Friday, 2 December 2011

Huaraz to Lima

Wed 30th Nov to Thur 1st December

Huaraz is the gateway to trekking and climbing in these parts and it is easy to see why when you see the snow capped mountains all around.

The city is at around 10,000 ft whilst the surrounding snow capped mountains are twice that.

Local ladies in the town.

Spreading the lentils to dry in the morning sun.

We set off this morning on another bright and sunny day only to come to a stop before we had left the outskirts of the city.

The engine on Terry's bike was racing even with the throttle closed. A quick examination found nothing obvious causing the problem so the sages of BMW airheads mulled over the possible causes. First was sticking bob weights in the bean can. We had a spare, so that was changed. No difference. Second was sticking carb slides. Tops off, cleaned and still the same. Next the plastic cover by the throttle twist grip was removed. Bingo the cable end was frayed preventing the throttle fully closing even though it appeared that it was. The moral of this story is check the simple things first. We had a spare cable so once that was replaced we were on the road again.

The road from Huaraz to Barranaca continued up into the mountains........

.......... and we rode to a height of over 13000 ft

....... before we started the long descent back down to sea level.

Barranca our stop for the night was much like other urban cities in Peru, manic, full of tut tuts, neon signs and noise. The buildings, many apparently incomplete or partially derelict help to complete aura of chaos.

Thursday and we were off to Lima, however, at first we took a side trip to the ancient ruins at Caral.
One of the fields reclaimed from the desert. The adding of fertilizers is obviously an exact art in these parts! (makes me think about those 'produce of Peru' labels again.

Gingerly heading down a sandy track towards Caral.

Oops That's my bike trying to find water at the bottom of the ditch. The bike decided to take a different route to the one I planned and it took Roger, a local and me to lift it out again.

Roger trying to muster the troops for the tour!

Caral is the most ancient city found in the whole of the Americas........

...... and was inhabited by 3000 inhabitants between roughly 2600 BC and 2000 BC.

There are six pyramid structures as well as an amphitheatre and ordinary houses within the complex. In addition there are a number of similar sites nearby stretching along the valley floor.

No one knows why the cities were abandoned as there is no evidence of warfare or starvation and no burial grounds have been found.

Back on the road, if you can call it that, and once again we thread our way through some dodgy bits......

...... well almost.

The Peruvian answer to creches at the workplace.

We got back to the Pan American highway only to be confronted with a protest where they had blocked the main highway. We have no idea what it was about, however, they were very friendly toward us and eventually let us pass through. As we rode off the queue of lorries was a mile or more long and there were a large number of police with guns, batons and shields approaching the protesters on foot behind another group walking towards the protesters. We didn't hang around to see what the end result was.

Finally back on the new Pan American highway we made good progress riding into Lima around mid afternoon.

We have decided to have a couple of days rest here to sort washing and enjoy the sophistication of a Capital city.

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