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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

January Pictures

January has been a somewhat uninspiring month; I saw a comment from my sister a couple of days ago saying how it “feels like the 194th of January”.. so I know it’s not just me.  Nearly at the end however and I should have some interesting “sewing of bike bags” news to… 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 »

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 »

Cajamarca Bits

Just a little bit more street photography from Cajamarca. I love street photography… just hanging out with a 35mm lens and watching life go by. The sort of pictures that just happen and sometimes need to be looked at for more than a moment. I feel I need to go… more »

Superpowers

I had hoped I might at least acquire some superpowers, or a glow in the dark party trick as a consequence of being irradiated at a dodgy-looking backstreet x-ray clinic, one situated somewhat ominously next to a funeral parlour…. I looked at the label on the machine as the radiographer… more »

Déjà vu

I’m in Cajamarca in the north of Peru but it seems as if I am back where I was a year ago dealing with that really rather nasty chest infection. Whether it left me permanently more susceptible or never really went away I don’t know. I was chesty a lot… 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 »

January

January was the darkest winter month I can remember.. endless days of rain and gales.. riding in rain became the norm, I lost the motivation to get in or on the water…  moments of brightness were few and far between but they did happen. I dusted off my old film… more »

Year end pictures

Almost the last day of the year. It’s raining, as per normal, and for once I’m trying to be grown up by getting on with some of the jobs that need doing when you live in a 200+ year old heap of granite… like fixing, filling, and painting. Inevitably however things… more »

Godrevy Light

Built in 1858-59, essentially in response to the loss with all hands of the steamer SS Nile in 1854,  the lighthouse at Godrevy is very much a feature of life around here. Just down the road, Godrevy is the place I run, well.. ride, to when I need to {frequently} get away from… more »

Arequipa Flavoured

Just a few snaps from the past weekend by way of not doing my homework… ;-) It is a colourful town with plenty of life. I imagine there will be a few more at some point before too long…. It looks like I will be here a while, my chest… 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

A splash of sunshine

It turns out there is enough room and reason, just, to squeeze in one more post before the end of the year. Just pictures… the sun shone and the surf was pumping a couple of days ago so I caught up with a couple of my surf kayaking friends at… 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 »

December Mist

Just a single picture post. I’m trying to get a bit more in the habit of taking a camera for snapshots along with me when out riding, especially at this time of year when conditions can be interesting…  Yesterday morning was a perfect case in point… a chill, perfectly still winter morning with… more »

A Porto Portfolio

Very recently I had the opportunity, well, more of an excuse really, to spend a couple of days in Porto catching up with friends. It was super. As you might expect I also took a few snaps along the way. I imagine I wouldn’t be writing had I not done so…… more »

Last Days of Autumn

If used to the fall colours of the eastern US and Canada then autumn in the UK might, possibly, seem rather dull by comparison… but it isn’t really. The palette is just rather more subtle and subdued. I think it is quite beautiful, especially towards the close of autumn as the winter… more »

The return of winter skies

November seems to have brought winter with it in emphatic fashion after what seemed to be a mostly dry and sunny October… and that means the return of the stormy skies and dramatic lighting that I like very much…  I dashed down to the beach for an hour between storms… more »