The route from Huánuco to Huaraz was paved not that long back, and there are no direct buses. I said my farewells, strapped my foot up, and rode over to where the cars left to La Union, the half way point to Huaraz. As it was just a regular car, we just strapped the bike on top, although took a pedal off first to stop it digging into the roof. It was a tight fit in the car, and a 4 hour drive, but the road was beautiful. It was just wider than a lane with constant blind corners, and so even though there was not that much traffic there was the obligatory level of honking – definitely one of the worst things about Peru.
From La Union, there’s a bus that goes to Huaraz, and while I was riding out I saw a pair of cyclists arriving, and another one coming in with his bike strapped to the top of a car. While some of the climbs would have been a challenge, the views were stunning as we approached the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra (white and black) which get their names as the Blanca is snow-covered, while the Negra, across the valley, isn’t.
In Huaraz I Couchsurfed with two couples, one from the US and the other Italian/Argentinian. Huaraz is the gateway to the mountains, and it was very frustrating being there and unable to go hiking around. The town itself isn’t that pretty, it was badly hit by an earthquake, but the setting is just glorious. The market that we went to on the Thursday morning, to get last minute supplies for Thanksgiving, had a spectacular backdrop.
View from the market