Peru Divide Part 1 Day 3: We Missed Pizza Day
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 5: No Hay Agua

July 6, 2017

Another day


What happened…

Andrew writes: I was practicing my violin this morning, and somehow managed to attract a passing cycle-tourist, Alan from Belgium. He is hot on Georgie’s heels and so we passed along another recommendation to stop in Ticllos but he was hoping to make it to Conococha today. I’m not entirely sure what his hurry is. In fact, I seem really bothered lately at the amount of cyclists we’ve been meeting who are just in such a hurry to get someplace. Maybe it’s Nici and Philip’s riding style that is finally rubbing off on me. I’ve got a 6-month visa for Peru and I’m determined to use it all. Peru is such a fun, economical country for cycle touring. On routes like this, the scenery is amazing, and the traffic non-existent. The lunches (almuerzo) fill me right up, and everything else at the frequent tiendas is pretty cheap and wholesome too. Fresh bread, fresh cheese, fresh fruit and veg; what more could you ask for? Maybe better coffee.

Right, so Alan went on his merry way, and we finished climbing to Rajan before starting a 2500m descent. Along the way we stopped in Llipa, where we bought some groceries. We could only find a carton of 30-eggs, and split it with Philip and Nici. Somehow I thought it would be a good idea to boil most of these eggs, so we sat in the shade of a store boiling them up and all of the locals started popping out of the woodwork. I guess I thought it would be fun to give a little concerto on my violin, and so I got it out and started playing through the 10 minutes worth of songs that I have memorized. The crowd was very patient, and enthusiastic, and kind. No one put any money in the hat that Philip passed around though. Nuts. Then this one old man, his face wrinkled and worn asked if he could play my violin. The crowd roared in delight, and started asking him to play this song, or that. His fingers, thick and rough, started man-handling my violin to bring it “into tune”. Then staring me straight in the eye, he launched into a merry little tune. His eyes never wavered from mine as he ran the violin bow over the strings and coaxed such a fun song from the heart of my shitty little Chinese-made violin. As he finished, the crowd started asking for another popular tune, and he leaned over and asked me if I would sell my violin to him. I was torn. I couldn’t, I explained. It’s my escape, my meditation. Clearly it was his as well, but I just couldn’t bring myself to part with my instrument much to his dismay.

We left Llipa and continued cycling down to the river, about 20km away. It was a rough ride. We wouldn’t know just how rough until we got to the bottom and waited for Philip and Nici to catch up. Something must have happened, but we didn’t know what exactly. One minute they were there, the next they were gone. We waited about 90-minutes, it was getting late. The sun crept below the mountain tops and everything went dusky. Maybe they were feeling unwell and decided to camp in one of the switchbacks? We decided to leave and wait for them at our planned destination for the day, the abandoned village of Cañon. Oh wait, I have a flat tire. We aren’t going anywhere. As I was repairing my tire, Philip arrived. He had endured 4 flat tires. Hurray for desert! It was a short ride to the village, and we each setup our tents in one of the abandoned buildings. Maybe tonight was the full-moon, all I know was that today was a pretty good day, and I reflected on how fortunate I am, to have such good friends, a glass full of pisco & lime, and my shitty little Chinese violin.


Amanda writes: Meeting another cyclist to start the day was great. He also had very little gear similar to Georgie and when we told him she was only a 1/2 day ahead he was excited! It sounds like he’s been chasing her for a bit. I suppose when you’ve been on the road for over 6 months alone, the prospect of cycling with someone else must be a great incentive to cycle faster and further. I hope he ends up catching her and that they get to ride together.

After a wonderful descent and some relaxation at the rivers edge I really did think we had lost Nici and Philip again. There wouldn’t be an opportunity to have any messages from vehicles because there were no vehicles on this road. Oh except for the one gringomobile that was going in the other direction. It included two Germans overlanding. They were super proud of being on this remote road as they could find no record of other overlanders taking it. I’m happy for them and hope they have a safe trip. So just when we had decided to head down river to find camp and had repaired Andrew’s tire; Nici and Philip re-appeared. Yay – the clan stays together for another day. So off we went and found a great abandoned village with everyone in pretty good spirits. As the guys made dinner, Nici and I went down to the river to bathe ourselves and then over our meal we recalled how great it was to listen to Andrew play the violin and see the towns people enjoy the music. It really is true, music brings everyone together.

The aerial view of our ride:



Today’s Photographs

Peru Divide Part 1 Day 3: We Missed Pizza Day
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 5: No Hay Agua