Monthly archive April, 2014
The mysterious case of the Italo-Peruvian violin

The mysterious case of the Italo-Peruvian violin

We recently found ourselves at a farm in central Peru. For several generations, the farm has been in the hands of an Italian family, one of numerous European clans that settled in the area during the 19th and 20th centuries after Peruvian independence, and enjoys a peaceful, river-valley setting. One of the possessions most prized...
Parish notices, April 2014

Parish notices, April 2014

In the unlikely event that you haven’t read enough ill-informed articles by us about South America, there are now a couple more elsewhere on the internet. We’ve recently contributed a pair of short pieces on Latin American football to Libero, a splendid new digital football travel guide run by our old friend, colleague and football...
Faith

Faith

The dismal lack of respect shown to the Inca Empire by their Spanish conquerors reached a zenith in the Peruvian city of Cusco. In the 16th century, when the Spanish arrived, Cusco’s central plaza was dominated by Kiswarkancha, reputedly one of the most impressive Inca palaces and a testament to the might and ingenuity of...
Round numbers

Round numbers

One of the curious things about embarking on an epic trip like this is that only before you’ve embarked on it, and presumably after you’ve returned from it, does it feel epic. When you’re in the middle of it, as we are, it’s surprisingly easy to lose sight of its scale. The old football manager...
Month 9

Month 9

10 March – 9 April 2014 Countries Bolivia & Peru (total 7) Distance 828.12km (total 9,725.28km) Climb 5,448m (total 69,383m) Longest day 138.77km, Sicuani to Cusco in Peru (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 66kmh Punctures 1 (total 17; Will leads 12-5) Touring cyclists encountered 5 (total 41) Boats 4 (total 25) Planes 1 (total...
Houses of the holy

Houses of the holy

We cycled to the village of Lampa chiefly to avoid lingering too long in Juliaca, a shambolic city that had the previous day been liberated from eight days of violent road blockades caused by striking miners. (‘Incomparable,’ sighed the owner of our hostal in nearby Puno, shaking his head. ‘A chaotic, windswept shithole,’ reckons a...
Snaps - March 2014

Snaps – March 2014

Another month’s worth of pictures from the road. For previous instalments, click here.     In the small towns and villages of southern Peru, we’ve regularly encountered eye-catching posters promoting shows by regional bands. These publicity stills generally show an unnecessarily large cluster of men wearing matching outfits and making, with a degree of uniformity,...