From Jaen where I did my last update it went straight up into higher terrain again. And on that way I’ve experienced some great hospitality. It was already late when I reached the little town of Santo Domingo de Capilla and I hadn’t yet spotted a perfect place to setup my tent for the night. I asked some locals who were sitting outside their house and they directed me to little dirt road going up a hill where I should be able to discover a nice flat grassy area. Indeed it was a perfect spot to camp and just in the moment that I started to pitch my tent I got company by a local and we started chatting. He was the owner of a nearby house and after talking for a while he invited me into his home for a coffee. He introduced himself as a coffee farmer and I was actually pretty curious how coffee farmers prepare their coffee as most of the little restaurants outside the tourist hot spots simply serve instant coffee. And luckily this was proper made coffee – not from an espresso machine of course but a really good pour over coffee. Quickly the living room filled with more and more people. I got introduced to the grand parents, other family members and even a neighbor with her daughter showed up. They wanted to know a lot about my experiences on the road and how I liked their country so far. As I was about to finally setup my tent, they extended the invitation to stay inside for the night. But the neighbor made an counter offer and argued, that she has more space in her house and so I ended up staying at her place for the night. When I left the next day they all came out of their houses again to say me goodbye.
Fueled with an enormous breakfast and the farmer’s coffee I started into the day and it went uphill on dirt roads for the first three hours that morning. And even though I made good progress I was quickly running out of energy that day. When I found a big football field next to the road at around 5pm I decided to stop and rest for the day at that place. As I was inspecting the place to find a level spot with exposure to the morning sun, two tuck tucks arrived with some young boys who wanted to play some football. They were also awaiting some opponents from another town to show up, but no one else showed up and so they were just kicking the ball a little bit while I had to answer a lot of curious questions. We were joined by another local and when it finally got dark and we stopped playing he invited me to stay at his place. His name was Adreano and he was pointing up the hill to his house and I thought it was close to the road. But as we started moving I quickly realized that we had to push up the bike through bushes and some very steep and rocky parts.
As we arrived at their little farm house we had dinner. His wife had cooked rice with potatoes and fried eggs. I got the biggest portion of all and even though I’m trained to eat a lot I had difficulties finishing it. The house were they lived with their 9 year old son was split into three parts: the sleeping room with TV, a big room were they raised guinea pigs (kuys) and which was also used for storage and the kitchen. After we were finished eating they invited me to the sleeping room. The wife was preparing the kids bed for me. I tried to intervene and offered to sleep on my mattress and use my sleeping bag but they insisted that I sleep in a real bed. For their son, they prepared a bed on the floor by placing some extra blankets there. And so I ended up sleeping in the same room and basically bed to bed with the family. I felt pretty humbled when I left the next morning. These people were some of the poorest I’ve met on my trip so far and still it was normal for them to invite me into their home, give me food and shelter. And I had actually nothing I could offer them in return.
From there it took me two more days to reach to the city of Cajamarca. It’s the town where the last Inca king Atahualpa was taking hostage and finally killed by the conquistadors. Here I enjoyed three days of rest and today I’m finally ready to head out again towards Huaraz. The next weeks in Peru will remain demanding.
Volkswagen Käfer everywhere in the city: