Conflating two bike rides over the weekend on Saturday I decided to explore the South of Arquipa and to try to find the velodrome and an old building belonging to the Founder of Arequipa, variously described as between 7 and 11km South of town. The road out of town is pretty busy as it runs through an industrial park and leads to the main bus station. There is a steel mill churning out much of the bar used for concrete reinforcement. By dint of asking several people I eventually found the Velodrome, a pretty good open air venue in some need of repair but generally usable. There was little evidence of action although people said it was regularly used for competitions but not for training. Pity, I would have liked to have ridden it.
|el velodromo de Arequipa|
Again, trying to ask my way to my next destination I was mis-directed and ended up at the Palicio of Goyeneche. I gather this is a smaller edition of a colonial palace situated in Central Arequipa and attracting tourists interested in colonial arquitecture. At any rate this one was closed so instead I climbed some steep hills to Sachaca where there is a lovely colonial church and a mirador from where one can see across the surrounding countryside and city. I stopped for cheese ice cream which is an Arequipa speciality. Overall it was a pleasant but somewhat uneventful exploration of this part of the city's edge.
|Church at Sachaca, charming village with mirador|
|view from mirador|
The next day 26 cyclists of Team Inter set off for Tres Arbolitos at the foot of the volcano el Misti. Unfortunately the Volcanoe was covered in cloud . Nevertheless the trail up through the ditrict of Selva Alegre offered some good views of the city below and a gorge of about 500feet with the trail at its precipitous edge. Eventually, after around a 2 hour steep climb we reached the foot of a rocky hill of about 500 feet leading to a plataue where, surprisingly, grew some Australian Eucalyptus trees.
With the altitude and a chilly wind it was a pretty strenuous ride and climb, and arriving as we did strung out along the trail it was a long and cold wait for the final members of the group to come down the rocky climb.
By the time we left the descending cloud had reduced visibility significantly but notwithstanding we flew down the trail without mishap except for one of the adrenelin seeking downhillers parting with his bike on the final and steep decent whereby the bike travelled onwards and fell into a 10 foot deep hole and left him parked beyond the mound he had jumped. Luckily he was OK and passed it off as part of the 'downhill' experience.
Back in town we sought out a restaurant serving adobo, a sort of spicy pork dish of stew with a large chunk of fatty meet on the bone eaten with bread dipped in the stew. We drank Kola Esocesa a local brand of Kola supposedly originating from a Scottish family business.