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23 MAY - Juancamra, Peru

Date: Thu May 25 2000, 06:25 AM PDT

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    If I could summerize in a day what my travels are like, I would only need to describe the past 24 hours - pure adventure travel.

    It started with my biking yesterday. I was told I had only 40k to the next town, but it turned out to be more like 55, all uphill on heinous dirt roads. On the way, I passed a beautiful range of snow capped mountains. As the sun set, the mist around them lit up like fire. Then it was dark, and I had no idea where the town was. I tried riding in the dark, but it was a nightmare. My rear tire then exploded. I tried to fix it in the dark and freezing cold, but the stem pulled out, and so I had to start all over again. The riding was so bad that I gave up, and camped by the side of the road. My waterbottle froze overnight.

    Today, the riding was hard, all soft soil. When I got to the town, I was mobbed by kids. I ended up teaching English classes the rest of the morning. I flatted again in the afternoon, but I caught a ride in a flatbed to a ruins site, where I was once again mobbed by kids. Free food and dancing with the teachers. I tried to catch a bus in the next town, but it never showed, so I stayed where I was. I had my first tasting of Cuy for dinner - aka Guinea Pig. Delicious. I was offer a bed to crash in where I ate dinner. The floor of the room where I am right now is covered 2ft deep in corn.

    More details when the story comes out. Tomorrow I ride to Abancay, then bus it to Anta, just shy of Cusco.

    BTW, my next story, on Colombia, should be out in a couple of days.


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