A shaky start and a shake down Duck Canyon (Canon del Pato)

Our first morning in Peru we were shaken awake by a terremoto (a trifle terre-fying) as our building shook with the 5.5 earthquake. That on top of arriving in Lima airport sin bicis (without bicycles) was making for a good start to the trip. It seemed Latam airlines were onto our case so we had to trust the system and enjoy not having the hassle of travel with bike boxes to Huaraz.

As seasoned Uber travellers (first time was from the airport to our lovely hostel) we filled in the day in Lima sitting in traffic on our way to/from the coastal neighbourhood of Mira Flores. Surf, sun and a funky Plaza de Amor.

We took a night bus to the small city of Huaraz, nestled under the giant mountains of the Cordillera Blanca range where we were very happy to see our bikes 24 hours later.

4 years ago we finished our trip here so the town was still familiar. We had a great acclimatisation walk up to a wee lake that gave great views across to the mountains of the C. Blanca.

The next day we biked out of town enjoying the mostly downhill gradient alongside the Rio Santa to the well known Canon de Pato. In parts of the canyon the walls are only metres apart and thousands of metres high. There are 35 tunnels that allow access through the 15km of narrowest gorge. Quite stunning but sadly the bulk of the river has been diverted from the canyon for hydro so it seemed without life not having a raging torrent through it.

110 kms of riding that day got us to the wee hydro town of Huanculla and a bad choice of hostel. At 1 am we were still awake listening to loud music, grrrrrr! Finally got the Senora to get the music turned off.

So on 5 hours of sleep we faced the 30km of uphill that took us 5 hours of riding. At the town before the top we enjoyed ice cream and Coca Cola after our long hot climb. We freewheeled 20km down to Sucre and being lazy buggers jumped on the local transport to get us back up the busy paved road to Huaraz. We were pretty knackered, but happy with our first excursion.