latitude40.org
11 Apr 2015

This is the end...

The final shot for latitude40. It is time to say goodbye for just now... I fly back to Scotland on Tuesday the 14th, so no more blogging. This has been an adventure of a lifetime, and to be honest I would love to still be cycling my bike to the next place... But it's time to stop for now...
I'm not big into stats, but for those interested we cycled 7300 kilometres and climbed thousands of meters (don't know how many) on the bike we visited Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. The far north will have to wait for another time... Undoubtedly the best thing about this whole adventure was meeting the huge range of people both on the bike and off it. The kindness we were shown was immense and makes me want to open my house to travellers the same way they opened theirs for me. Thank you for following this blog, hope it inspired you to want to travel by bike, I can't recommend it highly enough! Goodbye for now...

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10 Apr 2015

Ipanama beach

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10 Apr 2015

Santa Teresa 'Art'

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9 Apr 2015

Rio!

After a 29 hour bus journey we arrived in sunny old Rio De Janeiro, this shot was from sugar loaf mountain. Rio is a stunning but complex city full of history and charm but with a real edge that is the result of the wide gap between the 'very rich' and the 'very poor'...

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8 Apr 2015

Up for the 'heid'

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5 Apr 2015

Easter Sunday with Riccardo and his family.

We had a great laugh swapping cultural dancing moves after a massive BBQ. We got shown Brazilian samba, while we gave them a rendition of the 'highland fling' and 'strip the Willow' (Scottish country dance)

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4 Apr 2015

Easter!

After visiting the falls on both sides of the border we settled into the Casa de Ciclistas on the Brazilian side at 'Foz'. The house was owned by Riccardo and the local cycling club called 'Associacão Cicilista Cataratas do Iguacu' of whom Lucciano was president. We were able to help out wrapping chocolates to give to local children at this community centre, and got invited to the presentations. It was interesting to see and meet the local children, the Easter Bunny was getting punched about a bit by some of the boys but didn't seem to mind too much and still gave them their chocolates...

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3 Apr 2015

Wowwowwoowhaa!

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3 Apr 2015

Pictures don't do it justice!

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2 Apr 2015

Iguacu falls!

We took a 19 hour bus journey (that turned into 21!) from Buenos Aries to Puerto Iguacu on the border with Brazil and Paraguay to visit these awesome waterfalls. This photo is in the most powerful part that they call 'Devils throat'. Although there are loads of tourists around, when you stand looking into this you forget everyone and literally become hypnotised by the sheer power and volume of falling water, for once the word awesome is very apt!

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30 Mar 2015

Recoleta cemetery!

Cemeteries are full of History, this famous one in Buenos Aries is full of both History and architecture.

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29 Mar 2015Buenos Aires

Anyone for a tango?

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29 Mar 2015Buenos Aires

Shopping for a flute

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29 Mar 2015Buenos Aires

San Telmo street art!

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29 Mar 2015Buenos Aires

Welcome to South America Heidi!

For those who don't know her, meet Heidi my 'wee' sis. She flew in from London yesterday morning, being a teacher she has a 2 week holiday over Easter and decided to come and visit. No bikes now, it is time to be a backpacker, we are at the mercy of public transport ahhhhhhh!

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26 Mar 2015Buenos Aires

A sad day!

This was a moment of realisation that the cycling is officially over for this trip anyway... Guillermo, who I met cycling near Ushuaia, kindly got a bike box for me and let me stay with him and his girlfriend while I dismantled the bike and boxed it ready for the flight back to Scotland on the 14th of April. This shot shows you where my bike will be (on Guillermo's balcony) while I meet my sister (Heidi) and go backpacking to Iguacu and then Rio for the last two weeks before the flight home.

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23 Mar 2015Puerto Madryn, Chubut Province, Argentina

Meet Sora (black lab) and Wilma

Leticia has a big heart for animals, here are two of her household, both came from the street. Poor wee Wilma was hit by a car when I was here, but fortunately she is recovering well, a tough wee street dog!

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22 Mar 2015

Welsh teapot...

