Here we are, in the middle of Peru, after some awesome days of riding through the mountains. The Andes are incredibly beautiful, can’t describe it….but we will try. It’s gonna be a long one…but you can also just watch some pics!
On sunday july 25th, we crossed the border pretty easy and drove to Piura. A big city in the north of Peru. The northern coastal part of Peru is very dry and most of it is dessert.
The next day, again, long distant roads with nothing but sand around us. We overtook two motorbikes with sidecar and when we stopped to make ourselves some coffee, they pulled over for a chat. Two Norwegian guys, doing the “Dumb way round”……Why? Well, we thought we were hardcore with our 25 and 27 year old bikes. But these guys are riding 70 year old bikes with sidecars! (www.kccd.no).
Nothing but respect, so we had to offer them some coffee and decided to ride together to Chiclayo.
Next day (tuesday), the five of us drove to Huanchaco at the coast.
The 220km took us all day, because one of the oldies got a flat tyre. Time for some more coffee and to try each others bike.
We stayed three nights in Huanchaco to relax. It could get pretty cold at the coast, because of the influence of the cold ocean. So, we didn’t want to try the good surf here. We also met KTM-Vince, riding a 990 Adventure. With the 6 of us we had some nice beers.
Friday (30th) we left Huanchaco and wanted to ride Canon del Pato to Caraz. Vince joined us, the Norwegians left a day earlier. The first two hours were long and cold, along the coast. When we took a left and went landinwards the weather became better by the minute. We had a dusty dirtroad ride along the Canon del Pato.
Very impressive…. and there in what looked like the middle of nowhere we met the two Irish cyclists again, who we first met in Cartagena and now for the third time. They basically have the same route & time-schedule as us. Either they are going fast, or we are going slow (http://caminolatino.wordpress.com/). We still have the promise to drink a beer together. Maybe in Cuzco?
We ended pretty tired in Caraz….and didn’t see much more than the hostal’s beers, food and beds. Next day we had a short ride to Huaraz, because the Norwegians were there with a cracked cylinder. They now had serious problems and had to change some plans. It was sunny in Huaraz, which made us have nice views on the Cordillera Blanca (the mountain range in Peru with peaks going to 6700m)
On sunday the four of us left. We had to cross some real mountains.
It was unbeleivably beautiful, passing 4000m high mountain lakes and tops over 4500m!
The bikes were holding pretty well at these altitudes.
We ended the day in Chavin de Huantar, a very nice little village famous for the ruins.
During diner we met some archeologists who were willing so show us around at the 3000 year old Chavin site. A great opportunity! So, next day at 8 we got a free tour by an archaeologist. Very nice.
Monday we left Chavin and again we had a very long dirtroad climb high into the Andes. At a certain point we were stopped because the local miners were about to blow up a mountain. We had to wait two hours, and used our time wisely.
After that, again climbing over 4700m! We stayed in La Union, a little shithole. Leaving early next day (tuesday, 3) we drove to Huanuco (still with the four of us) and again, climbing over 4000m and after that the longest curvy descend on very small roads with dangerous drop offs. We all had an almost dead experience. Roel almost got killed by a falling tree, Vince was attacked by a suicide baby pig, Bas had a little touché with a car, and Steve got face to face with a car. Maybe we are his favourites as well….although this sticker was on one of the Norwegians.
Safely we arrived in Huanuco. Looking for a place to stay we got interviewed by local tv and newspaper and got surrounded by a curious crowd, looking at the gringo’s and big bikes.
Very friendly people. At night we got some beers in a local pub with the shoe polishers from the plaza. We promised to get our boots polished tomorrow.
Ok amigos ,a shorter post next time.