From: Huaraz, Peru
It is 2012. Over a month has passed since my last entry, though don’t mistake the silence for inactivity. Quite a bit happened the past month.
When I arrived at the border, my hands were a blistery mess secreting a vile pus, thanks to the rough dirt roads and my lack of an adequate front suspension. As much as I wanted to continue on by bike, the sharp gut-wrenching pain radiating from my palms precluded any attempt to secure a strong grip on the handlebars. Instead, I attached myself, my bike, and 4 bags to a group of three swell Germans who arrived by bus. The next two weeks were spent in their convivial company traveling around Northern Peru.
Too lazy to go into detail about the following period, though I’ll do the math for you: in those 4 weeks of December I cycled a mere 3 days. For all my diligent stalkers out there here was my route.
- La Balsa (border) to Chachapoyas (collectivo)
- Chachapoyas to Leymebamba (bike, 1 day, 80km)
- Leymebamba to Cajamarca (bus)
- Cajamarca to Trujillo (bike, 2 days, 285km)
- Trujillo to Lima (bus)
- Lima to Trujillo (bus)
While I still scribbled a bit in my journal every couple days, every time I attempted to muster up the motivation to write more I found a convenient distraction. Often, the process of putting to paper coherent and connected sentences from the turbulent nebula of my thoughts resembles an undesired chore.
The two day, 285km bike ride from Cajamarca in the Andes to Trujillo on the coast was gorgeous. Starting at 8,900 ft (2,700m) you climb over 2,400ft (750m) before starting the long windy descent towards the coast. The scenery gradually changes from mountain scrub to desolate desert.
In Trujillo I stayed at the Casa de Ciclistas, a place famous among everyone whose cycled in South America. Lucho, a retired racing cyclist, has been opening his house to traveling cyclists for over 25 years. He provides a bed, shower, and great company for as along as you want, for free. I took advantage of his hospitality for a week and spent the New Years with Lucho and his family.
The morning after arriving in Trujillo I hopped on a bus for the 10 hour journey to Lima to visit a good ‘ol friend from Ecuador who was heading back to the USA with her tail between her legs. Guess she couldn’t handle the awesomeness that was Peru.
Christmas in Lima. Bus back to Trujillo. Stayed at the Casa de Ciclistas. New Years in Trujillo. Hello 2012.