PERU

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DAY 624 NAMBALLE – PERICO

START 6:30 FINISH 17:00 (17/11/16)

DISTANCE 103KM RIDE TIME 7H33

We tried to leave as early as we could to beat the heat. It was very present as we started to climb out of the valley, winding around the mountains. We passed through some small villages on the way to San Inacio.

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I saw the largest spider so far in South America. It didn’t have a large body, but big legs. When I cut it off to take a photo. It rocked back lifting its front legs and going into attack mode.

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After lunch we dropped back down into the next valley. It was stinking hot. When we got to Tanna we took the cage across the river to a small town on the opposite side of the river. The operator has to pull the cage across by hand.

We continued to follow the river. Through a very green valley filed with rice fields. After 103km we started to look for a nice camping spot.

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We found a spot to camp down by the rice fields. The first thing we did was cross the rice fields to the river for a refreshing swim.

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DAY 625 PERICO – JAEN

START 6:15 FINISH 10:50 ( 18/11/16)

DISTANCE 52KM RIDE TIME 3H25

We only had to cycle the morning to get to Jaen. Had a few ups and down in between.

Found a warm showers host who has a bike shop. His sister has put us up on the roof of a small apartment building. I camped on the roof and Luke took the small room. I have put my bike in for a service……….New chain, Have the wheals trued. I discovered the spokes were so lose, a clean and I have a problem with the crank that also needs sorting. It is stinking hot here in the town as well. At least the water comes out nice and chilled. Cold shower was awesome.

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DAY 626 & 627 JEAN REST DAY

Luke has cycled on today and I have stayed to have the bike fixed and catch up on internet which inhales sitting in a restaurant by the square. Eating and drinking all day as I work away on the computer. Miguel was very kind. He rebuilt my back wheal and changed my chain for free.

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I am surprised I got 2000km on my back wheal. Miguel pointed out to me the back wheal had been previous built wrong. The spokes hadn’t been laced properly.

DAY 628 JAEN – PUERTO SAN JUAN

START 6:45 FINISH 16:30 (21/11/16)

DISTANCE 104KM RIDE TIME 6H14

I woke up this morning and the air was full of smoke. The sun was a bright red ball in the haze. Fires were raging all around Jean. I hadn’t been cycling very long and I was coughing and spluttering. So much that twice I had to stop and was sick. It was a real struggle. After the climb out of Jean, it was a nice down hill run to the river. Which I then followed gradually up hill for the rest of the day.

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By mid morning I had entered the Amazona region of Peru. Firstly passing through mass areas of rice fields and then entering a cannon with steep clifs. By late afternoon I found a small shop and asked them if I could camp. They said I could sleep inside. I went for a swim in the river for a bit of a wash. There was a bit of land around the shop with lots of fruit trees.

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They had some pigs and chickens as well, with the usually cats and dogs. Most interesting pet was a small monkey they had adopted.

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The family were very good to me. They feed me and we had lots of fruit. Fresh Papaya and Mangos. All along the river new bridges have been built to help the locals living up in the mountains. Previously they had to use the cage.

DAY 629 PUERTO SAN JUAN – COCACHIMBA

START 8:00 FINISH 16:30 (22/11/16)

DISTANCE 55KM RIDE TIME 6H09

The family kindly cooked me a breakfast this morning. When I saw the meat. I thought this is nice. One mouthful and I realised it was tuna………it then became hard work. Shame I’m not a fish fan.

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The family gave me a good tip to take the road on the left just one km away. It saved 10km The main road leaves the river and heads up into the mountains. The road I took was partly sealed and cut straight across. It may have use to have been the main road, slips and subsidence has seen it abanded for use only by the locals. It certainly saved me some time. It was again a smoky morning and I was again sick due to the smoke.

The locals had been burning off around there houses. They got a bit carried away. One of the burn offs had brought down a power pole.

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The road continued to follow the river up with 1km cliffs on either side. Lots of foot bridges have been built to help the locals cross. I stopped and crossed a few of these to take photos. Some were very high above the cannons below. Very beautiful. Moring tea time I stopped for a cold drink at a restaurant. They kindly gave me a cup of coffee, a Avocado and crackers as well. There was more climbing to Pedro Ruiz where I stopped for lunch. I was really happy to find some fruit.

