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 (total 20; Will leads 15-5)
Broken spokes 0 (total 4; all Will)
Touring cyclists encountered 17, all during our final 17 days in Peru; read about them here (total 62)
Largest number of people seen riding a single motorcycle Three people on one motorbike was a common sight in Peru, and four was rare but not unexpected – but five? Yes, it’s possible, just, as we saw somewhere near Trujillo; three were children and none was wearing a helmet
Best breakfast The morning spread at the utterly wonderful Casa Upano – tomatoes, melons, naranjilla juice and other items sourced from the gardens of the B&B; perfect tortilla; a vast bowl of papaya with granola, yoghurt and cinnamon; rice and pulses; chicken tamales; home-baked cornbread; and so on – is hall-of-fame quality
Worst hill The 28km, 1,300m climb from Acochaca to the hill above the valley village of Yanama would be only moderately tough in normal circumstances – but add torrential rain to an unpaved road that was already in poor condition and you have a proper slog
Ice cream of the month The small but beautifully located Cordillera Blanca town of Carhuaz has upwards of a dozen ice-cream parlours, each of which produces its own helados; the Heladería Virgen de las Mercedes, to which we were sent by our lunchtime waitress, proved a spectacular recommendation
Jettisoned en route Johanne from Brussels got quite the bargain when Ruth, who’s gradually been reducing her baggage from excessive to bijou, let her have her Alpkit down jacket for a mere $30
Lost in transit Ruth’s two buffs, AWOL after a laundry run, and yet another Ortlieb pannier-fixing insert; for something so popular, it’s astonishing how badly designed these things are
Biggest mystery Whether cycling-crazy Colombia, where we should arrive in a few weeks, will be more excited about the World Cup or the Tour de France
Biggest surprise The rapidfire impenetrability of the Ecuadorian accent

from Baños de Agua Santa, Tungurahua, Ecuador