A great road in Peru.

The Canon del Plato north of Huaraz is a spectacular drive with a dirt road passing thru thirty five tunnels in a narrow canyon.

Originally we intended to take the road from Chimbote to the Canon del Plato via Lacramarca but because our guide books were scathing about Chimbote we decided to give Chimbote a miss and take the slightly longer northern road via Chuquicara.

A good decision! The road from Chuquicara to Huallanca, though only about 65km took us seven hours, but it was worth every minute! (Far better than the Canon del Plato proper.) This is a spectacular unmade road thru narrow gorges, along precipitous ledges, through tight jagged tunnels, with very few villages. In places there are views of distant snow-capped mountains.

Reminiscent of the Karakoram Highway (but much shorter, and the road is worse). Highly recommended if you have a suitable vehicle (Mel made it, with just a few scrapes.)

Since Chiclayo we have filled up with LPG (always a big event), visited another archaeological site and chilled out on the beach.

Ever since Mel arrived in South America, they have been looking for somewhere to fill their 30kg propane tank (used for cooking and more importantly running their fridge at night). On the southern outskirts of Chiclayo (S 06.815720 W 79.829723) we saw our first Peruvian LPG filling station. Very sensibly Mick and Mo had established that the fitting they had on their gas tank (an ACME one) was widely used in South America. They also had with them an ACME to Dutch bayonet adaptor, just in case. Unfortunately Peru seems to have chosen to use the Italian Dish fitting! So whilst K-Nine and Mog were able to fill up with LPG, Mel was not able to!

The archaeological site we visited was Chan Chan, another massive pre-Inca mud city, this time covering twenty eight square kilometers. Chan Chan is the worlds largest mud brick city, built around 1300 CE and containing more than 10,000 structures! Although conquered by the Incas in 1460, it was left to the Spanish to loot the city centuries later..

After an exhausting trek round a tiny fraction of Chan Chan, we decamped to the nearby "fishing village" of Huanchaco to "chill out".

Huanchaco is famous for its reed boats that have been used for over 2500 years. These caballitos are used both for fishing and for taking brave tourists (i.e. Judy!) out into the crashing surf (for less than $2USA). We parked for two nights on the sea front road opposite the Naylamp Hostel (S 08.073085 W 79.119525) - good laundry facilities and Internet access.

Whilst Mick was examining Mel's gas tank, a couple riding their quad bike on the beach stopped to see if they could help. One thing lead to another and within 10 minutes Mick had an appointment in a nearby town with a gas mechanic who, for less than $10 USA, made an adaptor that should allow Mel to be filled with LPG at a Peruvian (or Italian) garage! Now all we have to do is find another garage with LPG.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2008-12-11
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