The ride along the pretty damn big lake Titicaca continues on the Peruvian side. And to make it even better I now have a company to enjoy the views.
In the hostal I am meeting a cycling couple -- Victor from France and Monica from Guatemala. As we are heading in the same direction we decide to join together for the next two days.
So we set off on a paved road along the coast. The views are really nice -- if everything, Peruvian side seems to have them better than Bolivia. We enjoy the little ups and downs of the road which never goes far from the lake until we reach Moho.
We reach Moho hungry so we instantly flock around a street food stall selling chicken with rice and a bit of salad. To squash the thirst there is tasty jugo from nearby stall.
From Moho we retrace out way a bit to take an unpaved coastal "shortcut". This proves to be a magnificient choice -- after we battle a small climb we are rewarded with another set of amazing views and viscochas -- I spot these little Peruvian rabbits lazing on the rocks. They are hard to catch on the camera though.
When it comes to the evening campspot-finding, we are quite in a luck. The situation generally looks that there are enough houses around to find some pristine meadow hidded from the view of humans an impossible task. Instead, we find a big flat and seemingly unused space which might have been a football field if it had goals. We quickly agree that we won't bother anybody by camping here and setup our tents.
After a nice warm night we slowly wakeup to our last day around Titicaca. We continue on our unpaved "shortcut" downhill until we rejoin with the main road.
We arrive to the main plaza of Huancané just in time to see a procession of kids and their parents wearing traditional clothes and doing little dance passes by. I do not know what exactly is the event but the kids look really adorable.
A few kilometers after Huancané it is time to say goodbey to Monica and Victor. They have only about a month left to reach Cusco and Lima which means mostly a direct route to the north. As for me, I first want to stop by in Juliaca and then continue along quiet unpaved backroads generally in the northwards direction.
After left alone I pedal towards Taraco where I have a small snack. I quickly debate with myself whether I should take a direct paved road or a bit less direct and over-the-pass unpaved alternative. I decide that I don't have time for the second option. So I continue rolling on the smooth tarmac while observing increasing traffic as I approach Juliaca. A thing which strikes me as quite ridiculous is grifos (gas stations). This short, maybe 20km stretch of the road is host to a lots of them (I did not count be I could bet it is more than 10). And even more are being built. It looks like everybody and his mother are selling a gasoline here.
In the evening I finally reach Juliaca, try to find my way through a series of either super-bumpy dirt roads or in-the-middle-of-construction-works alternatives to the centre of the city and then find a hostel. But my stay in Juliaca doesn't start very well. Later in the evening my stomach doesn't feel very well and one time I even almost faint. Then a throwing up starts and diarrhea follows.
June 22-23 Juliaca
After my stomach trouble began yesterday I am in no shape for any fancy activities. In fact, I am mostly sleeping or staying in a bed. When I am not I walk around the town to do some shopping. This proves quite difficult though -- in a standard Bolivian/Peruvian style, even though this is a big city there doesn't seem to be any supermarket here. Instead, there are tons of small shops with a miserable selection. And then there is a central market -- a busy place with people strolling in about every direction and selling ... well ... mostly the same small selection of goods. I still have some luck though -- I manage to buy a bar chocolate (only the for-melting-into-the-oatmeal kind of quality) and even some canned chicken. Especially the second item was quite a luck as in the next months I will be mostly dreaming about such a specialty food.
The next day I feel better so I go out for some lunch (later I figure out this wasn't a good idea). I also search for some drugs -- my bottle of Hylak Forte is running dangerously low. As I stroll around the city I notice that this must definitely be a very sick town. There are many pharmacies (or to be more precise, "boticas" which are kind of a pharmacies combined with a boutique-style shops of cosmetics). My feel of sick town is definitely reinforced by all the banners for doctors. Judging by these, the town must be drowning in bad teeth and babies (which is probably both true. The babies for sure as there is probably no Peruvian woman which doesn't have a baby strapped over her back). In any case, the boticas are quite a disappointment as the only response I can get from the owners is "we don't have it [it being Hylak Forte]" even though I am clearly asking for an alternatives. I am barely more successfull in one serious-looking pharmacy. There they at least read the composition and guess that it is for stomach problems (though the fact that it is a probioticum isn't exactly close to their guess). Well, tough luck.
One more thing I have to do is to visit Cruz del Sur cargo. This is a kind-of-famous company between cyclists as they send encomiendas (e.g., packages) between big cities (and keep them at the destination for a while until you a person the package is destined to picks it up). Needless to say, this is very convenient for temporarily getting rid of some crap I don't need to carry to five-thousand-meters high passes.
Download simplified GPX of a route here
Stats by activity:
| Pedal rotations
|June 20, 2017||56.9||0.64||13.1|
|June 21, 2017||83.6||0.13||15.8|
The next table is only for cycling activity.