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Andes, Coca, Pisco

So we set off on a leg of our journey that we thought would add a few notches to our adventure totem. A road leading from Casma, Perú to Huaraz, a city of 130,000 nestled between the Cordilleras Blancas and Negras. OK, the road was moderately adventurous with spectacular views, stunning drop-offs, and many one-lane sections due to rockslides, but the whole thing was PAVED, for crying out loud. We determined that we are not willing to take the challenge of a really precarious route (notice I don't use the term "road") that is so infamous, History Channel shot several episodes of their World's Most Dangerous Roads on it. A road on which, if you meet another vehicle, somebody's backin' up, for a long time. Especially unwise to drive it during the rainy season. I am sure it is stunning, though.
We spent a few days in this cool mountain town, base camp to many outdoor adventures. When it was not cloudy/raining, we could saw snow-capped mountains. We felt the effects of the 10,000-foot altitude, and found that sucking on coca leaves relieved the nausea and headache. I went for one run with no complaints during the activity, but felt wretched afterwards.
Since the place attracts gringos from around the world for trekking, climbing, mountain biking, etc., there are certain amenities that we didn't deprive ourselves of. Namely, real (good) coffee in a french press. And big breakfasts with eggs, bacon, potatoes, avocados . . . Typical Perúvian breakfasts can be plenty big, but they consist of fish, beef, pork, chicken, or cua-cua (tripe).
And the bartenders in Huaraz can make a nice Pisco sour. Gotta love a cocktail that has some good, clean protein in it (egg white).
As we departed this morning, it was beautifully clear, affording some great photos of the Cordilleras Blancas. To be posted soon on Facebook. We encountered many sheep, goat, and cow herds on the road, including sweet little baby critters. I suppose they were changing grazing grounds.
And tonight we're back in a beach town--Huanchaco, right outside of Trujillo. We hung at a surf hostel for drinks tonight, full of young free spirits from all over the world. Strengthens my confidence in these generations. Tomorrow will be a long day of desert driving, and we will hopefully make it back into Ecuador on Saturday.

Posted by ceastburn 19:11 Archived in Peru

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