Cycling La Balsa to Cajamarca
Coming from Ecuador we crossed the border with Peru at the town of La Balsa. La Balsa is nothing more than a tiny dot on the map, its very primitive, has hardly any shops, no restaurants or bars and no ATM cash machines.
It is in this village that we camp our first night in Peru. Luckily in a small store the lady is willing to change some US dollars in the local currency, the Peruan soles. The store has not much to sell so we eat some dry bread with cooked eggs for dinner.
The days after we discover the roads in Peru are much better and less steeper to cycle on then in Ecuador but for the rest it’s all much more primitive. No fancy clothes or cars anymore and the people are definitely not used to white tourists. For us it feels like a draw back after much more civilised Ecuador.
In Jaén we stay a few nights in a cheap hotel to get Arjan’s bike fixed again and to do some serious shopping. (Yes!! We found a real supermarket in this town since weeks)
We already figured a route south to Cajamarca, the next bigger town on our way south but our bike mechanic Miguel suggested an alternative, ‘little’ longer, ‘little’ more challenging route. A route along one of the highest waterfalls in the world, through a stunning canyon, along Peru’s only but beautiful cable car ride over a deep valley and along some famous Inca ruins. The route ends with a stunning 60km downhill and an challenging 50km uphill to Cajamarca.
We dubbed our own route or Miguel’s more challenging route to Cajamarca.
See what happened below: