My early goal today was to ride south 350 miles to a small village on the Peruvian Coast. Sometimes one finds it necessary to modify goals, particularly when life and limb are at stake.
Today, I only rode 262 miles before I decided to stop due to high winds and sand drifts on rhe road. The route I chose is basically south on the Pan American, which follows the Peruvian Coast much of the time. However, there was a 75 mile section that went east up into the high desert mountains.
As the road moved back to the shore, the winds increased, pummeling both me and the bike. I litterly felt as if I was being violently shaken. Suddenly we were right beside the shore and the extremely fine and white sand was blowing violently. It was in my helmet, inside my jacket and even in my boots. I could barely see, it almost looked like fog, but instead it was blowing fine sand.
Sand dunes are ever present, but today there was sand drifts on the highway. Sometimes two or three inches deep and covering both lanes. Riding slow and cautiously, I was in a state of anxiety. Suddenly I was in a deeper drift, when the bike slid to the left, back to the right and
almost turned sideways. I knew I was down and there were two large trucks right on my tail. And just as suddenly, I caught traction and the bike righted itself. I had to ride another seventeen nervous miles before I came to the small town of Chala, Peru.
Quickly finding a rather primitive hostel, I booked a room and parked the Goose in a secure area. Tomorrow, we will depart early, in hopes that the winds are lighter. I live on the coast of Texas, and early morning is usually the time of least wind there. Here's hoping Peru is similar.
The roads in Peru are often very good, among the best I have traveled. However, poverty is ever present. This afternoon I took a few photographs of this small town just to give you an idea.
Last night I was able to transfer photographs to Jacob and later today I expect him to post photograph folders entitled 1) Banos, Ecuador 2) Vilcabamba, Ecuador 3)Northern Peru and 4) Pisco, Peru. In a day or two I will also transfer the photographs I have taken today which will be entitled "Chala, Peru.