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Old 04-02-2013, 03:55 PM   #172
porkandcorn OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 296
lima, peru to caraz, peru

monday, april 1, 2013

lima, peru to huaraz, peru

i found my rear tire in a strange industrial area of lima that was about as sketchy a place as i would ever want to put myself in. i walked out with a brand new michelin anakee 2 tire, a bit more pavement oriented than i would prefer, but better than a full-blown enduro tire (continental tkc 80) that was my alternative.

i left the warehouse at 10am. i finally reached the northern edge of lima 2 hours later. i have never seen anything like that stretch of pavement, and never hope to again. it was the most smog-choked, chaotic, and terrifying 2 hours of traffic i've ever encountered in my life. i was sick from the exhaust of thousands of poorly-maintained engines, spewing out thick black smoke. the worst are the big, old trucks. my helmet visor had a thick film on it once i reached the clear air of the coast north of town.

i climbed precipitously up into the andes toward huaraz. i hit some light rain at about 11,000 feet, that stuck around until i landed at the monkeywasi hostel in huaraz. the hostel was ranked #1 on tripadvisor. why, i have no idea. i would not recommend it to anyone, and might even do a rare review stating as much. but i was out of the rain.

climb to hauraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

rock face west of huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

hill west of huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

steam on the road, huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

cordillera blanca south, huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

detour, west of huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


tuesday, april 2, 2013

huaraz, peru to caraz, peru

note: there is a shortage of quality photos. i haven't been feeling up to it.

if portions of my recent posts seem a bit negative, i apologize. it reflects a generalized malaise that i've been struggling with for the last week or two. i'm not really certain what is going on, or when or where this began.

a close friend suggested that i am being too hard on myself - expecting too much out of this journey. i'm certain that's true. it's in my nature to expect too much of myself. yet, there is so much time, money, and mental/physical effort invested into this adventure, that i get frustrated when i'm not having an epic, memorable, or blog-worthy time. i know that's ridiculous, unrealistic, and unfair to myself.

now, having left the patio at the hostel in lima, i'm realizing how much i was enjoying that down time - and frankly the company and conversation in english with others who understand the travel fatigue that i'm clearly experiencing. i've been bordering on depressed since leaving that place - back out on the road to face the constant barrage of the unknown. i know that i am extremely lucky to be doing what i'm doing, but it doesn't feel that way to me right now. i'm tempted by thoughts of my bed, my city, my friends - and the ease of the familiar. the same familiar that, prior to leaving for this trip, tormented me in a similar manner.

there is a veil of grey pulled over the peruvian andes, and it's not the cloud-cover. this is such a beautiful location, but i can't see what's right in front of me. i know this is a normal part of the emotional journey. i just thought that i had already been through these feelings earlier on. i wasn't expecting to feel this way now.

i learned last night that the cordillera blanca is the second tallest mountain range on the planet, after the himalayas. there are 33 peaks over 18,000 feet. unfortunately, it is in a bit of a wet season right now, and the stunningly intense peaks are covered most of the day. there are heavy rains that start around noon and last into the afternoon. even though i wasn't feeling up to it, i faked a smile and pointed the triumph up into the mountains this morning. i got lost twice looking for the road that would take me up past the pastoruri glacier (a road that travels at over 17,000 ft.) everyone was giving me conflicting information, and i had no detailed map to consult (was kicking myself for not finding one, but i simply forgot to do it).

so i gave up on the glacier and opted for a road that would lead me "behind" the mountain range, on a series of roads to the east and north. the hope was to do a loop around the peaks, and wind up in caraz, peru, about 90 minutes as the bird flies to the north of huaraz. however, about 45 minutes into the route, i spoke with a couple of highway patrol officers at a checkpoint, and they strongly recommended against the ride. they said the gravel was very dangerous in the rain, even for trucks, and that there are regularly ice and snow storms at the tops of the passes in the afternoon. i turned around, feeling completely defeated by the day and by my mood. one out of my control, one within my control.

i think part of my frustration is that i want to see everything, but knowing that i can't. i spoke with some backpackers at the hostel last night who had been up on the glacier, been on epic hikes to secluded alpine lakes in the region. they didn't seem to be hampered by the weather. and i couldn't help but think to myself - "what am i doing wrong?"

(the rains have started up again. a small, dirty boy just walked into the café where i'm typing this up… he said "buenos dias mi gringo" in a very kind, sincere manner. he wanted to sell me a local paper for 0.70 soles. i asked him about the paper, and how his sales are going today. he basically answered, "i can't complain." i bought a copy. i like his attitude.)

i'm not sure what i am going to do, or where i am going to go next. i guess i need to find some days that are less complicated, and that allow me to relax a bit more. i suppose that means to head back out to the coast, where more hammocks and ceviche await… and move closer to ecuador.

i feel a little ridiculous airing my pain to those of you following along. i continue to be honest in hopes that someone else will benefit from it in some way.

downtown huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

looking for the glacier, huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

roadside doggie, huaraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

moto taxi, caraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

plaza de los armas, caraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

a content and safe moto, caraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 04-20-2013 at 06:22 PM
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