Peru Divide Part 1 Day 8: Into Oyon
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 11: A Rough Road Ahead

July 17 & 18, 2017

After five days off waiting for Nici & Philip to catch up and taking some rest, we set off for the final push of this section of the Peru divide.

What happened…

Andrew writes: A short day today (Day 9), with me being the root cause – or rather, I should say with something I ate being the cause. I think it was the cake that I had for second breakfast just before leaving town. On the long ride up to Mina Whateverthefuck, I just ran out of gas and could barely keep my eyes open. I felt sick and tired. Everyone was really understanding and we found a spot to camp and the tent got setup and I went inside and fell asleep at 1’o’clock or something. I ended up being dead to the world until the next morning.

I awoke the next day, none the worse for wear, and we began to climb again. There was still another 15km or so to climb until the next big pass. When we stopped for lunch, we were joined by a pair of American cyclists, Tara and Aiden, who we had met in Oyon. Another bunch of young whippersnappers, it was a fun ride for me, and nice to have someone new to talk with. At one point, we reached a junction and I followed by GPS and went left. The Americans followed, but Nici and Philip did not. I think they are following a different route, or maybe the correct route, because when we reached the pass there was a fence and a gate, “Private Property – Keep Out!”. Petty things like trespassing don’t stop us though, as we are above the law in most jurisdictions. So in we went, and after a few KM we were met by a truck of mine workers, and the Americans who were being giving a lift to the other side of the pass. We waited for our turn and before we knew it, we were up and over and ready to start the downhill. The four of us made camp shortly thereafter and it was a beautiful night. Cold, but beautiful.

Amanda writes: When we were hanging out in Oyon we met more cyclists who checked into the hotel. Tara and Aidan are from Oregon and really nice and chill. They ended up staying in Oyon one more day than us but we knew they would catch us.

That especially came true when Andrew got sick the day we left Oyon. He was lethargic and just didn’t have a lot of energy. We pulled the plug early and Nici and Philp were really helpful with getting his bike down the embankment where we found a flat spot to camp. I set up the tent at about 2pm when we stopped. Andrew climbed inside and fell asleep until the next morning. Not a peep from him. He woke up fresh the next day and ready to go. Andrew doesn’t get sick often and when he does, he is great about listening to his body and recovers quick. So Nici, Philip and I enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon. Philip graciously included me in their meal and he is such a great cook. He takes so much pride and pleasure when he makes and meal and it was so nice to be included. When I cycle alone I usually just have PB&J sandwiches so it was a nice treat.

The next day we woke up and Tara and Aidan caught us just after lunch. We all hopped on our bikes again now being 6. There was a junction and all three of the boys had GPX tracks. Usually when there are more people making decisions it takes time to come to a consensus. Andrew was quick to say the track goes left. Philip hesitated and said one goes left and one goes right. Andrew was confident in his decision and Tara, Aidan and I headed out. As we were about to round a corner I could see Nici had started to head up in our direction with Philip a bit behind. She caught up to me and I told her I was glad she came this way. Philip started riding up in our direction after about 20 minutes. I went ahead while Nici waited for Philip. Then I rounded the next bend and caught Andrew. We could see Nici and Philp at the corner. We waited about 20 minutes and then they turned around and went back. We’ve been traveling together long enough that we weren’t concerned. It was unfortunate to part ways again, but I respect and appreciate that no one is ever pressured into a pace or a route. So off we went chasing the Americans.

The route was really pretty and different from other parts we’ve seen recently. Then we came to a fence that said “mine access – private property”. It’s not our first fence and we just climbed under it with the bikes. We could see Tara and Aidan up ahead and they did the same thing. As we approached the top we came to the mine and waved at some workers. We could see we were close the peak. Then an oncoming mine truck stopped beside me. Inside were Tara and Aidan and their bikes. They were told you can’t go any further. One of the workers said there is a road but no one seemed to know how to access it. So the workers were graciously driving us through a new tunnel to the other side. While they shuttled Tara and Aidan we got some water and then met them on the other side. I wasn’t too fussed about the ride and was glad the workers weren’t mad that we obviously were trespassing. Not only were they cool about it, they all wanted pictures with us.

So off to the other side where we met another cyclist going the other way. Then the four of us descended about 5 km before setting up camp. It was a longer day than we were accustomed to but good nonetheless. We were able to share a lovely meal with Tara and Aidan by candlelight and got to know them a bit better. We also had the chance to introduce them to Pisco and chocolate milk. Our newest evening beverage after a ride. Pisco is Peru’s alcoholic version of … I don’t know what really. It’s 40% and tastes shitty by itself, but add some chocolate milk and yum yum.

The aerial view of our ride:

Today’s Photographs

Peru Divide Part 1 Day 8: Into Oyon
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 11: A Rough Road Ahead