Touring by Bike South America, Africa and Europe by Bicycle

Oasis de la Huachachina
Day 9. Paracas to 50km after Ica

finally moving again.
km today: 110.
km total: 437
Spanish world of the day: limonada.

I didn’t manage to leave Paracas early, since I was so undecided either to go towards Ayacucho or towards Nazca. After a long chat with one of the guys running the hostel I decide to go to Ica, where the roads split, buy a tent and decide there. I don’t move fast but manage to arrive in Ica around 1pm. After unsuccessfully trying to eat a chicken and to drink a beer (they don’t accept credit cards and I’m running out of cash), I go to Ica’s main square, where I had 1.125 L of lemonade in Ica. Why that much ? Because first I had one glass and then I ordered one more liter or lemonade. Is too hot and I need water and sugar.
Then I went to the tourist office (which combines with a travel agency) to ask about the road and the possibility to buy a tent (I don’t dream of finding tent poles in Peru, let apart aluminum ones). A helpful man showed me where the Tourist Office is and even joined me few meters to show me the place. I let the bike there, and went to a commercial center to buy the tent. I luckily find a light one, I only need the poles anyway.
Bought some water as well, I need about 6 l. of liquid per day while biking in this dessert.
Back from the commercial center…the travel agency is closed, with my bike and my luggage all inside. Well, the main metal door is closed, but there is a smaller door that is opened. After 5 minutes out waiting for someone to open the big door (I cannot exit through the small one with the fully loaded bike) I leave the travel agency, Plaza de Armas and Ica, heading towards Palpa (100 km away). I cruise at an unbelievable 27 – 30 kph, probably there is some back wind (that I cannot feel). I stop at a local supermarket looking for pure spirit to put in my cooking stove. People here are friendly but I cannot find what I need. The guardian from the supermarket offers to watch my bike and luggage while I’m inside, but I still don’t feel very confident about leaving the bike out for too long.
At the exit from Ica I go to see the Oasis de la Huachachina, few km away, and only manage to really leave Ica at 6pm.

Oasis de la Huachachina

On oasis de la Huachachina

After one hour the wind turns against me, so I crawl at 10-12 kph towards Palpa.
Is getting dark and late, I’m getting tired. 40 km after Ica, the police recommends me to stop, for my own security, and I sleep in someone’s barn. I had to ask a street vendor, he doesn’t want me to camp close to his house, I go back few hundred meters where he recommends, but there is no-one there, so I continue and I find another of this vendors. The guy looks a little dangerous, but I ask him and he offers me to sleep in his small shop (a barn), without talking too much. he forgot to mention that he also stores a lot of petrol canisters there. He wants to lock me inside, but I cannot accept and I put the tent flat on the ground, the sleeping bag on top, get used to the petrol smell and fall asleep pretty fast.

I managed 120 km today, but I lost one street shoe (that dropped from the front panniers in Ica) and the sun glasses – not good at all.

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