It was quite a ride over the final ridge of the Andes, steep and increasingly verdant, filled with village roadside life. We knew the heat would come, and it has. We are resisting air conditioning, even though is is sometimes available, hoping to quickly adapt to the heat. We have kept the days short, trying to be done by early afternoon, when heat stress begins to take a heavy toll. The andes end abruptly at Tarapoto, Peru but are immediately replaced by the Andes foothills, steep and lovely.
In the village of Pongo, I ordered a common soup in Peru, Caldo de Gallina. Usually it is chicken noodle soup with a leg or thigh, sometimes an egg stirred in while cooking. Not this time. I got the real deal. I turned over the chicken back and found it filled with chicken innards. Now, I grew up on a farm, and we ate the heart, gizzard and liver of the chickens we slaughtered, but let the rest of it go to the hogs. After closer inspection I discovered a complete egg, shell and all, just ready to be laid. That was cool. I ate it,
After Cajamarca we succeeded in topping out the Andes’ first high ridge on a rocky, dusty road at 3765 meters. Claire began coughing at the most excellent bicycle resort, (an earlier post) and I at first thought it was the thick fine dust we’d been subjected to over the pass. It wasn’t dust. By the time we reached Celendin, Claire was as ill as I’ve ever seen her, coughing violently and choking. I was very concerned, and mentally planning how to store or abandon Zippy and get us back to Lima. She did improve over the next two days, but certainly not enough to consider cycling. We took a bus to Chachapoyas, and stayed for a week, where I got my current lung infection. Bummer.
A group of photos taken during our trip through Peru. Food, bull fights, llamas and alpacas, people and some beautiful scenery…