Nazca to Cusco- Part 2: Puquio to Chalhuanca

Here’s the elevation image:

elevation_profile-2First day was an uphill of 1400m to the semi top at 4450m or so–

thumb_IMG_3718_1024Here’s Brady during our lunch after we left Puquio- check out the half naked ladies calendars behind him (and a group of truckers).

thumb_IMG_3711_1024Brady got sick- a flu, phlegmy and lots of chest cold. So I got to wait. Lots. Here’s a pic of my brand new hat (acquired in Puquio). So showy! Fake Nike, obvi.


thumb_IMG_2179_1024Sick Brady and I at the first summit- >4400m, right before we found a campsite…..

thumb_IMG_3730_1024KM 206+880– Our first wild camping spot!! Right inside that gravel pit. It was AWESOME, super sheltered and hidden.

thumb_IMG_2180_1024Gravel pit!

thumb_IMG_3729_1024It was FREEZING! All the water froze over through the night. We had a late morning, cooking hot water for milo and to melt the rest of the water. The tent was covered frost/ice. We are so lucky to have such great sleeping gear- we did not feel cold at all (except for when we woke up in the morning). Brady’s cold/ flu got worse…..

thumb_IMG_3725_1024The pampa at the top was nice- we saw lots of different landscape. Brady, with very hoarse voice, all grouchy, claimed that we were in Mars when this picture was taken.

thumb_IMG_3721_1024The lagoons close to our wild camping site. There were lots and lots of Vicunas (skinnier than a llama) making strange noises.

thumb_IMG_3720_1024The Mars landscape turned into mountainy green pampas. So pretty.

thumb_IMG_3710_1024See that little dot on the left hand side? Yep- I had to wait lots.

thumb_IMG_2183_1024The highest point was 4575m. Here’s a selfie- we look like winners!

thumb_IMG_3733_1024There were also lots and lots of Llamas on the way- they remind me of sheep in NZ. They were so cute- their ears adorned with ribbons and bells.

After biking for 80KM on the second day, we tried looking for another wild campsite. It was so hard since the areas were abound with Llamas, which mean that there are mountain people tending to the herds. The mountain people are stealthy and they always appear from nowhere! They build their house with stacked rocks and you won’t even know that they were there. Anyways- we got lucky and arrived at Quillcaccasa to find hostels– This time, it was in a house made out of mud (like the majority of houses in rural Peru).


thumb_IMG_3743_1024It was the third and last day of a Llama fair!! It’s similar to the dog fair in the US where they compare breeds, color, jaunts, etc etc! But it was for llamas!!

thumb_IMG_3742_1024They were EVERYWHERE!

thumb_IMG_3740_1024Look at this beauty!

thumb_IMG_3736_1024Meanwhile– not so far away- they were skinning these llamas- I asked the lady what she was going to use it for– she looked at me weird and said “for bedding, of course!”. She was also drying lots and lots of llama meat along the road.

I’m still trying to gather my wits to try Alpaca meat.

thumb_IMG_3746_1024Mary, the owner of the hostel we were staying at Quillcaccasa. She served really good cheese soup. Weird, but delish– WAAAY better than the trout soup that I had today.

Today was an easy day as we wind downhill to the town of Calhuanca. We biked for 3 hours or so and found a hostel with Wi-Fi, hot water and clean bedding. We are in heaven. Brady needs to get better.  First shower in three days!

thumb_IMG_2185_1024Even though it was downhill, it was very windy, with lots of headwind. I had to bust out my mountaineering gloves.

Where we are now (elevation 2900m) feels really hot and low in altitude in comparison to the 4500m that we did all day yesterday. More downhill tomorrow! Below is a pic of Brady taken by Gopro, doing 60km/hr descent during the steeper sections. The landscape turned into canyons as we followed the river downhill. I’ll upload videos later.



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