Following the bread trail. (A stunning hike a bike through Villarica national park)

It turns out my version of purgatory is probably similar to our stay in Conaripe, a overpopulated shitshow of a town which was well on its way down the same road as Pucon. We would have probably slept better had we each taken a dozen caffeine tablets rather than dealing with the screaming kids running around and tripping over our tent until midnight. This combined with our previous day of riding had put us in a state of desperation, escape cottage country at all cost. Continue reading

Advertisements

Five month rollercoaster (summary of our time in Peru)

It seems like forever ago that we entered Peru. A lot of our, or more specifically Dan’s, time here was marked by illness. I would say that half the time in Peru we did not cycle due to sickness and waiting for new gear. Cycling itself though was fantastic, the amount of dirt roads you can find in the Andes is vast and the views are stunning. The climbs can be insane though, sometimes it’s 2000m up just to go all the way back down and then up again. Continue reading

Second time mugged in Peru (Puno)

A few of you may already know about our misfortunes in Peru. Not to make it sound like we’re an exception, we’ve met plenty of others who’ve had their fair share of trouble. I suppose it’s always a risk sharing a post like this, because I’m not one who likes to spread negativity. I think everyone’s trip is different and you should be your own judge when exploring a new country. Continue reading

Backroads and dog bites (Sicuani to Azangaro)

Having taken the highway from Checacupe to Sicuani made us yearn for dirt again. Unfortunately Dan’s over adventurous food exploration landed him with food poisoning and made him unable to continue. After a rest day he still didn’t feel much better so we decided that I would ride the dirt section to Azangaro solo. Unsure as to whether the route fully existed due to some dodgy satellite imagery, I was in for an adventure. Continue reading

Bikepacking Ausangate (Wowsengate?)

Foul weather was upon us when we departed Tinke. The GPS was taunting us. Ausangate was only a few kilometres away, but the stormy sky prevented even our imagination from forming a view. Slowly we made our way up the foothills passing small communities filled with welcoming smiles. The rain and hail were relentless, and the cold environment summoned up memories of the Ecuadorian paramo. Nevertheless, we pushed forth.
Continue reading

Snow to sweating (Bikepacking the Salkantay Pass)

The Salkantay trail is offered to trekkers as a more challenging alternative to the classic Inca trail. It was a year before our trip began that I first saw Joe Cruz’s blog about bikepacking the Salkantay route. It obviously stuck in my mind. Feeling a bit lazy, Gina and I were torn as to whether or not to burn straight through to Cusco or give it a go. The nice thing about riding a fatty is that it guilt trips you whenever you try and cop out of a challenge. Boring asphalt is wasted rubber.
Continue reading

Peru’s Great Divide (Huancavelica to Abancay)

I thought it was finished. Take the medicine and the problem goes away, right? Turns out Giardia is pretty complex, and down here it’s developed quite a resistance to the standard treatment of metronidazole.

You can imagine my frustration when I awoke to the familiar symptoms of this terrible parasite worming its way through my stomach. Continue reading

Constant Awe (Huaraz to Oyon)

With my continuous sick lingering on, I was beginning to feel like a permanent resident at Joe’s place. Thankfully, I was in good company for my final days in Huaraz, as Paul was still kicking around working on his bikepacking project. I’d given up on finding a riding partner for Huayuash, but Lukas rocked into town at the knick of time. It’s rare to see cyclists travelling light, so when you do it’s pretty indicative that they’re looking to ride similar routes. The plan was made to ride south (obviously) and head east through Pastoruri Glacier, following up with a tidy little bikepack through the legendary Cordillera Huayhuash.

The gpx file for Huayuash can be obtained here.
Continue reading