Peru
Parish notices, January 2015

Parish notices, January 2015

Sooner or later, every cyclist touring South America enjoys a virtual encounter with Neil and Harriet Pike. Enthusiasts and evangelists for high-altitude cycling, hiking and climbing, the British couple are responsible for Andes by Bike, a definitive database of mountain routes in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina that’s become an online Bible for any cyclist...
South America redux

South America redux

click here for a larger version of the map Continents 1 Countries 9 Nights 408 Days of cycling 186 Distance 15,297.62km Climb 148,577m 100km days 49 Punctures 23 Broken spokes 4 Chains 5 Touring cyclists encountered 66 Passport stamps accumulated 56 Bottles of sunscreen used 8 Socks lost 3 Headphones broken 5 Hospitals & medical...
Month 11

Month 11

10 May – 9 June 2014 Countries Peru & Ecuador (total 8) Distance 1,608.68km (total 12,502.77km) Climb 22,730m (total 105,929m; Will commemorated the 100,000m landmark on a traffic pole using a Sharpie; pictured above) Longest day 138.12km, Chuquicara to Trujillo in Peru (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 64.1kmh (fastest so far: 66kmh) Punctures 2...
Straight into the confectionery stall and out again

Straight into the confectionery stall and out again

In ‘Mountains of the Mind‘, an elegant cultural history of our relationship with the world’s tallest peaks, Robert Macfarlane explores a concept that, embodied in a single word, is key to understanding our attitudes to epic summits. The concept, writes Macfarlane, ‘revolutionised both the perception of wild landscapes and contemporary attitudes to fear’. He continues:...
Snaps - May 2014

Snaps – May 2014

A dozen or so photos from the digital equivalent of the cutting-room floor. Clicking on any image will improve the resolution, but sadly won’t improve the quality of the photography. For past months in this ‘Snaps’ series, click here; and find literally hundreds more where these came from on our Flickr page.     The...
Forks

Forks

From Huaraz, the main gateway town to the astonishing Cordillera Blanca, there are two main ways to reach Loja, the first city of any consequence in southern Ecuador. If you turn right after Yuracmarca, you’ll take a winding mountain route through Cajamarca and historic Chachapoyas before crossing the border on to a badly maintained road...
¿Algo más para beber?

¿Algo más para beber?

Following Ruth’s recent piece on Peruvian food, here’s what we’ve been drinking on our way around the country. (If you’d like to know what we drank in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, click here.)     Café Like Brazil, Peru grows a lot of coffee. The selva (jungle) region provides the perfect climate both for...
Eat this

Eat this

I’m in a shared colectivo taxi stuffed with hands of bananas, sacks of rice, bike panniers and two other passengers, both dozing. Today’s route, which begins with a 2,200m climb up a giant cleft of a valley into ragged highlands, is too much for me, so I’m taking public transport while Will rides. His journey...
The ups and downs

The ups and downs

The road north we chose to take from Huancayo after Semana Santa winds its way up to an altitude of 4,150m. It was a bleak peak when we reached it on a windy Tuesday a few weeks ago; most Tuesdays are windy up here, and these are not the sort of winds you’d be glad...
Month 10

Month 10

10 April – 9 May 2014 Countries Peru (total 7) Distance 1,168.81km (total 10,894.09km) Climb 13,816m (total 83,199m) Longest day 119.91km, Cerro de Pasco to Huánuco in Peru (longest so far: 160.11km) Climbiest day 2,124m, Huánuco to Chavinillo via Punta Unión in Peru Top speed 64.4kmh (fastest so far: 66kmh) Punctures 1 (total 18; Will...
Snaps - April 2014

Snaps – April 2014

Another bunch of photos taken during the last 30 days that didn’t fit anywhere else in this journal. Click on any image for a version in a higher resolution. There are many more on our Flickr page, which we’ve at last updated; or, for past months in this ‘Snaps’ series, please click here.    ...
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...