CENTRAL PERU

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DAY 654 HUARAZ- RECUAY

START 12:30 FINISH 16:00 (17/12/16)

DISTANCE 28KM RIDE TIME 2H27

After 8 days in Huaraz, we are finally leaving today. In the end it wasn’t till the afternoon that we left. We got out of the hostel around 10am after saying goodbye to everyone and taking some photos. Philip and Nicki are staying. There next stop is Lima. While Anja, Radko, Brek and I are heading for the great divide. We first had to go via the bike shop to get some spare spokes for Brek. Bike shop was closed and we waited 2 hours in the hope it would open. In the end Brek stayed and the rest off us headed off.

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We only cycled 30km for the afternoon. It was very pleasant as we followed the river. As we got higher we started to get nice views of the snow capped Huayhuash mountain range.

We stopped in Recuay around 4pm and went and asked if we could camp at the police station. It wasn’t a problem

DAY 655 RECUAY – CONOCOCHA

START 7:00 FINISH 16:00 (18/12/16)

DISTANCE 58KM RIDE TIME 5H00

There were 3 dogs at the police station. They watched us have our dinner last night and one of them kept guard outside my tent for the whole night.

It is the rainy season and the plan was to get up at 5pm and start cycling at 6am to beat the rain that usually comes in the afternoon. It was a beautiful clear morning and we ended up leaving at 7am.

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Just as we got back on the main road we came across a grotto and park on the side of the road. We stopped and walked up one of the long tunnels. They were very warm. There were 3 towns in quick succession. They were real mining towns. One had the ruins of an old mine and there was also the huge pile of waste from the mine that was been turned into a mountain.

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As we got higher the views of the mountains got better. Had to remember to keep turning around. To catch the awesome view. As we got higher we have had to stop and take more breaks.

When we arrived I waited in a restaurant for the others. Outside the restaurant I had a dog bite me. Ripped my shorts. Luckily didn’t draw blood. When the others arrived we tried the church, community hall & School. With no luck. We ended up going to the house of the owner of a new petrol station been built on the edge of town and asking if we could camp there. The owner said yes and gave us the unfinished kitchen to sleep in. We just beat the rain in time.

DAY 656 CONOCOCHA – CORPANQUI

START 7:00 FINISH 13:30 (19/12/16)

DISTANCE 38KM RIDE TIME 3H13

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We were greeted by a cloudy, misty morning when we awoke. For our first day on the great divide. We cycled just 2km before we turned off on the dirt road for Ticllos. We had a very short but nice climb looking down into the wide open valley with no trees, just brown alpine tussock grass. A few farms were scatted along the road as well. Once we reached 4230 meters we started to descend more quickly as we looked out over the mountains below us.

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The landscape soon changed with tress and lots of green grass and a lot more agriculture. The decent was up and down. Mostly down. We soon reached Ticllos. A small town, run down…………going through a revitalisation. There is a Italian mission here. They are restoring the church.

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The next town was only 10km away. We got here just in time, before the rain came. Corpanqui is a lot smaller then ticllos. Was also run down and going through a bit of a revitalization. After asking around. We were directed to camp at the sports ground. Here we were given a room. There was a old lady who lived here and looked after the place. Her brother had died and she had no where to live. So a lady at the municipal had given her the room. Just after we had made a cup of tea she brought us all each over a bowel of something mixed with fat and a rock hard bread roll. We looked at each other and said we cant eat this. We discreetly tipped it in to a pot and took it off to the toilet to dump it. The bread rolls went over the fence. Then she came over to collect our bowels…………only to return 5 mins later with full bowls again……….so we had to repeat the process. We honestly couldn’t have eaten it with out been sick. I was gaging just washing the bowels.

DAY 657 CORPANQUI-LLIPA

START 6:20 FINISH 14:45 (20/12/16)

DISTANCE 43KM RIDE TIME

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Sitting up at 3400 meters. This morning we were well above the cloud whe6n we started. It was a beautiful sight . The sun was shining brightly. We descended 10km and passed through the cloud.

