With my continuous sick lingering on, I was beginning to feel like a permanent resident at Joe’s place. Thankfully, I was in good company for my final days in Huaraz, as Paul was still kicking around working on his bikepacking project. I’d given up on finding a riding partner for Huayuash, but Lukas rocked into town at the knick of time. It’s rare to see cyclists travelling light, so when you do it’s pretty indicative that they’re looking to ride similar routes. The plan was made to ride south (obviously) and head east through Pastoruri Glacier, following up with a tidy little bikepack through the legendary Cordillera Huayhuash.
The gpx file for Huayuash can be obtained here.
The day we left started with a mind numbing highway ride. To be fair the tail-end of my cold wasn’t making matters any better. Lukas and I cruised through a few small towns and stopped in one to buy the traditional stale baked goods common in all small town tiendas.
Enjoying some local wall decay before heading off down the dirt road.
The flora began to get very strange.
And really quite big!
The lonely road up to the 4877m pass.
Finding a nice spot to set up camp, we indulged in some photography with dramatic light.
Our lovely camp just below Pastoruri.
The other direction didn’t look too bad either.
The other side of the pass brought on some spectacular riding
Lunch was served on a small ridge off the main road. Photography followed.
As we dropped down further, strange shapes and colours emerged.
Red and Grey
I said “oh my god” and in return I swear I heard “yes?”
Even when the dirt road turned to pavement, my fat tires weren’t complaining. The ride down to Huallanca was beautiful and graded to perfection.
Back on the road after a good Huallancan Chifa, excited to get to Huayuash.
And then… the road sort of disappeared. Unfortunately, it also started hailing. We carried on over the pass and found a dirt road to carry us down to a camp near Laguna Mitacocha. (Photo courtesy of Lukas)
The pass from Mitacocha to Carhuacocha was literally a blast to ride down.
Speaks for itself really.
Lucas suffers from what I like to call “skinny tire syndrome”.
A final carry over the pass. Almost there.
Fuelled by excitement of hot springs we destroy our last Huayuash pass.
Naturally, arrival requires a bit of horseplay before getting serious and setting up camp.
The following day, we rode over Portuchuelo pass on our way to Oyon. A path less travelled but certainly no less beautiful.
The terrain ranged from soft moss to large rocks.
Followed up by a beautiful and quiet ride along Laguna Sura Saca
This has been one of the nicest weeks of riding to date. A whole lot of pushing added to the experience, but when things went downwards, they did so with style.