The paved road didn’t start at the crossroad of Yuracmarca, as expected; I had to wait some more 30 kilometers. But no more sharp stones here, and therefore no more flat tyres. That felt great.
That means also the valley is not so narrow here. Well, it couldn’t last forever. Yuracmarca is a very small town where you can’t find much. Some shops and that’s it. This is where I would have arrived if I had gone to Santiago de Chuco from Quiruvilca; to tel the truth, I’m happy I didn’t take that route.
From then onwards, up and down all the way to Huallanca, another town I found very dissapointing. This town is actually two: one for local people, another one for those working at the hydroelectric central (which is a world on its own; it even includes a swimming pool). The road to here is quite nice, at least (as long as you don’t mind the mining and appreciate the colours it creates), and you may be able to start seeing your first really high peaks.
Anyway, the highlight of the day starts pass Huallanga. After 2-3 kms uphill, tunnels and the Pato Canyon begin. Really nice, both the road and the views (outside of the tunnels, obviously!). Remember to bring some lights, specially to be seen. Cars don’t slow down much when they see you, anyway… But this is a nice place, worth visiting.
The paved road comes back with the last tunnel. The place is so narrow my gps wasn’t working perfectly, so don’t trust this part too much. From there onwards, an easy ride to Caraz. The white mountains start to show up on your left and that makes a great view… and a prelude to what’s to come next days!!
Last 2 mentions:
1. I was feeling really tired when I arrived to Caraz, that’s why I didn’t continue to Yungay. . And I don’t know why really, this day cycling was very easy! Maybe the heat and the hard unpaved road were already paying their bill…
2. In Caraz there’s an activity that sounds nice: take your bike on a combi to the grey mountains, from where you can see the white mountains at full, and go down by bike. I didn’t because I was tired. Caraz, otherwise, is a quiet town.