Not a great nights sleep, as at 02.00 a mouse decided to pay the room a visit which I could hear but never see. It was cold as well, and although I was nicely buried under my sleeping bag and a pile of the less flea ridden looking blankets, the cold and altitude made my breath shorter. Even at 08.00 when I got going it was still misty and frosty, but it made the surroundings look amazing.
A small downhill drop, and then uphill to the first pass of the day at 2300 metres. As I gained more height the landscape became more barren, with nothing growing higher than foot high tufts of yellow grass.
And yet somehow, families still lived this high up, surviving amidst this harsh but beautiful landscape. This farmstead is not connected by electricity, and there is nothing to burn this high up. Not that if there were trees, they would be burned n heat giving fires. I have yet to see a fireplace in Peru. Keeping warm here means sitting or laying under a pile of blankets.
After the pass, a nice little downhill began, and I stopped off to cook up some noodles as I overlooked a valley. After 10 kms, it bottomed out, and then it was all uphill to Pachapaqui back at the 4200 metre(ish) mark.
Pachapaqui is a tiny settlement acting as a way station for road traffic, and I believe there is also a mine nearby. There was a restaurant with cheapy (crap) place to stay attached which wanted 10 soles for a room, so I decided to stay, as the prospect of cycling uphill for an elevation gain of 700 metres to top out at 4700 metres wasn’t really inspiring me. It will be there tomorrow ! Continuing the toilet theme from the previous entry, the toilets here were situated over the road. Trap 1 is in the bottom right hand corner, trap two in the top left. I strongly recommend trap 2 for anyone else venturing this way!
When I went down for dinner at night, an old man was blow torching sheep heads…. I stuck to the chicken.