October Early Weekend

Thursday morning dawned filthy wet and misty, the forecast promised better however so when the rain began to ease around midday, and with the encroaching winter very much in mind, camping gear, food, and fishing clobber was hastily thrown at bikes for a cheeky early weekend at a favourite spot just… more »

Local Trails

I find that when I have a difficult coding problem inspiration often comes from entirely unrelated activities… I’m in a cafe on the plaza in Arequipa this morning writing code which is of course why I’m playing with pictures and scribbling a quick blog post. Well, that is my excuse… more »

Anything But

I have homework, as well as some proper work – you know that stuff that earns £, to do this afternoon so of course I am doing anything but. Hence this post and only because I have a couple of pictures kicking around that may, or may not look pretty…. more »

Village Life

… following on from yesterday’s post I stopped for a couple of days in the small town of Santo Tomas.  I found it quite an interesting place, it had a bit of a Wild West feel.. something to do with the artfully crumbly buildings, and the hats. Situated in a… more »

On from Espinar

It’s been a while so I think I will split this into two posts… one today and one tomorrow. When I last wrote I was in Espinar and planning a slightly easier route for a while in the hope that it would help me get rid of the lingering chest… more »

Dia de la Bandera – A Photo Essay

Something I’ve noticed about clouds and silver linings is that those linings often manifest themselves in quite unexpected ways. Yesterday, the 7th June, was Peru’s national Flag Day, Dia de la Bandera. The day commemorates the Battle of Arica, fought on June 7, 1880 between the forces of Peru and… more »

Onwards and Upwards…

.. at last. I was able to leave Chivay after just over 2 weeks of convalescence so to speak. Still not 100% and with a persistent chesty cough I decided I was going anyway. I did however take it easy on the first day, just cruising gently back up the… more »

Onwards… perhaps

Hopefully this will be my last post from Chivay. It has been two weeks and I feel at something of a crossroads. Yesterday I went for a short spin up the valley on my unloaded bike, just to see how I was… I was OK, but not brilliant. My chest… more »

A little bit more Chivay

One is still in Chivay. It’s been a week now. The last couple of days I have been navigating the apparent chaos of the Peruvian rural healthcare system, and, having found my way around it I’ve been really happy despite ending up with a large, and somewhat painful needle in… more »

Chivay

… not unexpectedly, some street photography from Chivay. It’s a lovely little town and so far being forced to stick around hasn’t been a chore, rather the opposite.. although I am having periods of low morale as the days tick by and I still feel weak and chesty…  But as… more »

Arriba…

It was a bit of a late start leaving Arequipa… one last leisurely coffee then a chase around the steep suburbs above the city in search of a ferreteria selling stove fuel (‘ron de quemar’.. essentially ‘rum to burn’ – otherwise known as meths.. at least in the UK), by… more »

Arequipa… part 2

We delayed departure from Arequipa by a day to spend a little more time exploring what is a rather wonderful town. There are a ton of riding photos and stories from the road to come tomorrow, I have my feet up in Chivay today, but this set I think are… more »

via Arequipa

Hitting the road tomorrow so now seemed like a good opportunity to sling up a quick post with some pics. In Arequipa at present in the south. I had thought I might go north to begin with but the wet season seems to be lingering much longer up that way… more »

Some Two-Wheeled Stuff

One hasn’t felt particularly inspired to write recently, I have a large mug of tea and packet of jaffa cakes by my side right now however so perhaps now is the time to pull my socks up and finger out. As far as the weekend on two wheels goes I’m… more »

Moving on to Malaga

Moving on from Córdoba was a little difficult, I’d found a terrific little place to stay (http://mayflowershostel.es, recommended), made the acquaintance of some nice folk, and really liked the atmosphere of the town. I  fell into quite a nice little routine of morning coffee at a street café that somehow merged… more »

Córdoba

It is just 140km from Seville to Córdoba by the most direct route, my route however took me into the northern sierras of Andalucia for a few days before heading back south. It rained for four days in Seville but I left town on dry roads albeit under leaden skies…. more »

Sevilla en la Lluvia

It is pouring with rain in Seville. An escape from the Cornish winter seemed like a good idea, I had a cheap flight to use, felt a need for some sunshine and, with a two-wheeled return to the Andes imminent, some solid miles on a bike could be useful… It was sunny… more »

Bicycle book-ending

Every year around this time, well.. always on the 24th, around lunchtime, to be precise, I load my bike and pedal east to the ‘ancestral home’ for a couple of days. I find the bike ride there and back makes a terrific, and deeply satisfying ‘book-end’ to a lovely family… more »

Revisiting Summer

Having been utterly lacking with regard to motivation to write anything recently I thought I might make the effort to tell a very brief story of a regression to the summers of my childhood. Not that I ever grew up or anything it’s just that those warm summer days with… more »

Bikepacking: A Book Review

A few weeks ago I received a copy of a rather nice new book from Wild Things Publishing, the background being that there is a little bit of my photography between the covers – but really only a very tiny amount and it is, quite rightly, lost amongst the rather splendid… more »

