From Sea to Sky, 18,000 Feet Up (5 of 11)

Written by: Jeff McMahan

In Day two of the junket I woke up to find myself sleeping next to Dave from Team Plan-F.

Six teams entered Chulucanas late  the prior afternoon and holed up in the Hotel Star Plaza. We set off like a herd of turtles at 8:30 am sharp.

We meandered down to El Cruce where Team SBS made the hard decision to stay with the pack under the safety in numbers and continued with everyone towards our next goal Jaen, which included crossing over a 16,000 foot mountain pass.

Ourselves and The Warriors moved ahead of the group, with the understanding that we would all meet down the road. After summiting the pass and rolling down the backside, we came across the road being closed for construction.

It wouldn’t open until 6pm, we were there at 2:30.  As the hours ticked on by, dodging falling rocks from the Mountain Goats and bad jokes from the locals there was no sign of Plan F, The Pisco Sour Project, Rolling Lads, and Sweet Chariot.

Did they turn back? Did they crash? No idea as there was ZERO cell coverage.

When the pass finally opened at 6pm, we continued on, forced to move forward by the Mountain Range in our rear view mirror.

Not much on this stretch of road in the way of hotels, we did find one roadside diner where the chicken was fabulous.

As night took over, we secured any extra lighting we had, including Travis’ LED Camera light for a most unusual set up. We have come to the conclusion that Peruvians have little to no concept of distance. Everything was ten minutes or an hour, according to them.

We arrived in Jaen at 1am, somewhat ragged from the drive, staying concentrated on not going off the into the dark chasm to our right while dodging Double Decker buses who, unlike India, do not feel the need to use their horn.

Carla has been a godsend, one half of the mighty Warriors team. Is she the Brains, and Mike the Brawn? A Master Blaster duo? Judging by Mike’s size, I wouldn’t support that theory, the man is JACKED UP! He makes me look like a skinny junior high schooler.

Great  hearing the New York accent, like a little bit of home in Peru, LOL! We are very happy to be teamed up with a couple of fellow New Yorkers, and sad that it is most likely the end of our time with Plan F, Sweet Chariot, Rolling Lads, and The Pisco Sour gents.

Hey, at least we have Chulucanas boys…

BTW, the pass is closed from 7am to noon and 1-6pm, hope you get there between noon and 1pm today guys!

Goal for today: 300k and Moyobamba.

 Into the Amazon we go!!

1 Comment
  1. Reply Connie Brown August 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I was on the Pearl last week and took the excursion on the Crab Fishermen’s tour I left my credit card at a shop before boarding and couldn’t buy your book and would like to order it on line if possible my friend Jodi got it and it was wonderful I was bummed that I missed it.

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