Day 421-424 / Chavinillo – Huanuco – Huancayo, Peru / 220 miles (Total 10,240)
Today, was going to be a good day. We knew what was ahead of us, and we were looking forward to it. We started the morning off with a slow 10 mile hill climb and made it to the summit in a few hours. We were all smiles knowing what was coming next. 35 miles of twisty, downhill road, that would shoot us all the way into Huanoca. The only thing that would slow us down today would be tight switchbacks, sheep in the road, and the crazy drivers here.
I did have the closes encounter to death on this trip today. I came around a corner and a vehicle was coming in the opposite direction. He wasnt even paying attention and was slowly drifting into my side of the road. With a steep cliff to my right, all’s I could do was hang on and see what happened. I was going too fast to slow down and at the last second he looked up and finally pulled the car away from me. Only a few inches away, I could see the whites in his eyes. I have not had to us sign language for a long time on the road, but I flew a little bird his way. It gave me a good enough scare to slow down the rest of the 10 miles into town, with my heart beating the entire time. These people need drivers training here.
You can’t have a days ride without a few dog attacks. Well, how about over 50 in one day! Today was seriously out of hand with the blood thirsty dogs. I kept count for one hour on the attacks and I stopped counting at 20. It’s a real pain in the butt when your speeding around a corner and 3-4 dogs decide to chase you down. Today almost gave me a little sense of pride in my riding. When I started this trip, I still felt like a rookie. Now, I can kick a dog upside the head (sorry, sometimes it’s a must. It’s either that, or spend a few trips to the hospital getting shots), while avoiding pot holes, crazy drivers, and speeding around a switchback all at once. I swear these dogs are Satan’s little helpers here.
We made it into Huanuco early in the afternoon and spent some time finding a hotel. Finally found one within our budget and started to make plans for the next few days. From Huanuco we would jump on a bus to Huancayo to skip out on some boring riding. Take a day off there, then slowly make our way to Cusco to visit the famous Machu Pichu. For the next few weeks I will be hitching a few rides to get caught up on scheduled.
Our bus didn’t leave till 10:00 at night and we were all a little skeptical on how the bus ride would be. We had the entire back of the bus to our self’s, the seats were comfy, and the entire ride was quiet! We were shocked at how great the $9 bus ride was. The bus arrived into Huancayo around 6 am and we scrambled to find a hotel. There was no shortage of hotels/hostels, with 3-4 on a block, but every one was full. We searched for 2 hours straight with no luck. Anja was very sick at this point and looked like she was going to collapse. We finally found a hotel with one room available, so I told them to take it. I searched high and low with only 3 hours of sleep. I must have asked around 40 hotels and was getting frustrated. I was just about to leave town when I checked one more. I saw a room key hanging up in the office, dropped my bike on the sidewalk, and ran into the office cutting off a man.I was able to score the last room and could finally relax in the comfort of my own space. Spent the next day getting everything I needed done, and rested the body.
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