I have found the best way is to get the fruit you want and say 1 sol. Which is about 30 cents. For 1 sole I got about 8 bananas. If I had taken 3 bananas to her……….it would have also been 1 sole.

For another sol I got 3 apples and it was also 1 sol for 4 oranges. I only cycled for 15km before I reached the turn off for Cocachimba and then had to take the steep dirt road up to the town.

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The 5km took me nearly two hours. When I arrived I found a small village surrounding a big green field in the centre. Horses were grazing. There were a couple of hostels and a few restaurants and a shop. I asked at a hostel about camping and they said………….just camp on the green…………it is safe. So that is what I did.

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I soon had some young visitors. They were telling me the cemetery close by was haunted. I meet a French couple who had just came back from the waterfall Gocha and they gave me some good tips.

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DAY 630 COCACHIMBA REST DAY

I could have probably just left my tent up and bicycle on the green for the day. I thought Id better pack it all up . I then left my bike at the store while I went off to the Gocta Waterfall for the day. I meet Pierre and his wife at the teinda and they kindly invited me for breakfast. It was a nice morning for walking, not to hot.

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Parts of the trail were well shaded by the jungle………though some parts were not as sugar cane was been grown. I soon meet two local girls on the trail and I walked with them the 5km to the waterfall. It took about two hours. 5Km hike 2 hours.

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We could first see the waterfall a few km away and it looked impressive 739 meters from the top to the bottom. When we arrived at the bottom of the falls it was even more impressive.

We were the first to arrive and had the place to our selves. Within an hour more then 15 people had arrived. I meet two Australians who had come part way on a horse. Before the masses arrived I went for a quick swim……….the water was freezing.

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On the way back it was hot. I walked with the girls again. We stopped at a local farm house and the girls brought be a sugarcane drink……….which was nice and fresh. It had a little tingle to it because it was starting to flement. When I got back to Cocachimba I again put my tent up on the sports field. I had steady stream of visitors. First two young kids came to have a look and then a couple of old guys. We talked for half an hour. With only Spanish been spoken………I must be getting better.

The days are hot. The nights are nice and cool. There must have been a power cut because all the lights went out and pitch black been a cloudy night. Little unnerving when I could hear voices of people around. Couldn’t see them.

DAY 631 COCACHIMBA – NUEVO TINGO

START 06:50 FINISH 12:00 (24/11/16)

DISTANCE 54KM RIDE TIME 3H51

The chickens must get let out every morning at 6am because soon after they arrive on the green and come through looking for scrapes. I tried to feed them a mango yesterday…………which they refused. The bad part of my banana was more to there liking today. It was a very cloudy morning and there has been talk of rain. So I got moving quickly. The 5km down to the main road were a bit rough.

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Once back on the highway it was a really nice days cycling. The road followed close to the river and it was very beautiful. A few points the cliffs above over hung the road. After the turn off for Chachapoyas the road became a lot smaller, with the centre line gone.

The hardest part of the day was the 3km climb off the main road up to Nuevo Tingo. From here tomorrow I will try and take a bus to visit the pre Inca ruins 40km away. There is very little in the town. I found a hostel for just under $7 a night. When I was regersting she asked where New Zealand was and I said near Australia. Australia is what she wrote down.

DAY 632 NUEVO TINGO REST DAY

The reason for stopping in Nuevo Tingo was to use it as a base to go and visit Kuelap.

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Peru’s 2nd Matchu Pitchu. The 900 AD pre Inca ruins are a fortification high up in the mountains. I went out to the street at 6:20 am in hope of getting a ride the 35km up the valley. Morning traffic was light. It wasn’t till 8:30am that I finally got a ride. It took 1 ½ hours to get to Kuelap. Very soon that will all change with the new Gondola

that is been built and will soon take tourists across the valley in 10 mins.

From the car park it was a 2km walk up to the entrance of the city. I was greeted by high stone walls. Entered through a narrow open passage. Most of the ruins were the round foundations and remaining walls of the city’s houses. It took a few hours to walk around.

Getting back was just as hard. I started walking and it was 10km before someone stopped to pick me up.

DAY 633 NUEVO TINGO – LEYMEBAMBA

START 7:00 FINISH 16:30 (26/11/16)

DISTANCE 69KM RIDE TIME 6H42

It was a bumpy ride back down the dirt track, It went out through Old Tingo. So I had a quick look at a town that had seen better days. Back on the main road I was again following the river.

