Days 27 and 28 of 142
I had great hopes for riding stage 20 because I went to bed feeling a bit better but a couple of episodes in the night and a weak, sick feeling made me decide to ride the van for the day. It was sad since it was a perfect riding day. My bike went on top of the hotel van (leaves last, short stop at lunch, then on to the destination with day bags). Since the diarrhea had lasted 36 hours I took an antibiotic along with another immodium.
We drove out of Caraz and stopped for some pictures of Huascaran, incredible views. H Norte is 6652m and Sur is 6768m and man are they gorgeous!
Lunch was at 42km and everyone seemed to be having a good ride. It was cooler and nicer than the previous two days. We were approaching 3000m again so the air had that great mountain feeling back.
The fastest riders beat us to the hotel in Huaraz and then unloading and getting organized took some time. The bikes had to be lugged to the 5th floor roof. We got a triple with Martin, nice room. Laundry dried fast on the roof, I went out and bought water, then we had sandwiches and snacks instead of soup. I started feeling almost normal an hour or two after arriving.
We relaxed for the afternoon then went to “Craft Huaraz” for a pre-dinner beer. Nice and cozy but man did they have terrible beers. On the plus side I got to try a Quinoa beer for the first time ever, but I had to sneak into the baño to dispose of some of the fruit one while the bartender wasn’t looking. We did better for dinner. I had trucha (trout) and the guys who went for Filet Mignon were very happy. I drank a liter of maracuya juice, same cost as a glass of wine.
I slept ok except for waking up 2-3:30am, but most importantly could declare myself cured in the morning. At Dr. Bill’s advice I took one more antibiotic to make sure. It was a beautiful morning, so first up was bike love on the roof. Then we went out to a fantastic breakfast at the “California Cafe”, crepes, maracuya juice, apple pie… others in the group found it too. I looked around town a bit, bought some long underwear after rereading a 2014 blog about our upcoming adventures to nearly 5000m, and generally relaxed – a perfect rest day.
Tom and I went out shopping more in the afternoon. We bought warm socks that came in a set of two pairs and I bought sunglasses. We also checked out the big local market, so much for sale, including so many dead animal parts. Later we went out for ice cream, to tide us over until dinner.
Dinner was at a really fun Indian/Mexican restaurant. We met a Spanish guy Arturo and his Brazilian friend who started biking in Ushuaia and are going to Colombia. They showed us their dog defenses: big stick behind the seat and a quick-draw knife for close encounters. Very fun guys. Dinner was so so good, with 2 liters of Pisco Sours, the best we’ve had on the trip. Amazing. Now it’s almost 9pm and time for sleep.