Cycling Peru Part II

Cycling Cajamarca to Caraz

At the town of Cajamarca we took a few days off from cycling. In this post we cycle further south. Our South-America paper map hardly shows any roads in this part of Peru so we try to rely on the map apps on our phone. The map apps do show roads but it's always the question how these roads are in real life.

We find out the roads are hard to cycle in this part of Peru and sometimes the roads just end. Sometimes bridges over rivers just don't exist at all and we have to wade through.

In these very remote areas hardly a living soul is found, the only people we meet are rough old gold diggers and drunk guys at Monday morning.

After a lot of chicken with rice, chicken with fries makes me happy 🙂

A town square like as in every town in Central and South America.

The local tienda (shop)

A day of no cycling. Relaxing, drinking coffee and thee and reading books all day long! This hostel has a nice backyard we don't see often so we are very happy to use it.

Making friends again.

We stayed here for two nights.

And say good bye again to the nice family that owns this hostel.

On the road again but we have to push up at some places. This part of the road is pretty rough with gravel and has some steep up and down hills.

And going down again....

I hugged the road 🙁 No serious injuries.

After falling off the bike I went a little slower down the mountain.

Market

When walking over a market people always give us a lot of attention. Probably it's rare, tourists visiting no-tourist markets.

Away from the towns again into the great wide open.

Sun is going down.

Camping at the Agua Calientes. Here we meet the Swiss again and a lone cyclist from the US. We chat and drink some beers in the night to celebrate being together again.

The next morning we check out the Agua Calientes but the water is not as caliente as we expected so we stayed in just for 10 minutes or so.

Looks nice but it was pretty chilly.

Politics on the left building, local herbs on the right. A wierd Dutch girl in the middle 😀

Just another unknown town.

"Welcome in Shit a Bamba"

6:30 in the morning, time for another day on the road.

In the villages most women still dress in colourful traditional clothes. We love it!

While taking a break along a lake a bunch of sheep pass by.

Young shepherd.

The sheep didn't bother us.

After the sheep a couple of cows pass by as well and start a fight in front of us.

We survive the sheep and the bull fight... time for food!!!

Random street pic.

At a small stream we find a nice spot for camping. The sky turnes in full color pallet as soon as the sun starts to go down.

...

Sheep don't care about the colourful sky.

The next day we pass a huge mining area. Colourful as well but it ruins the area 🙁

Pushing up again.

Red river?

Farm up in the hills.

A farmer is drying the corn in his backyard.

At the top of a mountain pass we find an old graveyard, just in the middle of nowhere.

Kim waiting when Arjan shoots picture number ...?

Going down into the...

... eucalyptus forest.

After a downhill always an uphill.

But with beautiful views.

We have a hard time finding a good spot to sleep because all the land seems to be owned by farmers here. Eventually we ask a farmer and we are aloud to camp in his eucalyptus plantation. Finally time to eat, relax and drink lots of tea before diving into bed again.

The next morning we come down from the eucalyptus plantation again.

In a small town, we pass, a festival and soccer game is going on.

Happy people.

Happy me as well.

This old lady parties hard as well.

Waiting for the bus?

The festival stays at the top of the mountain, we go down again.

Local statues in the background.

Workers building a new bridge. Luckily we can pass.

Natural water for free. A bit brown but when boiling tea from it the color doesn't matter anymore.

Though going up.

A perfect grassy spot for a camp high in the mountains. We are around 3500m in wintertime. So it is cold at night, around zero degrees celsius.

Eating dust from the trucks.

More dust to eat.

Taking some wood for a fire.

Some ruins along the road when going down.

One of the villages we pass is completely closed for traffic because of roadwork. Luckily we can pass.

Pass through peoples backyards.

Going down but on the other side of the deep river valley we see the road already going up again.

More dusty roadworks. Even with our bikes we have to wait for more than an hour.

When we're finally allowed to pass by, tens of sand trucks ride the mountain up and down in high speed. The whole mountain is one big construction area.

