It is time for me to say goodbye to Cusco and resume ZigZag for good. Indeed, since I am in Peru I do not pedal a lot of kilometers and it is time to head to Bolivia. This is a quick summary these weeks cycling to reach the lake and move to Bolivia.
Pedaling in the Andes
After a short week of rest in Cusco to enjoy its sublime markets, panoramas and very quiet life, I get back in the saddle for good. It's been a while since I had to pedal several hours in a row, it's time to get back to it. I take the direction of the south through the Andes to go see Lake Titicaca.
Little by little my legs get used to this kind of effort. I pass several passes, and quickly visit the pretty small towns like Sicuani, Ayaviri, Azangaro …
The days scroll and the kilometers also, the weather gets hotter and warmer as I get closer to the Titicaca. I decide to go through the north side (east) of the lake as it is much less touristy. So there is a lot less traffic and the itinerary looks beautiful.
The colors of the mountains are very pretty, very pastel tones and ochres that contrast well with the very blue sky. Apart from the dogs that can't help but chase the cyclists, the bike days are very enjoyable.
Then the doubt intrudes, what is the right procedure to get out of Peru? Is there a real customs post on this side of the lake? After checking I read that a customs post has been opened on this side for only 9 months. I'm lucky, because otherwise I should have backed up Puno and lost several hundred kilometers!!
The impressive Titicaca
After sleeping in Huancané, I finally arrive at the highest navigable lake in the world. The road is beautiful with very little traffic, I reach the charming village of Moho after a sacred ascent.
A few kilometers further the views of the lakes are chained, the road becomes splendid!
I can't help but stop to enjoy an afternoon and an evening to camp on board. Wash in the Titicaca: check!
Peruvian bureaucracy and meetings
The next day I pedal a little 15 kilometers to arrive at the customs station (to leave Peru) in telecom, confident to rally Bolivia in the day. Unfortunately my visa is exceeding three days, so I have to pay a fine of about €3. The problem is that I have to go to a national bank to pay my due and the only one in the corner is in the village of Moho 35 kilometers back.
Moreover, the person who can make me leave Peru in the rules will not be present today but tomorrow.
I can take a bus, but the road is so beautiful that redoing it a second time does not bother me, and then I have all day before me.
Back in Moho after the peaceful road I pay my due to the "Banco de la Nacion" and will eat in the restaurant of the village. During my meal, I notice a bicycle at the entrance of the restaurant, I am going to greet him and discover a whole band of six French tourists!
I have not crossed a single French bicycle since the beginning of my trip and very few tourists in recent days.
We talk quickly and they join my table. I tell them my little administrative problem and their advice so this road by the lake.
After refueling, we all embark on this road that I ride already for the third time.
They are 3 couples, some have to start pedaling in Lima and have all planned to take a tour of South America and some even carry their paragliders; They all found each other as they went along.
I am Alex and Marie who are rather motivated to go further on the road and so move towards the border that the account all cross the next day. I offer them the bivouac location that I found the day before.
We spend a good evening although the sun sets at 18 o'clock, we take advantage of the magical location to make a fire.
The next morning we arrive at telecom and go to the immigration office. Unfortunately the guy never seemed to have seen such affluence in his office and in addition to that, he did not have the internet because of a recent storm. So he has to check if everything is in order on his phone. It takes him more than an hour for the seven of us.
After these multiple counter times we finally take the stony trail that will lead us to the border. The pass is not a thin one to make, but the scenery is worth it.
The least we can say is that it is rather atypical as a border crossing, we have not seen a single vehicle between the two villages.
Anyway, to the next Peru!