Huaraz to Lima

October 15th, 2006 by David
Just another campsite - 30 miles south of Huaraz

   Leaving Huaraz, I climbed a 13,500 ft pass, camped one more night in the mountains, and then, in one day, descending to the coast (see map). The Peruvian coast is one of the driest deserts in the world, and apart from irrigated land, roadside vegetation almost entirely disappeared, giving way to rock and sand. The coast, despite being in the tropics, was actually quite cool and covered in a thick fog due to cool ocean currents. The people living here, however, still let me camp next to their house.

13,000 ft descent to the coast
Julio, Joel, Ardalia, Milaska, Ricardo, Gloria, and I - a good place to spend the night!  Near Tunan
Road along the coast

   Continuing south, I soon entered Lima, Peru’s capital city and where 9 million people, or one third of Peru’s population, lives. Entering large cities in Latin America gives me perhaps the largest rush I get on this trip – probably because it is scary – and I biked for two hours across the urban land, assisted by a few bike routes, before arriving where I would stay for a week. As with all major cities, the outskirts are filled with shantytowns of poorer houses that I pass before entering a section of the town where the middle and upper classes live.

The outskirts of Lima - would you want to live here?
A good place to spend a few days
10/13 edition of El Peruano

   I stayed with Jose, a friend of a reporter that I stayed with while in Mexico City. Jose is an editor for El Peruano, Peru’s second biggest newspaper, and although he works more than12 hours a day, I got to know his family fairly well. I also found that staying at the house of a newspaper editor is the best way to get in the news (nice article written by Jose on the right). (I was also interviewed by a television station, but didn’t watch the news to find out.)

Students and Universidad Weimer
Students at Escuela Americana de Miraflores

   In Lima, I was busy. I gave two school presentations, attended a conference on sustainable transportation, visited a team designing bike routes for Lima, met with people styding the effects of global warming in Peru, spent some time hanging out at the South American Explorer’s clubhouse, and also tried to be a tourist for two days, visiting museums. I left the city with yet another list of people who opened their doors to me, who I hope to see again, and who I have promised a letter to from Argentina.

A map of future bike routes in Lima - the 'non-motorized transport' group in Lima
A brunch with new friends
Lima's Main Plaza and Cathedral
The Vexler's - family friends from back home appear out of nowhere in Lima (thanks for the dinner!)

   (Family friends from home – the Vexlers, shown left – also made a cameo appearance as they were on vacation for a week in Peru – thanks for the dinner!)

One Response to “Huaraz to Lima”

  1. Norm Vexler says:

    David…enjoyed seeing the photo of me and Anne on your latest update. It was so great to see you in Lima!! Hope that the rest of your trip goes well…you are a remarkable person and I’m very honored to know you. I wish that I could ride with you for the rest of the trip but I know it’s not possible right now…maybe the next adventure! Keep rolling – it’s people like you who will change the world. Look forward to see you safe and well in Amherst next Spring. Norm

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