The second largest lake in Peru
Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
136Trip End Apr 20, 2013
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The road climbed higher for the first twenty minutes or so and then crested a ridge to award us with gorgeous views of a large lake on a high mountain plateau. The land was completely flat for about 80km, in which there was a large lake, with birds and ducks. The road skirted around the bottom of the surrounding hills and largely kept away from the lake, but occasionally we were given close up views
The going was good, the road was paved and fairly quiet, so we were able to keep up a good pace. We covered almost 50km by lunchtime and were pleased to have made up for our slow start. We saw a nice looking restaurant and quickly ordered some food. Kory went for our favourite Peruvian dish Lomo Saltado, which is strips of beef stir-fried with onions, tomatoes and chili, served over chips and with rice and salad on the side. I decided to try something new and opted for the Pachamanca, which is meat, potatoes and vegetables cooked in an earthen ‘oven’ of hot rocks for several hours. It is a Quechua (local indigenous) specialty and pacha means ‘earth’ and manca means ‘oven’. It was tasty and had a decent piece of chicken, which is not always guaranteed, so I was happy with my choice.
As we got ready to leave the heavens opened and the rain started for the afternoon. It wasn't too bad and settled down again after a quick shower. We were happy to be able to enjoy the views again. We arrived into Junin at 3.30 and decided to continue on for another couple of hours, before finding somewhere to camp. We knew that the road would ascend slowly for the next hour of riding and then would descend into a valley, which is where we hoped to camp
Unfortunately the wind had another idea, and as soon as we left Junin it blasted us forcefully from the side. It made for miserable riding as we struggled to stay on the road with the fierce gusts. The traffic wasn't too heavy but as each truck passed us we would get caught in their tailwind and be thrust from one side to the other. It was horrible cycling conditions but as we finished our ascent and entered the valley the wind conditions improved and we were able to enjoy the fast downhill.
We quickly found a place to camp that was hidden from the road and whilst I put the tent up, Kory started to cook dinner. The rains were starting again but thankfully we got the tent up before it came down heavily. We covered a respectable distance over the day and enjoyed the views between the showers. Even though we had slept in, we were still happy to have an early night in the tent and were asleep by 8.30pm.