Lima – mountain biking

Cycling through the river bed.  It almost never rains in Lima

Cycling through the river bed. It almost never rains in Lima

I’ve been to plenty of deserts, but none that were so devoid of anything living.  The  low elevation desert along the Peruvian coast is almost totally barren.  All the surfaces are covered with a talcum powder-like dust, which instantly gets into everything as your cycle over it. It’s in your ears, nose, mouth, and in every exposed and unexposed part of your clothing.  The trail made for fantastic riding, but I’m looking forward to getting into the mountains.  Once we’re at 9,000 feet, the air will be clear and we’ll be out of the sea-level pollution.

Incredible mountain biking trails.

Incredible mountain biking trails.

The ride today required a 4.5 hour bus ride up a switchback road that took us from sea level to 11,300 feet on the spine of the lower Andes.  Thank goodness no other vehicles were coming down as we were winding ourselves up.  I’m positive I would have gotten out if that happened.

The countless number of switchbacks to the top of the Andean trailhead.

The countless number of switchbacks to the top of the Andean trailhead.

Our bus and the road.

Our bus and the road.

The bike ride down was amazing.  Some section were not so fun:  rocky, loose, and steep.  But most parts were fast, fun, and world class mountain biking.

The only signs of life at above 10,000 feet were goats and goat farmers.

The only signs of life at above 10,000 feet were goats and goat farmers.

We stopped at a small school in a tiny village at about 9,500 feet that was remotely perched on the side of the mountain side.   The children were painfully cute.

Ruddy faces.

Ruddy faces.

She asked me if I would take her picture and thanked me when I did.

She asked me if I would take her picture and thanked me when I did.

Painfully cute

Painfully cute

The ruddiest of all

The ruddiest of all

After six hours of cycling, we ended the ride at the sea.

A taxi stand in a small town near lima

A taxi stand in a small town near lima

Pepper farmers

Pepper farmers

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~ by rjmang on May 27, 2009.

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