Saturday, 18 January 2014

Barranca To Chavin

A step up in time

Before leaving Barranca we headed down and out to the Elephants head sand dunes .....excorted by our host Ceaser, it was stinkin hot.

This shows where we were parked on top of the elephants head

So photo shoot over we headed back to where our hearts were calling, not having finished with Huascaran we headed to Cataz, this time 3/4 up the mount the weather dealt to us with heavy rain and thick fog.

Towering above was massive vertical cliffs

Yes that is a bus that when off the road and remains a solemn reminder

The fog saw us down to first gear in places due to not being able to see more than a few meters in front of us, we nearly hit a cow and a (white) bus parked parked in the middle of the road....damn....kept on my toes.

No pics of the thick fog and rain, if you want the real deal jump in the shower and turn the cold water on, place a tuperware container over your face but allow cold water to hit and trickle down your face, add appropriate engine noise ... done!!

Ominous cloud met us at the top

Cresting the top of the valley the fog cleared as we “out elevated” it leaving us with just heavy rain so things were on the improve, getting to Cataz we had made good time despite the pea soup slowing us down, with Chavin in our sights we decided to get there as it was only 2.30 pm and an hour and a half to get there.

Yeah ....

So ......the weather, getting a good way up the valley the rain stopped which was great .... but it started snowing and the temperature dropped quicker than a led ballon.

Snow ...cold

The last 5km to the tunnel saw snow settling on Maya and us, heated grips on full felt useless!!!

Luckily we had prepped earlier with our full wet gear on which was a great move but the chill still let us know with authority .... bearing in mind an hour and a half prior we were at 35 degrees and wet from the inside out.

The tunnel was a short reprieve as we dived off down the valley with freezing winds tossing snow in all directions which made for hard riding, my visor was fogging on the inside and the snow packing on the outside.

As we descended down it slowly turned to rain again .... cool ..... at least warmer.

The road at this point is a combo of potholes, dirt and destroyed tar and the mix of lime and clay making a concrete like mix that is very abrasive ... as we found out getting only 1600 km our of the rear disc pads.

Something was going wrong with our rear brake and on exiting the tunnel we had nothing with the pedal going straight to the bottom with no effect ..... think we need to bleed it, again this just added to the riding level of attention using engine braking and front brake only on the greasy surface ... interesting.

Arriving in Chavin in one piece we had intentions of staying two nights but only two of the 10 - 12 hostels/hotels were open and were blindly ripping it.

We ended up paying 50% more for pretty scrubby accom THEN no toilet paper, no soap and one towel between two people saying because of the rain there were no more towels.

At that point we were in and only discovered this miserable anomaly when we went to have a shower, be fair to say I lost my cool, it was the one towel between two people which was an insult and I let them know, they then offered a tea towel .... NUP, full size or a fight. , they opened the door to a room which had towels on the shelves and lots of them .... wankers.

My hard line came about when more people turned up and they gave them towels(s) so they lied through their teeth to us

So with her miserable stupidity we decided to leave the next morning instead of staying the next night with food etc, great business tactics guys, the place is called Hostel Las Casana, DON’T bother going there as she will stick it to you after you get in the door, not impressed with them at all, this would have to be the worst that someone has stuck it too us in a “professional way‘ and is nothing short of an insult.

On a better note the ruins provided some entertainment as did the tea boxes or at least some photos.

Read the labels with your twisted mind

We also discovered the perfect RTW cookset for travellers, eco sized

The ruins

The ruins at dusk

Lastly, our video of the day

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