Leaving the coast we headed south then turned inland to start the climb into the mountains. In the morning we were at sea level and we rode to Huaraz then up some more to the Hof Hostel at 12,000′ along a route called the Canon del Pato (canyon of the duck). Another most incredible road cut into the cliffs as it follows a glacial river. Single lane road in many places with shear drops and no guardrails. Lots of tunnels too narrow for oncoming traffic to pass so you are supposed to honk and if that doesnt work, have a Peruvian standoff mid tunnel. The whole way was paved so relatively safe, just dont ride off the low side is all.
We met Chris the owner of Hof Hostel while in Salento and it worked out nicely to be here for Christmas. His hostel is a simple rustic eco place. He has no power or refrigeration and is located up in the subalpine at the border of Huscaran national park, the highest peak in Peru. Makes for a real nice and simple place to stay. Tk and I are staying in a round adobe domed hut with green house off the side. Chris hosts all sort of eco workshops from permaculture to adobe building and medicinal plants.
We arrived evening of the 23rd and made the mistake of riding in one day from sea level up to 12,000. Everyone felt sick from the altitude, constantly short of breath, headaches and poor sleep. On top of which I have a cough/chest cold, plus wicked case of diahrea. Moring of the 25th TK and I cooked up bacon and egg breaky for everyone then we headed down the hill to neighbouring hostel where some folks there cooked up a massive turkey dinner for us all. Was a really nice day but I was too sick to enjoy it. We had planned to leave town boxing day morning but I was still too sick so we only rode the bikes down the hill into Huaraz and got a nice hotel room to try and feel better. TK now has a splitting headache so who knows, may spend another day recovering before moving onwards. Also – we said goodbye today to the other three guys we have been travelling with as we all had different adgendas moving forward.