Friday, January 26, 2018

Noodling Around Central Peru with Friends

Martin and Ramon joined me for a short ride in the area west of Huanuco, Peru. The trip was very similar to the solo ride that I took two years before, but this time we rode sections in reverse, so they would be new to me. =) 

The first day we rode through the Jesús District, stopping for a tasty lunch of fresh trout. In the corner of the restaurant, I noticed a simple cage with a Guinea pig. This was not a pet, but a future meal, called cuy in Peru. It's a delicacy and slightly expensive. If memory serves me correctly, Martin ordered the cuy.

After lunch, we headed to Banos where there is a natural hot spring. The facility is a like a municipal pool with a very reasonable entrance fee, except the attendants serve beer while you are soaking in the steaming waters. No photos are available, but who wants to see middle-aged bikers and slightly pink from the hot baths.

The next day we stopped in Rondos for a late morning break. I had found refuge and lodging late in the night the year before in this lovely little village. I love the name of this town that is shared by a semi-popular soda in the 80s. 

Next, we tried to visit Huánuco Pampa, a small Inca ruin. The road to the site was not clear and the muddy field was too challenging. Shortly afterward we noticed one of the welds in my pannier frame had cracked, so it was all for the best that we abandoned the visit. When we reached La Union I found a guy who fixed the crack with a couple of zaps from his electric welder.

I wanted to get close to Parque Nacional Huascarán before stopping. We spent the night in Huallanca and had chifa for dinner. Chifa is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian foods. The restaurant doors in this mountain town are left open, which was fine as Peruvians are tough and impervious to cold. Notice the stream pour off of the hot dishes.

Shortly after entering Parque Nacional Huascarán from the southeast we encountered an inch or two of snow. Martin and I pressed on, and Ramon elected to turn back and take the highway south of the park. We met up later that day in Huaraz. Along the road, we encountered an Edelweiss tour headed in the opposite direction. There were 10 or so riders and a small chase van that was plugging along in the snow. The Huascarán range is spectacular. Sadly the glaciers are receding.

Martin studied biology in college and mentioned that these plants are male. Impressive.

Martin studied biology in college and mentioned that these plants are male. Impressive if you ask me.

North of Huaraz we visited the Museo Caraz (Museo Municipal de Caraz)which has on exhibit crazy skulls and a small mummy.

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