It was another 100km to get to Juliaca, where we would stay with Geovanni on Warmshowers, and HJ and I would part ways. The ride started with a gentle climb, then a lovely downhill and was flat nearly the rest of the way. I only really stopped for breakfast, and to wait for HJ to catch up at various parts. The ride was less pretty than the day before, and the last 20km in particular was not fun as it was a return to busy roads with stupid drivers who think that overtaking right into a cyclist is a good idea. It’s not that they couldn’t see me, both of the drivers that did it saw me and expected me to get out of the way. Which I had to do, with middle finger raised, as otherwise they would have driven straight through me. Peru is infamous for having bad drivers, so we’ll see if that stays the same. The lack of a shoulder didn’t help matters.
We need to go to Puno tomorrow, to get stamped into the country, and maaaaybe be tourists (although I’m not convinced that I’ll pay the cash to go over to the reed islands). Then I’m not sure what happens. We are both probably heading to Cusco, but HJ is thinking of the main road, whereas I found a dirt road that has a 4,850m pass – which would be by far my highest elevation – although it partly depends on what the weather forecast looks like. The rainy season is starting very soon, and while they don’t get washed out straight away, being up at high elevation in giant hailstorms sounds less than thrilling. I think it should be fine until I get to Cusco, but from there it will be more of an issue. If I go that way, I’ll probably try to reduce my load as much as possible using the encomienda – delivery – service. While my laptop is nice, posting it and things like my water filter (why am I carrying the stupid thing?) would make the climbs less effort.