Rides bikes, paddles sea kayaks, takes pictures. Life on the road & my home in Cornwall.
On from Espinar
It’s been a while so I think I will split this into two posts… one today and one tomorrow. When I last wrote I was in Espinar and planning a slightly easier route for a while in the hope that it would help me get rid of the lingering chest bug… but there was still the matter of a 4700m pass to get over in order to get away from Espinar and find that mellower riding. Espinar was cold too, ‘only’ at 4000m elevation or so but it sits on a wide plain surrounded by mountains and I wondered if the local geography was influencing the climate. In the midday sun the climate was quite agreeable but in shadow or indoors .. brrrr. My feet were perpetually cold there.
The region north of Espinar used to be the heartland of the rather unpleasant Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) movement and hence never had any kind of tourism or travel industry, and still doesn’t given the not too distant honeypots of Cusco and Puno. As such the people along the way are invariably very happy to see a visitor, even to the extent of being stopped on the road from time to time for a chat. Places here are well worth making the time for even if they appear to initially have little of interest. My memories from around here are some of my happiest from anywhere.. just little things that bring a smile to my face like the funny guy that absolutely insisted I share a 2 litre bottle of bright yellow Inka Cola with him on the steps of a polleria (it is yucky stuff IMO, definitely an acquired taste), to being ‘adopted’ by a little girl of no more than 3 yrs old. No idea why, I’m not cuddly… A chap in Velille commented on how hard the saddle of my bike was. I told him I had a hard arse. Everyone within earshot fell about laughing. It just doesn’t happen at home. I will miss it.