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It really was beautiful and I enjoyed every last minute of the 50km to Leymebamba. I stopped here for a nice lunch and stocked up on fresh fruit and verges. It was a real shame to leave the river. I started the hard climb into the mountains.

Didn’t get far before the rain came. I went up a locals drive and sat under his car port.

I had been there 20 mins before a guy turned up. He was cool and invited me to stay. It was only 2pm and when the rain stopped I pushed on.

At lunch I was at 2000 meters. 16 km later I was at 3100 meters. High in the mountains amongst small farms. Looking for a place to camp I took my bike up a new track to an electric pylon.

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It looks like they are building a new transmission line. The pylons were up. No wires had been attached yet, I was feeling pretty exhausted. I couldn’t cook and just ate some of my fruit and had a early night. From my tent I could hear a local women singing as she walked along the road.

DAY 634 LEYMEBAMBA – BALSAS

START 7:00 FINISH 16:30 (27/11/16)

DISTANCE 81KM RIDE TIME 6H20

I survived some heavy rain in the night and when I emerged from my tent this morning I was in the cloud and it was misty, damp and cold. I didn’t hang around and I continued the climb from where I had left off the previous evening. With fresh legs I knocked off the last 13 km to the 3600 meter summit. This side of the mountain the climb was gradual as I passed by paddocks of cows been hand milked. It was cold at the top, exposed and I could look out at the next set of mountains to come.

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The landscape was a lot different, rugged and dry. The decent was a real treat and I soon plummeted to warmer weather. 3600 meters to 700 meters in 57km……….no peddling needed.

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Near the top were some old mines……….perhaps copper by the colour of the stain around the entrance. I went in 30 meters to have a look at one. Coming down was switch back after switch back. They were long as well. It was a very beautiful and scenic ride.

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Lots of fascinating rock formations. When I reached the river it was like a oasis in the desert. Nice and green but very very hot. Well over 30 degrees. I had some lunch to get the energy levels up and after crossing the river I started a tough climb. In the rest of the afternoon I got another 10km………..10 less km of climbing I will have to do tomorrow.

I came across a farm on the side of the hill. I asked if I could camp and the guy lead me out to a nice spot out the back. I got my tent set up and started cooking some dinner. The guy brought me out a mug filled with water and mace. He came back soon after and asked me if it was Reco……..meaning very tasty. I couldn’t very well say no……..I had to say yes. It was filling. It was also very bland………or another words tasteless. I guess this is part of there staple diet. It was still very hot and I went to sleep with the fly off. I had to jump out around 11pm when a few spots of rain appeared.

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DAY 635 BALSAS – CELENDIN

START 6:40 FINISH 15:15 (28/11/16)

DISTANCE 36KM RIDE TIME 6H23

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I got up this morning and I was greeted by my host who had just come up the bank on a donkey. This morning in the first 5km I came across 20 dead Millipedes on the road. They were huge………In the morning I also crossed a dead snake, a large spider and the strange sight of a crab.

It was a huge cycling day. I camped last night at 1261 meters and was left exhausted at the end of the day reaching the summit of 3127 meters after cycling a mare 36km.

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Again there were long switch backs with huge drop offs. I passed two memorials with 6 and crosses. Probably where mini vans had crashed over the edge.

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At the summit I asked if I could camp at the shop. At first they wasn’t keen and suggested the football field. Eventually they came round and I camped out the back under some shelter. Just as well because a thunder storm soon arrived. From the summit was great views over Celendin.

DAY 636 CELENDIN – ENCANADA

START 7:00 FINISH 14:00 (29/11/16)

DISTANCE 81KM RIDE TIME 6H24

It was a easy start to the day with a 10km run down into Celendin. Aftee finding my way out of town I joined what the locals called the Auto pista. The single lane road I had been on for the past 200km was now a wide two lane highway with a shoulder.

For the next 5 hours I was climbing again up to 3800 meters along the way I passed some arc logical stone ruins. People were living among them. At 2pm I reached Encanada, I was only 35km from Cajamarca. I decided I would stop here for the night. I found a hostel above the local petrol station. It looked like it was in mothball. Let me stay for $5. There was hot showers………nothing else. I had to use my own sleeping bag.

