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WOW what a FANTASTIC drive thru Canon de Pato!!

When we left Trujillo we once again head into the highlands. We are heading towards the Canon de Pato (Duck Canyon) and the drive is spectacular!  We go thru a few small towns before we get to the beginning of the canyon.  I have read that this canyon has a lot of tunnels along the route.  But before we start we find a site to spend the night right next to the river.

Not a great shot taken thru the windshield but can't get over the size of this loads of sugar cane! Dragging on the ground!
Lots of sand dunes along the coast 

Then just desert

Now driving thru the mountains and liked the look of this rock in the river
Lots of cacti growing in the rocks
The mountain sides are very bare with loose rock
These rocks don't look very stable either!

A pedestrian bridge for the farmers to get to their crops and homes
One of the first small tunnels
Rain can make really deep crevices in the mountain wall

Found our site, couldn't get down to where the trees are so it was pretty windy where we are. Sat on the other side
Mountain across the river from us
Morning sun on the mountains 

We get an early start after having our coffee outside in the sun. Not to often have we been able to have coffee outside because it's either foggy as it was in Trujillo or misty.  We want to be in the small town of Caraz by noon. It's only 100km but as it turns out it still takes us 4 hours. Mostly due to going thru the canyon which has 35 tunnels that really slow us down. The tunnels are all single lane so have to make sure no traffic is coming the opposite way! And they are not all paved inside so its slow going thru. There are signs to beep your horn at corners and before going into tunnels.  Dwayne said that blowing the horn before corners really echos so should be heard by incoming traffic. We were luckily we never needed to find out - today being Sunday is probably why the road is not that busy. Plus I am happy that we are driving north to south because most of the time we are driving along the mountainside and not the cliff side!! 😰

Starting out to the canyon
Must be all the loose rock that makes this river so dirty
Beep your horn 😀
Between tunnels there is enough room to pull over if another vehicle is coming the other way
Beautiful waterfalls right next to the highway
Think they need to remove some of these rocks!
We are on the cliff side only for awhile before crossing the river and being on the mountain side :)
Some areas of this highway are 1000m above the river

Dwayne checking out a cave which wasn't very deep - it was opposite the dam so may have been used for something when it was being built in 1958
Hydroelectric dam along the route. The river must be high to have so much water run over the top and spillways
a couple of bikers getting ready to go thru the tunnel

Love the barrier - rocks to say the shoulder is soft don't drive there! 

Now we start seeing mango plantations

Found some pink peppercorn trees along the road so picked a few

Now will dry them out and crush when needed :)
Have never seen cacti like this flower before

Very pretty flowers
Before heading to Laguna Paron (4200m) we stop to buy some groceries in Caraz but only find the open market. So get a few veggies and then have a street vendor snack of papa rellana, which is mashed potato made into a roll with either meat or egg in the centre. They are about the size of a sausage roll.  They cost only S/1.50 each and served with some rice. As it turns out ours have egg inside but still taste good :)

Once finished getting our things we head to the lake.  The sign says 32km but the road is ROUGH and BUMPY and actually takes us 2 HOURS to drive it!! Half of the drive up is only one lane and when traffic is coming down it's alot of fun making room to pass!! When we finally get up to the lake  it's after 3:30 and I have a bad headache from the altitude - this time! LOL!!!  Even though the feeling of altitude sickness is similar to a bad hangover :(  So I make both of us some coca tea - even though Dwayne's symptoms of altitude sickness is only a dry throat and hoarse voice.  The tea seems to help a little.  We are spending the night here since it's to late to walk around the lake plus I don't feel like it.  I know I won't be going up to the viewpoint which is even higher!  We are the only ones staying up here other than a park ranger who stays in the hostel.  More of the beautiful Laguna Paron in the next blog - to many pictures to add to this blog 😄

Here is a video of going thru the tunnel - don't laugh to hard about our conversation - it is noisy in the van! LOL!!!!!!

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