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Then we had a few hours of climbing back into the cloud on long switch backs. We passed through some small villages with no shops.

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Also came across another a banded mine.

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At 11am I reached Raja I had some lunch and waited 2 hours for the others to catch up. From here it was a easy 13km dow6n to the 6next village where we pla6ned to stay. Just 6 km away on the side of the mountain was a banded village with o more then 100 houses.

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It was a bit airy cycling through. Llipa is the new village. Half the people from the old village moved here. The other half moved to the coast. When we asked the locals why they moved. A They all said because of the accidents. A number of people died in the village. When we arrived we asked at the town hall I we could camp at the sports ground. As usual it wasn’t a problem

DAY 658 LLIPA-TURMAC

START 7:00 FINISH 14:00 (21/12/16)

DISTANCE 41 KM RIDE TIME 3H56

Today was a really nice cycling day. The first 18km was easy. We started at 1852 meters and descended another 500 meters to the bottom of the cannon. Lots of switch backs and a great view of the valley. The cannon was very rugged and dry. The colours of some of the rocks were amazingly beautiful. Sadly a very common sight on these windier mountain roads Is crosses. We past 6 from a accident just 5 months ago

When we got to the bottom of the cannon we crossed over the river and then it was just as beautiful cycling through the cannon beside the river. It was so impassive how steep the mountains were and to see where we had come from. For the first time in my life I saw Condors. At one point there were 10 flying around. They were great to watch.

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It was nice and green at the bottom of the cannon. The road hugged the cliff tightly and at some points the cliff overhung the road. After 7km we crossed over Catjatambo river.

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Here at the junction was a old village now in ruins. Our road took us up a new valley following the Cajatmbo river. It was a nice gradual climb and just as beautiful. After 7km we stopped for lunch at the waterfall. The water was cold and tasted fantastic. It was a hot day. After lunch I cycled on by my self to the next junction where I herd there was a shop. It was closed when I arrived. The old couple opened up and I had a drink with then and chatted while I waited for the others.

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It was another 8km to the Thermal pools. The others wanted to camp at the junction for the night. I was tempted to still go. The black clouds starting to appear detoured me. We asked if we could camp in one of the fields out the back. No problem. It was a big farm. A little in decline. As it was probably a bit much for the old couple to look after. A lot of the stone walls and buildings were falling down.

DAY 659 TURMAC-LLOCCHI

START 6:20 FINISH 14:00 (22/12/16)

DISTANCE 18KM RIDE TIME 2H39

this morning I decided to set myself a little challenge to see how long it would take me to climb the 440 meters over 8km up to the thermal pools. I thought it would take between 2 hours and 2 half hours. It wasn’t to steep and I surprised myself arriving in 1 hour and 10 minutes. You can be surprised how much you can push yourself when you know thee is something nice waiting for you at the end. It was 5 sols for the hot pools.

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You get your own private room. I feel so clean afterwards. It was pretty hard to start cycling again. The Germans arrived 1 half hours later. It was midday before we moved on again. We did just another 10km of climbing to the next village. After here there is nothing for another 25km.

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There was very little to Llocchi . Just one road with a few houses either side and a couple of basic shops. We asked if we could camp in6 the community hall. We had to wait 3 hours for the guy with the key to come back from visiting his uncle. It was worth the wait to get out of the rain.

DAY 660 LLOCCHI – CAJATAMBO

START 6:15 FINISH 10:00 (23/12/16)

DISTANCE 24KM RIDE TIME 3H12

I left just after 6am. It was a bit fogy and misty. The dirt road was pretty good considering the rain. Just out of town were a number of mines in the hill side. I walked a short distance into one of the tunnels. The entrance was supported by timber supports. Wasn’t sure how safe it was. The higher we got, the colder it got.