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22 Mar 2015

The first house built by the Welsh in Gaimen

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22 Mar 2015

Giamen

We had a nice day out to the 'very' Welsh village of Gaimen with Leticia, Natalia (leticia sister) Pablo and Desire. The village was interesting with some of the original houses built by the Welsh still intact. We visited museums, and Welsh tea houses and ate by the Rio Chubut.

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18 Mar 2015

Puerto Madryn

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17 Mar 2015Puerto Madryn, Chubut Province, Argentina

Back in the classroom!

I was invited to a secondary school by Paula one of Leticias friends who is an english teacher. I was asked questions about Scotland and me in general by lively Puerto Madryn teenagers. There English was pretty good, definitely better than my Spanish. Kids are the same all over the world!

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17 Mar 2015

Puerto Madryn and the Welsh arrival

It was here exactly 150 years ago that a ship called 'Mimosa' carrying 160 Welsh immigrants landed to begin a new life free of English pressures on their lives and culture. This is the 'Gales' (Spanish for Welsh) monument on the seafront of Puerto Madryn which shows these pioneering Welsh coming into first contact with the native Indian population. Although at first full of anxiety at what kind of reception they might receive, the meeting and the future relationship was very good, where they both helped each other and led to a very successful settlement of the Welsh. Today there are over 10,000 Welsh speakers living in this area!

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15 Mar 2015Puerto Madryn, Chubut Province, Argentina

Asado! (Argentinean BBQ)

Meet Leticia and her family, I stayed with Leticia for the duration of my spanish course as part of the course to learn Spanish. They kindly asked me to stay on longer after the course was over. This is a traditional Asado (BBQ) organised for my arrival, the thing is I wasn't here as 'coined' (the Spanish course organisers) gave Leticia the wrong time for my arrival, so I actually missed this feast!

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14 Mar 2015Puerto Madryn, Chubut Province, Argentina

Flavio and Octavio my hosts.

Meet Flavio and his son Octavio, who kindly let me stay with them (through the warmshower network) before I begin my Spanish course in Puerto Madryn. Flavio kept feeding me amazing meals like this traditional Argeninian Asado Parilla con leña. It was great hanging out with him and his son over the weekend. Flavio is building his own camper truck and plans to take it North to Alaska in Janurary 2017!

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13 Mar 2015Buenos Aires, Argentina

Goodbye good Mark!

This was when I said goodbye to Mark at Buenos Aries airport at 3.30am! Our flight from Ushuaia had been cancelled, so we were put with a different airline and forced to spend the night in BA airport. My flight to Puerto Madryn (where I will do 1 week Spanish course) left at 5am, so I left Mark crashed out in this corner of the airport. He will spend the next 10 days around Buenos Aries, doing some kitesurfing and seeing the sights before flying back to London on the 24th of March. It will be strange not having him around, as we have just spent the last 6 months cycling through all these countries. We have had an awesome time, what an adventure! I would have also been lost at times without his Spanish, so Muchas Gracias Good Mark! Adios, until next time!

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12 Mar 2015

Our island!

The company we sailed with owned this small island in the channel, so we were allowed to get of and explore, with one of the sailors as a guide. He explained about the flora and fauna, and the indigenous people who lived here when the first explorers arrived.

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12 Mar 2015

You lazy lump

On the trip we saw sea lions and loads of cormorants.

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12 Mar 2015

Sailing down the Beagle!

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12 Mar 2015

Wandering Albatross!

We took a trip on a sailing ship down the Beagle Channel, with loads of wildlife. This was the best shot I could get of an albatross. I hoped I would see one while I was down here.

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12 Mar 2015

Sebastian!

Welcome back Sebastian! We last saw Sebastian in north Argentina in early December. It was great to cycle with him again right at the end.

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11 Mar 2015

Rainbow at the end of the world

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11 Mar 2015

Nice hike, nice view.

We camped for 2 nights in the national park, which was also cheaper than staying in Ushuaia. We hiked up this mountain right above Ushuaia.

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10 Mar 2015

This is the end of the road officially!

Respect to those who have cycled Alaska to Patagonia, it's a long way!

