Having been shown around most of the centre of Huancayo the day before, and without a place to stay, I decided that I’d leave Huancayo, via the ruins that Cristina had mentioned, and see where I got. It wasn’t a good decision.
I left a little late, in no rush, and dawdled over to see the small Laguna Nahuinpuquio and the small ruins of Arhuaturo next to the laguna. I parked my bike at the bottom of some stairs, and changed to my ninja shoes as they’re much more comfortable for walking around in. I climbed up to the ruins, and the best thing about it was definitely the view down to the Huancayo valley and a couple of nearby snow-capped mountains. The ruins are just a row of identical buildings that I think were used as storehouses. Eager to get back on the bike, and finding some lunch, I ran down the stairs, which worked great, until the last one. When I stumbled and landed with all my weight on the end of the toes of my left foot, which led to my foot trying to double itself over. OWWW.
I sat down, assumed it’d get better, and changed to my sandals. I rode onwards, and stopped 10km later for a second lunch and gave my foot a massage, hoping it’d get better. The further I rode, the sorer my foot got, and about 20km outside of town I was basically riding one-legged. There were very ominous clouds ahead, and the idea of spending a couple of hours painfully riding into it didn’t appeal. There wasn’t much traffic, and there was a taxi right there that only wanted $2.50 to drive me the 20km into town, so I accepted.
Within 5 minutes of being in the car, we hit a rain so heavy that the taxis windscreen wipers couldn’t keep up. Arriving at the hospital, we got my things out, and I was met by the porter, called El Chino, who ordered me to sit down in the wheelchair he had brought out for me, and told me to leave everything else as he’d sort them out. Some moron decided to pull out his camera and take a picture of the gringo sat in a wheelchair, you can rest easy in knowing I gave him some abuse for that, and then I was wheeled into the emergency room, where I got to sit around for a while.
El Chino took good care of me, including covering me in a few random plastic sheets that were sat around because I had to go to a different building to get x-rayed. The x-ray showed I’d not broken anything, just sprained my foot. I was given a prescription, and told not to walk for 2 days. The whole visit cost me less than $10 including medicine, a fine reason not to have health insurance in places that are so cheap to travel in. That money was for the x-ray and the medicine, as the care was free. El Chino finished his shift, and we said our goodbyes. I organised my things, and started hop-pushing my bike towards the centre of town to find a cheap hotel. My whole not paying to sleep for over a year was definitely falling apart.
While I was hopping my bike down the road, El Chino came running after me to ask where I was going. I told him that I was going to find a place to sleep, and he mentioned that his sister had a hostel where I could stay for a special rate. I agreed, and as it was a few blocks away, he pushed my bike and I got in a moto-taxi. He, and his nephew Jhonathan (now I know why I always misspelt my cousin’s name, my innate Spanish skills) carried my bike and bags upstairs, and then I was taken care of by Jhonathan and his mum, who were lovely people.
Jhonathan runs 800m and 1500m, and is of a good enough level that he has a guy from Africa coaching him. He’s also studying physiotherapy, and so the next day when I needed an injection, he gave it to me. He and his mum were lovely, and kept coming past my room to make sure everything was good. They even organised it with a nearby restaurant that I could get food delivered up to the room, so I wouldn’t have to go down the stairs.
View from the ruins