Peru Archive

Titicaca etc

It wasn’t quite what I had planned for the road ahead, however there are far worse ways to spend an afternoon than introducing a ten year old Aymara lad to the delights of skimming stones on the shore of Lake Titicaca, not to mention enjoying other ten year old things, reminiscent of my own childhood, such as getting filthy scrambling up and down loose cliffs, messing in old boats and so on. The sort of …

Cusco Streets

It can be quite hard to deal with a forced change of plan sometimes, especially when coming to terms with dropping some bits that would have made for some really, really great, albeit very high, cold and difficult riding. As such my morale was quite low on arrival in Cusco. I hadn’t planned to come here again and all I could see initially was the degree to which the place has become defined by tourism …

Bits and bobs, and other stuff

A few remaining bits and bobs of street photography from Ayacucho. I finally left early on Sunday morning to arrive a day and half, and three collectivos/buses later in Cusco. I hadn’t planned to visit Cusco again but thanks to bronchitis and the time spent trying to recover it felt like the only place to head to. From Ayacucho buses seemed to mostly go to Lima.. or Cusco, direct or with various vias depending on …

Mi Familia Ayacuchana

With the exception of a few incidents, best forgotten, in Ecuador years ago, the people of South America have, over the years I’ve been visiting, been unfailingly awesome. So welcoming and ready to bring a lone bicycle traveller into their lives, especially here in Peru. It’s for that reason mainly that I realised that, no matter what happens with my chest, I must stay as long as I can. Things are much better, I have …

A little bit of Ayacucho

So very different to the quiet towns and villages of the highlands; noiser, grittier, busier,  Ayacucho at times feels a little overwhelming to someone more used to the quiet places. There is good food, coffee, and cake however which helps enormously. It is a very different environment for street photography… I find it quite distracting and confusing, and the light doesn’t have the quality of the highland towns. Still, I’ve had a crack since I …

Huancavelica to Ayacucho

Apparently it’s possible to go all the way from Huancavelica to Ayacucho on asphalt. My bike however is not really suited to travel on asphalt and I do very much prefer the dirt, it’s more interesting albeit harder going… especially when it’s tipping it down with rain and the dirt turns into thick, gloopy mud…. I lost track of how many days I was in Huancavelica hoping for the bronchitis to improve, in the end …

A Huancavelica Portfolio

Most folk are familiar with the Peru described by evocative Inca ruins, traditional Quechua & Aymara cultures and so on. There is also the Peru that is simply regular life for the inhabitants of the towns, villages, and ‘campo’. I was fortunate enough to explore that former aspect many years ago, beginning all the way back in 1998, and while I still find it interesting and attractive, I find myself more compelled to explore the ‘ordinary …

The Empty Quarter… Laraos to Huancavelica

Technically “The Empty Quarter” applies to the Rub’ al Khali desert on the Arabian Peninsula, however I’m going to use a little creative license and use it to describe the last few days on my bike from Laraos; it could equally apply to parts of Bolivia and the Puna de Atacama in northern Chile and Argentina so I reserve the right to use it again. As usual I’ll use pictures rather then a tedious narrative to …

Jauja to the Peru Divide

The Carretera Central is Peru’s primary road that crosses the Andes from Lima, heading east to the Amazon, and with spurs off to various centres north and south. As such it is horribly busy and a miserable experience for the cyclist, best avoided. I suspect not many folk are aware however that there is a “Carretera Central Antiguo”.. as it says, the old Carretera Central. I imagine it has largely  disappeared or been paved over …

Purple Brolly

A final few bits and bobs of street photography from Jauja. I’m well enough I think to sling a leg over my bike and hit the trail at last, tomorrow, or at a stretch Sunday. Next stop is Huancavelica I think, about 350km of dirt, and around 8900m of climbing away. It’s been nice to get to know a few faces around town, and of course I always enjoy opportunities to hang out with a …

Jauja street photography

Dé-Jauja-vu

There is a long distance bus company in Jauja called Apocalipse (sic), the choice of such a name is, I suspect, not intended to be ironic*.. but it could be given the statistics for Peru’s notoriously dangerous mountain roads. I’m glad to be able to travel largely off-piste on a bicycle. Not just yet however as enjoying the interiors of Peru’s rural medical centres seems to have become something of a theme over the last …

Jauja

Jauja, pronounced “How-ha” is a small town in the central highlands east of Lima. Being just a seven hour bus ride from Lima, tiny by Peruvian standards, and sitting at an altitude of 3400m (11,200ft) in the fertile Mantaro valley it seemed like a good place to come and sit on my arse while acclimatising to the altitude and collecting my thoughts for the onward journey. I did not know this until after I arrived …

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 for now. It is almost lunch time too. I’ve been in Arequipa almost a month now, not quite sure where the time has gone but …

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. I am still in Arequipa. Chest bug is improving, albeit slowly, but happily the Spanish classes have been brilliant. I’m having my grammar issues sorted out …

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 valley at 3660m (12,010ft) the climate felt pretty nice, and sufficiently benign to support some proper tree growth. The first proper trees I’d seen for a …