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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »