The original idea had been to meet Hyeonseok (HS) about 10-15km outside of Tunis to avoid a detour to his place, but as he had no way of getting in touch that seemed a terrible idea. While in Tunis I had picked up a SIM, my only time travelling with a phone other than Peter’s in Mexico and C’s in the US. It was mainly to hopefully continue to make some money while I travel, but also meant I could actually call people! Revolutionary. So, with HS having confirmed that he wanted to ride
After a fine weekend relaxing, it was the final stage on the way to Quito. I had the climb back up to Baños, a 5 hour climb up a beautiful route, called La Ruta de Las Cascadas. One of the most famous things to do in Baños involves renting a bike, riding 30km downhill past all the waterfalls, and then jumping in a pick up truck to get back. I of course had the opposite. Climbing up and up to get back there. While it had been beautifully sunny there on the weekend, it definitely wasn’t
I got to Nick’s on Friday morning, and left Tuesday morning and had a blast in between. That included visiting the nearby beautiful town of Baños, at about 1900m, an incredibly touristic city where you can do all sorts of outdoor activiites from rafting, to jumping off bridges, to ‘the swing at the end of the world’ which I’d seen pictures of from when Nick arrived went about a year earlier.
Since Nick’s visit, it has changed drastically. A lot of the charm (and danger)
There are only night buses from Huaraz to Trujillo, so it was that, having finished our Thanksgiving dinner, I headed out at 9pm to the bus terminal. Rather than the normal ridiculousness about how I definitely couldn’t put my bike on the bus, they told me to put it in standing up and only had to take a couple of bags off so it could stand better. One thing that’s harder to avoid is paying a fee, although at least I managed to haggle the fee down. The bus would take me from the mountains
I was only going to spend a few days, but ended up in Huánuco at Midori’s place – where she lives with her parents Arturo and Fanny – for 10 nights! The amount of amazing kindness they showed me was phenomenal. I got treated with a variety of Peruvian remedies, from a poultice of avocado seed mixed with arnica and salt, to a massage in chicken fat. There was talk of using a dead frog, but that turned out to be only for those who had broken bones so my Xray saved me. I was healing,