(July 16 – written by Dave)
We’ve had a couple nice relaxing days in Caraz. Yesterday we watched the world cup. For those who missed it, France won. There were also two parades in town on Sunday. The first for marching school troops, the second for people in costumes. I never really got why either of the parades were happening but they were fun to watch all the same. Below are some the highlight photos that I managed to capture.
Today was nice but not quite as relaxing. We decided to join with Philipp, Kathrin and Andy in a taxi for a ride up to one of the famous Cordillera Blanca Mountain lakes. The taxi was a bit tight with Nancy in the front seat and the rest of us in the back seat. Nancy had a seatbelt, the driver and the rest of us were belt-free. Just don’t think about it.
It was a breezy 31k from town to the lake. Most of it was uphill on a rough rock/dirt road. We had to stop half way up to pay for the park entry and also change a flat tire. The driver used his only spare to be able to continue. I’m not sure about having no spare and continuing up the mountain but it worked out – we had no more flats. To say that the ride in the back of the taxi was comfortable would be, well, a lie. The shocks worked barely. The four of us smashed into each other on every switchback.
Just when we started to wonder if it was all going to be worth it, we crested the last little rise to the lake and wow what a sight. Before us sat an amazing bright blue lake surrounded by snow capped peaks of the Cordilla Blanca. We walked along the north shore for a while, then back and up to a lookout. Here is a case where photos are better than words. My hardest task of the afternoon was picking which ones to post.
We leave Caraz for Huaraz tomorrow. We are looking a 4 more days off there to resupply and plan for the route south. We may try doing one more lake visit as well. We are currently debating where to stay in Huaraz as tomorrow is our anniversary but we do have a budget to maintain (Senior editor’s note – actually the budget is double because of our free camping nights so there are really no worries about the budget…). Debate could continue into the night.
Our German friends are debating routes and plans for the next few days as well. We are not sure who we will be riding with tomorrow, if anyone. On a “nice surprise to see you” note, we spotted four more bikes in the square this afternoon. The first two bikes belonged to a French couple that we meet 6 months ago on Nancy’s birthday in Mexico, and the second two belonged to British couple that started in Alaska a year ago. A little later we bumped into Richard, the bikepacker from Chicago and the three Venezuelans from the other day. There are a lot of cyclists on this route.