November 8, 2012 - I stayed an extra day in Trujillo to buy and mount a front tire. I was glad I did, because the day after, it got put to good use.
From Trujillo I went direction Chimbote, from where I cut up to Cañón del Pato, after seeing a GoPro video of it from a fellow rider. It certainly proved to be a challenge, with hours upon hours of rough gravel roads, some parts with extensive damage from construction equipment.
The place was barren and rugged, with not a soul in sight a lot of the time.
The canyon walls at places overhang so much they are separated by a mere six meters. Spot the bike.
And tunnels, endless tunnels. All covered in fine sand with hidden ruts and nothing to provide any reflection. Single track, all of them, so honking profusely is the only way to get noticed as a bike. This is a small one. Some of them were just featureless black holes you offer your life to.
The ride ended in Huaraz, a place I had visited in 1996. Close to the main square I found a small hotel. I decided to stay a day and fix my speedo which had lost the magnetic pickup when I changed the tire. It rained pretty much constantly for the 36 hours I was in Huaraz. I left in the rain early in the morning and was rolling by 7:00 AM.
The ride to Huánuco was really varied but not technically challenging. Aside from a muddy detour for about a kilometer, it was all paved.
About half an hour out of Huaraz, I found myself at 4,000 meters - the highest point for the day ended up being 4,667 meters. To my left I had a nice view of the Cordillera Blanca.
The roads twisted and turned higher and lower all day, with lots of blind corners and looming truck traffic. No near misses, but it wasn't a place to gaze off dreamily in the distance for too long either. Numerous small villages scroll past your visor, women dressed in traditional outfits, cows lingering on the road while suspicious looks from small children follow you.
A lot of people are "chimping" their phones and don't even notice me ride by. Nobody escapes Claro and Movistar's influence, even here.
And then I came upon this.
The Toyota van I'd been playing tag with for most of the day. He was faster most of the time, but then I overtook him when he was letting people on and off at various points. The van was toast as the drive train was laying on the ground. The truck was going to need a bigger truck to get moving again. The van was pulled backwards, leaving enough room to skirt around, which everyone did at the same time, South American style.