After leaving Jaén, we came to a crossroads. To our left was the road leading to the reportedly “best bicycle ride in Perú” but added about 160km (100 miles) to our destination, Cajamarca. The road to our right was shorter, drier and had less traffic.
Leah, Sarah and I all had mixed feelings. The longer route had more climbing, but we had seen some great photos from other cyclists. Leah was starting to feel pressed for time. She had to meet her friend in Cuzco but still had enough of a buffer to ride the longer route. For Sarah and I, the combination of rough roads and tough climbs getting into Peru from Ecuador made the longer route less appealing.
But there was the nagging question of whether or not we would regret taking the shorter route and miss out on something truly magnificent. Without a friendly scarecrow to guide us, we resorted to a coin toss.
The bone dry fountain in the little park where we rested was not as a dramatic of a setting as the Trevi Fountain, but we wished for the best outcome as we counted down and tossed our coins.
The fickle finger of fate pointed us down the more direct route to Cajamarca. The scenery did not disappoint us and we had the road almost to ourselves on the first day of the shorter route.
However, a little nagging voice kept asking about the things we were missing.