It had rained overnight, but has stopped in the morning for when I was leaving. It made me realise just how lucky I have been with the weather in Peru. Some of those high mountain passes would be pretty miserable in cold, wet weather.
Leaving Huallanca, the road was unsealed for the first 10 kms, but in great condition as I cycled downhill towards La Union. 21 km in an hour saw me in La Union, where there must have been some sort of “clean for the community” day. Literally everyone was out on the streets sweeping the dust around. I have noticed over years of travel that one thing that seems to define a developing country, is the constant battle with dust and sand, and the endless sweeping that goes on.
After leaving La Union, it was uphill to the town of Pachas.
Maybe you can see the sheep herder sitting down in the bottom right of the photo. It puts the valley opposite into perspective.
A quick stop in Pachas for a 6 sole lunch of chicken and chips, and then back on the road refuelled. All downhill until the town of Tingo Chico, and then a gentle uphill started.
I passed through a village which must have had some sort of celebration happening. There were literally hundreds of people milling around, creating obstacles for the impatient cyclist!
The gentle uphill then turned into a more taxing uphill cycle, as I headed to the town of Chavinillo.
By the time I arrived, I had cycled 90 km, and just over 1000 metres of elevation. My first impression of Chavinillo was that despite the friendly, inquisitive people, it was a bit of a hole. Accommodation prospects either looked grim or expensive. I tried the grim ones first, but could get no intelligible answer from the people I found there, so headed back to Hotel Casio, which said it was a 3 star hotel. Expecting to get stiffed on the price, I was pleasantly surprised when the nice, clean room was just 15 soles. Thanks! The restaurants in town looked either pretty dire or closed, so it was tuna rolls for dinner. Tomorrow will see me peak at 4000 metres again, before dropping some 2100 metres. I am quite looking forwards to that downhill section !