I was cycling through the cloud. I came across a lot of crosses. At one point there were 11 crosses together on the side of the road. I looked over the edge of the road and at the bottom of the valley was the wreckage of a truck. They must have just driven over the edge in the fog.

When we reached Cajatanmbo we found a bigger town. It had a nice hotel for us to check into with wifi. There is a church and a plaza. The shops are all pretty basic. We will stay here for Christmas before moving on.

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`DAY 662 CAJATANMBO – PACOMAYO

START 7:30 FINISH 14:40 (25/12/16)

DISTANCE 33KM RIDE TIME 4H52

Today we are going to a new level, by starting to get into the high altitude. We have a 4540 meter pass. Which will be followed tomorrow by a even bigger 4850 meter pass. I am a little nervosa on how I will get on. I don’t want to get altitude sickness.

It was 25km to the top of the pass while ascending 1300 meters. I gave myself a little program that worked well. I stopped every 5km for a 15 min break. Which was about every hour. It was a good dirt road. They have been working on it. With lots of switch backs it was a good gradual climb. The land scape soon changed and I was passing alpine lakes.

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Early afternoon the weather started to change. Lots of black clouds and I could hear the thunder rolling around me. It was freezing cold on top of the pass. The road detracted. It was very muddy. The plan was to camp at the low point between the two passes (4330m) Coming down the pass I could see a glacier close by and in the valley was a group of building I headed there as quick as I could with the dark black clouds fast approaching. I thought it was a farm. When I got there it was a school. Everything was locked up and it looked as tho it was no longer in use. I quickly put my tent up on the grass in the kids play area. And I put my bike under the eve of one of the building. It started to rain and I hesitated making a run for my tent. Next minute it started to hail and I was stuck under the eve for the next 20 mins. When I finally made it to the tent. I went straight to bed. 2 hours later the Germans arrived. Some guy had just tried to pull stuff off there bike as they wee riding along, only just up the road. The rain had stopped so I got up and quickly cooked some dinner and had a hot cup of tea before going back in the tent. The fog and mist was starting to roll around us.

DAY 663 PACOMAYO – OYON

START 7:00 FINISH 14:40 (26/12/16)

DISTANCE 36KM RIDE TIME 4H40

It was pretty cold over night. Probably below minus five degrees. I awoke to find the tent frozen. It was a cold morning as well. It was also a beautiful clear morning. I had a perfectly clear view of the glacier from my tent. We were so lucky with the weather. Today was one of my best cycling days ever.

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The 11km climb to the top of the pass went really well. I didn’t suffer any effect from the altitude which was pleasing. The scenery was absolutely stunning and very different. Photos are best way to explain. Just below the pass I passed a number of mines and just below the summit was a beautifully lake.

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On reaching the top I got my tent out to dry. It still had ice on it and I got my radio out and the first thing I herd on the Bbc was that George Michel had died. The roads down was terrible, so much that I came off when I hit a pile of sand. Unfortunately broke one of my break leavers.

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The views down were all so spectacular. When I arrived in Oyon there was some festival going on sand I got mobbed. I started talking to the Pardre and I asked if there was a hotel around and he said something and soon lead me to the casa de Pardre.

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Pardre Miguel kindly gave me a room to camp in and a key so I could come and go. In the evening I told the Pardre it was cold and he gave me a shot of whisky. His kitchen was full of alcohol on the shelf.

DAY 664 OYON- LAGUNA

START 8:30 FINISH 13:30 (27/12/16)

DISTANCE 18KM RIDE TlIME 3H25

I got away late this morning . I ended up having a cooked breakfast with the Pardre and his sidekick. Shame really because I had a big day ahead of me needing to climb 1300 meters to get to the top of the pass and then get down safely to a reasonable altitude on the other side. Passed some more mines on the way up.

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 By mid morning it wasn’t looking good. Once I was above 4000 meters it was bitterly cold. Early afternoon I was still 11km short of the pass and it was looking like I wouldn’t arrive before 3pm at the earliest.

