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 cliché rings true. We take each day as it comes: planning routes; checking maps; finding somewhere to stay, something to eat and something to do. And in so doing, the grand, multi-continental trek that took shape on our drawing board becomes a jumble of day rides, the majority of a wholly unremarkable distance.

For keen cyclists, 100km – or 62.5 miles, as we used to call it before we started touring through metric-minded countries – doesn’t constitute much of an achievement. At home, we might pop out on a Sunday morning, ride a 60-mile there-and-back into Essex and still be back in the city for lunch. One hundred 100km rides, though, is a pretty fair shift, especially when you’re hauling your life around with you.

We haven’t yet done a ton of tons, but we have at last managed its equivalent. On Good Friday, at the edge of the riverside railroad town of Mariscal Cáceres, our odometer finally ticked over into five figures. A long way, and it was fairly satisfying to chalk it there in the fading light near the end of an exhausting day, but that isn’t the half of it. Literally – our best guess is that we’ve got at least another 12,000km to go.

We don’t write much about cycling on this journal, mostly because we think that to the dispassionate reader, it’s probably the least interesting part of our journey. But, of course, we wouldn’t have a journey about which to write were it not for our bicycles, which define everything from the pace of our progress to the state of our health. It can be hard work, and not always as enjoyable as we think we make it sound. And we wouldn’t do it any other way.

from Huancayo, 12, Peru