Rides bikes, paddles sea kayaks, takes pictures. Life on the road & my home in Cornwall.
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 valley of the Rio Colca, back to Sibayo at just under 4000m and 36km away. As I cruised slowly up the valley I met an old gent on a chinese-made boneshaker riding in the opposite direction. We stopped to say hello. He asked what I was doing and where I was going.. so I told him. He sucked his teeth, rubbed his fingers together and stuck a finger in my chest, knife-like, and twisted it. The implication of course being that I would either be robbed or killed if I went there. It is the same the whole world over; ride through one valley and the people, lovely as they are, will tell you that the next valley is full of bad people that will kill and rob you… get to the next valley however, also full of lovely people, and they will express shock that you’ve cycled through the first valley without being robbed or killed, because you know, that valley is full of bad people.
It is great to be on the road again. I have had to replan my journey somewhat, as I write I’m finding that I’m still not 100% fit, the infection left me quite run down and I’m not recovering properly from hard days on the bike, so instead of a linear journey along remote, committing trails heading north I decided I needed to keep my options open a little better with choices for some more rest days and exits from the mountains if I find I need to. There will still be some deliciously remote, committing sections of a few days at a time but not for a week or two to give me a little more recovery time. I’m now engaged in something of a loop, taking in some areas I wouldn’t otherwise have visited together with a little more opportunity for the street photography I enjoy so much. The harder sections, visiting areas I badly want to see will come later in the journey, and eventually return me to Arequipa – a city that represents no hardship in revisiting. It also means I have to come back next year for a couple more months and finish the Peru Divide proper :-)
As I write I’m in the town of Espinar, also known as Yauri. I didn’t originally plan to come via here but I’m glad I did.. today is Peru’s Dia de la Bandera (Flag Day) and the town has been in full on party/parade mode. It’s been super. The next post will be dedicated to that however so all that remains is for me to tell the story of the last week or so in pictures as usual. There are rather a lot of them so I do apologise if this post is a bit slow to load… you might want to go and get a mug of tea or something.