A follow-up morning and a great afternoon!
The morning was basically a follow-up of previous day. Some empty 40 kilometers after Chao take you through a real desert. Traffic is still ok, road is cleanish, and even the uphills are not too hard. Yes, I had a cloudy day, can you tell?? 🙂
Arrive to Santa and, after saying goodbye to the ocean, the scenary starts to change. Initially the road goes next to a river that makes everything close to it green. Later on it just can’t. Still, there are some really good news here:
1. Finally, STRONG TAIL WIND!!!!
2. You almost can’t feel the fact that you’re going uphill
3. As you go further away from the coast, it just gets nicer and prettier!!
“Bad” news is that it gets sunnier, and therefore much hotter, as you leave the coast. Expect some strong heat in this area.
Also, forget about towns here. Only Vinzos offers some bars (not Pampa Vinzos!!); even Chuquicara is no more than 8 shops at each side of the road. So yes, camping was needed!!
Some maps show the option to take a shortcut from somewhere after Chao to Chavimochic. The start of this road is 14.5 km after Chao. It says “only cars with permission” at the entry, and there is even a guard, who told me that I could go through by bike. The road is paved, at least at the beginning, but it’s supposed to go unpaved later on. Biggest issues here are:
1. Finding sand on the road, and therefore having to walk with your bike
2. Having issues to cross river Santa at the end of the road. There’re only 2 rivers there, really far up, when you’re already arriving to Chuquicara, and they’ve got fences, so careful not to find them closed.
3. No towns in between. So bring lots of food and specially water!!
I didn’t take this road, and I thought I was going to regret it. The truth is I didn’t. At all.