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The black clouds didn’t please me either. So I pushed on for a few km before I came across a small Laguna. I am camping here for the night. Within 30 mins of stopping the rain came. So it was a good call.

DAY 665 LAGUNA – HUANCAHUASI

START 6:45 FINISH 12:30 (28/12/16)

DISTANCE 35KM RIDE TIME 3H33

It was a cold misty night. I could hear something near the tent and when I shine my torch the light just bounced back off the cloud. I think it was a cow. It was a cold clear morning g when I started the climb to the top of Abra Rapaz. It went really well and I had no effects going over the 4990 meter pass.

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There are huge mines up here and I had to cycle through a mine pass some large man made lakes. The landscape was increasable. I got to Rapaz at 10:30am and was keen for some hot food. Had to wait till 11am so had a walk around this small mountain town. After lunch I descended down to Huancasuasi. The parch is through a cannon. The rocks in the river were all yellow.

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Huancasuasi has some hot pools and I stopped here first. 5 sols to get in you can use any of the two main pools or the private pools. I went straight to the Presadiantal pool, got a surprise when the Pardres sidekick from Oyon opened the door. Then the Pardre turned up shortly after.

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The presdinatal pool was so beautiful the water was nice and hot and the colours of the rocks were so pretty. I ended up spending the whole afternoon here. When it closed at 6pm I just went next door and put my tent up in the picnic area.

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I had a quick walk into the town which was a km away. Not one single restaurant so I had to go back and cook for myself.

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DAY 666 HUANCAHUASI – CHUCOPAMPA PASS

START 6:20 FINISH 16:30 (29/12/16)

DISTANCE 34 KM RIDE TIME 6H51

I had to loyal dogs that slept either side of my tent last night. If anything came near. They soon got rid of it. The day started easy enough with a small decent down to the small village of Pico. When I arrived, They were having band practice next to the small plaza. I stopped and listened for a short time. But I was gear to get climbing. I was keen to get over the 4860 meter Punta Chucopampa pass today. I also didn’t want to be going over to late in the day, so as to be able to drop a 1000 meters to then be at a good height to sleep. I quickly gained 500 meters on the ride up to Parquin.

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Will be the last town for a few days. Stopped and got some fresh produce. There was a small parade and I soon found myself invited for a early lunch and then when I was about to leave I was forced to get up and dance in front of the band. I ended up spending two hours in Parquin. Which wasn’t what I really needed. But I did have a nice local experience. The road out of town showed little use. It was overgrown with grass. Not long after leaving town I was in the mist and the rain. When I got up over 4000 meters it became a lot colder. When I got to within 6km of the top It was bitterly cold and visibility was only a few meters. By this time I was now pushing my bike. In the mist I could see a guy walking towards me, stopping picking up rocks from the road and throwing them to the side. At first I thought the rock was intended for me. When I reached him he then turned and walked with me, trying to engage conformation. Which I wasn’t keen on because at 4700 meters I was well short of breath. We passed his house and I lost him. Then he reappeared walking in front of me again. I was now only 3km from the top of the pass and pass the point of no return.

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Things got a whole lot difficult. It started to snow and the road turned to mud. It was a complete mess. Just to push my bike a meter was a huge effort. My feet were sliding and the bike was sliding of the road. It was a real energy sapping experience and I was muddy, wet and cold .

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When I finally reached the top it was a ice and bitterly cold place. I didn’t hang around long. I was freezing cold and was going to make a B line for the first house I saw. Coming down the other side of the pass wasn’t any easier. I came off the bike and found myself sliding through the mud. In the end it was easier to get off and push. In the valley below I could see 100 lama grazing. After 2 ½ km I spotted a small shapards hut.

