through Juliaca

(brief posts and few photos due to slow wi-fi)

It’s a long way to Colca Canyon where we hope to see condors. We’ll ride along the Andes then back towards the Pacific for the third time. And on our way, one of the most spectacular high-plains in the world, mostly two days from now. It’s a relief to be leaving all the people. Lucinda time. And also an opportunity to see how she likes riding at higher altitudes.

The day’s track
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Reversing our way out of the Sacred Valley we ride the valley bottom alongside the Andes peaks
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Good crags on our way
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It smooths out as we gain altitude. Past a lake and a town
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Past an Incan barrier in a small valley
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Past the last organized agriculture
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A glimpse of high peaks. We topped here at about 14,000 feet
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We followed a river. There’s been so much beauty in Peru we run out of things to say, so we’re hoping the photos are sufficient. This altiplano (although we’re only on the edge of it) is a destination in its own right. It’s very dry – there’s no moisture in the air to obscure seeing huge distances vividly. The colors are intense. The silence is total
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occasional homes.
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The women are out on the plain with groups of 30 to 50 sheep
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A small village. The roofs are metal to reflect the sun
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One small town in a long day
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Lucinda and sheep
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Moments later
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There was about a 30 mile stretch where the roads had been sanded heavily. This didn’t make much sense until we got off the bike and noticed the road tar was melting. The temperature was about 65F so ultraviolet damage we’re guessing. So far both Lucinda and myself haven’t been feeling any altitude effects in Peru, other than both suffering slight power loss
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Then, the city of Juliaca. This was the town that Hans had identified on my map as the worst town in western South America. And yup, pretty rough. The streets were dirt and in the country would be semi-technical riding. Potholes a foot deep, concrete blocks, lengths of rebar, unbelievable. Hell actually
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I didn’t stop for many photos

The day’s elevation profile
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Interesting because we’re at 12,506 feet, Lake Titicaca. Not staying though, we’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

Puno
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Down at the waterfront
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Sunset
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