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On the way into town I saw the Bull fighting arena. The sport must be alive and well in Peru. In town were lots of posters for a Bull fighting day in early December. The town it self was pretty run down. Town square had recently been revitalized.

DAY 637 ENCANADA – CAJAMARCA

START 6:15 FINISH 8:15 (30/11/16)

DISTANCE 35KM RIDE TIME 2H01

I didn’t waste any time getting to Cajamarca. It’s a fairly big city of 162 000 inhabitants. The Germanys had given me a hostel to stay. Its pretty central. Which was good. At first the price wasn’t so good. 50 sols a night was to much for me. I was out the door and on the street, when they called me back. The new price was 35 sols a night ($11) which was better and its clean hotel with Hot water, Tv and Wifi. My early arrival gave me time to get out and explore the town a bit.

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Very colonial and lots of stunning stone church’s and other grand building. Cajamarca is famous for its cheese………..there’s a whole street of the stuff. It didn’t taste to bad. It was pretty creamy and it was well priced.

DAY 638,639&640 CAJAMARCA REST DAYS

Thursday morning I found a collative to take me out to Banos Del Inca. It is a geothermal complex that has been around for hundreds of years. Some of the old ruins still remain.

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Just out side the ruins was a pipe where the locals cold come and hot water. Its a bit more up market now.

For $2 You get your own room and you run your own bath. So you can have the water as hot as you want. The water is very good for your skin. It felt so soft and smooth afterwards. For $6.50 I had a 30 min massage afterwards.

Friday was a day of visiting museums. You get 1 ticket for 5 sols to visit 5 museums.

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But before the museums opened. I first walked up to the gardens for a panoramic view of the city. They were very tidy and well cared for. They hugged the side of the hill.

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My first museum was the Iglesia Berlen. Which must have been a old church of some importance. Across the court yard from the church was the Museo Medico, a former hospital which is now a Gallery.

The lady at the culture office where I brought the ticket got a female tourist police officer to take me over to see the Muso Arqueologico. She gave me

an explanations in Spanish on every exibit. It was really hard to concentrate. She knew her stuff. The Musem Etnografico was here as well.

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El Cuarte Rescate was the last stop. Here are the arcolgical remains of sacafice alters and the prison where Atahualpa the last Inca King was kept before he was executed by the Spanish.

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I did one last touristic thing for the day and visited Iglesia San Francisco which was a religious museum filled with interesting artefacts. You could go down and visit the Catacombs.

Saturday morning I took a collative 8km out of the city to Ventanillas de Otuzco to see some arc logical ruins. Cut into the side of the hill are funerary tombs dating back to 300 – 800 BC. The collative (30 cents) dropped me right side the gate. 5 sols to get in. It was just a short climb up the hill.

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DAY 641 CAJAMARCA – SAN MARTIN

START 7:15 FINISH 17:15 (04/12/16)

DISTANCE 108KM RIDE TIME 8H16

This morning I followed the 3N out of town. No surprise I was climbing. There was no shortage of small interesting towns to pass through. The landscape became very dry and arid. It reminded me a lot of Australia. I stopped for lunch in San Marcus. The streets were full of markets. There was a busy animal market with cows, sheep and pigs.

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I brought a mango for one sol. The lady kindly pealed and cut the mango for me.

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After lunch I crossed a bridge. Below was a hive of activity with locals washing and swimming.

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Late afternoon I decened down to the valley below. By now it was very dark and I could hear the thunder. I was desperate to find somewhere to camp. I cycled into a small town and ended up camping in the school grounds. I had a audience watch me put up my tent. Then I had a group of young kids watch me cook my dinner

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I was pleased with 108km. It was a good productive day.

DAY 642 SAN MARTIN – HUAMACHUCO

START 6:00 FINISH 16:45 (05/12/16)

DISTANCE 65KM RIDE TIME 7H14

On the GPS it showed Cajabamba just 6km away in a straight line. 15Km and two hours later I arrived. Looking for a good breakfast. A guy in the street offered to show me a restaurant. Turned out to be his. When I went to pay. He surprised me when he said it was free. Agai6n there were lots of small tow6ns alo6ng the way.

