23/08/13 Stage 11 Catacocha to Macara
Leaving Macara we had expected our first extensive section of ripio [ rough gravelly road surface ] but were pleasantly surprised to find that since last year it has all been upgraded and tarmacked . From beginning to end the day was essentially downhill overall but still included 1400m of climbing without any cloud cover . The one big climb of 700m was a very sweaty event but culminated in a lovely rolling ride on the mountain top before beginning the long descent all the way to Macara . It's always nice to finish the day with an easy section .
|This 2' little beauty ran across the road in front of Marjet .Lots of shrieking and slamming of brakes . |
|Tuna /mayo in the shade a very welcome lunch|
The scenery has changed once again and was more lush with palm trees and banana plants in abundance . We met another traveller at the summit before our descent who was carrying huge amounts of luggage and who had been on the road for 9 months . He had started at the southern tip of Argentina and was heading north and might go to Alaska . He had no particular place to aim for that day and was clearly more chilled out than we were in terms of his agenda . Have tent , feeling tired , I'll sleep here , was his philosophy . I couldn't help thinking that he was likely to reach goal and then ust turn around again and do it all in reverse .
Every day is beginning to have a similar end with the constant need to rehydrate . Always with copious amounts of beer . It's almost frightening how much fluid goes in at the end of the day to catch up with what's been lost .
Last day in Ecuador and felt we should get some Peruvian money . All the locals said the same thing , go to the park and look for a man with a briefcase. We did and converted some dollars into Peruvian Sol but it felt all bit wrong . Having said that all the locals were doing the same thing . The locals were mainly changing Sol to US dollars . Shame we all didn't have the sense/nerve to deal directly with each other and cut out the middlemen . Nonetheless we had our money and felt more secure about entering Peru tomorrow .