The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions,
and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world.
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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present
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May 2008 to April 2010
Sept 2007 to May 2008
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007
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Nov 2004 to Sept 2006
June 2003 to June 2004
AZ, Mexico, and
March 2002 to April 2003
How I started
The 5 years before I left
Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.
Equipment Pages Index
How Much to Bring and Weight
Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
more about Sponsorship)
HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames
Steel Repair Myth.
and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs
Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Bike Touring Shorts
Bicycle touring lights
Pictures of Equipment Failures
all 3 book)
Cindie's Peru #1 Daily
Travel Writing, Blog, Travelogue
Ecuadorian Border to
(Aug. 5 - Sept. 14, 2003)
||Macara - Tambo Grande. We leave Ecuador today.
Ecuador has been a pleasant surprise for us. The people have been
extremely friendly, helpful and all around fun. The mountains have
been beautiful, wet and cold. The cost was a little more than we
expected but not too bad. The only place I felt it was a bit
dangerous was Quito, but that is true with most large cities.
up to a cloudy damp day, such a change from the day before when it was
hot and sunny. Border crossing days always make me nervous,
however I did hear that this border crossing was easy. We arrived
at Ecuador immigration, located 3 km from Macara, at about 8:30 am.
No other tourists was there. I proceeded to get our exit stamps.
The immigration officer asked me for my tourist card, hmm, I do not
remember getting one. I told him I did not have one. He then
asked if we flew in and I said yes. I guess they do not hand them
out on airplanes or I just got lucky. He stamped us out and we
were on our way.
We crossed the short bridge to the Peru side, I went to immigrations,
he stamped us in for 90 days and then we were done. Wow, 15
minutes to cross into Peru. Our first encounters with the locals
were not very pleasant. OK, I am going to say it, the men are
pigs. No respect and I will leave it at that.
We originally thought that we would stay at Los Lomas, 50 km from the
border but we arrived there at 11:30 am. I went to the bank and
changed $50 dollars to 172 sols, at an exchange rate of 3.44. I
asked the bank clerk if I could change a travelers check and he said
that the bank did not accept them, only US dollars. This is a
first. The town itself look shabby and worn out. Instead of
cars everyone was traveling around in motorcycle taxis or tuktuks as
they say in Thailand. We had lunch and moved on down the road
towards Tambo Grande.
As we were pedaling down the road we looked over at a crowd around a
pole full of flags. It turns out that the flags were attached to a
bamboo pole that was attached to, yes, a bicycle. This is when we
met Rodrigo from Brazil. He has been bike touring for 4 years.
Yes, 4 years, he looked it too, tan, thin, and no front teeth. He
spoke Portuguese and was very hard to understand. He carried the
strangest things on his bike, a full size bicycle pump and a hand pump
(this was not too strange) a vase with a plastic rose (I thought this
was strange), and out of his bag he pulled a large scrap book with all
his newspaper clippings and I thought we carried too much. He was
certainly an interesting character, he gave us some contacts in
Chicalayo and Trujillo.
Thirty more kilometers down the road and we came to Tambo Grande, our
map showed that the road we wanted was paved, it was NOT. This is one of
the shabbiest towns I have ever seen. Someone, like the
government, started a large road through town and then did not finish
it. There was not a piece of pavement anywhere just dirt. We
managed to find our way out of town and a place to camp along the road.
We decided not to put up the tent, that was a mistake the mosquitoes
kept us up all night.
||Tambo Grande - La Cincuenta. We got on the road
early and it was a pleasant morning. People seemed surprised to
see us yet they were friendly. I always find that the people in
the country are much more approachable than in the city. The area
is heavily irrigated, therefore it is green and supports a huge bird
population. It is good to see parrots that I normally have seen in
pet stores with clipped wings out flying around in noisy flocks.
houses are pretty basic, no running water, no electricity, no TV.
Water is brought to the house by a man with a donkey cart carrying water
in 55 gallon drums. The one good thing I saw was that each house
had an outhouse, built by some country giving aid, each outhouse was on
a concrete slap and had a vent pipe. I did notice that the water
in the area was cleaner. I would say it was a good use of aid
money. The road was dirt for about 35 km and the last 10 were
riding over river rock. We had lunch in Chulucanes, a town of
about 10,000 people or more. They did not have any running water
either. They had the pipes but they did not work. So again
water was delivered by donkey cart. What kind of government leaves
a city of this size without water. I can see that Peru is going to
We camped in the desert about 5 km outside of the town of Cincenta.
We had a family of goat herders come visit us. She really marveled
at my $15 Casio watch. These people do not have anything, they do
not even have many goats because the land has been over grazed.
Silviania, the mom, told me that there is no work in town, no money, and
too many people living off the land. I felt like a king with all
my pots and pans, clothes, fancy bike and store bought food.
Poverty is a terrible thing to see.
|35 km dirt
11 km road
||La Cincuenta - Km 139 We slept out under the
stars, they were extremely bright tonight. We both slept soundly
after our lack of sleep the night before. Some how the time flew
in the morning and we were on the road late at 9:00 am. Ten
minutes down the road, Tim got another flat. That front tire is a
piece of crap, the rubber is very thin and soft in places and it flats
The road was mostly rolling hills. While we were in the
middle of the desert in the middle of the day we met two french cyclists
going the other way. Phillip and Violaine have been on a bike tour
around the world. They have been through Africa, SE Asia, New
Zealand and were finishing their trip in South America. They rode
from Santiago, Chile to northern Peru in just 3.5 months. They
certainly have been putting in the miles. Their web site is
it is in french. Phillip gave us the names of hotels for the next
couple of cities we are going to.
We had dinner in a small
little village and then found a place to camp. A number of roads
in this area have been washed out by the meandering river. We
camped on a portion of an old abandoned road.
||Km 139 to Olmos. It was a quick ride into town.
We were tempted to keep going but we decided we needed a day off.
I left Tim in the Plaza in search of a hotel room. I asked where
Hostel Peligrino was and no one seemed to know. Finally, a young
man pointed me in a direction, turns out it was the wrong direction.
When I came back to the Plaza Tim had about 20 people around him
including two police officers. Tim was glad the officers were there.
I found the Hostel and got Tim out of the plaza.
finally made our way to Hospedaje Peligrino, we got a room for 17
sols/night ($4.94). It was basic with cold water but a welcome change from tent
||Olmos. Rest day. I went in search for a
bank today and did not find one, interesting. The market is lively
and has a lot more to chose from than in the other towns we have been in
in northern Peru. Again, people do not seem to have much money,
this condition always makes me nervous.
||Olmos to Chiclayo. Tim put the hammer down today.
Luckily we had a cloudy day and the wind did not kick up until later in
the day. We started early and had to wear a long sleeve jersey for the
first couple of hours, this is in a desert where the sun can bake you
pretty quickly. As we rode into the town of Motupe we got behind a
motorcycle taxi and drafted for about 5 km (3 miles).
We splurged on
our room, I really wanted a hot shower, we stayed at the Hostel Sol
Radiante for 30 sols ($8.74)/ night.
||Chiclayo. We dropped our laundry off and
went grocery shopping.
||Chiclayo. Went to the Bruning Museum in
Lambeyaque. The museum has a very interesting display of local art
dating back over 1,000 years. There is an entire room devoted to
gold ornaments, an incredible display.
||Chiclayo. Spent the day wandering around
Chiclayo. I went to the Witch Doctors market where they sell all kinds
of herbal remedies, charms, and stones for all that ails you. It
was small but extremely interesting. Every type of herb imaginable
was dried and ready for use. In addition there were a lot of
oriental remedies too.
||Chiclayo. Spent the day repairing equipment.
I found a place to fix Tim's shoes, he can not buy a new pair down here,
his feet are too big. We realized that back in the USA we probably
would have bought a new pair. However, here it is cheap and easy
to get shoes fixed. I also found a women who would repair Tim's
gloves, they had a hole, again, we probably would have bought a new pair
in the USA. When I went looking for a shoe repair shop I found 10
all together. When I went looking for a women with a sewing
machine, again I found 10 all together. I do not understand why
this occurs in Latin America. When you find a paint shop you find
10. How do people get ahead when their competition is right next
We initially planning to leave tomorrow. But with many
chores on the internet to do we will stay another day.
||Chiclayo - Pascamayo. The ride out of Chiclayo
was cloudy and the wind was not too strong, in the morning. As the
day went on the wind had picked up. We rode through dunes and rock
and then through an oasis created by irrigation. Numerous fields
of corn, sugar cane and peppers fill the desert in the irrigated areas.