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climbing all day lots of small towns. At my lunch stop. School was out, all the kids were coming past. One kid came over and gave me his juice packet. Another kid offered me half a bread roll. Which I declined. I was trying to do another 100km today. It all went a bit pear shape. As I cycling into Huamachuco a few drops of rain appeared. Then the heavens just opened. I dived for the first bit of cover I could see. I cycled onto a guys driveway and under his car port. He had just arrived home. The rain was really heavy and it started to hail. The street started to flood. The car port wasn’t offering enough protection. So I went in the guys garage. Ended up having to wait over an hour. Think the guy was trying to get rid of me……….After 45mis I asked if I could came in his garage. He said there wasn’t any room as a car was coming later. He was then hinting the rain wa stopping. It was but the street were still full of water.

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I finally put him out of his misery and cycled on. Water was running down the streets. There was mud everywhere. I cheeked into the first hostel and had paid. I asked if there was wifi and the lady said yes Then when I went to ask for the code she then

said there was no wifi. Wasn’t happy at been tricked. Asked for my money back and left. Better luck at the next hostel.

DAY 643 HUAMACHUCO – QUIRUVILCA

START 6:30 FINISH 12:15 (06/12/16)

DISTANCE 62KM RIDE TIME 4H49

`It was a bad start to the day, when I took the wrong road out of town. I had gone 3km before I realised my error. It was a shame becouse it was a nice road. I lost an hour. This part of the andies is full of mining. I pasted a huge operation. A steady stream of large trucks were coming down the mountian.

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The landscape was badly scared by the mining. I continued climbing. It was cloudy and I was keeping an eye on the dark clouds. Normal pretty good at picking it. On this occasion I got cought out badly. It startd with a few light spits and l pushed on. Then out of nowhere it started to hail. There was nowhere to shelter and I just pushed on. The hail was so hard it actualy hert. I got completely drenched and at 4200 meters it was bitterly cold.Some locals came to my rescue and we loaded the bike on to the back of there truck and they took me to the next town. Up on top were some nice alpine lakes.

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Quiruvilca was a real mining town sitting below the main mine on the hill side. The locals dropped me at the towns hotel. No hot water of wifi and 30 sols was a bit overpriced. So I walked up to the nearby hostel. It was like a really old run down bording house. To my surprise they had hot water and wifi. Pretty basic. Good for 20 sols.

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The hot shower was a life saver and all the thermals came out. Unfortunetly my computer suffered some water damage. Some keys don’t work and others you get two letters for the price of one. Frustrating. Hopefuly will dry out over time. When I was having dinner in a local resturant. Two Chinise guys came in. seams they have something to do with the mine.

DAY 644 QUIRUVILCA – VIRU

START 07:30 FINISH 18:30 (07/12/16)

DISTANCE 170KM RIDE TIME 9H08

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It was a beautiful sunny day and I really enjoyed cycling the 90 km as I descended from 4000 meters to 60 meters.coming down the valley I passed many mines.

When I got to the vally bottom I was surrounded by sugarcane.

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It was very hot and dry. I could see the Pacific ocean for the first time since panama. But I also foumd myself in a desert with sand dunes and rugged mountains.

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I started cycling along the coast. I was motoring. Come the end of the day. I was well pleased with the 170km I had cycled. I started to look for a place to camp on the side of the road. But I was to close to a town, so I had to grab a hostel

DAY 645 VIRU – CASMA

START 6:30 FINISH 17:30 (08/12/16)

DISTANCE 147KM RIDE TIME 9H22

I continued cycling down the coast. All was going well until lunch time I had already done 90km. Then a strong wind came and put the brakes on everything. I ended the day exhoursted and wind battered.

It wasn’t all desert. I occasionally cycled through Oasis of crops and farms. Which was a pleasant sight. I also got to see the Pacific ocean for one more time before I start to head back inland.

DAY 643 HUAMACHUCO – QUIRUVILCA

START 6:30 FINISH 12:15 (06/12/16)

DISTANCE 62KM RIDE TIME 4H49

`It was a bad start to the day, when I took the wrong road out of town. I had gone 3km before I realised my error. It was a shame because it was a nice road. I lost an hour. This part of the andies is full of mining. I pasted a huge operation. A steady stream of large trucks were coming down the mountian. The landscape was badly scared by the mining. I continued climbing. It was cloudy and I was keeping an eye on the dark clouds. Normal pretty good at picking it. On this occasion I got cought out badly. It startd with a few light spits and l pushed on. Then out of nowhere it started to hail. There was nowhere to shelter and I just pushed on. The hail was so hard it actualy hert. I got completely drenched and at 4200 meters it was bitterly cold. Some locals came to my rescue and we loaded the bike on to the back of there truck and they took me to the next town. Up on top were some nice alpine lakes.

