Monday, January 11, 2010

Peru Part...13


Returning to Lima
The next day we headed back to Satipo. Aileen was the only member of our group who had a full suspension mountain bike who wanted to ride back to Satipo. The local official would give her a private escort and drive his motorcycle behind Aileen to be sure she was safe. The rest of us loaded into five taxies and departed at 15 minute intervals. We would offer Aileen support at various intervals on the way back. I was in the last taxi to leave. When we passed the village of Gloriabamba I saw some of the young men who stopped me the day before. I couldn’t help but sing the tune “I Only Have Eyes for You”.

The remaining five days back to Lima would be a reverse of the route we had ridden to Satipo. The long gradual down hills would now be a steady five percent climb out of the jungle. Our relief would be climbing to the higher elevations and cooler temperatures. We got out of the jungle heat and into the drier air of the mountains. After two days we arrived in Tarma at 10,000 foot elevation. Tarma was voted the best town of the tour with a nice hotel and comfortable temperatures. Tonight would be a special evening because Aracely was going to be baptized in the cathedral built in 1743. This was a PAC Tour first and we all attended the ceremony. The whole experience was perfect for Aracely and a memorable night for all of us.

The final two days were through the town of La Oroya and then over the summit again at 16,000 feet. We got to the summit earlier this time and the sky was bright and sunny. We had a thrilling 55 mile coasting downhill to Chosica. We had finished the tour safe and with many new stories about Peru. We had met a wide variety of people and learned a lot of the food, geography and culture. Everyone on the tour probably looks at Peru differently now. We all left behind new friends who want us to visit them again.


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