By the time we arrived at Pascamayo we were very tired, the head wind
slowed us to a mere 12 km per hour (7 mph). We stayed at the
Hostel Pan Americano, l large bed, shower with cold water and cable TV
all for 20 soles/ night. One of our best values yet. As we
were carrying the bags up the stair and older women said she wanted to
help so she grabbed Tim's two rear bags and carried them effortlessly up
to the room. I have never seen a local man do this (Tim can) never less an older
women who was stronger than an ox.
I think I know who does all the work around here.
Some of the men on
the other hand are being obnoxious, for some reason (they like to stare) the men on the
motorcycle cabs like to ride right behind me, I dislike this immensely.
Tim has to chase them off like he would chase off a pack of dogs.
Speaking of dogs, we get chased daily. However, we brought a
new weapon with us from USA. At the end of our trip in
Central America Tim was having problems with his radio antenna. So
we bought a new one and kept the old one for battle with the dogs.
It has been the most effective weapon Tim has used to date. All
Tim has to do is pull it out and start swinging, all the dogs stop dead
in their tracks. Tim has never had to hit one, they never get that
It was Friday night and a band was set up just down the
street. The band played well into the evening, it was an
inauguration celebration. We did not get much sleep.
||Pascamayo - Puente Chicama. We decided to try and
ride to the beach town of Chicama. I thought that it was closer
than it really was so psychologically I was ready stop long before we
arrived in town. Luckily it was paved the entire way. When
we arrived we went down to the beach to take some pictures. This
is when we met Michael and El Mar (the sea). Yes, the young man
introduced himself as El Mar and Tim introduced himself as El Bici (the
bike). I then went looking for a place to stay. The
first hospedaje I went to I did not like. Eventually I made it
over to Hospedaje Chino Moreno. Chino won out, he had hot
water. We had a small room with two beds, shared bath with hot
water for 15 soles/ night. Reasonable. Later in the evening
Chino told us that the Discos in the area blare their music until 5:00
am. He was not kidding. The music ragged all night long.
They should take those noisy things out away from town. I even had
ear plugs and still did not get a good nights sleep.
||Puerto Chicama. I woke up this morning feeling
like I had a hangover. No I did not drink, I just did not sleep.
Chino told me that the water is turned on for only two hours a day and
that now was a good time to do laundry. Great, my eyes are not
even open and I am standing in front of a sink washing clothes. I
managed to wash most of our clothes in the next hour before the water
The rest of the day I felt bad. The cold sore that I
had is not going away and is spreading, not typical behavior for a cold
sore. I looked through my medical book and it described impetigo, a
bacteria infection that starts out looking like a cold sore. I do
believe this is what I have. The book said I need an antibacterial ointment
and some antibiotics. Luckily, I happen to have both so time will
tell if I can get rid of this infection, it is wearing me out.
||Puerto Chicama. Walked all over Chicama, beach
||Puerto Chicama. Tim's Birthday. Sorry Tim
but I am sick for your birthday. I was up most of the night
running to the bathroom. But I thought, oh I can make it to
Trujillo. In the morning we packed up and we were ready to go.
This is when I realized that I was sicker than I thought. Chino
and Anna our hosts at the hospedaje insisted that I go to the doctor.
OK. I was feeling like I was infested with bacteria everywhere.
Tim and Chino escorted me down to the Clinic. It cost 5 soles
($1.45) for administration, they took my blood pressure and weight.
Next I saw the doctor. Chino assisted with my story of where we
ate last night and I had my dictionary too. The doctor shooed Chino out
and let Tim stay. Next the doctor checked my stomach with a
stethoscope while my stomach was making horrendous noises. He
prescribed an antibiotic called cefadroxilo for 5 days. He said it would clear up my bacteria
infection on my face too. (thank god, this is getting old). The
cost of the antibiotic, 20 soles ($5.81) for a 5 day treatment.
