Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The exciting bus trip along the Canon del Pato

After the Santa Cruz treking and missing the Huascaran, we took the less travel route to the north and then the coast to Chimbote, passing the Canon del Pato. After some research we found the Yungay Express do this route, 7am we took off to take the bus. It started a little late and we were lucky to take the right-hand side of the bus so we can see the views. Maybe the bus attendent in the station knows we want to see the view of the canyon. The bus actually passed Caraz, stopped outside a cafe where we bought an ice-cream cup. Well, our santa cruz trek ended by passing here, we should have stayed in here and enjoyed the hotspring nearby. Anyway we moved on.
the blue arrow points to the road
It was a bus line mostly taken by local to pass the local villages and also a hydroelectric power plant in between.When we got on the bus, we found that there were more people on the left side. When new passengers come they prefered to sitting on the left. For those on the right, they would rather close the curtain of the window, unlike us who would like it wide open to see the view. It seemed that the passengers were a bit scared by the view. The route passed a number of tunnels, along there were cliffs on the right side. In rainy season landslide is not uncommon as the road is still being built, lots of dusts and rocks along the way, not to say the hillside is not strengthen yet. The cliffs on both side of the valley were very steep and deep. The bus sped along the road, of which the edge sometime had now barrier. There were several occasions when there were only a few inches between the tyres of the bus and the edge of the cliff. We could imagine why the passengers preferred less to sitting on our side.

the arrow points to one tunnel
However, we had a good time taking pictures and enjoying the view outside. The terrain was so beautiful and marvellous. The vertical cliffs went straightly down to the water, the water is sometime turbulent and other time flat and peaceful. It is a sunny day and our pictures were full of light. Going in and out of the tunnels were also exciting. We had an enjoyable two hour journey on this section before going back to the coast.

There was also turbulent water and I imagined that could be a place for white water kayaking. Rock-climbing on the cliff will also be cool. When the bus ran through the tunnels, it was almost dark with just little dim lights. The windows were open and it was dusty everywhere, plus we heard the noise of the bus. The gorge zigzagged up the valley and then down. It was enjoyable to look through the little windows the abyss underneath.

After around three hours we arrived Chimbote, where we saw fish markets, but it seemed a holiday and they were closed. We took off to Trujillo to visit another civilization even earlier than Inca.

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