The crossroads of our Peru journey

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Ancash,
Thursday, January 10, 2013

We headed out of Trujillo, knowing that we had almost a whole day of riding in the desert along the busy, Panamerican highway.  After this we would head inland and join a smaller, quieter road.  The day got off to a slow start, with packing up all of our stuff and then trying to navigate out of the fairly large city, which didn't have a single road sign to point us in the direction of the highway.  Once we got on to the highway, the road made its way through lots of small villages.  There was also numerous large companies, growing crops in fields by the side of the road, which highlighted how impressive the irrigation systems were as we were in the desert. 

The road was paved and the traffic wasn't too heavy, which made me wonder if we had made the right decision to head away from the main road.  Then there would be one big gust of wind in our faces and I would be reminded of one of the main reasons why we wanted to change direction.  As we were largely surrounded by crops and small villages, we weren't plunged into the barren desert and the wind was mainly slowed down by the hedges and trees.  

As we cycled along we made our way up a couple of small hills and could see the coastline from the road.  At one point we could see a cool looking island just away from the shore, which looked like it was floating on the hazy, heatwave of the sand.  We found a fairly nice place to stop for some lunch and enjoyed a soup, which had lots of pasta in it and then some rice with chicken.  An hour or so later we stopped in another little town, to buy some mangos from the street stall sellers, as we knew that we were close to turning off onto the smaller road.

We cycled along until we saw a smaller road, leaving the highway.  It was the only one that we had seen for about 10km, and it fitted the description from the other blogs that we are following but we checked with a local guy just to be sure.  Right, so this really rugged, dusty, stoney, farm track is our new route?!  It was a private road, which lead to one small village 22km away, and then would continue on for a further 28km, before re-joining a slightly better small road.  It was the kind of road that we would never usually venture down, as it looked like it led to nowhere but having researched it well and knowing that numerous cyclists had not only done it before but also recommended it, we turned east and started a new adventure.  The road was bumpy and jarring and slowed us down to about 9km per hour.  We spent most of the time concentrating on not hitting a stone at the wrong angle and being knocked off, but we were loving it!  There was no-one else on the road and we felt like we were exploring Peru in a new way.  I was also just excited to be leaving the desert soon. 

We cycled for almost an hour and stopped for a drink.  We didn't have a destination for the day, we had just hoped to ride the 85km to the turning point and then to find a place to camp.  We saw a gravel pit, which had one side carved out from diggers removing the gravel.  It seemed like an unusual campsite but provided us with shelter from the wind, and allowed us to hide from the occasional road user.  We set up camp and watched the sunset over the mountains from our peaceful but possibly not very aesthetically pleasing campsite.
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Grandma on

Hey, that sunset is beautiful!!!! I have a picture of your mom standing in front of one.......and it looks the same.....Gorgeous. .... I always enjoy your blogs, Gemma...Keep them coming..... Love and hugs...

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