The doctor said that I should not eat any vegetables, fish, drink
carbonated water, juices and sweets in general for the first couple of
days. He said that all
this would be too hard on my stomach.
I went back to the house and was too weak to do anything. So I
slept for most of the day. Anna made me chicken soup with noodles.
It was nice to have someone taking care of me. Towards the end of
the day I was feeling much better. I decided that I needed another
day to recuperate and then we would go to Trujillo. It turns out
that my sickness was a blessing to Chino and his family. They did
not know where they were going to get the money to eat. There is
no work in town, the factory is shut down because the pier was broke
during a storm two months ago. There has been no work in town
since. Everyone here is hurting. We are the only tourists in
town. This is difficult living. So I really do not mind
staying for another day or two.
||Puerto Chicama. Rested most of the day.
||Puerto Chicama - Trujillo. We loaded up our bikes
and were ready to go. Checked the tires and yes Tim's front wheel
had a flat again. We are buying a new tire in Trujillo, I would
throw this one away now if I could. Once on the road, the ride was
pretty smooth for the first two and a half hours. The road was
flat, the sky was cloudy even a bit cold, and the wind was not too
strong yet. We stopped for some soup that cost 1.5 soles (45
cents), the soup warmed us up. After lunch we met Hamilton, a
cyclist from Brazil. He was heading north and had a great
tailwind. He asked us if we had any maps and we had just given
away our last one. Sorry. Hamilton also planned to cycle
around the world so we may see him again.
Chino from Puerto Chicama
gave us a name of a place to stay in Trujillo. A place where
traveling cyclists stop. Luis D'Angelo (Lucho) has lots of information
from other cyclists such as maps and route descriptions. Just what
we needed. Luis and his family take in cyclists and only ask for a
donation or assistance around the house. It is a cyclists paradise
the front room is covered with posters of racing cyclists and is also a
bike shop where repairs can be made.
We met Susanna and Mariziso from Chili, they are traveling with their
dog Trago ( a huge yellow lab). Fritz another cyclist from Germany
is also here.
||Caught up on our laundry today. Walked around
Trujillo. The taxi drivers in Peru let you know quick that they
own the road. I fear for my life every time I cross the street.
We have gotten to know Lucho and his family a little more.
Arecilli makes cakes to sell in the market across the street. Of
course I have to try every one. She makes Flan, Meringue pie,
Strawberry and custard pie. Yum.
||It turns out that Fritz is riding the same way we are
so we are going to ride together. We plan to leave on Monday or
Tuesday. It just so easy to hang around here. Lucho is very
hospitable. Lucho has been taking in cyclists for over 10 years,
he offers them a place to stay and does not ask for much in return.
This is a lot for some one from Peru where making ends meet can be very
Lucho had a dream of seeing the Tour de France. So three years
ago a group of cyclists who had stayed at his place got together and
bought him a ticket to go to France. He arrived with 800 dollars
in his pocket, a wealth of money for Peru. Another cyclist
supplied him with an upper level pass for the first day so he could
mingle amongst the teams as they were warming up. When the race
leader Jacque LeBlanc found out that he was from Peru and had only 800
dollars for his entire stay he supplied him with a pass for the entire
Tour De France and accommodations in 5 star hotels or with teams.
Amazing. He watched the race for the team cars. He showed us
an interview he did with French television. He got autographs of
many of the cyclists and photos of Lance Armstrong and George Hencepie.
Wow. This could not have happen to a better guy. I am
extremely impressed with the generosity of the Le Blanc and the whole
racing community. Lucho said he had to keep telling himself that it was
||We decided to ride our bikes to Chan Chan today.
Angela, Lucho's 9 year old daughter went with us. Tim, Fritz and I
received a personal tour of Chan Chan.
||Suzanna, Mariziso and Trango left today, it was sad to
see them go. Aricelli and I went to the temple of El Sol and la
||Trujillo. We planned on leaving today but could
not get out the door.
||Trujillo - Chao Lucho rode with us to Viru where
we had lunch. He turned back towards Trujillo and we continued on
to Chao. Luckily the wind was relatively calm for most of the
ride. We stayed at a Hospedaje that over charged us, 40 sols for
three people, they said that they had hot water but we could not get it to work.
