After a long challenging day yesterday, I was looking forward to a short easy ride and an extra day of in Ayachuco.
Looking back at the mountains I had ridden through yesterday. The 50km to Ayacucho from Huanta was all paved and easy ride. I was stopped 3 seperate times by the police for seemingly no reason. Just the usual; where are you coming from, where are you going, how big is the engine, how much does it cost, etc. At one of the stops, I had my first and also the most lazy attempt at a bribe from a cop so far on this trip.
Cop: “Do you have any dollars?”
Cop: “Can you give me some money?”
Cop: “Okay..” and he walks off.. WTF? 😕
It was worth a laugh I suppose.
I ride into Ayacucho and after 40 minutes of riding around the main historic area I find a good hostel. I get settled in and spend the rest of the day just hanging out. Ayacucho is where the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), a Maoistguerrilla insurgent terrorist organization, called home back in the 1980’s. They are still active today although much less compared to 10-20 years ago. The city of Ayacucho is considered an ’emergency zone’ by the Peruvian government and explains why I saw so many police along the road. As usual, I had no problems and never saw anything out of the ordinary. I was warned not to venture outside the city at night.. not that I would anyways even if it was considered a safe(er) place.
The next day was reserved for more downtime and getting the pannier bracket fixed. A local guy recommended a moto shop a few blocks away, so I brought the bike there to get fixed. The guys there were great and excited to work on this beast of a bike. Surely, they’ve never had a bike this big before in their shop. An hour and 30 soles ($10) later and the pannier bracket is fixed, along with the bike having been washed. Great.