Dust, Rain, and Snow. To Tupiza

After three days the blockade of Uyuni suddenly ended at around 6pm on Saturday evening. I’m not certain what, if any, resolution was achieved but I am certain that the increasingly peckish inhabitants were not entirely unhappy to see the back of it. The first indication that things were returning… more »

Uyuni

Having ridden the stretch between the Argentine border and Uyuni back in 2010 I had planned to take the train this time. There would have been one on Monday morning, however things rarely go to plan. Uyuni and the surrounding area has been in state of lockdown, general strike, since… more »

Lauca, Isluga, y Coipasa

During my time in Putre I got to know a group of engineers from all the way down south near Concepción. They were in town for a couple of weeks doing solar panel installations to power a new network of cellular antennae up on the altiplano. We drank beer and… more »

Putre etc

A small grid of quiet, dusty streets in the precordillera of northern Chile, the Aymara village of Putre sits about 75km west of, and at 3500m is 1.2 vertical kilometres below the remote Bolivia/Chile border post at Chungara. The population is somewhere around 1500 but to walk the streets is… more »

The Wild West

Happily the winds were not as bad as forecast and I only needed four (and a bit) days to cover the 260ish km to Sajama. It could have been five days but for the asphalt stretch between La Paz and Coro Coro; I was able to get 100km under my… more »

La Paz

Leaving town in the morning so I thought I would sling up a little bit of street photography from here in La Paz. The city is a very different place to the quieter towns and pueblos of the mountains and altiplano that I’m used to, I found it a very… more »

Via Condoriri

“Three nights you are staying, yes? Here you are..” said the girl at my hospedaje in Copacabana as, to my surprise, and to a degree, shock, she handed me three rolls of toilet paper… Bolivia being the place it is however perhaps her generosity was not entirely unjustified. I was… more »

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,… more »

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…. more »

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… more »

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… more »

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…… more »

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… more »

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,… more »

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… more »

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… more »

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… more »

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… more »

Dartmoor

Fear, I think, is one of the greatest obstacles to doing ‘stuff’ in life; fear of what might happen, or what people might think for example, whether it’s changing jobs, trying something new, or disappearing off for a bike ride “somewhere else”…. There has always been a little bit of… more »

Wayfarer Centenary Ride, and weekend

Should you delve into the annals of the history of cycling in the UK then you’ll find Cornwall doesn’t really feature at all. Historically little of two-wheeled significance happened here (a point on which I stand to be corrected), and major events rarely venture this far west. As such living… more »

Mental Health Loop

The town I live in has been, and still is, the butt of many jokes within Cornwall. With the collapse of the tin mining industry its fortunes declined dramatically and it became ripe fodder for jokes around the perceived lack of ‘sophistication’ of the heart of west Cornwall. It is… more »

Big Fat Dummy Fenders

When I was younger my cycling peers and I considered mudguards on a bike to be deeply uncool. From an early age my father was very fond of the idea that I should always have a sensible bike so it was much to his chagrin that mudguards would be removed… more »

Various

On reaching the mighty age of six my brother and I were given a small secondhand mono tape deck. It was my first exposure to music independence and, despite being extremely basic, was something I found completely marvellous. Along with it came a ‘ripped’ cassette with only a hand scrawled… more »

Big Fat Dummy

It took a whole year of procrastination and the opportunity to acquire one at a somewhat reduced price, but on reflection I think it was inevitable that it would happen; the possibilities for grin-inducing adventures aboard a fat-tyred, off-road cargo bike, not to mention just not having to use a… more »

Galloway Gravel: part 2

Back in Cornwall as of last night and I’ve completed my compulsory tasks for the day, essentially to eat breakfast, drink coffee, and go ride a bike for a few hours, so as promised here is the part two to the part one of a few days ago; also a… more »

Galloway Gravel: part 1

Aside from the riding itself one of the best things about bike touring is the sense of community around it and the valued friends made as a result. From time to time I get to host travelling cyclists in my home in Cornwall via the Warmshowers network for example, and… more »

A couple of days of Dorset

I recently caught up with @whileoutriding for a couple of days/nights exploring the trails of southern Dorset on two wheels with an emphasis on great pub and cafe stops, and a good opportunity to do some more bag testing. It’s a part of the world in which I’d not done any… more »

A fluff-covered heap

Do you remember as a kid you had, or might have had, those sticky rubber creepy crawlies you could fling at a window and watch them slowly creep their way down… this post is kind of one of those, entirely pointless with the exception that  the rubber toy is just… more »

Three Moors

Having been busy at the sewing machine recently the end results needed a decent shakedown ride so a riding buddy and I decided to take the published Two Moors bikepacking route and turn it into a Three Moors adventure by riding home via Bodmin Moor as well. Exmoor in particular… more »

Things

It’s been a while since being inspired to post. My professional services seem to be overwhelmingly in demand at the moment so when I don’t have to be in front of a screen I don’t want to be in front of a screen. There’s not much to say, really this post… more »

Seven and a half years

Not much of an anniversary.. rather that I’ve been in quite a reflective mood recently.. something to do with growing older perhaps… I wasn’t going to bother writing but it has been pointed out to me by folk more intelligent than I that there are people out there perhaps considering a… more »

N+1 = Big Bro

I’m really not on board with the way the bike industry is constantly inventing new standards for things under the pretence that the new standard is “better” than what came before.. much of it is a simple exercise in trying to convince the customer that the stuff they bought last… more »

Brother Cycles AllDay

For whatever reason I recently decided that I needed to build myself a new lightweight tourer, day-tripper, ultralight overnight bivy, commuter, go-fishing, take a picnic, audax, tracks & trails, just riding around in a t-shirt sort of a bike… so of course I did. Naturally in this context ‘needed’ nearly always… more »

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 »

Fish On

The last few years have seen me increasingly returning to riding my bike solely for the reasons that drew me to life on a bike as a child.. to explore, to escape, to have fun, to go camping.. and to go fishing. Something else I used to do an awful… more »

A Vintage Autumn

Arguments over whether it is late summer or early autumn aside, it is turning into a vintage season for blackberries. Apparently the summer was warm and damp while I was away, and this is the result. My Surly Cross Check makes a great tool for foraging with an old tub… 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 »