Well Peru has cranked up the volume on the scenery another few notches as the road cuts through the Huascaran National Park and the magnificent Cordillera Blanca mountain range. The ride across the range is one of the highlights of the Peru part of the trip and the Punta Olimpica Pass that crosses the range is a rare beauty with a long climb up to 4,950 metres and the twin glaciers near the summit. I set out up the pass with Jose and Corinne and then meet Eric again at the top of the pass (refer photo).
On the eastern side of the Punta Olimpica Pass the road turns south and then there is some zig-zagging along some pretty back roads with virtually no traffic for a few hundred kilometres to the south-east towards the main road south. The ride is four and a half day’s ride over some nasty loose rock/dirt roads and another beautiful mountain pass (4,400 metres) and then a plunge down through 2,100 metres to and the city of Huanuco nestled in the valley below. I managed to get snowed on as I camped at the top of the second pass and had a pretty cold descent. There is some footage of the Ponto pass at a time when I was a tad tired, and some of the abortive camping attempt at the top of the same pass on the attached video.
Huanuco is a chance to rest a day or so, eat something that isn’t chicken and chips and also indulge a new-found timely interest in bike maintenance (I blame Eric).