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10 Mar 2015

100K winds cycling to the National Park.

We nearly got blown of our bikes this morning, with gusts of over 100k whipping in from the west. I am so glad that we chose to cycle South instead of North, as we would have had a lot more of this on our journey!

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7 Mar 2015

Ushuaia!

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7 Mar 2015

Juan from Barilochie

Juan has home made panniers for his bike, and has cycled over 2000 kilometres like this...impressive.

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7 Mar 2015

The last leg to Ushuaia

Can't believe that this now the last section of road we will cycle before we reach Ushuaia! We now have over 7000 kilometres covered.

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6 Mar 2015

The free cabanas half way to Ushuaia.

We did a 50k day in little or no wind to stay at these great wooden cabins, which are totally abandoned, perfect for the needy cyclist! It was also a last chance to fish...no joy!

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5 Mar 2015Tolhuin, Argentina

The 'master baker' at work...and me..what a face of concentration!

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5 Mar 2015Tolhuin, Argentina

The Panaderia Casa de Ciclistas.

Tolhuin Panaderia is famous in the touring cycling world, as they are extremely kind to cyclists passing through, offering free accomodation and often free food too! If you want you can work for a day or longer in the Panaderia. We also met many other cyclists, including Suzzane and Pavel from Slovakia whom we first met in Peru, then Bolivia, then Chile and now we are finishing at the same time.

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5 Mar 2015Tolhuin, Argentina

The Welsh are here!

Yan is a keen cyclist from Wales, who is managing 160k a day wind or no wind! Hardy!

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3 Mar 2015

The Malvinas also known as the Falkland Islands...

Around Rio Grande we found many of these signs where Argentina is claiming sovereignty over the Falklands. Apparently the fires of this old conflict are being stoked up again, for political reasons, with one Swiss guy who had an Argentinian girlfriend telling us to be careful, and not to make it known we are British.

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2 Mar 2015

A healthy truce.

As we cycled by a field in the middle of no where, we saw this small ceremony taking place. Presumably because we are so near the border it must be an annual recognition of the border???

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2 Mar 2015

Morning view from the hut.

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1 Mar 2015

The wooden hut where we slept.

This hut seemed to to be the place to be in Tierra del Fuego, as first of all we had a visit from a Chilean couple hitching South, once they got a lift a German couple hitching east arrived arrived for a chat before also getting a lift. Then an hour later, as we were finishing eating, four big burly motor cyclists arrived to drink tea and eat biscuits. It was the social hub of the island!

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1 Mar 2015

The road south

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1 Mar 2015

Land of fire!

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1 Mar 2015

The skies and light are amazing in Tierra del Fuego.

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1 Mar 2015Porvenir, Chile

"Fancy a swim?" "Naw can't be bothered"

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1 Mar 2015Porvenir, Chile

Blending in

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1 Mar 2015Porvenir, Chile

King penguins

We cycled 50k to a wooden shelter on a cross roads that is often used by cyclists for sleeping in to get out of the elements. We left our bags there and then took a small detour 14k to a king penguin colony. Although you need to pay 12000 Chilean pesos (£12) to get in, it was well worth it, and is the only colony of this type of penguin in South America, with only the Emperor Penguins in Antarctica being bigger.

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28 Feb 2015Punta Arenas, Chile

Nice camp

Camped near a fishing hut next to the sea, no flooding this time!

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28 Feb 2015Punta Arenas, Chile

Dolphins!

We stayed for two rest days in Punta Arenas, before taking the ferry across the Magellan strait to Porvenier on Terra del Fuego. Dolphins came in to playfully lead the ferry.

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27 Feb 2015Punta Arenas, Chile

Cormorants, Punta Arenas

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27 Feb 2015Punta Arenas, Chile

Ernest Shackleton!

We visited the Maritime Museum in Punta Arenas, which had great stuff on Shackelton and his famous failed expedition to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914. This was what he said shortly after his return and amazing rescue with his crew in 1916.

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26 Feb 2015Puerto Natales, Natales, Chile

Walking South America!

