I never thought I’d say a day with a 50 km uphill would be an easy one… but this one was. The bad news is that the spectacular views are gone…
Leaving Celendín uphill felt surprisingly easy. Also, I didn’t need to get up that early since it isn’t that hot at this altitude, so I left at 8.30 with a full stomach.
Nothing special to mention until km 30. At that point the road turns flat-ish for a while, just to keep on going uphill 5 km later. There’s a town in that space, where you can get some food. Traffic is still almost non-existent in this area. There are some major roadworks almost finished and the road is excellent. Too good for a bike to be honest, more appropiate for cars. I liked the road on previous days way better.
The climb ended with no problems and surprisingly small effor. The only problem is that there weren’t many things to see in this region. Some mountains in last part (a Paramo style area), kids in the flat bit, and not much more.
The paved road ended at the top; there’re some 12 kms unpaved at the beginning of the downhill. Still, they’re working pretty hard on it, so it should be finished sometime soon. From there onwards, great roads.
The unpaved bit is maybe the nicest one as well (not the very beginning, just after 3 kms or so). Still, not spectacular. Then you arrive to Encañada, a nice town in the middle of the road. From here onwards, on top of going slightly uphill, STRONG HEADWIND appeared. That wasn’t nice. It lasted until the last downhill. Kguess without the wind it’d have been some very nice cycling kilometers, flat and with a different landscape (more laboured fields, very colorful).
If you’re in a hurry, there’s a very nice unpaved road towards Namora here, some 10 km after Encañada (it’s signposted). From the looks of the beginning and the end, I’m sure it’s a great road!!!
Near Baños is a small town where people are VERY local. Slow down to take a look!!
And finally Baños… This is some kind of local turist resort. It felt good stopping here because they’ve got a swimming pool and I needed one. Nothing special to see in this town (but there is in surrounding areas), but a nice place to stop for a night. I didn’t really feel like sleeping in a “city” to be honest…
Still, warning: it’s true, there are some (very expensive) hot springs here, but don’t expect any ruin related with Incas’ baths!! The name can be misleading!!