Summer Nights

Just a couple of snaps from the just past weekend local ‘adventure’ with friends. I was going to include them as part of a post I’m working on that, for once isn’t about me, ha, and that also, for a change, requires me to think a little about what I’m… more »

A quick spin north

When I last wrote the long range forecast suggested a weather window might form for a sea kayak journey to explore the uninhabited islands and islets that form the most southerly limits of the Outer Hebrides. With a few days in hand in the meantime I decided to hop on my… more »

Back on Barra

I’m back on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides for a bit, visiting friends and renewing my acquaintance with this rather wonderful corner of the world. Some folk may remember I spent a summer out here working as a sea kayak guide for local operator Clearwater Paddling (http://www.clearwaterpaddling.com)…. more »

Patagonia

I’ve been  thinking about Patagonia an awful lot recently, and not just because it’s a damp, grey January… There is a little place inside my heart that has Patagonia in it.. I can feel a tug there every time I think about the place. In 2016 I feel as if… more »

A quick trip east

Panniers clanking with bottles of alcohol while pedalling east on the squally afternoon of the 24th to spend Christmas at the ‘ancestral home’ I was treated to some fabulously stormy late afternoon light across Gerrans Bay.. and a stunning moonrise on arrival that just goes to show that it’s always better by bike. Even… more »

Post-Himalayan Apathy…

It’s always ‘challenging’ returning home after a decent adventure but this time seems to have been, or rather ‘is’, particularly difficult. All I can think about it is the mountains – nothing new there – accompanied by a crippling apathy with respect to what passes for normal life. I’m tired too…… more »

A little bit of Delhi

I had a little bit of time in Delhi… I found street photography quite difficult. Despite the obvious potential it is the sort of place that completely overwhelms the senses… the noise, the crowds, the oppressive heat (at least at this time of year), the bad air (apparently now the most… more »

Spiti etc

Other than the 60km asphalt cruise down the valley to Kullu the riding for now is essentially over, I’ll be back in the UK next week. Sadly. I am already missing the peace and solitude of the high mountains despite the luxuries on offer here. As I write I’m in… more »

The Hindustan-Tibet Highway

‘Highway’ is probably being quite generous, for much of it’s length it is little more than a rough dirt track blasted out of the steep mountainsides and ravaged by landslides and rockfalls. It’s brilliant. A number of times rockfalls dropped within 200m of me… it pays to keep moving and… more »

Transitions…

I’m really happy, got my Inner Line Permit. It had been on my mind a little because I kept hearing and reading all sorts of conflicting information regarding the application. As a solo traveller I would not have been able to get the permit from the government offices in Shimla… more »

Jalori La

Before I left home, and knowing there would be some significant stretches of asphalt, I did have a few brief doubts about whether the Surly ECR was the best tool for this journey… The Jalori La dispelled any remaining doubt about that, from the north side its final 15km or… more »

On the road again (again)

It’s taken me 12 years to return to this part of the world on my bike mainly because of the journey to get here, it’s not a long flight, about 9hrs, but it’s followed by a 14-15hr drive (overnight bus or taxi) from Delhi on some terrible roads to reach… more »

An ECR + Tubus Vega post

There is a liberal scattering of posts and articles around the internet with regard to fitting a rack to a Surly ECR, especially with regard to my favourite rack.. a Tubus Vega (you can tell already this is going to be a dry post can’t you.. non-cyclists can probably switch… more »

Lightweight bike touring gear list..

Over time gear changes (mostly gets lighter), personal philosophy changes, bikes change and as a consequence so does my packing list for a bike trip. The last time I wrote one (in 2011, here) it represented a pretty heavyweight outfitting for a long, partly off-road journey featuring mountains, deserts and… more »

Dirt road touring / bike-packing Crete

I thought that, for once, I could perhaps make myself useful and scribble a general info flavoured post with info on maps and stuff  – especially given that Crete is such an accessible, cheap to fly to destination (at least for those of us in Europe :-) ) with some absolutely… more »

Archanes etc

I could quite happily have spent a week on the Lasithi Plateau… however with a flight on Wednesday it seemed like quite a good idea to arrive back in Heraklion (or rather the western beach suburb of Amoudara) on Tuesday afternoon leaving time for packing bikes, enjoying a post-ride beer… more »

Lasithi

After 9 days of riding without a break a rest day was in order…I’m lucky in that the temperatures have to be to closer to 40 degrees before I’m affected too much but even so the relentless climbing was beginning to take a toll. I would have liked one last… more »

To the east…

It’s warm… as I rolled up my tarp at 8am this morning on the little patch of sand on which we spent the night my thermometer was already showing 30 degs C… and by 2pm this afternoon it was above 34 degs in the shade… about 10 degs warmer than… more »

Psiloritis Traverse

Got some late afternoon shade and a mug of tea here in Zaros so time for a quick blog post I think.. it’s been a terrific couple of days, albeit hard ones, crossing the Psiloritis mountains. Legs were really quite stuffed this morning so basing ourselves in the quiet little… more »

A quick post beer post…

Oh it’s so good to be on the road again, albeit just for a quick trip. Having arrived quite late last night into Heraklion today was reserved for things like getting up late, drinking beer in the sun while looking at maps, putting bikes together, finding supplies and so on…. more »