True to her word, the owner was back at 4am, but I managed to sleep until just before 5am, when we had to pack up as the group of workers from the night before came back for breakfast. I was on the road by 5:30, with the sun already up, and made my way to the next town for breakfast. There’s an old colonial bridge in the town, and I guess that makes people think it’s touristic, so the restaurants all charged silly prices for food. Thankfully, the ladies selling from their little stands in the streets were nice and cheap, and I got a large plate of rice, spaghetti and potatoes for about $1. It was $1.60 with goat, but that looked to be boney and chewy, so I skipped it.
Of course, there was a climb between Huancayo, going from 2800m to 3800m and then a great descent into what was almost a plain here in the Andes. Finally, a sensible place to build a city. I’d been in touch with a guy from Warmshowers, and had called him the night before to confirm my arrival. He asked me to call him when I arrived, and when I did he told me he was out of town. Bizarre to accept to host me then!
Thankfully I had another person to meet, Cristina from Couchsurfing wasn’t able to host me, but she invited me to come over to her shop to hang out. She was busy working, but happily offered me her assistant, Patty, to help me find a cheap place to stay. We did, although it took a while, most places wanted $8+, but we finally found a centrally located one that was only $4, because it didn’t come with cable TV – perfect for me.
Later in the afternoon, I went back to the shop and Cristina told Patty to show me around town so I got my own personal tour guide. The most interesting place was the Parque de la Identidad, which was full of interesting sculptures and buildings showing the culture of the area. Back at the shop, Cristina drew me a map showing me how I could get to the nearby ruins the next day.
Huancayo at night