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Quick update from Cerro de Pasco

posted Nov 30, 2010, 4:45 PM by Paul Gareau
Hi all! I´m writing this from the city that claims to be the highest in the world. It´s pretty high (14,235 feet), and definitely cold. I spent the day here getting ready for another *ahem* detour that I noticed on my map a few nights ago and can´t resist. I´ll veer off the usual cycle tourist route that goes to Huancayo, and head southwestish towards what my map shows is a highland speckled with lakes and snowcapped peaks. I´m sure I´ll be getting more snow and hail (almost a daily occurance lately), and I´m not sure what I´ll find on the way for supplies, so I´ll be leaving with enough food for three days. The ¨rough stuff¨ will end when I reach Morococho, the home of the highest passenger train station in the world. I have a few bail out options if the road ends up being tougher than anticipated, and one option wold be to drop back down almost to the coast near Lima, where there is an interesting archealogical site. If that happens, I´ll almost definitely take the train back into the mountains (via the highest station in the world) maybe all the way to Huancayo. But, who knows - that´s why it´s an adventure. :)
Since leaving Huaraz, I´ve again beat my elevation record by climbing to 4888 meters (16,000 feet). Near the top of the first big pass after Huaraz, I met two Swiss girls who are cycling from Quito to Buenos Aires in Argentina. We rode together for about 5 days, and will be heading in different directions when we leave Pasco tomorrow. They´re way too fast for me anyway, and I´m sure I couldn´t keep up with them for much longer - or at least enjoy my trip while trying to.
The mountain route that we took was totally incredible, and I was hoping to have my pictures posted today, but I can´t find a place to connect my laptop. So you´ll just have to wait a week or so, when I´ll hopefully be in Huancayo with better internet access.
Ciao for now...