Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1510, Pativilca – Raquia: The Right-Turn

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Nov - 05 - 2014

Distance: 97.37 km
Ride time: 7:19:29
Average: 13.29 km/h
Max speed: 36.22 km/h
Total: 30245 km

I had only been cycling a few kilometers in the usual coastal fog when I passed the turn off to Huaraz – known for some of Peru’s best trekking and mountain views. I had originally decided to skip the visit as it would require a lot of climbing and I wanted to go to Ecuador fast.

But, this morning when I passed the Huaraz sign I couldn’t help turning right and head into the mountains once again. I was preparing myself for some hard cycling. Yet, if there is one thing I have learned after all these kilometers, it is that hard cycling always pays off.

The first part of the day was gentle enough as the road climbed slowly up a very green and fertile valley. The slope was not greater than that the strong tail wind could almost push me up.

At midday I went into a nice looking restaurant and ordered the two course menu. I knew that the rest of the day wouldn’t be that easy. It was time to load up for the real climb. I was a little surprised when the friendly restaurant owner told me about the 4000 m pass I was about to climb. I knew that Huaraz was located at 3000 m, but I had somehow forgot to consider (and my map didn’t tell me) that there was a 4000 m pass on the way.

Oh well, it was too late to turn around now. Only one way to go, and that was up, up up.

I could see what I thought was the top of the valley far above me for most of the day. When I finally reached the point, the valley turned 90 degrees, and I could now see a new top. This continued for the rest of the day, the speed usually between 8-10 km/h.

As hard as the ride was, I did very much enjoy the fantastic mountain views. Cycling along the coast is fast and easy, but nothing beats the views in the mountains – especially here in Peru where the coast is like a desert but the mountains lush and green.

As the sun was setting I passed a village with a small guest house. I went inside to ask for a room but was told the few rooms were already occupied. I didn’t care too much. Down at the coast I hadn’t felt very comfortable wild camping, but up here in the mountains I had absolutely no problem finding a hidden spot from the road and getting ready for the night.

Tomorrow there will be more climbing!

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Jane says:

    Wow, you certainly did a great deal of climbing! I’m not too sure I’d be very happy to find out there was a 4000m climb on the way to the 3000m climb! But then again I don’t enjoy cycling up mountains like you do. I can’t imagine you ever getting overweight with that kind of activity, no matter how much you party in the towns! đŸ™‚

  2. Tony Graham says:

    This slab of rock will have to make it into your “Funny Places to Sleep” perhaps?

    What camera are you using now – your fixed Canon 500d or was Canon sending you a free camera to try? What model was it?

    And – did you get that tent in the end or was it just easier to give up and leave it?

  3. Yes Tony, funny and great place to sleep. The view of the stars was amazing.
    My 500D came back to life so I’m still using that one now. Mostly still with the kit lens, but I also have a 50 mm fixed lens these days that I think takes great photos for when I’m in towns.
    I have given up on the tent, so I told the costums in Lima airport just to send it back to MSR in the US. I don’t know if that will happen though. I still have my heavy two person Doite tent. As I was climbing up to 4000 m I thought it would have been great to be two kilos ligther. Maybe I will look for a new tent in Colombia. I heard its a good place to go shopping.
    Best wishes from Trujillo, Tony. Hope you are enjoying the summer down there in Wellington!
    Thomas