Tim had a new front tire that he did not plan on using past today.
The tire was made of cheap rubber and was warped. We can not say
the Lucho did not warn us. So Tim traded his new useless tire for
the old one. I searched for the cause of all Tim's flats and found
two thorns hidden in the tire. Lets hope that this fixes the
||Chao (70 m, 230 ft.) - Tanguche. The first 15 kilometers were
flat and fast, again we did not have much of a head wind. The
private road turn off was easy to find, it was 15 kilometers from the
Chao bridge. The road is gated but the security guard gladly opens
the gate for you. The road was dirt but in pretty good condition.
We rode to within 5 kilometers on Tanguche and decided to camp near the
irrigation canal. The information we had said that there were no
camping areas after Tanguche. The desert was windy, dry, and void
of much vegetation. We decided to pitch the tent for the night
because the wind was so strong.
17 km dirt
||Tanguche (100 m, 328 ft.) - Chuquicara. In the morning we were
packing up the tent, and I noticed a small scorpion run out from under
the tent that Tim was rolling up. Yikes, we were on alert.
Next Tim picked up the tent bag and a huge scorpion ran out from under
it. He was clear, I could see all this part, in Arizona, we
considered the clear transparent scorpions more dangerous then the big
ugly brown ones.
We were flying down the road, launched off a rock, came down just
right and broke clips on my rear bag and front bag.
|42 km dirt
||Chuquicara (500 m, 1640 ft.) - Waterfall. Tim looses a screw on his
front rack. He fixes it with a cleat screw, lucky it fit.
||42 km dirt
||Waterfall ( 1200 m 3935 ft.) - Huallanca. I woke up not feeling
well. Took a day quil for my stuffy nose, mistake. Hot over
heated, stopped at the hospedaje, the bathroom and shower where in the
same room, using the same hole in the floor. Nope will not do it.
We moved on to Huallanca, 15 kilometers down the road.
Tim had a fever
of 101.4. I had a fever of 99.8. Oh now I was sick again.
This is the third time since we arrived in south america.
|38 km dirt
||Huallanca (1300 m, 4265 ft.) . Fritz now has a fever. We are
all laying low with our illnesses.
||Huallanca. We decided to stay one more day.
We had our laundry done by our Hostel owner's daughter. She would
not say what the price was when she left with our clothes. Not a
good sign. When she came back our clothes were sparkling clean.
Tim and I agreed that we would not pay more than 15 soles ($4.00).
She must have read our mind because she said it was 15 soles, this is
when the Hostel owner said, "Ask for 20 soles, no pay 20 soles".
Word must have gotten out that the gringos were paying a lot for things
because after this everyone was trying to inflate the prices on us.
It was like a feeding frenzy. I did see the laundry lady later
buying bread. I realized that she would not have bought the bread
if she had not done our laundry. What a hard way to survive.
||Huallanca - Carez . We had a nice ride today.
We rode through 36 tunnels. The canyon was stunning. We
steadily climbed out of the heat of Huallanca. The road finally
turned to pavement 13 kilometers (7 miles) from town. Still weak
from the cold. Stayed in Hostel Chavin, 10 soles each, warm water.
||Carez. (2290 m, 7510 ft.) I slept all day today trying to recover
from my cold. Fritz also slept all day trying to recover from his
||Carez. Still recovering from that cold.
||Carez. Went on a hike up in the mountains today.
The peaks were beautiful but the sun was not right for taking pictures.
We did visit the town of Pueblo Libre and then we walked all the way
back to Carez. A good 10 kilometers (6 miles) or so.
||Carez - Carhaus (2700 m, 8855 ft.) I felt like I was going to fall
off my bike today. I still have a cold and I can not breath.
Luckily for me, Fritz and Tim wanted to go slow and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Awesome snow capped peaks to our left and tall jagged brown peaks to our
right. We passed through the town of Yunguy, the new town.
