to Huaraz

Below is a Google Earth showing the road from Caraz to Huaraz.
Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 7.21.09 PM

The road runs parallel to the Cordillera Blanca (the white peaks to the right). In this stretch there are 10 peaks over 20,000 feet and more than another 10 close to that. The highest, Huascaran, is 22,200 feet. I guess there’s some kind of weather system around them because despite the nice day and although they’re close-ish they’re closed in. Today we only get glimpses.

The short day’s track, roughly matching the Earth clip above.
Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 4.17.50 PM

Caraz is a great town. Small and pretty. A view west (away from the Cordillera) from the Hostel. Clouds over the mountains to the east though

In the hostel garden a nice but very tiny hummingbird. Maybe less than 2 inches DSC01244

The countryside along the valley

With occasional glimpses of the peaks

Into Huaraz, elevation 10,000 feet

After finding a place to stay, the first priority is this, from a day ago.  The semi-mystery explosion

Way back in Ecuador I noticed that the fluid level in my front brake reservoir is suspiciously low. Above the minimum line, but I have no idea how I’ve lost a cm. of fluid without noticing. I’ve checked the six or seven places it could have leaked from and nothing. I couldn’t find any Dot 4 in Mancora, but picked up a bottle of Dot 3 and decided to see how it went. Although a quick Google says I can mix the two, I’d rather wait until I can find the right stuff.

But unfortunately we got this explosion back on the Canyon del Pato road. I stare at the mess, blown brake fluid and try to find the source – once again a bit of  a mystery, which looks hard to believe. At the time I look at everything in the immediate area, but the  reservoir, banjo fitting and all related parts are covered in fluid and there’s no obvious villanous spot. So I carefully dissemble the reservoir and top it up, worried that  air will have got into the line and I’ll have no front brake. But I have some, it’s spongy as hell, but enough to limp to Caraz, which fortunately is mostly uphill. So the previous post omits than little epic.

In Huaraz I hunt around for a a mechanic so I have shop to do a brake bleed and investigate what’s going on in case it’s more serious. I end up here

Wheel Lucinda in and talk to the guy’s son, who seems pretty smart. With everything cleaned up, we can’t find the leak, so we take everything apart. His shop looked like this

Sort of organized, but what would I know

An hour later we’re done. The brake seems good but I’m not sure we’re not going to get another explosion, never having found the problem.

A guy rolls by the shop on his bike. He has a moto guiding company and we talk about local routes.

I notice this on his jacket: A City of Vancouver Police cop badge. Well Jesus Christ you don’t see those everyday in Peru

I said I was from Vancouver and asked him where he got it. He says from a Vancouver policeman riding here. I thought about how this could possibly be that a guy would give him his patch, and dropped it. Maybe best not to dig on this one.

Huaraz has a museum being renovated

But they had lots of these. No real rhyme or reason, just sitting there

A textile display

A burial display

No theme, just a body

And a walk around the market

Much of this

An indoor market with sewing machines

Jukis, no less

Outside, rubber chickens

A Peruvian Canadian school that was a bit baffling. I didn’t investigate

Even some riot police out today

Anyway, the bike job done we headed back, eager to explore the next day

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