Quiruvilca was a real mining town sitting below the main mine on the hill side. The locals dropped me at the towns hotel. No hot water of wifi and 30 sols was a bit overpriced. So I walked up to the nearby hostel. It was like a really old run down boarding house. To my surprise they had hot water and wifi. Pretty basic. Good for 20 sols.

The hot shower was a life saver and all the thermals came out. Unfortunately my computer suffered some water damage. Some keys don’t work and others you get two letters for the price of one. Frustrating. Hopefully will dry out over time. When I was having dinner in a local restaurant. Two Chinese guys came in. seams they have something to do with the mine.

DAY 644 QUIRUVILCA – VIRU

START 07:30 FINISH 18:30 (07/12/16)

DISTANCE 170KM RIDE TIME 9H07

It was a beautiful sunny day and I really enjoyed cycling the 90 km as I descended from 4000 meters to 60 meters. Coming down the valley I passed many mines. When I got to the valley bottom I was surrounded by sugarcane. It was very hot and dry. I could see the Pacific ocean for the first time since panama. But I also found myself in a desert with sand dunes and rugged mountains. I started cycling along the coast. I was motoring. Come the end of the day. I was well pleased with the 170km I had cycled. I started to look for a place to camp on the side of the road. But I was to close to a town, so I had to grab a hostel

DAY 645 VIRU – CASMA

START 6:30 FINISH 17:30 (08/12/16)

DISTANCE 147KM RIDE TIME 9H22

I continued cycling down the coast. All was going well until lunch time I had already done 90km. Then a strong wind came and put the brakes on everything. I ended the day exhausted and wind battered. It wasn’t all desert. I ocasinaly cycled through Oasis of crops and farms. Which was a plesent sight. I also got to see the Pacific ocean fpr one more time before I start to head back inland.

DAY 646 CASMA – HUARAZ

START 7:30 FINISH 18:30

DISTANCE 151 KM RIDE TIME 9H08

Its pretty dawrnting when you know you have to climb from 60 meters to 3100 meters. You know you are going to be in for a long day. Just as well I didn’t know you had to actually climb up to 4200 meters before dropping down. The day started well. It was cool, very pleasant for cycling. The gradient was kind and I was making good progress.

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At first there were a few farms before the landscape became barren. Having reached the top of the valley I crossed over into the next valley the landscape completely changed. It was very green

with lots of water provide from the river. Enabling lots of crops to be grown and people to live.

There were a number of small towns along the way. Which was very welcomed for a place to stop for a cold drink. I’d done about 75 km when I had some guys stop and offer me a ride……….it was just to easy to say yes and a few hours later I was in Huaraz. I went to the hostel Jo’s place. A favourite haunt for cyclists. I found my self the only guest in the hostel. I ended up camping in the back yard for 12 sol a night. Huaraz is the capital of Ancash and is surrounded by 6000 meter mountain covered in ice and is a favourite for tourists to go hiking from here into the ice fields.

 

DAY646 – 64 HUARAZ REST DAYS

Saturday I walked around the town stopping at every cake shop for coffee and cake. Sunday was a bit more productive visiting the fish farm , a number of church’s and the museum which had a number of mommies. In front of the town hall were a number of local performers. Monday morning. Nice and early. I travelled with a French couple

to Huascaran National Park, a couple of hours north of Huaraz to hike the 3 hours up to the Laguna 69.

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On the way up we passed some other nice lagunas.The collative dropped us off inside the park at 3800 meters . From here we started walking gradually up the valley. Cows were grazing on the wide green pastures. A small river coming from the Laguna flowed down the middle of the valley. After walking for a hour we started climbing more steeply. There were many switchbacks to get up to the first laguna.

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We then crossed another meow. There was a large waterfall coming from the Laguna 69 and many more coming from the glacier that ran across the mountains behind the Laguna. The last stretch was more difficult. Could really feel the altitude (4600 meters).

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It was a wonderful sight when we reached the Laguna. It looked so beautiful. We stayed at the Laguna for about an while we had a little picnic before walking back.

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