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"Please enjoy responsibly"
Cycling Tourism: Mala Valley, Calango, Flores, Azpitia, etc.
Piscos and Wines.
Hello everyone: My wife and I love to travel by bicycle, so much so that we call ourselves "cycletourists." We usually leave the city to travel through rural areas that lead to beautiful towns and we travel to put ourselves in touch with nature, tradition, customs, food, and the products of each place we visit.
Last weekend we left on Friday afternoon in the Soyuz bus to Mala (90km south of Lima), and from there we traveled by bike through the Mala River Valley to Calango (approximately 25km), a picturesque and quiet town. We began to pedal around 5:30pm and soon it was night. So we pedaled through the night with our head lamps along a beautiful rural path, and passed through many towns: San Jose, Tutumo, Aymara, Correviento, etc.
Vehicular transit is very low, almost null, so the route was enjoyable and relaxing under the soft light of the moon. We arrived to Calango and we spent the night in a basic and comfortable hotel (bathroom included), with no advertisement in the street, but easy to locate across from the Church and to the right of the Rotisserie Style Chicken Restaurant (delicious rotisserie style chicken with excellent French fries). The next day, Saturday, after a delicious mixed juice beverage in Jugeria Yamile, located on a corner of a central plaza, we continued on bike along the left hand side of the river, with La Capilla as our destination (some 6km away), a small town where we found an interesting rocky formation, whose interior has a beautiful chapel along the banks of the river. Alongside the bridge, we found the pleasant farm-style restaurant El Paraiso where they serve excellent food, with fresh crawfish from their own farm.
After the delicious lunch, we returned in the afternoon to Calango, crossing the bridge via the right hand side, where we picked up our things from the hotel and we continued the decent to Mala. While the path became dark, we hoped to see the total eclipse of the mood that was to occur that night, but we couldn’t see anything, as the sky was totally cloudy after sunset. We spent the night in Mala, in the Plaza hotel, in front of the Central Plaza, which was a bad choice due to the noise all night. Mala is not a pretty town, and not very interesting. It is very congested, noisy, chaotic and contaminated, and the only thing that makes it worth it are the exquisite Mala Chicharrones.
Sunday morning we left on bike for Santa Cruz de Flores, some 4km north of Mala, where we found within the central plaza various places that offered rich and interesting local food: “spicy” and “sopa bruta” as well as wines made on location. After tasting them, we continued to Azpitia, some 3km away, which is a small town, located above an ample terrace some 15 to 20 meters above the right hand side of the Mala River, from which there is a spectacular view of the ample lower valley, which is the land of traditional producers of wine, Pisco and apple vinegar.
The Mala valley is rich in the production of fruits, especially apples, bananas and grapes. The traditional production of wine, Pisco and vinegar has become an attractive traditional industry. We purchased a bottle of wine and Pisco in every town we visited, as each has their own characteristic and particular flavor. So, we now have a small collection of the “fruit of the vine and the work of man”…If any of you would like to accompany us on our cycling tourism trips, you are welcome to! We believe that it would be wonderful to share our experiences with people who have the same interests and enthusiasm.