On May 31, 1970 an earthquake shook this area and caused a landslide to
bury the (old) town. Approximately, 18,000 people perished. A new
town is built up out of the valley. The scar of the huge
landslide can still be scene from the highway.
In Carhaus we stayed at Hostal La
Merced. 15 soles per person in one room, highway robbery.
The room was pleasant enough just more expensive than usual. The
water was hot but Tim unfortunately got a cold shower.
||Carhuas - Huarez (3090 m, 10,135 ft.). We climbed higher all day.
The scenery was again stunning. In Huarez we stayed at Hostel
Oscar with plenty of hot water. The cost was 13 soles per person.
The room was much nicer.
Ascended 560 m (1835 ft.) and descended 170
||Huarez. Found an internet cafe for 1.5 soles
($0.45) an hour. Did laundry cost 3 sols ($0.90) per kilo this was
a bit high but we wanted our clothes to dry. Wandered around the
market, it is huge. Everything is for sale, fruits and vegetables,
household items. Also, they were selling a type of fungus, it was
white and gray. It smelled to high heaven ( a putrid smell), we had to move through
the area as fast as we could. There are a lot of tourists here,
more than anywhere else we have been in Peru. It always puzzles me
how to meet other foreigners. We never did figure it out so we did
not really meet anyone.
Took a nap in the afternoon. We are
adjusting to the altitude.
||Huarez. Ran errands all day, grocery shopping,
last minute emails, bought a converter for Tim's batteries so we can
still charge them. Spent the evening packing, we had our bags
||Huarez - Catac (3600 m, 11,800 ft.) On the ride
to Catac we had at least three dog attacks, the dogs are getting more
vicious as we get higher. One dog was so close to Tim he could hit
it with the antenna, so much for the antenna after that, never to be
Stayed in Hostel Yarir, 10 soles per person. We had an electric
shower that was just barely hot enough. Tim was taking a shower
and the power went out, so you can guess how cold the water was.
He had a hard time finding his way out of the bathroom and then trying
to rinse all the soap off.
I unfortunately slipped going down the
stairs. I should have know better than to run around in my socks.
I hit the stairs in a few places and traveled down at least 5 stairs
before I managed to stop myself. Ouch!!
While we were in Huarez we found a map that showed a new paved road
on it. Now we had the choice to go over the mountain pass via dirt
road up to 4800 m, 15,745 ft. or take a paved road that covered two
lower passes. Since we had plenty of dirt road ahead of us, Tim
and I decided to take the paved road. On the other hand, Fritz
wanted to take the dirt road through the national park. We decided
we would part ways at the park entrance and meet up again in Huallanca.
We knew it would take us two days to get to Huallanca and Fritz would
get there in one day. We agreed to meet at Hostel Yessica in
Huallanca. I did not like seeing Fritz ride off into the
wilderness alone, but I knew I would see him again, I hoped.
Ascended 760 m ( 2493 ft.) and descended 150 m (492 ft.)
||Catac - Conococha (4050 m, 13,285 ft.). We left
Fritz at the park entrance and we headed south while Fritz headed east.
To the east the weather looked like a storm was rolling in. We had
a nice gentle climb towards Conococha. In mid afternoon the
weather changed to windy and then rainy. We have not seen rain
since Ecuador and were not too happy to see it at this high elevation.
As we were riding up a hill we could see three dogs gathering at the
top of the hill in the distance. They were waiting for us, when we
were next to them the lead dog came down to chase us and the other two
followed. I had two dogs to my left and suddenly Tim had four dogs
to his right. I had a rock and actually hit a dog that was going
for my leg. Still the other dogs kept coming. We topped the
pass and started down the hill. We had shaken off five of the six
dogs and then another two came down from the hills. Again, they
were going for my legs. Luckily we had the benefit of the down
hill so we finally out ran them.
We arrived in Conococha wet, cold and hungry. We found the only
Hospedaje called an Alojamiento right about the time it began to snow.
Snow is better it is not so wet. The room was expensive, it was a
room with a bunk bed and a queen size bed. If we used the one bed
it was 14 soles and if we used two beds it was 20 soles. Highway
robbery, there was not even a light in the room, only a candle.
