ruthwall-1600

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 leads 13-5)
Broken spokes 2 (total 4; all Will)
Touring cyclists encountered 4 (total 45)
Best breakfast Blessed with a gorgeous valley location, Hacienda La Florida is both a lovely hotel and a working farm, which means daisy-fresh milk, cheese, eggs, butter (incredible), yoghurt and raspberries decorate the table each morning
Worst hill Surprisingly, not the abovementioned 2,100m all-day climb out of Huánuco to Punta Unión, a beautiful ride on a gorgeous day. By comparison, the shorter grind up to the town of Cerro de Pasco – headwind, torrential rain, drivers horrendous even by dismal Peruvian standards – was much less fun, not least because Cerro de Pasco turned out to be the ugliest place we’ve visited in quite some time (more on this shortly)
Ice cream of the month This article from Correo, one of Peru’s daily papers, suggests the ice creams served at Qasaj in Huánuco are good for your health; we don’t know about that, but the fruity varieties are quite tremendous
Jettisoned en route A few clothes, Ruth’s flip-flops and some camping spares, plus two rather different history books (and how nice it was to read on paper for a change): ‘A Brief History of Peru‘ by Fernando Rosas (in a rather clumsy translation; we half-wished we’d tried our luck with the Spanish-language original, at least until we realised we’d still be struggling through it in 2017), and Eduardo Galeano’s epic polemic ‘Open Veins of Latin America
Lost in transit Ruth is inconsolable after losing her favourite knickers; by comparison, a single black sock left in a hotel room hasn’t been too badly missed
Biggest mystery Could that really have been a Stradivarius?
Biggest surprise Despite being assailed near-constantly by the snarling bastards, we’ve still suffered only one Peruvian dog-bite between us

from Huallanca, 02, Peru