I woke up around 5, but didn’t get up until 5:30 when I thought I heard my name being called. That wouldn’t make any sense. Until of course you realise that Juan and his friend Epifanio were awake and drinking. They’d been up all night, and were eager for me to share some of the gallon jug of clear, aniseed-flavoured alcohol that they were drinking. I accepted a couple of very small shots, but then excused myself and drank water instead. They were full of far too much energy
HJ, who provided the majority of the best photos during our time riding together, continued off on the main road to Cusco while I decided to take an alternate way. I thought it might prove more interesting, and at the very least would include my highest altitude. The first 30km, on the way to Lampa, were paved and quite lovely, as the town of Lampa was too. That’s when the dirt began, and the gentle climb upwards along a river. The few Peruvians I went past were warm as other souther Peruvians
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
We woke up to find that HJ had a puncture, but thankfully with a small bike shop nearby that was no problem – I wouldn’t have to repair it! While the bike was getting sorted out, we walked over to the immigration office to stamp out. The office is fairly new, and the 3 surly officers didn’t seem to want to make us feel welcome. They each fingered through every page of our passports, tried claiming there were problems, that HJ’s visa was wrong, and other bull so I started
Immediately upon getting on the bike it was there again, the relentless beep of cars. They were free to drive again, and seemed to be trying to make up for the day before. Beeping at everyone, and no one. Even as we were riding outside of town, on our way back to the lakeside, every people carrier that went past beeped us. It might have been meant in kindness, a show of support, but it just made me wish that cars were banned.
We spent a fair chunk of the day riding along the lake. I’d read