Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1515, Huaraz – Pariacoto: The Final Climb

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Nov - 12 - 2014

Distance: 96.39 km
Ride time: 5:39:32
Average: 17.03 km/h
Max speed: 52.69 km/h
Total: 30466 km

Coming to Huaraz had been a spontaneous decision, but now it was time to head down to the Pacific Ocean again. Before the the long descend there was one final obstacle to overcome – the climb up to Abra Punta Callan at 4204 m.

The friendly owner of my hostel said he had done the climb in 40 minutes. Now, he looked fit and I have no doubts that Peruvian people born in the mountains have no problems with the altitude, but if he had really done the climb in 40 minutes he would beat everybody in Tour de France by miles.

It took me almost 3 hours to reach the top. Interestingly I seemed to be breathing harder than the other day when I went straight from sea level to 4000 m even though I should be much better acclimatized by now – I had to dig deep on the last couple of kilometers up towards the pass.

Standing at the top I was imagining I would be enjoying a full panorama view over at least 10 of the 6000 m peaks of Cordillera Blanca. That didn’t really happen as thick rain clouds had gathered over the mountains. November is the beginning of the rainy season in Huaraz. I didn’t mind much though. Yesterday we had been lucky with the weather for the hike to Laguna 69, and I had certainly had my share of amazing mountain views over the last 10 months.

All that was left was now to roll down the other side of the pass on what would be the longest continuous descend of the trip. In the beginning it was a cold experience rolling down the mountain, but after half an hour things started to warm up.

I’m not really sure about my route through Ecuador and Colombia yet, but I doubt I will climb any more 4000 m passes. As such this was a goodbye to the high mountains that I have been enjoying so much on this part of the trip through South America.

I rolled all the way down to the village of Pariacoto where I found a cheap guest house for 15 soles. Tomorrow I should be back at the coast.

Categories: Peru
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