Days 11 & 12

$2,010 raised! Not going to lie, this is going better than expected. Thank you so much everyone, nothing better than seeing people embrace the gift of giving over Christmas season.
Days 11 & 12
Day 11:
After packing up all my stuff, I went to go find a mechanic for my bike. After eating my continental breakfast the woman at the front desk helped me find one and I was there before noon. I waited around for the owner to get hold of his mechanic, but no success. So instead he had me follow him to his B team mechanic shop down the road. There I found a tiny workshop, just big enough to fit my bike, some tools, and a couple of other guys. The employees looked like they were in their late teens, early 20s, all goofing around until their boss snuck up behind them. They immediately acted professionally, almost comically, and took a look at my bike. I was told it would be finished by 6, so the boss drove me back to the main shop near the mall and I wandered around aimlessly for most of the day. By the time I came back at 6, I was told I needed to replace the chain and sprockets as well. Frustrated since I had just replaced the chain a month ago, I told them to go ahead. My mechanic back home didn’t replace the sprockets as well which just led to another broken chain.
They finished up by 7 and power washed my bike, all pretty excited that they were able to complete such a big bike in time (kind of). I got a photo with them and the Josh Anderson Poster and decided to head back to my hotel, too late to leave.
Day 12:
Off to Colca Canyon, the 3rd most popular attraction in Peru. It was about 3 hours away and the first part of my trip where I was likely to encounter rain; having been wearing entirely improper shoes the entire trip, I bought some waterproof Harley Davidson boots before leaving. The air got thin and brisk the higher I climbed, up to 15,000’ at one point. I wrapped my way around the 3 sister volcanoes towering above Arequipa and towards the canyon behind them. It wasn’t a very far distance, but it was hard to overtake the ridiculously slow semis in front of me on the narrow roads. That and the altitude kept me from averaging more than 40 – 50mph most of the way. At the highest point of my trip my fingers were going numb and I was struggling to stay warm. I did what anyone would do and lined my gloves and helmet with alpaca wool (thin gloves and a beanie), bought from a brightly dressed elderly Peruvian woman on the side of the road. Just ahead was the descent into Chiva, the town at the mouth of the canyon and it was breathtaking, unlike anything I’ve seen until that moment. Enormous snow capped volcanoes poked out of the landscape, Chiva was in a lush green valley surrounded by towering mountains, terraced into farmland over centuries. The enormous canyon ran for at least 100 miles West towards the Pacific. As I climbed down to it’s base, herds of alpaca, sheep, cattle, donkeys, horses, and whatever else were being herded along the roads by the locals. I booked a room right in the downtown square, unloaded my bike, and headed off downstream into the canyon. Right before leaving I took a selfie with some alpaca chilling in the bed of a truck, something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The place was right out of The Emperor’s New Groove and it was pretty awesome. I came back to the city right at sunset, pausing in the valley to watch it settle behind a Volcano. It was honestly so beautiful, I may have shed a couple tears. Followed by 100 push ups and shotgunning a beer, ya know, to keep the manliness in check. I’m frat.
Actually on that note, I forgot to mention something: you’re looking at (reading about?) the new president of my fraternity, the Phi Delta chapter of Psi Upsilon!
I was just elected the other night, so I want to thank everyone in the fraternity for giving me this opportunity, I promise 2016 is going to be great.
It’s now the morning of my 13th day and I’m headed off to Cusco. If all goes well, I’ll be summiting Machu Picchu first thing tomorrow!
As promised, lots of pictures.

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