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As I approached. The dog barked and Osca the Shepard came out. I approached him covered in mud and blood and asked if I could come in and shelter out of the snow. Standing next to the fire was wonderful. Oscar made me a cup of coffee. It was just a dirt flour hut with a bed at one end and the stove at the other. I asked if I could sleep on the flour. Thankfully Oscar said it would be ok. I was able to put some dry cloths on and the wet stuff all dried nicely by the fire. It was a real mission cleaning myself with 20 wet wipes. The mud just didn’t seam to want to come off. The snow started to really come down and I felt sorry for the Lama who by this time had come down to the hut. Soon after 50 sheep and a few lambs turned up to go into there pen for the night. The dog had brought them down by himself. I was so glad to be in the shapards hut. When it came time to sleep Oscar put 3 sheep skin rugs on the flour for me. I put my roll matt on top and I slept so well. In fact I was too hot in the night

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DAY 667 CHUCOPAMPA PASS – CHUNGAR

START 7:00 FINISH 3:00 (30/12/16)

DISTANCE 43KM RIDE TIME 5H5

After yesterdays weather. I was so glad it was a clear morning. I sleepiest so well on the sheepskin. I was to hot in the night. When I woke yup I noticed there was a sheep’s head by the door. I started trying to clean some of the muds off my bike. With out much luck. I had another go when I got to the first stream………a bit better. Best thing was just to let it dry and brush it off with a brush at morning tea. I descended the 900 meters down the valley to where I was hoping to be last night. The road was thankfully a lot better. At the junction I turned left and started climbing. Got to 4500 meters and then had to decided if I would stop for the day or continue to the top of the pass at 4760. There was blue sky and he sun was out so I continued. When I got to the top of the pass I was about 30 mins late. The cloud rolled in and then the bloody rain and driving sleet started. I still had 7km to get down to the lake. I arrived at the lake a little cold. Not as bad as yesterday. Something is going on because the gate had been welded shut and is blocking the road. Tomorrow I am going to have to lift everything over. With the rain. I wasn’t going to do it today.

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Instead I just put my up tent next to the dam and waited for the rain to stop so I could cook my dinner and have a nice hot cup of milo.

DAY 668 CHUNGAR – YANTAC

START 6:20 FINISH 16:00 (31/12/16)

DISTANCE 55KM RIDE TIME 7H04

Happy New Year, Since it is New Years eve. I am going to try and get to the next town which is about 50km away. There are a few passes I will need to cross first. The first was the Fierro Cruz pass at 4820 meters.

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As I got close to the top it was freezing cold. I could see a Glacier on my right hand side. Coming over the pass. Was a beautiful sight of alpine lakes below. Descending down to the lakes I was soon following a water canal. One of the many supplying Lima with its water. Unfortunately the rain soon came. Worse was to follow. As I started climbing the second pass a huge hail storm erupted. I was so lucky because there were some building just a 100 meters in front of me. I sprinted to them and trying the door. Was surprised it opened. Turned out to be a restaurant. Sat here and had some lunch for an hour while I waited for the rain to clear. I was still 25km from Yantac. I was still determined to make it. After the rain and hail the roads had turned to mud.

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I pushed on. 10Km from Yantac it started to snow. All I could do was keep going…………knowing that when I reach Yantac I would have shelter and would be safe. I was very relived when I made it. I’ve now been caught out in the snow 3 days in a row.

It is starting to take it ‘s toll on me. It takes a lot out of you……….When I arrived in Yantac it was like a ghost town. I was hoping for a hotel and a hot shower. I have had to settle for putting my tent up inside the Municipal building. After putting my tent up I was told I should move it as if there was a lot of rain in the night it would flood.

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The town itself looks pretty rough and has a harsh feel to it. I have only seen one shop. Electric only comes on at 7pm when the Generator is started. Doesn’t look like there will be a New Years party here tonight. Will have to settle for a movie in my tent.

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DAY 669 YANTAC – MARCAPOMACOCHA

START 9:00 FINISH 10:15 (01/01/17)

DISTANCE 15KM RIDE TIME 1H15

I’ll take back what I said. Because at midnight I was awoken by 50 or so large bangs as Marcapomacocha welcomed in the New Year with fire works going off in the main square. I took my time this morning. Planning on having a easy day. Herd there is a hotel 15 km away in the next town. That’s where I’m heading.

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First I had to change my front wheal. Found not one but two very thin pieces of wire in my tyre. Will repair the tube in the comfort of my hotel. It was a easy flat ride down to Marcapomacocha passing a few more lakes.

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The snow on the hills was looking pretty. Found the hotel. Wasn’t what I was dreaming about…………sure it was 5 star in its day. Those days are long gone. Very basic and run down. No hot water and no Wi-Fi. I did get a room with a nice view of the lake and I was able to watch half a dozen Pink Flamingo on the lake.

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DAY 670 MARCAPOMACOCHA – LA OROYA

START 7:30 FINISH 15:00 (02/01/17)

DISTANCE 95KM RIDE TIME 5H43

It was a cold morning and not a bad 27km climb up to the top of the 4860 pass. It was even colder on top and a little bit of snow around. Then it was a good 13km run out to the main Highway. When I neared the bottom I came across a railway line for the first time and it looked like there was a large mining operation near by. When I first saw the Caratera Central, It was good to see the tarsal again. I also saw the most cars and trucks I have seen in the past two weeks.

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There was a long. Long, line of trucks, busses, mini vans and cars winding up the mountain. It was a terrible road with no shoulder to cycle on. I cycled a little way before stopping to make a plan. Then a pick up truck pulled over with 3 French tourists and there guide. They asked if I wanted a ride up the hill. I didn’t hesitate because it is such a dangoures road. They have just arrived to climb some mountains when we got to the top. we stopped for some lunch and they kindly shouted me. The rain came and the roads were even more dangers. They ended up dropping me off just 5km from La Oroya. Its a real industrial town. I was defiantly the only gringo in town. Absolutely no tourists. I could see the high smoke stack from the steal mill on the other side of the river. That was the view from my hostel room as well.

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DAY 671&672 LA OROYA REST DAYS

DAY 673 LA OROYA – SAN JERONIMO

SRART 8:00 FINISH 15:00 (05/01/17)

DISTANCE 109KM RIDE TIME 5H05

Well rested from my little break in the hotel, as usually I was a little late to get on the road. I had breakfast it the restaurant down stairs. Cycling out of town following the river, it was a good sign to see I was going with the flow. I passed the big steal mill which is currently not operating on the opposite side of the river. There was a gondola of buckets crossing the road and river caring Orr or coal over to the mill. It was a productive day . Loving the sealed road and it was nice and flat. After two hours I had done 40km. The hot pace continued. When I stopped for lunch at 12:30 I had done 75km. Unfortunately then the rain came. Was going to cycle straight to the next town and call it a day. It cleared a bit. When I got to the junction there was two roads to Huancayo. I decided to take the ice cream route which had a few less trucks. I had a freaky accerdant this afternoon when I had a collision with a wasp as I was cycling along at speed. It ended up stinging me on the inside of my lip. It swelled up. It’s ok. On a sadder note I came across what looked like another fatal accident for the 3rd time on my trip. 

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The rain returned about 14km from Huancayo, so instead of pushing on. I just stopped at the nearest town and got a cheep room in a hostel for 25 sols. Getting good at bargaining.

DAY 674 SAN JERONIMO – HUANCAYO

START 9:00 FINISH 10:15 (06/01/17)

DISTANCE 16KM RIDE TIME 1H10

I got into huancayo just before the rain came. I made my way to the plaza de armous before trying to find a hotel/Hostel. Prices were a bit high. I shopped around before finding a pretty basic hostel for 25 sols. After lunch I went for a walk around town. Found myself trying to dodge the heavy rain showers and the puddles. Apart from a nice Plaza there wasn’t much else to see.

