We had decided that we would skip a large part of Peru to save time for other countries of which we had heard good things from many people; for example Colombia and Mexico. Besides that, Mexico is also very big so we need a lot of time to cross it.
Also, Peru is a very large country and the interesting route is through the mountains. Those mountains are high and it’s a lot of long ups and downs, so to cycle all that we would need months.
So we took another bus, from Cusco to Lima and from there back into the mountains to Huaraz so we would cycle at least a part of the mountains.
After about 30 hours on busses we arrived in Huaraz. From there on we cycled again, on new tires and with new chains which we put on in Cusco. It had been a while since we had arrived in Cusco and therefor had been on the bikes and we could definitely feel that. The scenery was beautiful, finally we saw big and snowy mountains again and among them the highest mountain of Peru; the Huascarán. The road was hilly and turned into an unpaved road after a while. This unpaved road went through the Cañon del Pato, a canon with about 50 tunnels to go through. After this canon there was another beautiful canon. We camped in a small house in an abandoned little village, which was nice and sheltered.
As always, the wind was our companion. Of course not by giving us a helpful push, but by blowing a storm in our faces. Every day, around midmorning, it started with a nice breeze and within an our it had changed into a storm. But fortunately we had the coast to look forward to; according to everybody you always have a tailwind over there when you cycle north. Yes, except the day we were there…
The last part to Trujillo was pretty boring, but fortunately it wasn’t very far. It also was foggy and chilly. We had to cycle on the shoulder of the highway which was covered in junk. That resulted in Linda’s first flat tire of the whole trip, after only 15 kms on that road. A big nail had gone right trough.
We went to another ‘Casa de cyclistas’ in Trujillo. This one is very famous among cyclists because of its ‘owner’ Lucho. He’s completely dedicated to everything that cycles in and around the city. We had already (coincidentally) run into him on the road. He was accompanying a race with roadbikes. He can also fix about everything on a bike. This was also a reason why we went to Trujillo; the hub of Linda’s bike needed some attention. Lucho also checked the other wheels and discovered that all except one needed some adjustment. So now we have perfect wheels again.
We also met another very special man; Kim from Korea who travels the world with his twin sons in a trailer behind his bike. He had a wooden trailer which weighed about 200 kg (440 lbs). He couldn’t go faster than 5 kms/h (2 mph) and they all had to walk uphill. In Lima he had a little engine built on his bike, but it only works when it’s flat. It doesn’t work uphill. But thanks to Lucho and the many sponsors he found, a new and much lighter trailer was built (for free). But it still is a strange (and heavy) appearance. There was a lot of media attention for this special family and when they left Trujillo it wasn’t without a lap around the central square and many interviews for radio and tv.
After a few days in Trujillo, we took another bus. This time toward the border. We could have cycled, but we were told it was a very boring stretch with nothing but desert. We didn’t feel like cycling that, even though we should have had a tailwind. But with our luck with the wind… When we saw the route from the bus, we were very happy we were on that bus. There really was nothing there, just sand and some bushes.
From the city of Piura, we cycled to the border. It was 1,5 days of cycling of which the first part through the desert. It was very hot and because we weren’t used to that anymore, it was very hard. The temperature rose to around 40˚C (100 F). And again, we had headwind(storm). The scenery was tropical; we cycled through areas with banana trees, palmtrees and even ricefields. Just like in Asia.