Day 427 – A day without words

Day 427 / Ancos – Huanta, Peru / 40 miles (Total 10,370)

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Day 426 – A memorable moment

Day 426 / Izcuchaca – Ancos, Peru / 50 miles (Total 10,330)

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Walking out from the campsite and into town

I was packed up faster than my friends and decided to get a jump-start on the morning. It usually takes me a ½ hour to find my rhythm, so I was sure they would catch up fast. I walked into the surprisingly, busy center where the locals where setting up for a market. It was great to start the morning with the locals smiling and saying good morning. I was on the road that followed the rushing river and excited to start the day.

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The village was crazy at 6:30 in the morning.

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The river that runs through the village

Within minutes, I had one of Peru’s meanest dogs surprise attack me. I didn’t see or hear him coming on my right side. Within a split second he was only a foot away and almost took a nip out of my foot. I was startled from the attack and almost lost my balance. I kicked my foot out to try and scare the dog, and that little SOB clamped onto the heel of my sandal. I lost control trying to shake him off and almost ended up on the other side of the road, with a car coming my way. I regained my balance just in time and came to a stop. I grabbed a few rocks and finally scared the mutt off. What a way to start the morning.

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Throughout the day, this river changed color 4 different times. Clear, brown, red, and green

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Rocks and green moss on the side of the road

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Multiple waterfalls

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A random door leading to the river

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Some great colors today

I quickly forgot all about my encounter with the dog and the views of Peru sucked me back in. Today’s road hugged the river as close as it could. Mountains surrounded me everywhere and there was very little traffic to worry about. Marko and Anja quickly caught up and we were all enjoying the views. The road twisted to the left and right, while hugging the river. Up and down with gradual inclines and descents, nothing to even break a sweat over.

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Rounding the corner. The road was just wide enough for one crazy Peruvian driver. One wrong turn and it’s a long ways down.

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Sheep on a roof. Little bizarre

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Wouldn’t want to be on this bridge when it gave out

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A memorable moment. Locals relaxing on the side of the river and kids playing in it. They were far away and everyone was yelling with joy when we passed them. Felt like we were rolling through a parade

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They were happy to see some tourist rolling down the road

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Green mountains and a green river

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Some deep streams to cross today

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Not our road today

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Far off in the distance, you can see a red waterfall. The red water blended into the green river. Amazing

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Almost to the end of the day and the road shot up 700 ft within a mile or two. A tough push in the heat this afternoon.

We rolled through small villages with some of the friendliest locals we have encountered through Peru. We were descending more and more and the heat was kicking in by noon. About 10 miles from our destination, we had a monster hill to climb, that had us all breathing heavy. Around 3:00 we made it to Ancos and rode straight to the Municipal office. We asked if they had room that we could stay in and the locals were more than happy to give us a roof over our heads for free. They showed us where we could sleep, told us we could take a shower, and just ask if we needed anything else. They even had us gather together for a few photos. Once again, Peru treats us great with open arms.

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Our campsite for the night. If you are wondering why we set our tents up in the building, one word. Bugs! Lots of sand-fly’s and mosquitoes.


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Day 425 – A perfect village

Day 425 / Huancayo – Izcuchaca, Peru / 40 miles (Total 10,280)

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A grey view and some sleepy eyes from last nights teenie boppers

One o,clock in the morning, we had a bus full of teenage girls arrive at the hotel. They were yelling, screaming, and running up and down the hallway all night long. Very frustrating that the owners of the hotel did nothing about it. Oh-well, I inserted the ear plugs (one of the best things I brought on tour) and fell back asleep within the next 40 minutes. We all woke up a little groggy from lack of sleep and made our way out-of-town in the rain.

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Reflection photo

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Hello, my name is James and I’m addicted to grabbing onto semi’s during uphill rides. The driver saw me in his rear view mirror and went out of his way to avoid puddles and large rocks on the road. He pulled over at a restaurant and told me to come in and he ended up buying me a coke.

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A lady in the middle of her field.

