Touring by Bike South America, Africa and Europe by Bicycle

Up on 4500 m
Day 15. Negro Mayo to Chalhuanca. Down from 4560 m

Km today: 111
Km total: 900
Spanish world of the day: alto (because I reached 4560 m.a.s.l. – and it was all by riding up from the sea level)

Nice waterfalls close to Pampamarca

Nice waterfalls close to Pampamarca

Up on 4500 m

Up on 4500 m. Again the hail. Picture taken by a truck driver

After heaving breakfast in the “restaurant”, I start the 40 km ride that follows from Negro Mayo. I kindof feel tired, but continue thinking of the descent afterwards (that’s how I try to trick my legs into doing this final climb for me and for Surly). The view from 4560 m is amazing:  the very small village of Negro Mayo, seen in the middle of 5000 meters peaks, with llamas and alpacas spread by on the surrounding pampas.
When I stop for a tea and to buy some gloves, there are two guys eating soup. I’m asked where I’m coming from with my motorbike (they might’ve noticed my helmet). When I tell them I’m riding a bicycle they look shocked, then they look to each other in disbelief. I got the “are you crazy or are you lying ?” look. I have to tell them that the bike is outside, so they can look out the window and see is a bicycle.
I have few moments when I’m pushing the bike, but also a nice descent towards Pampamarca where I stop for a quick lunch. From here follows a long climb passing through a tiny village where alpacas are put on the side of the road to dry. Finally the descent starts after this village, however a guy from the village tells me there is another climb, just a little bit shorter.
The second climb comes and goes pretty easily, I can do it all on the bike. But soon after starts the daily rain; again I put on the rain stuff, but not the shoe covers. Thunderstorm scare me a little. I find shelter into a truck-weighting point. The guys here not only offer me shelter, but also a coffee and a soup to warm up. While they were watching Laurel and Hardy I analyzed the situation and balanced the idea to spend the evening and the night nearby with the idea of continuing to Chalhuanca.
After 45 minutes I decide to leave, the later it gets the colder it gets. I’m being assured there is no more than a 2 km climb, followed by a 3 km flat, followed by a long descent to Chalhuanca. It proofs to be true.


Towards Chalhuanca. Meeting Makoto

Towards Chalhuanca. Meeting Makoto

The event of the day is meeting Makoto Kamiya, a Japanese pushing his bike uphill. He’s doing the same tour, but opposite direction. He started in Buenos Aires 3 months ago and after a series of flat tires he couldn’t find the right camera for his 38 tires. As a consequence the wheels were not totally inflated so he couldn’t ride the bike uphill.

The road going down the Andes is spectacular, waterfalls on the side, a canyon, all on a river side. 20 km before Chalhuanca the front wheel makes a noise, I don’t like this, I stop, look, think is the disc break…try to tune it, continue. The same noise. 16 km to go, I stop again and discover a closing device from the front pannier trapped on the wheel. The other one; the first one broke on the second day of the trip. I take it off and the bike is silent again
Accommodation in hotel plaza in Chalhuanca. Here I park my bike outside, next to two motors, of Bjoern and Sigrid, doing a very long tour through the Americas ( and I park my bicycle in the courtyard, close to their motorbikes.

I had dinner in the hotel in Chalhuanca and had to ask someone from the restaurant to help me wash my hands, by pouring water from a vase, since the tap was not giving any water.

One Response to Day 15. Negro Mayo to Chalhuanca. Down from 4560 m

  1. gersno says:

    5e7jVnqEortz buen viaje espero verlos cuando regresen a ese hermoso lugar

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