November 12, 2012 - From Huánuco to Huancayo, more stunning scenery and smooth roads made up most of the ride.
The road slowly winds its way higher and higher to Huancayo.
The route crosses the Altiplano, frequently well over 4,000 meters. The Altiplano is the second largest and highest plateau in the world after Tibet, with an average height of 3,750 meters. The main road is in perfect shape and there is little traffic. Unremarkable little towns come and go and sometimes the area is really deserted as far as the eye can see.
In Huancayo a waypoint from Adam Lewis leads me straight to Hostal America, a small leafy place a few blocks off the main drag with a spot to park the bike. In a small eatery I order the most expensive thing on the menu at about $4.
The plan from here was to go to Ayacucho and then onwards to Cuzco, following the highlands. The next morning a conversation with the hostal owner makes me question the wisdom of my route and twenty kilometers onwards, the paved road ends, with bumpy ruts snaking overtop a hill out of sight. A quick check with some elderly fixtures on the local main square confirms it's about eight to ten hours with a minibus for a mere 150 kms. Hearing of my plans, I am handed a bottle of water and some crackers by a woman from a nearby stall. Her gesture, in combination with the 500+ kms of brutal road from Ayacucho to Cuzco ahead make me cave in and I turn around towards Lima.
The ride to Lima is unremarkable and crossing the Carretera Cental is a snooze, although the route touches 4,781 meters at one point.
In Lima I head for Miraflores and take refuge in The Flying Dog, a fancier hostal with tiled floors in the bathroom and consistent hot water, a novelty, for a few days. From here the plan is to head to Arequipa and then Bolivia.