Saturday, March 1, 2014

Over the Mountains we go.

We figured that if thy can come up we can go down

Preparing for the decent.

Here we go

Greti stepped out to see how close we are to the edge
Blelieve me the road will inprove, 

Do we need chains? 5 different opninions.

Yes we do need them.
Not another washout, I have no promises left.

Our guide has never seen tire chains befotre
February 23/24 
We left Huaraz in the morning with the intent to drive route 3 over La Union to Hanuko. It was raining and we were warned to watch out for rock or mud slides.
Along the way we encountered a few wash outs but nothing too bad.
Arriving at La Union we were told that the bridge was washed out and will be repaired in 4 days. Option one is to return to Huaraz, but we already had crossed some washouts and muddy roads we did not like this option and Norbert does not like to retrace his steps. Option 2 is to take the mountain path to some village and from there  there is a road to Huanuco. So off we went on option 2. 
Already the road (path) out of the village was very muddy but we were assured it would improve further up. It did improve for a stretch and when we asked for further directions we were told that the road over the mountain is very bad and dangerous and we should turn back. So we did turn back. Just before we reached the village we met a young man with wife and 2 donkeys  and after we told him how far we had gone up the mountain, he said we were almost at the highway and we should go back as it is perfectly safe. He offered to pick up his motorbike and guide us to the highway. So we turned around and followed him to his place and from there he started out ahead of us.
Begin of nightmare.
The path kept getting smaller and muddier and steeper.  We went way further than we did the first time but no semblance of even a decent path, and he kept saying just a little further. We finally had to put an the chains, well that was a novelty. We passed one little village and that was also covered in mud, and people were laughing  
When thy saw us. 
We finally reached the top of the mountain and our guide had to go back as it was getting dark but he assured us it would only be another 30 minutes to a decent road.
And with that he was gone. The path was now better so we took the chains off.
We went on for another half hour and when we came to a turn we could not see were the path went as by now it was completely dark. There was a little hut and a man came out and assured us it was fine to park to the side of the path. We did and had a little bite to eat and tried to sleep. All nite we listened to the rain and knew the paths would be worse in the morning. Thy were. The rain had stopped so we waited a while in the hope that the path would dry a little. The lady from the hut came to us with a pail and 4 cups and offered us breakfast. I explained that we do have a stove to cook and already had eaten, but I was touched by her generosity, so I gave her the Alpaca wool I had bought in Ecuador. 
We decided that Manfred drive ahead of us so if we get stuck he could tow us out.
The Blue Wonder started sliding right away so we put the chains on again and made it down the hill. It is hard to describe the condition of the roads but at all critical moments there were people to help, at one point we hat 6 young man pushing and shovelling a path for the front wheels. The last hill Norbert could do nothing else but go for it, we lost the running board in the process but he made it to the bottom.
Just when we wanted to take the chains off as the road improved, we came to a mudslide in progress, so Norbert gunned it and we made it trough. I am sure we were the last car for some time to pass there.
Finally the road became firmer and dryer and we could take the chains off. When in the afternoon we did reach the highway you can imagine the relieve, first thing we did is go to a Lavadero (car wash) as we had a ton of mud stuck to the car.
Now I will have to live for another 50 years to fulfill all the promises I made to every saint in the universe if we made it out safe. 
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti


  1. Greti, ik bewonder jullie moed en doorzettingsvermogen. Het is zeker een avontuur, altijd bijzonder en meestal leuk maar niet altijd. Wel een fantastische manier om mensen te ontmoeten. Walter en Tiny

  2. OMG, I would have gotten out of that van and walked. You have my admiration! Hoping for better roads ahead.
    Li in snowy North Van

  3. OH-YES .. I too would have gotten out and walked. And that Off-Yellow Hum-Vee Tank-Style R.V. you showed below .. beyond my comprehension. Can you all read the German above. You have quite-the-following .. Smiles .. Cap and Patti ..

  4. Mannomann ihr sucht ja regelrecht das Abenteuer. Blos gut, dass eure Schutzengel so gut fliegen können und immer an eurer Seite sind.
    Muss jetzt erst mal ein paar Tage nachlesen.......Bussi Rita

  5. ...fahrt ihr eigentlich so weit bis Usuia ?? Oder ist dort das Wetter zu schlecht. Geht es dann auf der anderen Seite wieder hoch und besucht ihr Mamfred und Familie ??