 

On my walkabout, I stumbled on a barbers shop and I went in for a shave. I hadn’t shaved since leaving Huaraz. For only 5 sols the old guy did a really good job. You can’t beat it. It costs 5 sols for a couple of razors.

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DAY 675&676 HUANCAYO REST DAYS

I herd there was a very nice train ride from Huancayo to Huanacayo which I hoped to take today. Unfortunately the train only runs Mon, Wed, Fri. So I am going to just chill out in Huancayo till Monday. I had a little look around the centre. Not really that much to see. 

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On Sunday I went out early to cheek out the biggest open air market in Peru. I walked the entire length. It was pretty stock stranded.

DAY 677&678 HUANACAYO-HUANCAVELICA-HUANACAYO

I had to get up at 4:45am to walk down to catch the train. When I arrived at the station. The ticket office hadn’t opened, there was a long que. I managed to get a 13 sol ticket for the Buffet cart, little bit more room and one up on 9 sol first class.

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It was a 123km to Huancavelica and it took nearly 5 ½ hours. The train was following the river the whole time. It was very scenic. We went through lots of tunnels.

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Stopped at lots of little stations and 3 semi big towns. Carrying the meals for the passengers in first class. The stewards had to jump between carriages. Within half an hour of arriving it was raining. I waited for the rain to stop. Went out for a bit. The rain started again and wouldn’t let up.

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DAY 679 HUANCAYO – IZCUCHACA

START 7:30 FINISH 14:20 (11/01/17)

DISTANCE 63KM RIDE TIME 4H50

Just when you think you are in for a easy day………..you end up getting a surprise. I was heading to Izcuchaca about 400 meters below Huancayo, thought I would be following the river, as I left town I started to climb and climb and climb. After 30 km I was at 3900 meters. It then made for a easy afternoon. I finnaly got down to the river.

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I was scutering along when I saw a sign for Auga Calante. On the otherside of the river you could see the rock formations created from thousand of years of geothermal activity.

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There was no bridge to get across the river. Just a wire and a wooden carrige to take people across. After shouting for about 10 mins a guy finnaly turned up. He came across in the carrige to pick me up.

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We loaded the bike on. It only just fitted. It cost 2 sols to go across. The first part was easy as we wizzed down. Then to go go up on the other side the guy had to pull us up by hand. I couldn’t help becouse I was to busy holding on to my bike for dear life. The carrige only had two sides. No front or back. The bike could quite easily fall out the front or back. There would be no getting the bike back from the river if it went in.

Had a lovely camping spot next to one of the hot pools. After I had set up the tent I was straight in. A group of locals soon turned up as well. While I was in the pool.

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The locals asked me if I had a friend because there was another cyclist wanting to get over. I went and found the guy and he went over to collect Gerard from Germany, who had first seen my tent and then the bicycle and was then keen to come over. He is cycling in the opposite direction. Was a really nice evening, no rain and fairly clear with some blue sky which is a real rarity for this time of day.

DAY 680 IZCUCHACA – QUICHUAS

START 8:15 FINISH 13:30 (12/01/16)

DISTANCE 44KM RIDE TIME 2H56

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Once we were ready to go. We had to go and find the guy to take us back across the river in the dodgy carriage. In most western countries. This wouldn’t be allowed. I only cycled a few km before I was in the town centre of Izcuchaca. It’s a old colonial town with a really old stone bridge to get across the river.

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I came through here on the train yesterday. The train runs right through the middle of town. While I was looking for food, I noticed my font rack was broken. The eyelet had broken off from the bike frame. Within 10 mins I had found a Mechanic and he was welding it back on. Cost 5 Peruvian sols about $ 1.60.

before leaving town I had a second breakfast. Then continued to enjoy following the river down stream. Was surprised with how many small towns I passed through. Come 13:30.looked like a bit of rain coming. Played it safe and cheeked into a cheap hotel. 15 sols. No hot water. I got a tv.

