Had a great hotel room last night in a town you wouldn’t think would have such a facility.
Great room, great beds, good dinner and breakfast. Could stay there for a night or two.
Awake at 5 ish and preparing for a short mileage day of 304 kms.
We are heading north east inland to a place called Puno on the shore of Lake Titikaka at approx 4110 meters above sea level.
We set out on our allotted time of 8:26 am on a lovely cool morning after a good nights sleep.
Its Saturday morning so the expectation is that it will be a little quieter on the roads.
Nothing could be further from reality. It’s unimaginable the buses taxis, bikes you name it, they were all out there.
We refuelled not far from our departure point to ensure full tanks for the flight.
Then set on getting amongst this endless stream of vehicles that honked, flashed lights waved and just pushed in. Chaos that had some order in that it kept the flow moving.
Steve got right into this as “if they can do it then so will I”.
Worked like a charm and we made good headway but slowly.
You have to be cheeky and at one time he headed Denise up the side of the road bypassing the trucks and busses, and our competitors leaving them well behind for the moment.
We enjoyed these moments and lifted our spirits.
As we moved along the density of vehicles diminished and we could get up some steam. That city leg was some 26 kms in duration so it was very time consuming.
We had a deadline to meet at a time control and although this looked quite attainable it’s always dependant on the roads and what the congestion is like.
Into the countryside and the inevitable hills and mountains the roads wound up and through valleys and hillsides on a roads laden with trucks/Lorries. Hundreds of them. And they were busy racing each other! Perhaps they could see the road ahead better than us due to their elevated cabs but they just seemed to pass even if there was no room to pull ahead of their mates or our cars. They would pull out on blind bends. Fascinating to watch and follow expeditiously but very dangerous.
We followed some on their passing manoeuvres using them as shields to oncoming cars.
Slow traffic had eaten away the time advantage we thought we had up our sleeves to meet our deadline so it was not to be that we got in in time. We were 11 minutes late.
It made us appreciate, once more of the importance of staying as far ahead as possible because you just don’t know what’s up on the road ahead.
On the road out of Arequipa showing kampong type housing and the many unfinished construction. It was said that the unfinished houses and basic block construction is because people have had land given by govt/council for their use but it must have building on it or it will taken back. We have seen these buildings everywhere, uninhabited, uninhabitable. Interesting.
Onto the Regularity section on a rough gravel road which required an average speed of 45 kms per hour. A short run of approx 5 kms took advantage of the road being level though winding. This enabled us to get a better grip with the methodology of this event planing the speed to distance and getting ahead for a start then slowing down, if you can before the finish. We don’t don’t know in advance where the finish is so this makes it more interesting.
It worked better than in the past. Not good but better.
Back on the road for another 60 km run through little villages and towns on back roads that make for interest if you get time to look up from what you’re doing to observe.
If you enlarge these shots you can see the house lots on the hill sides, and the simple barriers they build along boundaries. It’s very poor and basic. Lots of mud huts and ramshackle makeshift housing. No permits required it seems!
The inters (distances between turns or corners or takeoff points and calibration) are tight and sometimes inaccurate so that when in a township such as in Puno, it can go very wrong and backtracking can be frustrating to reconnect with the planed route. At one point the navigator advised the driver to take a turn left, early, and we ended up on a one way road! No one seemed to care except us but it’s most stressful.
So now at the hotel away from the hustle and bustle to the quiet shores of the lake I sit and write this epistle for all you followers out there.
Thanks for your support.
We had a better day.
Some shots of Lake Titikaka