|2013-09-16 click date for more photo's|
|2013-09-17 click date for more photo's|
16/09/13 Stage 26 Huanta to Ayacucho and day off
The first 8 kms from Huanta were unpaved and the oncoming traffic appeared to rather oddly be coming through in spurts , nothing for 15 minutes and then solid traffic for a few minutes .
Further on we found the explanation as the road was being closed for 20 minutes at a time to allow the earth movers and rollers to do there work. There is something very satisfying about passing a long queue of traffic, getting to the front and being told that you and not the others could go through. Having to time your run to get past the large machinery was exciting but all the workmen appeared welcoming and encouraging .
As on so many occasions before, any chance to make a profit was pounced upon and even the traffic queues in the middle of the countryside were accompanied by yet more street vendors .We were only prevented from going straight through the roadblocks on one occasion by a policeman who just wanted a chat really and once we'd concluded he changed his mind and allowed us through .
Having done more than necessary yesterday we had a relatively easy day getting into Ayacucho and were settled in our hotel by 12.30 after a 8.30 start . Just as well as the afternoon weather changed and we had a downpour that would have been unpleasant to cycle in .
The next few days were going to be hard if we followed the route all the way and we decided to have a day off to sort out alternatives .
The following day we wandered around the town and its market and found a bus company who would allow us to take a coach to the top of the mountain and take our bikes off at the top in the middle of nowhere . We had some difficulty in explaining this , mainly I suspect as they couldn't understand why we would want to get out into the cold at 4200m with nothing in the surrounding area .
Having tried the coca leaves Marjet seems to have taken a bit of a shine to drug usage and we eventually found a Farmacia where they sold us some acetazolomide for her across the counter [ normally prescription only in the UK ]. Hopefully no more altitude sickness tomorrow.
Another cyclist described the problem with altitude is as if you are breathing through a straw and that is a very apt description if you ask me (Marjet)