800. Welcome to the headaches!