October 27 and 28, Nazca, October 29, Arequipa, Peru
Winding our way through the mountains and valleys we come to the quiet town of Chalhuanca.
The central square and market are tranquil.
The main street pace is unhurried.
Although the video store is doing good business.
Our group of gringo motorcyclists becomes the centre of interest.
The welcoming committee sizes us up.
Most eyes are on the visitors, but this old fellow thinks the photographer is more interesting.
Grey sweater looks like quite a scamp.
Red sweater is decidedly unsure.
And tries to keep his buddy out of too much trouble.
A mix of the traditional and the modern.
One proud auntie.
Actually, they are twins, says mom. We think you tell them apart by the booties.
When we arrived, we went into the stores asking for ice-cream and nobody had any. But it wasn’t long before the word got around and the local peddler peddled up. Brian buys popsicles for the little ones. And—ever the teacher—organizes the distribution. “That’s for him!”
”And that’s for him!”
We hit the road again and wind through more valleys and passes. Stopping near Huashuaccasa pass (4300 metres) we look back to where we came from down in that valley.
Looking right we also came up that way.
We were glad to reach the town of Puquío and warm up with lunch.
The steep, narrow streets are challenging even on a motorcycle. This looks like a nice direct route up to the restaurant, but it was blocked.
And the restaurant parking lot wasn’t exactly like your average mall parking.
Madeleine and Alice at the entrance to the restaurant. Mauricio seems to be on a mission.
We are welcomed to the family restaurant in the patio garden.
The economy lunch—soup, chicken, a drink and some fruit—is $1.30. The executive lunch—a bit fancier—costs all of $2.00. Argentina, Bolivia and Peru were relatively inexpensive. Brazil and Chile had prices more like Canada.
Inca Kola is the national soft drink, and Peruvians drink more of it than Coca Cola. In an effort to get them to switch, the Coca Cola company bought 50% of the shares of Inca Kola in 1999 -- but they still haven't caught up. The colour makes it the butt of jokes, of course. Inca Kola is very sweet and tastes somewhat like cream soda.
We gratefully tuck into a hot meal.
We play musical chairs and chat with some Argentineans (yes, we’re in Peru) at the next table who are fascinated by the motorcycles.
They just have to have a picture on a bike. So Brian obliges.
Then they want Brian in the picture, too.
Two little lads watch us leave town, with the very typical tranquility of Andean children.