A little bike ride...

Huancayo Travel Blog

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On Friday afternoon, Lucho took an American couple and I for a bike ride around the outskirts of Huancayo. The couple were planning on doing a 12-hour bike ride the following day, and Lucho had offered to give them a taste, so we assumed this would be a somewhat tranquil ride. We set off after 3pm, the sun shining and the air warm. My stomach was still feeling a little dubious from my previous days´ sickness but I didn´t want to pass up the offer of a bike ride, especially since I had done very little in Huancayo except eat and be sick.

The bikes were not particularly new; at least the brakes worked; and no one even mentioned helmets. The hostel is on the main road, but at the quieter end; Lucho lead us right into the centre, dodging taxis, cars and colectivos, not to mention the odd truck. Riding on the other side of the road is not a problem if you can get out of the way fast enough. I suppose the only saving grace is that no one is going too fast because of all the traffic. Anyway, it was a relief to get out onto some quieter roads, unpaved of course, and into the real country. We took some dirt trails that wound through corn fields and past farms, trails that Lucho confessed were meant for walking but he thought they were fun to ride on. Some of these trails went right by the edge of a small cliff, and at one point Lucho stopped us and warned us that the next 50m or so downhill run had cacti on both sides, so watch out and don´t fall over. If that wasn´t enough excitement for the day, it began to rain (the rain here is very cold), and in the distance we could see lightning. It was sort of nice riding through the rain, in the countryside - the air was crisp - but then it began to hail. And it hurt! To get to shelter, we had to drag our bikes up a steep hill (at this point I began to freeze), and we eventually came to a small museum, the Wari Wilka museum, where we left our bikes and went in for a look to wait out the storm.

The museum was actually really interesting, small, with artefacts and ceramics from the ancient people of the area, plus a skeleton of a young woman they found near one of the sacred sites. I couldn´t really enjoy this little respite though because I felt awful, cold, wet and sick. It was almost a relief to get back on the bikes because I knew we were going home.

Lucho says he has another bike ride planned, a tough one, which will be interesting, but I think I´ll be up for the challenge...

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photo by: voordax