PICKING UP THE PACE

Huancavelica > Lircay > Antaparco > Ayacucho > Matara > Chincheros > Santa María de Chicmo > Sondor > Huancarama > La Quinta Salome > Limatambo > Cusco

After a few days of rest in Huancavelica at the Hospedaje Las Portadas and lots of faff with a laundry who temporarily mislaid my cycling mitts, I headed off on the road towards Ayacucho.

This leg was part of my latest strategy to head more directly for the border with Bolivia and make somewhat quicker progress South. I hadn’t done much research on the route ahead and it soon transpired that there were some fairly major roadworks taking place to widen and resurface the road. This made for an, at times, rather bumpy and dusty day…

Ah, back onto tarmac…

With the light fading, I got to the top of the descent to Lircay, now on one of the beautiful, newly-laid sections of road…

The view was lovely…

Unfortunately, the tarmac ran out just before Lircay, leaving me negotiating some fairly sketchy, muddy sections by bike light, before eventually coasting into Lircay.

With the roadworks now thankfully behind me, the next day’s riding was on a lovely single-lane road, slowly climbing up from 3300m to 4500m. At times, the scenery was reminiscent of France or Spain…

And there were some great ribbon-like switchbacks…

They use grasses to cap off the walls round here and I suppose protect from the rain (yep, I was a little bored by this point!)…

Eventually, after a fairly interminable climb (just one of those days where, despite the good road surface, the legs were really lacking and it became a serious case of mind over matter), I arrived at the pass…

The reward was a fantastic descent – great to be back on tarmac once in a while!

21 Comments

  1. Amazing!!! It looks like incredible scenery and an experience that only being on a bike could make even more unforgettable. Take care, Abby xx

    1. Thanks Abby – yep, numerous Peruvians have asked me why I’m not using a motorbike! It’s actually tricky to answer that one! But there’s nothing like cycling for random encounters and to really ‘see’ the country…

    1. Yeah, it’s very satisfying! I’ve already given one to someone else. Was contemplating getting rid of my main stove and going super lightweight but apparently pure Alcohol can be a bit tricky to come by in some places so I’ll prob hang onto it! Cxxx

  2. Really fantastic blog and great writing Campbell. Well done and great to see you with that big grin on your face too. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  3. Just speechless with admiration at the sheer physical achievement of those rollercoaster rides, more great pics ( including Thomas’s – how very generous of him), and the ingenuity of that beer can stove (can’t stop smiling at that one!).

    1. Hey, I took the direct route on tarmac and it was 11 days. Could prob do it in 9 or 10 if in a hurry! First day out of Huancavelica wasn’t great with roadworks but the rest was all smooth sailing…

          1. Thanks Campbell, will check them out. From the looks of it 11 days to Cusco sounds like a pretty reasonably speed looking at all the climbing. How many days did you take from Rio Blanco to Huancavelica? (Just to know roughly how fast you’re going).

            (Feel free to email me directly if you prefer.)

          2. I’d say 10 is pretty reasonable with 43+kg and needing to acclimatise. Can’t imagine how biciclown did it with 60kg, must have been a tough!!

  4. Hi Campbell, it was a real pleasure to meet you at the inofficial Casa de cyclista in Cusco and enjoy together great vegan food and all the talks, discussions and funny remarks! Best wishes and hope to see you again latest on the laguna route, Antonia

  5. Oh yes totally agree on hat black and white pic of you, super rugged! Love the random classroom camping and all of your other tales, carry on the adventures for us XXx

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