The bathroom was an outhouse, a nasty one at that, and a shower was out
of the question. We decided to eat before settling into the room.
The only food on the menu was fish, trout, but I would not eat anything
out of the streams around here. To contaminated from all the
mining around here. We settled on rice and eggs. I did ask
someone else for a place to stay and took a look at that room. If
you can believe it, it was worse. The floor was dirt and damp, the
bed was small and sunk in the middle and the pig pen was right next
door. So we went back to the first place. The young guy who
ran the place asked about the USA. We went to bed at night fall,
good thing too, there is no electricity in this town, a first for us.
In the middle of the night the young guy came barging into the room with
another person, he wanted to rent out the bed next to us. The poor
guy he had with him was as shocked as we were when he opened the door.
In the morning we left as early as we could. On our way out the
young guy asked us for a gift, we already paid way too much for the
room, Tim gave him one of our fliers.
Ascended 750 m ( 2460 ft.) and descended 245 m ( 804 ft.)
||Conococha - Pachapaqui (3900 m, 12792 ft). Not 3 kms into the ride,
we had yet another dog attack. This time only two, but two large
dogs. We were at a slight decline so we just kept pedaling, one
dog stayed with us for over a kilometer, it must have a lot of practice
chasing trucks. This road is brand new and is not on very many
maps, so we were heading into new territory, sort of. The road was
is great shape, at a good grade, and with minimal traffic. The
road was built by a Canadian mining company for the Alta Mina mine.
The road is used to haul equipment and chemicals to the mine (gold
mine). The truck drivers drove slow, gave us plenty of room and
appeared to be very safety conscious, unlike the rest of Peru.
hoping we would make it all the way to Huallanca but a good stiff head
wind slowed us down. We climbed to a pass of 4280 m (14,035 ft.)
and descended to an elevation of 3500 m (11,480 ft.). We gently
climbed up to Pachapaqui but still the head wind was strong. In
Pachapaqui we had lunch. We decided to buy water in this town, the
water coming out of the tap did not look very good, it was full of
sediment and who knows what else. After our experience last night
we decided to camp rather than stay in a Hospedaje. We camped at
3940 m (12,920 ft.). It was cold and the wind made it worse.
The people who live in this valley are mostly sheep farmers.
They are not use to foreigners and the kids were actually afraid of us.
While we were putting up our tent two little girls watched us put it up.
(I know, it is dangerous not to hide but we had no choice). They
could not believe what we were doing. No one bothered us all
night. In the morning a couple of boys herded their sheep through
our camp. I guess we were in the way. I thought we would see
llamas by now but all we have seen are sheep, horses and lots of dogs.
Ascended 720 m ( 2362 ft.) and descended 835 m ( 2739 ft.)
||Pachapaqui - Huallanca (Huanuco). We stayed in
out tent until the sun hit us, it was cold. It was such a pleasant
valley to look at we lingered a little longer than usual. We had a
big climb today. We knew we had 20 kilometers to ride to the top. The
top is at the 60 kilometer mark, exactly. We steadily climbed and
the scenery just was incredible. At times, I lost my breath just
looking at the scenery, maybe
it was the elevation. We rode for an hour, rested for a half hour.
It was difficult to breath.
We descended quickly into Huallanca and
went from pavement to dirt as well. I started having difficulty
riding, my bladder hurt and we needed to stop often. We arrived in
town about 4:30 pm and went to Hostel Yessica. I had hoped that we
would find Fritz there, as we had planned, but he was not there.
We settled in and went out to dinner. We decided to go to bed
early, it was a long day. I was worried that something had
happened to Fritz and talked with the Hostel owner about him arriving
this evening or tomorrow. At about 8:30 pm we had a knock on the
door, it was Fritz. I was very happy to see him. It turns
out that Fritz rode over the pass with another German cyclist, Tomas,
and had arrived in Huallanca yesterday. He was staying in another
hostel down the street.
Ascended 715 m ( 2345 ft.) and descended
1120 m ( 3674 ft.)
(13 km dirt)
6-3-03 to 6-17-04
Aug 5 -
Sept. 14, 2003
The Ecuador border to Huallanca, Peru
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