02-20-2013, 02:00 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Feb 13 Chiclayo
Left Jaen this morning dreading the tour in the fog again over the summit that surprisingly wasn’t that high – only about 7000 feet.
As we are going through the rice growing area, come across a couple of small combines harvesting rice. Most of these fields are pretty small so they have adapted with these small combines.
Across the road was this guy plowing one field the hard way - this is a pretty common sight
All along the way we come across all sorts of varmints in the road
Was pretty warm until we eventually started to gain some altitude. Came around one right hand corner and there was one of these giant double decker tour buses coming down the hill hell bent for leather with his front wheels almost over my shoulder line. Holy Crap Batman! Damn good thing they had a shoulder here rather than one of those nasty ditches. I don’t know why the idiot wasn’t expecting somebody there – would have been nasty had it been something with 4 wheels. I could see him slowing down and checking out if I was OK . . . let him know all was ok with an ADV salute.
About 5 minutes later had one of those 16 passenger vans do the same thing. This mountain is out to get me!
Got to the top and WTF? Where’s the fog? Well, at least I get to see the great scenery I missed on the way up. What a fun road to ride when you can see.
All those great switchbacks were in the fog coming up
And of course, a little rock dandruf. I hit a small rock in the fog coming up - never saw it but sure felt it. Glad it wasn't any larger.
Back to the desert. Came across this sight . . . almost brought a tear to my eye. What a beautiful scene
Stopped at the Túcume Pyramids along the way. Arrived in the middle of the afternoon. Go to the ticket booth to see what there is to see. One walking tour was to go look at the pyramids. I’m all for pyramids so that was it. About a 1 km walk. It was mid 80s. I was in my bike gear. Legs still beat from that walk to the Gocta Falls but ok.
Then I discovered some idiot had put these stairs in the way of where I have to get to - the viewpoint overlooking the ruins
I know he's sitting somewhere laughing because then he put another set of stairs in to get to that covered area at the top. My legs are starting to grumble . . .
There are 26 pyramid ruins at this site which were built at least a thousand years ago. They were made of adobe which is sand, clay and straw and I never thought were that durable.
These were a couple of the pyramid remains. The one in the second picture is apparently over 2000 feet long
While they are pretty beat up from the weather over the centuries (I guess they are kind of big piles of sand and clay now), I was able to sneak a peek into a sealed off area to see one of their excavations and noted the bricks that were protected from the weather were still in pretty good shape.
Well let’s see, you can either say “They used neighboring tribes as slaves” or this bit of modern day double-speak:
This is a rich valley that has produced an abundance of food as the Indians learned to add water to the desert. Now there are miles of rice fields and orchards. I see why you always get a pile of rice for just about every meal. They produce a lot of it.
Arriving in Chiclayo, I realize this is a good sized city. Starts off with a huge industrial area primarily devoted to the rice industry.
I come to the conclusion these drivers are trying to win the everybody is a crazy driver award. Strangely, it has a certain rhythm. While there may be only two lanes marked on the road and four cars/trucks happen to be side by side occupying them, and somebody is still trying to make it five wide. I find just standing my ground they will leave me alone and when I need to change a lane they let me take it without trying to kill me.
Get to the hotel and the parking lot is a couple of blocks over. Kid working there to show me where it is. Rather than hop on the back of my bike, he shows up with his own. Leads me over. Holy cow those little bikes are maneuverable. They’ll fit in spaces between cars I’d never dream of. Finally get there after crossing four very active lanes without the benefit of a light. You just kind of slowly nose across and traffic keeps going by until you finally block them enough that they have to stop.
Drop the bike off and I’m ready to walk back and the kid says no, hop on the back. Really?
So here is a 120 pound kid on his Yamaha 125 with 200#+ el Gordo RexBuck on the back. Kid takes off and I can tell the front wheel got real light cause he’s madly turning the handlebars back and forth trying to go straight. I snuggle up as close to him as I can without having to dress on the other side but that doesn’t help much.
It’s ok, I’ll walk! No, no we’re fine Señor.
He’s tearing off down the street passing cars on the right while twisting the handlebars back and forth trying to get it to go straight – barely missing vehicles including a particularly attractive transitio parked on the side of the road.
Surprisingly, we made it back with no incidents and I don't know if the kid would have liked to have had a beer at that point but I know I did.
I kind of like this city. Quite the downtown. It is nuts. Cars and people. Beautiful square (Plaza de Armas) with a color coordinated Cathedral and Municipal Hall. The interesting part was the square itself. Nothing spectacular but it was full of people - particularly in the evening. I have not seen a city square used like this since Mexico. People strolling through and tons just sitting around.
Went to this restaurant for dinner. Was a little put off by the name but looked to be full of locals. It was.
Had one of the best meals in Peru. Lomo Atomica. Delicious.
This waiter was great. Handled the whole place himself, quickly and efficiently and not making a big deal out of himself . This guy goes on my Great Waiter list which isn’t very long.
- RexBuck's Latin America
Information on travelling in Latin America.
Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America