This road is just 30 minutes old. Before the mountain was just straight coming down. This was what we where waiting for the last hour.

Deep deep river. We come from the mountain on the right and the route is going up on the left mountain. (But maybe we can skip the climb and follow the river going further down. We have to figure that out)

Camp along the deep river. That gives us an opportunity to have a bath again too! 😉

The next day we start following the river, see where this road ends.

We go deeper and deeper into the canyon.

The scenery is beautiful and pretty wild. We don't see any other people.

We hope this road doesn't just stop in the middle of nowhere.

Wild.

On some places we find some old private mining spots.

Can you imagine living in one of these huts, far away from everything?

Mine on the left.

Living in huts and working in this?

We follow the road further down, still along the river.

We know the road will end in a few kilometers but there should be another road on the other side of the river. We have to cross the river somewhere but the map doesn't show a bridge.

End of the road. We have to go down to the river bed and find a place to cross the river. Hopefully we can find the road on the other side.

The last part of the road doesn't exist anymore. We have to drag down the bikes on lines.

On the river bed.

Good spot for river crossing.

Cross like a mule, packed.

Made it 🙂

Made it to the other side... but where is that road?

It's sunset already. We decide to camp on the river bed and search the road the next morning.

FIRE !!!

Hungry so...Food!

The next day we pass a swamp in search of that damned road.

Where we came from the other day.

We found the road after an hour of struggling.

Also on this side of the river they do mining.

Where is this road going to?

Mining hole.

Our map shows a bridge somewhere over there.

From above we see this bridge doesn't exist. We have to wade through the river again.

A new stick for the next river crossing is found already.

Where the **** can we cross this river again?

We found a spot to cross the river but there is no road leading there. It's hard to get our bikes there and it takes us hours.

Like a mule to get to the crossing spot.

Unpacked bikes are a lot lighter to cary.

Wet feet again.

Yes! Made it again 😀

Another biker as crazy as us to take this mad but amazing beautiful route. Sebastian from Romania is going in the oppersite direction. We give him some tips and tricks for crossing the river, he gives us some fresh fruit.

Finding our way back to the road.

Road found 🙂 (See left)

The counter for today shows just 3.89km.

The next morning we pack up again, struggle up the road again and a few cows look after us.

Nice single track.

We still follow the river with nice views.

One of the first houses after a few days of seeing none is showing up.

Still nice single track and coloured mountains.

Shy kids in this hut along the track.

Goats on the road.

Asphalt road again 🙂

Gold diggers looking for gold in the river.

More gold diggers down the river.

Monday morning 8:45. The guys drinking beer already.

"Thumbs up, I don't drink and drive"

Breakfast; Cooked corn, unions and meat. Not the best meal ever but we're hungry so we don't bother.

Buying some extra food in a small shop.

This old mining spot is no longer in use.

Fresh fruits for sale along the road.

Yeah, nearly a town again. Time to buy food again.

At some food stalls we meet some (motor) bikers from Chili. We have their address, maybe we give them a visit in a few months?

We continue through a beautiful landscape.

At our camp spot Arjan does some bike maintenance...

...And needs a bath afterwards.

I guess we have to hold left on this road haha...

Mining is still going on here.

Kim is cycling to wards this nice shaped rock.

Tunnels....

More tunnels...

Douwe from Utrecht, Holland.

Overlanders from Brazil

Crashed bus on the road.

In the evening we find a nice spot again to put up our tent.

last day cycling up to the town of Caraz. From Caraz we will hike the Santa Cruz Trail (See previous post)

Thanks for reading again...
Kim & Arjan

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Cycling Peru Part I

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Santa Cruz Trail – Peru

1 Comment

  1. HB Bodewes

    Wel heel erg zwaar werk , maar met prachtige uitzichten en heel nieuwe ervaringen. Goede reis verder en hopelijk binnenkort weer zo’n mooi verslag met foto’s.

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