Monday, January 02, 2006
The Grand Canyon of Peru
I made it to Celedin, a nice little town. Had a crazy last 3 days. Bottom line is that the Rio Marnon is the equivelant of the Grand Canyon. I got out of town on saturday, I thought that I´d much rather be camping on new years then fighting to sleep though Peruvian drunken celebrations. I had a great great ride up 4+ hrs to this pass at 11,300´ and camped right on a ridge just as the sun was setting. Just nice to get high again. So yesterday as the fog cleared and I started descending I came to realize just how big the rio marnon valley was! It just kept going and going. it took me about 5 hours of going all downhill and dropped 8400´vert to the town of scorcing village of Balsas.
It was soooooooooo hot down there!total Dry heat like mid-90´s felt like desert Arizona.I was spent just from descending and the heat killed any other energy I had. Turns out that an awesome Australian couple had just come down from the other side and we shared tales and how ridiculous this place was. It was too hot to even think about climbing sothe three of us got a bare bones cement box to call a room and we spent the day sweating and eating mangoes with the plan on starting riding pre-dawn. My mild giardia of sorts made it self know all afternoon and Iwas a bit miserable in the heat! Anyway I had my doubts about climbing out of the valley and had no-problems taking a ride if it came. So we were up at 3:00 this morning and riding by 4 by headlamp, we parted ways and I started heading up alone again. It was still hot even in the dark but was really good to get higher before the sun came up!
Pretty incredible morning, such an amazing area! So í was doing about 1000´of vert an hour and just kept that up, and the road just kept going and going. It was hands down the hardest climb I´ve ever done, very very rocky and bumpy constantly stearing around rocks and abusive up and up I got to the top around 1:30 after a total a hair over 7000´vert. then a more bumpy descent into Celedin. Pheww!!!! I did not think I was going to make it, I had barely enough food and my knee was bothering me as usual but held up. Going to spend 2 nights here and rest up and pack on the weight I probably lost today...Hopefully some photos later, after sleep.
Lots of love and happy new years!