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A rainy morning, a mellow uphill road, and some good views

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There was a wide shoulder to ride on today. Something we haven’t seen in sometime. It was perfect besides all the broken glass. A few miles into the ride, I was pulling glass out from my rear tire. FYI – I think I’m around 60 flats now on this trip.

A few miles into the ride, we started our ascent and knew it would last for the next 12 miles. Eventually the rain dissipated and we stripped off the extra layers of clothes. Around 11:30 we made it to the top of the hill and the weather was a bit chilly up top.. Goosebumps covered my arms and the extra layers were back on

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Tilling the fields

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Taking advantage of the shoulder and avoiding broken glass

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Afternoon snack of cheese and crackers

The descent was slow going at first, then picked up in speeds to my liking. The views and the road started to turn into a something completely different. The road was gradually getting steeper, with more twist and turns. Farmers fields turned into a beautiful sight of a valley and surrounding mountains. My speeds picked up and I was playing a fun game of cat and mouse with a passenger bus ahead of me. I was drafting the bus as close as possible to gain enough speed to sling shot pass the bus during the next opening I could take. It was tricky trying to find the perfect time to pass with on coming traffic and sharp switchbacks, making the game more fun. For the next 10 minutes I was weaving back and forth on the road, but couldn’t find a safe passing. Marko caught up and started in on the fun with me. Side by side we gained speed and laughed out loud with all the fun we were having. Never did get a chance to pass the bus, so we pulled over to enjoy the views for a while. Anja pulled over and shook her head at us, for our not so safe passes on the road.

 

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We turned into this corner and the farmers fields came to an end. Open valley viewing

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Some wild rock formation and deep caves

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A great view

Around 2:00, we made it to Izcuchaca and we were back to the part of Peru that we have missed. For the last week or so, some of the smaller villages haven’t been to open to visiting gringos. Not that they are mean, or unkind, but just unfriendly. We would only hear shouts of “GRINGO” and empty stares to go with the shout. Today, as we rolled into the small village of Izcuchaca and we were welcomed with open arms and smiles. The locals would come over, welcome us to their town, and give us a nice handshake. They didnt shout “GRINGO”, instead they asked where we were from and what our names were. Instead of stares, they would smile and wave from far away. A breath of fresh air for all of us.

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Our perfect little village

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Looking down at the dirty Mother Trucker

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Not sure what the story is in this town, but the lady at the hotel told us the water is no good in town. We had to get drinking water out of a large barrel in town.I took a chance and filtered my water out of the tap and no problems

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A gunny sack of coca leaves. You can drink the coca tea, or chew it. Traditional medical uses of coca are foremost as a stimulant to overcome fatigue, hunger, altitude sickness, and thirst. It is legal here in this form. The coca tea is pretty good and feels like drinking 2 cups of coffee. Chewing it is pretty disgusting though, and taste like, well…. Chewing on a dried leaf. You see a lot of the locals here with a mouth full of the leaves. 

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Our view from the campsite

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A perfect place to camp

We checked out a few hostels in town, and one offered us a place to set up camp in the back of the building. 10 soles for all of us to camp, which is about $1.00 each. A perfect place to set camp. Shelter over our head, running water, and an electrical plugin. Perfect! The only downfall was that we are back in sand-fly territory. These little suckers can wreck a day. Tiny little gnat like blood suckers, that swarm in the hundreds. You don’t feel them till they left their mark and inject their poison in your blood. The bites swell up fast and itch like mad. Needless to say, we were hiding in our tents early that night. Had a great night sleep not hearing screaming kids, dogs barking or the horn of vehicles. The only sound we heard was of the rushing river only a few hundred feet from us. A great night sleep for all of us.

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We met Raphael as he was coming into town. He came over to our campsite and chatted for a while. Well, he did most the talking. He has been on the road since 2005 and you could tell he hasn’t had much conversation for sometime. He just might have the worlds heaviest touring bike. I could barely lift it off the ground.

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Campsite at night

 


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