Between these two mining cities lies the large plain of Lago Junín, the highest-located lake in the world. It is endless space stretched out to the mountains on the far horizon, yellow dust under a blue sky, white and blue gleaming of the water surface surrounded by browsing alpacas and chirping birds.
I crossed the void to Huallay with its famous bosque de piedras, animal-shaped rocks, and the next day back on a dirt road via Pari to Ondores, a lonesome village at the lake. The longly threatening tempest caught me there, but just at the right moment, I got a ride to Junín: Tito and Shannon, an american volunteer for the local ecologic lake organization, loaded my bike on their four by four truck and drove me the 20km alongside the lake banks, beautifully covered with pink flamingos. It was still so cold that my hostal’s landlord supplied hot-water bottles for the night.