DAY 681 QUICHUAS -ANCO

START 8:00 FINISH 12:00 13/01/16)

DISTANCE 44KM RIDE TIME 2H56

It rained on and off all night. The rain stopped and the sun finally came out around 8am. I continued to follow the river down stream on a very narrow and winding road.

The drop offs from the road were steep and high. With the recent rain, There were many small water crossing I was able to manage al of these with relative ease. Except when I got to one it was like a full on river. I didn’t fancy getting my feet wet and to try and cycle through would be near impossible. I had to wait 25 mins before a pick up truck came along and I got them to give me a lift over. While I was waiting a group of motor cyclists turned up from the other side. I was videoing them crossing the river when one of them fell in. It backed up my decision to wait.

When I got to Anco I called it a day because of the dark cloud. I cheeked into another basic but cheap 15 sols hotel. Went and had some lunch and was kicking myself because the rain never arrived and the sun came back out. It turned out I was a bit premature in stopping.

DAY 682 ANCO – HUANATA

START 8:20 FINISH 14:00 (14/01/16)

DISTANCE 64KM RIDE TIME 4H31

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This morning I set off in light drizzele. There was a lot dirbri on the road. Washed down with the rain. It wasn’t the only obstacule. I had a number of water crossing to navagate as well.

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The last water obstacule I had to wait 25 mins while a digger cleared the road. The water was flowing quite fast across the road. I was able to cycle through ok. But I got pretty wet feet.

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The valley was full of intresting colours from the colourful rocks. After 3 days of following the river down stream

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the single lane road became a two lane highway and we then headed into a new valley and started to

climb up to Huanata. It was a good easy gradual climb.

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DAY 683 HUANATA – AYACUCHO

START 8:30 FINISH 15:00 (15/01/17)

DISTANCE 47KM RIDE TIME 3H39

Been a Sunday morning it was a pretty quite ride out of town. I passed a market off the main square which was starting to come to life. There must have been a big hill inbetween Huanata and Ayacucho becouse I spent a few hours climbing. Nothing to steep. I soon gained some hight. I was passed by some local cyclists with all the gear.

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They were waitting for me at the top and invited me over for a drink. They were very friendly and helpful. They left me for dead on the down hill and then there was one last climb up to Ayacucho before I started to look for a hostel. I thought I had found a good place…………..asked if there was wifi……………yes yes…………cheeked in. came down to get the wifi code……………no good. Told the whole city was down. Its a trick that has happened to me twice now. I suspect they have Wifi………….haven’t paid there bill and have been cut off. You can conect…………..have no internet.With no internet I said I was leaving and asked for my money back. The owner wouldn’t give me all my money back and was been a bastard. I only lost 5 sols……………was still pissed off. I then set a new record 3 hostels in one day. Same again I asked at the next hostel if they had wifi…………and yes yes…………..Thought I would cheek before comitting. Wifi…………again no conection………….young girl said area was down……….ok mabe that true. Cheeked in…………..Then the owner came and said no, no there wasn’t ant wifi and no questions asked gave me all my money back………………So this time I tried a hotel and had much better luck.

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Ayacucho is the provinical capital and a reasinbile size old colenial city. I went for a little walk around, found a awesome tridianl bakery with the freshist of bread…………

still warm after just coming out the oven.

 

 

 

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The town was pretty quite with most shops closed and it was hard to find a place to eat.

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DAY 684 & 685 AYACUCHO REST DAYS

I spent half of Monday doing some culture stuff visiting some of the many churches and a few museums. I went to the memeriory museum.

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It’s about the cival war conflict in Peru between 1980 and 2000. Not that long ago. Ayacucho & huanata were at the heart of the conflict. There were many massacre’s and mass graves in the surrounding area.

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The young Women Carman running the museum. Told me she lost both hewr parents and a sister in the conflict and seeing all the photos………..left me feeling ………..wow.

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