We woke up at 6:30 to a layer of frost covering everything. The rainfly is stiff as a board. The water bottles we left on the bikes are frozen. We’re in a canyon so it will be a while until the sun hits us.
The temperature differential between night and day is extreme at the high altitudes. During the day we ride in t-shirts and shorts. But as soon as the sun goes down it’s bitter cold. I sleep wearing wool socks, fleece pants, multiple layers of shirts, hat & gloves. So far we’ve stayed toasty warm in our tent.
While we wait for the sun, we have a breakfast of cookies, chocolate and a tomato. Not the most balanced breakfast, but it’s all we have left.
When the sun finally hits our tent everything immediately thaws. The sun is incredibly powerful at these altitudes. It’s always quick to let us know if we’ve missed a spot with the sunscreen.
We’re glad we decided to camp in the valley so we could see the unbelievable colors of the Lagunas de Llanganuco in the sunlight. A spectacular way to complete our loop of the Cordillera Blanca.
We make it back to Carhuaz by early afternoon. It’s Sunday so we head straight for the market where we pick up (1 kilogram=2.2 pounds, 1 sol=$0.35):
- 1 kilo avocados = 3 soles
- 1/2 kilo tomatoes = 1.5 soles
- 1 large red pepper = 1 sol
- 1 large bundle of spinach = 1 sol
- 1 kilo oranges = 2 soles
- 1/2 kilo quinoa = 7 soles
- 1/2 kilo oatmeal = 2 soles
- big bag of bread = 3 soles
After the market we stop by our favorite fried chicken stand and get a plate each of chicken and fries for 5 soles. Then our tour of gluttony continued to the bakery for sweet treats and coffee.
Going grocery shopping when you’re hungry is one thing. Arriving in town on market day after you’ve been in the mountains for six days and ran out of food brings it to a whole new level. We’re going to eat our faces off.