View Single Post
Old 04-05-2013, 06:55 PM   #180
porkandcorn OP
FortesFortunaAdiuvat
 
porkandcorn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 296
caraz, peru to puerto chicama, peru

wednesday, april 3. 2013

i woke up on the 'correct side of the bed' this morning and set off toward the coast. the last two days have been very full of both activity and emotion, and therefore time seems to have slowed down a bit. this brought back memories of the beginning of my trip and the odd gaps of time that seemed to take forever to pass.

i left the hotel at 7am. just north of caraz was a place called caņon del pato (duck canyon), so i don't know how it would be possible to pass that opportunity for my yellow, rubbery companion. he seemed quite pleased to be navigating through an intense, deep ravine that cut through the corderilla blanca.


pato deep in the caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the canyon was a serious of raw-cut mountain tunnels and steep rock cliffs. some of the tunnels were up to 100 meters long, winding, with no lights and half flooded with water seeping in through the mountain above. but only on one occasion did i encounter a big truck coming in the opposite direction. he stopped about a meter from my tire, i think to make a point that he would not be going anywhere in reverse. i had to push my bike back with my feet to the tunnel entrance about 20 meters behind me, and let the truck pass.


a dark, scary place, caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the light at the end of the tunnel, caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


steep cliffs 2, caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


more caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


steep cliffs, caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


into the caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


hydro plant, caņon del pato, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

as is standard protocol in the peruvian andes, the road i planned to take back to the coast was cut in half by a bridge that was closed for construction, so i rode the one hour back to caraz to catch another option that was just 5 miles south of town. this road proved to be fantastic - a one lane, entirely paved, switchback-laden masterpiece that climbed 10,000 feet in 20 miles. usually, the road was no more than 10 feet across, and perched right on the edge of very, very high cliffs that fell into nothingness. the moisture from the valley below eventually turned to clouds, and i could see the wisps of clouds racing up past me, climbing to the peaks above. a beautiful road if you are ever in the area.


where the corderilla blanca should be, caraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


moto heaven, west of caraz, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


very deep canyon, pamparomas, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


dr. suess cactus, pamparomas, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

although i was earlier frustrated by the corderilla blanca and my inability to explore the area, i now see this as an opportunity to return another time. i would like to go back, maybe with a friend, and spent 2 or 3 weeks backpacking the mountains and maybe doing a summit of one of the higher peaks. on foot would be a better way to see the area, and feel like the time spent riding to and from the mountains was worth it if only to set this plan for some day in the future.

i hit the pass and bid farewell to the white mountains. the other side of the range was less exciting and more exhausting. 160 kilometers of very sharp curves. rounding corners for 3 hours is hell on your shoulders, back and neck. but i pushed through, knowing that there was a beach at the end of the day with waves crashing to help me sleep.


paso chicarhuapunta, 43,14 meters, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the descent, moro, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after the 3 hours of curves was another 3 hours of freeway - dodging oncoming trucks and cars, fighting wind-blown sand, and keeping hydrated as i blasted through the coastal desert. i enjoyed the high speed and the straight pavement after crossing the andes for a 5th time. the freeway cut through a desert valley, with eerie and desolate mountains lapping up to either side of the road.


near san jacinto, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


desert highway, chao, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i finally arrived in puerto chicama, peru. i had found it on my paper map earlier in the day. the map said "surf beach". when i pulled into town, 3 dudes were watching some kids play soccer on the beach. they looked like surfers. an argentine, a brazilian, and an american. they told me that i had just pulled up to the beach that had the longest left-breaking wave in the world. puerto chicama is a holy place for surfers. once i rode up the small hill to the area where the 5 or 6 hotels were clustered, i saw the famous wave. i keyed off the ignition, and watched a surfer pop up on a wave. he must have been riding it for a least 2 minutes before he dropped off either for exhaustion or to catch another. i knew i would spend the next morning in the water remembering how to surf.


peruvian duck lover, puerto chicama, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


sunset, puerto chicama, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


sunset from el hombre, puerto chicama, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr


me looking pensive, but fooling no one, puerto chicama, peru by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 04-20-2013 at 06:13 PM
porkandcorn is offline   Reply With Quote