|2013-09-14 click on date to see more photo's!|
14/11/2013 Stage 24 Huancayo - Quichuas by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
14/09/2013 Stage Huancayo – Quichuas
I think today was my happiest day cycling so far. Everything was right about it. With the help of the open street maps (free maps for cyclists available for just about any where in the world) on Malc's phone we quickly left Huancayo behind. The road and hard shoulder were in excellent condition and there wasn't much traffic anyway.The overall ascent today was less then 1100 meters and the first climb took us up to 3900 but the gradient was easy and it was a lovely ride up followed by a fantastic 30 km descent. Lots of friendly shouts of encouragement from people who saw us going by until we were more or less ambushed by a party of men .When we asked , they said it was a fiesta which occurred every Saturday and from what we could see it consisted of drinking spirits , beer and chewing coca leaves We were not allowed to leave until we drank the measure of spirit that they offered us along with a large mug of 'god knows what' , but it wasn't tea and looked remarkably similar to the colour of the coca leaves.
Then came the leaves and we were given instructions not to chew them but to keep them in our cheeks. We both ended up with handfuls of them! In the meantime there were speeches and fire works and eventually we left them with a handful of sweets and managed to escape. Speedily ! Very friendly people .
I never did find out why there were no women present. Malc and I have both noticed that you don't see a lot of people smoking. It has just dawned on us that the cacao leaves are the substitute! After leaving the party we decided it would be prudent to stop for some lunch before we tackled the final 40km or so of today’s 105km ride. We were very relieved to find that against expectations the road was tarmacked all the way. It followed the river downstream but with some sharp rises into the mountain at times. Glorious riding, not too hard never the same for very long and again some fantastic views. Not as awe inspiring perhaps as the Corderilla Blanca but none the less a real delight. We ended up in a small village called Quichuas. Every village no matter how small or poor seems to have a square where everybody congregates. When we went out to find some beers we realised that the village is preparing for the Saturday night festivities. Some massive speakers were brought outside blasting music. And no it isn't the kind of music I keep on my Ipod but hey ho when in Rome! We might have to join the gathering shortly this time protected by long sleeves and mosquito spray. There appeared to be a lot flying beasties about and my legs still haven't recovered from the last onslaught.