I keep thinking about that road book show by Eurosport. Peru will feature in every South American Dakar from now on that is for sure. It has the biggest dunes and the biggest dune fields. The desert is very wide in places so it makes more of a navigational challenge. It also has the highest dunes in the world, one near Nasca goes up to 2,100m (6,300ft). Its been blown up against a mountain and has a slope at least 1,000m high. I dont believe its on the 2102 Dakar route, but I'm pretty sure it will feature at some stage in the future. Here are some near Ica, which we will likely see on Stage 13. Spot the five bikes. No? Here it is zoomed in: And another one: Magnificent and undoubtedly one of the best riding venues in the world... As they say in the Eurosport program it is the small dunes that are the killers; they are too closely packed for you to take avoiding action and you have to keep moving or you bog down. Here is a field of small dunes just outside Lima to give you an idea. It is unbelievably difficult to get through these especially if you are travelling parallel to the prevailing wind direction. Choosing your line on big dunes is one thing, you don't really have this luxury in small dunes thanks to the holes, cut-off dunes and dunes within dunes. It is ridiculous easy to lose your speed and bog, or crash off a steep face. Sand consistency changes as well, so you have soft spots and hard spots and you can't see the difference between them. In this picture I had to turn to avoid going a hole and lost speed on the uphill slope which resulted in a bogging. I was hoping to switchback, it was the wrong decision. Once in this position you will lose at least a couple of minutes if you know what you are doing or half an hour if you don't. Get stuck like this five times in a row and you are so pumped you cannot even think straight anymore. If you're not careful, your bike overheats and that's it. Get stuck in one of those holes and you're in a nightmare. I once thought about abandoning my bike on one of those after spending 2 hours trying to get out. Luckily it in my backyard so I could practice, but it took me weeks and weeks of practicing in this type of terrain to get it right and even now I still get caught about 30% of the time. Not sure what it says about my riding skills!! To perhaps provide some point of reference I have been fortunate enough to have ridden in the Dumont dunes in California, as well as Dune 7 area near Swakopmund, Namibia and I found them to be easier to deal with because the sand grains were bigger and the dunes were big enough to be able to choose a better line in time. The scarey thing about the small dunes here is that people get frustrated and ride a bit faster and end up being sky pilots coming down hard, breaking man and machine. Just this year I know two guys who had bad crashes in these small dunes that put both of them out of action for over 5 months. There are countless others here who wont ride in the desert here because of crashes they've had. The good thing is that the Dakar boys who make it to Peru will have had lots of practice on the way and should be up to the challenge, but we can look forward to seeing a lot of dramatic footage, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on Stage 12 & 13. No, its just a really quick way to refresh this screen to check for the next update.