Peru – Part 5: Las Montañas
Our taxi arrives. With mountain bikes.
It takes us to the Circuito Turistico.
It’s very welcoming.
Just don’t look down.
Native Quechua women weave in the sunlight.
What is it? A hammock?
We have a look around the village.
It’s not the most happening place.
Then back on the road, past deserts of blue agave.
We reach the foothills, and the town of Palccoyo.
Work donkeys are working.
We rise with the mountains. Sheep appear.
We rise with the mountains. Llamas appear.
We rise with the mountains. Mountains of Colors.
Indeed, there are some colors here.
And then the sun comes out.
Everyone takes pictures of Brandon.
For he is Brandon on the Mountains of Colors.
The colors are dusted with snow.
The peaks are more than dusted.
We are at nearly 5000m. Our brains leak from our skulls.
Our guide wants to take us higher, to 5000m.
So up we go.
We can see the non-rainbow mountains from here.
And rainbows on the other side.
But we can still go higher.
We have to take many breaks to beg for oxygen.
But we reach the peak eventually.
Still breathing, somehow.
But we can get even higher!
And reach the true peak, over 5km above sea level.
Oddly formed stone spikes.
Oddly invigorated people.
Oddly little oxygen.
We head back down, as there’s no up left.
Taking in the view for one last time.
Back down to rainbow height.
Down the trails from whence we came.
Carefully avoiding stepping on caterpillars.
Down to the parking lot with our van.
To suit up.
To pump up.
To get ready to roll.
Brandon is ready.
We get our bikes, and cruise straight down a mountain.
Through curves and bends.
Past the llamas.
Down to the farms.
With its cows.
And its farm house.
Which serves us coca tea.
And a delicious buffet.
In a quaint clay hut.
It doesn’t have wifi.
But does have a guinea pig farm!
I would recognize that sound anywhere!
Cute piggies with cute babies.
Healthy, fat, friendly. And soon to be food.
We saw the sea, the towns, the ruins, and the peaks.
That was the Mountains.
That was Peru.