Cajamarca

5 09 2007

I predicted two days, and it was. The pass from Celendín took us to the highest point on the ride so far, 3760m (despite what the maps say).

We camped just under the final pass overnight, which meant it was rather chilly, but the views were spectacular. Matched only by the friendliness of the chickens and rabbits.

From the top there is only one way, and yes, it is down. In a stroke of luck, the road is currently being widened, from a dirt track into a multi lane highway by the looks. In two years (so they tell us) there may be some tar on some parts of the road from Celendín to Cajamarca. I wouldn’t hold my breath. The luck comes in a little further down the road, afterthe road works, where the tar really begins! And the map showed another 30km of dirt. We were clearly happy, and may have taken a few photos to celebrate the event. It made the second half of the day much easier, and far, far faster (bombing down dirt roads can be fun, but it’s much more efficient to hurtle down freshly paved roads – top speeds are much faster on tar).

And so we reached the outskirts of Cajamarca, a place called Baños del Inca. Lots of history, lots of slaughter (bad Spanish) and hot springs. A rest day has been taken, but we voted with our feet, Baños didn’t hold that much attraction, and we’re now in central Cajamarca. Cajamarca likewise holds little attraction, and I think we’ll escape to the nicely paved road mañana.

In fact Cajamarca is probably a nice place, but my experience so far involves lots of noisey traffic (and crazy drivers), and searching for a hostel. It took us damn near 3 hours. I doubt it’ll get a rave review from what I see in the morning. I have to say there is a good vegetarian restaurant here. And lots of Internet cafés.


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