QuickPeek: Cooking. Hitch hiking

I looked thro the maps and spotted some roads heading north up the altiplano, a bit parallel to the main tourism trunk, but much further out and we figured it might be interesting to follow along the remote roads a while before eventually heading towards Cusco. We asked around and it turned out that the bus route would take us back to Juliaca – which meant we might have to hop off in the middle of nowhere and hope for a ride or a different bus heading in the direction we wanted to.

We headed back to the lady with the good coffee in town, a small restaurant / hostel called Hostel Guerra. I had promised to show her another recipe and I figured a spanish omelette might be a good one as a brunch. The lady was super nice and brought all the ingredients, including potato, eggs, oil and oregano and was super happy to see us back in the morning. I made the spanish omelette without any pepper since her little daughter had a bit of trouble with the spice yesterday. We had a nice long chat over b’fast and coffee and the lady shared her thoughts on how she wanted to remodel her hostel. She wanted to have a kitchen for guests and make it a friendly place for people to feel free to make food and share recipes. Sounded like a great idea and I marked her business in the various community based maps that is seemingly popular among tourists.

We packed up our bags and came back to the bus station where we spotted a nice spiffy looking ride. The lady selling tickets was pretty hard to bargain with and we ended up paying 20 Soles to go half the distance to Juliaca. Ouch. Ah well. The ride was much smoother than the bus we took the other day and it was nice enough to take pictures of the valley as we left Sandia. After 2 hours of switchbacks, we eventually came past the lake Saitococha and were dropped off at the turnoff where vehicles headed to Juliaca or Crucero. Our plan was to head to a town called Macusani, but we were told Crucero is the best bet to find a ride to and we’d have to find a different bus to Macusani.

We asked around in the small village and were told it might take may be up to 3 hours to find a ride. So we waited. After an hour or so, a few guys showed up in a truck. They were very friendly and offered us a ride to Crucero even without us asking. We waited a short bit for them to have lunch and we were off. The route was stunning towards Crucero. We were up at 4400 m and the road was relatively flat. However it was mostly gravel and there were tons of road works and that meant numerous small detours on sand and mud and it was super dusty. Glad to be inside a closed truck for sure. It was an hour or more of ride and it was nearly 3+ when we got to Crucero. We thanked our road angels and decided look for a hostel to sleep in instead of heading out in the late evening in the cold (at 4400m, a bit of cloud cover made the place feel icy).

Crucero was a tiny village in the middle of nowhere and we were told it was mostly animal farms and a little agriculture that sustained the population. It was a quiet enough place with friendly people and we found a small restaurant and the lady was happy to make us a quick meal of fried rice. I found some Arroz con Leche for dessert and as the sun went down and the chill hit, we clawed back up to the hostel to keep warm.

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 17.15
Comments: Some road angels save our ass and took us to the next town of Crucero.