Monday, March 22, 2010

Ayacucho to Chincha Alta - March 20

We're making a run for the Pacific Coast with a couple objectives in mind.  The more substantial road network along the coast should allow us to make up some ground, and the desert and ocean landscapes will be a dramatic change of pace.

The day started out with a clear blue sky (the first in days), and virtually no wind, making a spectacular ride up and over the Cordillera Occidental all the more enjoyable as we were able to listen to music on our mp3 players.  The ascent through the Abra Apacheta Pass, begins with steep pasture and grazing lands utilized by local shepherds.
 There was a distinct change in geology as we arrived at the Abra Apacheta Pass at 4750m above sea level (15,440 ft.), as the vegetation  thinned and the mountains became more varied in colour and texture.
We descended from the pass towards Pisco, with the intention of stopping for lunch in Huaytara.
Stopping in the town square in Huaytara, we were approached by a young student curious about us and the bikes.  He invited us to join him for lunch, and introduced himself as Freddy Olmar, an Electronic Engineering student from the University of La Paz.  Freddy gave us a few pointers about Peru, and we enjoyed a mutual Spanglish lesson.  He is from Ayacucho, the youngest of five children, with four older sisters.  Freddy's father was killed in the Shining Path conflict of the 1980's;  working as a journalist, reporting on all sides of the issues he was shot by the Nacional Policia in a case of "mistaken identity".
Freddy was another great example of how warm, and welcoming the people of Peru have been to us.

We needed to move quickly to make it to the coast, and find appropriate accomodation before dark, but we were able to combine a washroom/leg stretch with a quick visit to Tambo Colorado - 14th century Incan administration centre and imperial palace for travelling royalty.
Remarkably, some of the original yellow and  red paint that adorned the palace walls can still be clearly seen.

We rode on down the valley to Pisco, eventually stopping at a Hostal in Chincha Alta.  There was a nice swimming pool that I enjoyed greatly, and in a case of "small world syndrome" - we met a young girl from Toronto, saying hello to the hostal owner as she is schoolmates with one of his granddaughters that lives in Niagara!


  1. Hi Peter and Petra, we enjoy it greatly to read about your journey and adventures. The fotos give a superb impression about the landscape. It seems, that the traffic and roads differ a little bit from the conditions we are used to in Germany and Canada. Have good luck and much fun. Many greetings from the other side of the ball.

  2. Hello how are boys, I'm glad to see Freddy Bustios photos enjoying the world. I can send your email.
    May God give his blessings and reach the goal.

  3. hola muchachos como estan y por donde.....
    freddy olmar Bustios