Riding with Dinosaurs

The Cordillera Blanca never ceases to impress. If it’s not impossibly spiky peaks, or alpine lakes, then it’s…dinosaur prints by the road.

Fields near Paso del Mojon

Our first route back in the area began near Conococha, from where it’s a short climb to Paso del Mojon. On the descent are these patchwork fields in villages near the Cordillera Huayhuash.

Fields near Paso del Mojon

We raced the Cruz del Sur bus down from the pass, and lost.

Pachapaqui, near the Cordillera Blanca

This is Pachapaqui, a typical Ancash mountain road-side village. We passed through on the climb to Yanashalla.

Dinosaur prints! On the road to Antamina

After Yanashalla comes the really cool stuff. We knew there were dinosaur prints by the road, but didn’t realize they’d be this big!

Ruta de los Dinosaurios

Further along are some more prints. About hand-sized we reckon…

Dreich February in the Cordillera Blanca

February isn’t the best time to be in the Peruvian mountains. Most afternoons the weather is kinda dreich…

Laguna Canrash

But there’s still a lake around every corner. This is Laguna Canrash. Lots of good rock climbing in these parts.

The road to Antamina

These lakes near Antamina would’ve made for good camping, had it not been chucking it down.

Workers at the Antamina mine

In the afternoon on the second day we made it to Antamina, Peru’s biggest mine. These are three of the many thousands of workers employed there.

Antamina - Peru's biggest mine

And this is just a small part of the excavation work – the scale of it has to be seen to be believed.

Giant trucks in Antamina!

The machinery is pretty big too. Disappointingly we didn’t see any of these bad boys…

Climbing to Abra Antamina

But we did get more mine views on the short sharp climb to the 4500m pass before San Marcos. From the pass came a muddy 1500m descent down to town in the rain, which ate up all our brake pads…

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