Halloween in Urcos, Peru


Route Abancay, Peru – Urcos, Peru (3S, 3)
Distance 249Km
Travel Time 8 hours
Road Conditions Good asphalt, road damage before Cuz., dogs on Cuzco ascent
Weather Rainy before Cuzco
Terrain High pass, stunning river gorge, big ascent 55Km before Cuz. (dogs!)
Food and Petrol Frequent
Accommodation Hostal El Amigo, Urcos

Returning via the high mountain passes and river gorges between Nazca, Puquio and Abancay, we are again awed by the beauty of it all! The route from Abancay to Urcos is only 236Km but it takes us all day to cover it. We stop at every other corner to photograph the stunning mountains, the valleys and the magical river below.

In Cuzco we change some Soles for Dollars as we may need them in Brazil, but to avoid the high costs in this town we drive on to Urcos, a small town about 25Km further East.


Being sundown, we’re at first a bit unsure if it was a good idea to stop in this little town. It looks a bit run down and not a place that many gringos stop off for the night. However we soon find Hostal El Amigo just off the Plaza (40PEN/dbl), which has a spacious clean room for us and very friendly management; and of course the all-important secure bike parking space out back.



We go out, walk the streets a bit and then have a beer in a restaurant overlooking the plaza. When we leave we head towards a little grocery store next door to realize that hundreds of kids are queueing to get into the place, all of them dressed up in halloween costumes. The shop keeper has big boxes of biscuits and sweets and every child receives a bit into their little basket. It’s really a spectacle. Didn’t know it was halloween – nor that halloween was even celebrated here.



Ebru has a great idea: we buy a couple of big bags of sweets ourselves and Ebru then goes up along the queue, giving out sweeties to the kids. They go wild. She nearly gets mobbed by little fairies and spidermen, their mothers holding them back, trying to keep them in mannerly order. I walk behind with the camera taking photos and filming all of this. Magnificent! The kids are so cute and of course so very excited to be dressing up and getting sweeties! We hand out about 400 sweets in total – we must have given one to every kid in the town.



This clearly results in lots of good Karma, because our following morning’s early departure is delayed when, during an oil top-up in the hostel courtyard, the fully loaded bike takes a drop on its side and the open oil sump spills out most of its contents. (Thankfully the hosts are really cool about it though). Being Sunday – conveniently – it takes me a good deal of time and energy to find a suitable replacement oil, a baking hot walk to the edge of the town. We finally hit the road near midday! This Karma business is not really working out for us I think…