Whereabouts (South America):
The world's longest climb? - Cycling the Alto de Letras

The world’s longest climb? – Cycling the Alto de Letras

The internet has lent certain cycling routes in South America an iconic quality. Websites such as Cass Gilbert’s joyful While Out Riding, Anna Korschak’s faintly elegaic A Thousand Turns and Neil & Harriet Pike’s encyclopaedic Andes by Bike serve as renegade guidebooks for cyclists in search of the continent’s most breathtaking rides, marrying beautiful photography...
¿Cuidado?

¿Cuidado?

Ask a European to name an event from Colombia’s history, and there’s a good chance they’ll mutter something about the assassination of footballer Andrés Escobar after the national side’s exit from the 1994 World Cup. Although it occurred 20 years ago, the murder of Escobar still goes a long way towards defining Colombia in the...
Month 12

Month 12

10 June – 9 July 2014 Have we really been gone a year? Apparently so. Thank you for reading this far. Countries Ecuador & Colombia (total 9) Distance 1,089.02km (total 13,591.79km) Climb 20,234m (total 126,163m) Longest day 96.49km, Latacunga to Quito in Ecuador (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 67.4kmh (fastest so far: 67.4kmh) Punctures...
Boing - Riding the Trampolín de la Muerte

Boing – Riding the Trampolín de la Muerte

A 64km stretch of dirt in north-eastern Bolivia, the Carretera de los Yungas is widely regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous roads. Hundreds have died on this treacherous highway, for years the only road linking La Paz with the city of Coroico. Dispiritingly, upwards of a dozen businesses now make lucrative capital from...
Pause for breath

Pause for breath

While you’re presumably being guided through Argentina v Switzerland in relative comfort, this is the commentary we’re currently having to decode on Colombian television, courtesy of a chap named Javier Fernández. (Stick with it. The first minute or so turns out to be a warm-up for the rest.) It’s rather like being stuck inside a...
Snaps - June 2014

Snaps – June 2014

Aside from yesterday’s lengthy Quito post, we haven’t written much here about our month in Ecuador. We suspect our typically ordinary photographs may not illustrate quite how much we enjoyed it, but enjoy it we did. (As always, you can find past posts in this monthly ‘Snaps’ series by clicking here.)     As soon...
In Quito

In Quito

It sometimes surprises us how many of the cycle tourists we meet regard Latin America’s big cities as obstacles to overcome or annoyances to avoid. It shouldn’t, perhaps. Not everybody is as predisposed towards city life as this pair of Londoners; indeed, many riders are drawn to Latin America chiefly for the opportunities it affords...
Colombia 2, Uruguay 0

Colombia 2, Uruguay 0

Before     During     After     from San Juan de Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Crossing the line

Crossing the line

In alphabetical order: Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Kenya, the Republic of the Congo, São Tomé & Príncipe, Somalia and Uganda. The Equator runs through the land masses of 11 countries (though not, curiously, Equatorial Guinea). Ecuador, however, is the only one named after it. Several hundred years ago, it...
It's all in the game

It’s all in the game

Watching on television in rural Ecuador, the World Cup looks the same as it presumably does back in London. But, of course, it sounds a little different: Or, as David Coleman would have put it, ‘3-1.’ We suspect we may be hearing rather more of this sort of thing in the coming weeks. (Related: ten...
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:...