Oreos for Breakfast (Youca, Peru)

I can’t believe how far I’ve sunk.  For an ex-healthfood junkie to stand around in the desert watching her sons eating Oreos for breakfast…  Words fail me…

Yes – I was one of those whole grain eatin’, moccasin wearin’, organic spoutin’ granola types.  And now I hand my beloved boys Oreos and chocolate bars first thing in the morning.

To be fair, I had little choice.  I think I’ve mentioned before about how tough we are finding it in Peru to find semi-healthy food to carry with us on the bikes.  We pass restaurants on a fairly regular basis and can eat rice and chicken at those, but finding food to eat on the road is a struggle.  A big struggle.

Yesterday we ate everything I had with me when the town we were aiming for was one of those clearly marked, but non-existant towns our map is famous for.  When we finally arrived at a restaurant after 89 km of riding, I knew I needed to resupply my panniers.

But – just what am I to put in them when all they sell is rice, chicken, fried eggs, and Oreo cookies?

So I stood there in the barren desert this morning and guiltily handed my boys a bagful of Oreos for their morning meal.  We’ve come a long way from the days of tofu french fries and quinoa stew…

Kilometers today:  39

Kilometers to date:  19656

sunrise in the desert

We try to get a km or so off the road before camping, but that means we have to walk all the way back out in the morning.

Walking through desert

Green!  Plants! A sign of life in the desert!

plants in the desert

There was a fertile valley not far from where we ate lunch. They grow lots of onions there.

onion sacks



Our bikes are quite the oddity around here.  It seems like every person who walks be stops to look at them.

gawking at the bikes

These guys stopped to look at the bikes, then we ended up talking for a while.  They had been helping load onions onto a truck.

new friends

We pass through lots of towns like this.  They all look pretty much the same.

typical Peruvian town

By this point, the headwinds had really picked up.  We were going only 7 kph even on flat ground!  I have a very distinct feeling the next 300 km will be a s-l-o-w 300 km!

headwinds and sand

We couldn’t believe it when we rounded a corner and saw this green valley!  We decided to call it a day and checked into a hotel.

fertile valley

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel