Leaving Caraz this morning we continued up the Santa River. We knew we had to go high, but how high? Finally at 14300 feet we hit the pass and a few houses, restaurant and some gas. Jim got a gallon of gas, and we had fried chicken, and it was actually quite good. I asked a LIG (little indian gal) what was on the menu. I guess one item because before I could order it she started cooking.
We headed east across some desolate country and began climbing again. Soon the neblena began and it got colder, wetter and windier. Finally we crested another pass at 15400 plus. No sign of grazing animals here. In fact most activity seems to slow down above 13000 feet. All I can say is these people give a new meaning to the word tough. A couple of wool ponchos and a hat?????????
We then dropped into another valley that shall remain nameless. We knew the town we stopped in, but I am trying to forget it. Lots of mining and miners. No gringo tour buses, We ordered roasted chicken in the little place under our hotel. Had no idea she would start cooking after we ordered. Turns out everyone in town eats much later so we were the first. Include photo of me returning from kitchen after checking on how the chicken was doing.
We needed miles today so that we can make train reservation for Machu Picchu. We did two more passes over 14000 feet before reaching Huanaco. Carolyn said they have neat Inca ruins there, but what we encountered looked rundown and urchins circled our bikes while we ate lunch. I know, they would never steal anything.
We then set off south on Highway 3 to another 14000 plus pass. We were facing black thunder clouds and darkness so we stopped in Cerro de Paseo. It is another mining town on top of the world. We are on the third floor of a brand new apartment with kitchen, living room, sleeping room all for 120 soles. More than our budget, but have to splurge once in a while.
With high metal prices mining is going full tilt in Peru. We have seen three big mines and lots of new pick ups and ore carriers. One person I spoke with says that the Chinese are funding the mining and will one day own Peru.
So that is about it for now. I hope manana that we are hot again, but I doubt. We got down to 8000 feet today and 67 degrees, but not here.