the Florians of Tingo

I needed a better name for this great day’s post than ‘to Huaco’ so dredged a bit for this. The day’s track
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A detail, does it never end
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And here’s an elevation chart, since I’ve found this feature on my GPS and because it looks cool
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After a day to explore Huaraz some more and a day to try to get blog posts out I decide to head towards Lima and get some major things done (more later) before heading back into the mountains. Looking at the map we assume we’ll be heading downhill most of the day which turns out to be wrong, so we leave underdressed and spend the first half day freezing, too lazy to stop, unpack and grab another layer.

We head off across plains
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Desolate in a good way
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The closest we get to these southern mountains before heading west
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Past a high cold lake
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We follow the beginnings of a river, not prepared for the significance at this point
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In the small valley we pass a few homes and a strange multi-pool construction of some kind. We pass a more complex one downstream and never figure them out
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Then, heading down the valley beside the small river, there are old walls, sometimes between huge boulders at corners
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A strange and beautiful sight, as the valley steepens
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Down a bit, a couple of abandoned dwellings
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It’s a beautiful setting
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There are a few interesting plants up here. Very large and old woody Lupins. This guy must be decades old
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A large cactus in bloom. In subzero temperatures or thereabouts. Seriously cold
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Tough, small groundcover, SA Roulia or something like it
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And this really exotic thing growing in the Lupin foliage. It took me a while to figure out – it’s a Passiflora, way up here above 13,000 feet. I nearly fell over when it came to me. A slight ‘maybe’ attached to that though, but I’m pretty sure
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It’s occurred to me that as we head further away from the tropics the plant life will get more interesting, although SA isn’t as rich in native flowering plants as Asia or Europe.

More ancient walls
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Then it steepens more and we go down a series of switchbacks, with more walls
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I stop at a cluster of buildings, hoping for a lunch stop. But nope, just homes by the road. DSC01547

Out come these kids and their mom
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They just stare. The mom’s not pleased with the camera so off I go with a smile from the tiny little girl
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Down further, a pretty stream
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Later, a reasonable sized town. But still no lunch spot
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A couple of thousand feet further down and things were greening up
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And another strange reservoir with various stages, like the one at the top of the valley, this one under construction. No idea
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The valley narrows
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A checkpoint at a town
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And we’re populated again
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At a big pullout there’s this jacked-up car with a metal spool of cable replacing a back wheel
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The cable goes under the fence, over this pulley
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To this cable-car
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Which goes maybe 1000 feet across the valley to that small field
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They’re harvesting duraznos, smaller than a peach, sweeter and softer than an apricot
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Once the cable-car is full on the other side of the valley, dad jumps in, puts the car (loaded with big rocks) in gear and gasses it while his eldest son uses a stick to make sure the cable winds on evenly
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The cable-car crosses the valley and arrives full of boxes, which the ladies have prepared on the other side. They unpack it
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Stack it
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Give the Canadian who says he hasn’t had lunch 5 to eat
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And send the cable-car back to the other side
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It takes them a week. Grandparents, parents and kids. They’re the Florian family and they’re from Tingo, just down the road and it was fun to be involved for an hour. Tingo’s on this plateau

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Then the valley tightens up and dries out
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Huge basalt cliffs
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And finally down to the bottom which was a wide lush oasis for about 30 miles
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The guy wouldn’t let me ride across this bridge, so I walked
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To this old pueblo
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Back on the road it was beginning to look a bit like Joshua Tree
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Before widening out into a massive large-scale agricultural plain
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Then it was a race into Huacho before dark.

A long post, but lots of pics and not-dead-slow internet.
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