Meet Richard from Holland, who has decided to walk from Ushuaia to La Paz in Bolivia, as his bike frame is broken. He is doing 35 kilometres per day, now that is hardy!

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25 Feb 2015Puerto Natales, Natales, Chile

An abandoned house!

We left Puerto Natales with a 'good wind' mainly behind us (although a little bit from the side) and made good progress towards Punta Arenas. We were told about this abandoned house on the way that you could sleep at. Although some of the house was in bad shape we found one room off this main room that was perfect, beats a tent in the wind!

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24 Feb 2015Puerto Natales, Natales, Chile

Superstition is everywhere!

All through South America we have found that they do this practice of leaving water near a Catholic shrine. One German cyclist we me in North Argentina said he had drunk some of this water as it was so hot and he was desperate for a drink, needs must!

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23 Feb 2015Puerto Natales, Natales, Chile

Hospedaje Puerto Natales

We met Inaxio and his friend from Chile at the Hospedaje we were staying at, they were just young lads on holiday, but there topics of conversation ranged from religion and politics to football. Their studious outlook on life was confirmed when we returned one afternoon to find Inaxio (one on the left) reading 'Hobb's at the kitchen table!

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22 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Las Torres del Paine

This was the final stop to see the world famous towers on a more typical windy day. Met an American lad 'Kevin' with his Chilean girlfriend, who kindly gave me a much needed snickers bar, my own supplies had run quite low by this point. After this I descended to 'Hosteria Las Torres' where I promptly ordered 'Patagonian lamb' followed by a double desert of 'blueberry tart' and 'ice cream'...and why wouldn't you?

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

La Comida!

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

UFO?

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Plenty of water!

Plenty of good drinking water, crystal clear with no bits in it!

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

You look up and you get this!

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

No wind!

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

This was the start of the 'W' section.

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21 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Cold crisp morning hike along the Lago.

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Where can you find a doctor and a dentist when you need one?

I met Will and his wife Laura hiking up the pass. We ended up walking together for the rest of the day. At camp Grey I then got a quick check up by dentist Will using his head torch. (as I had a hole in one of my teeth due to a filling coming out a few weeks ago.) After his diagnosis and advice his GP wife Laura further advised and gave me antibiotics to take if I had any pain, better service than the NHS!

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Crowded campsite 'Grey', but still nice.

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Lots of swing bridges to cross on the way down

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Wow...

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Glacier Grey!

This was the most amazing glacier I saw on the whole trip. It stretched for 70k and was a mass of blue ice tearing through the mountains. We walked for hours right beside it looking down upon it.

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20 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Whooping yanks and reserved Brits

Along with British couple Will and Laura from England and Wales we arrived on the summit to whooping yanks high fiving each other. The British shook hands saying "that wasn't bad was it old chap"...

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19 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Nice

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19 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Sunset glow

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19 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

More glaciers

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19 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

The forest bit with waterfalls galore!

On day two I took it easy after a punishng first day with a heavy pack full of food, only one thing for it, eat yourself lighter!

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19 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Glacier Dickson.

There were glaciers galore!

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18 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Lago Dickson

This was the nicest campsite in among very busy campsites throughout the park.

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18 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Lago Paine

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18 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Don't play with fire!

After an accident with a stove a backpacker burned down one third of the NP!

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18 Feb 2015Torres del Paine National Park, Última Esperanza, Chile

Torres del Paine!

After 1 days rest in Puerto Natales to get things sorted for hiking in Torres Del Paine NP, we set out on a 5 day hike, although on different paths. Mark decided to do the 'W' I decided to do the 'O'. These letters are how they describe the different routes you can take in the NP. The 'O' was fantastic with some quiet sections, although to be honest you are never alone for long in Torres Del Paine, as the park draws 200,000 people every year!

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16 Feb 2015

Getting more stormy as we came into Puerto Natales

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16 Feb 2015

The Chilean border, time to eat all the illegal food before Z border control gets me...

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16 Feb 2015

On the estancia's everything is still done on horseback like the old ways.

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16 Feb 2015

As we approached the border the locals took more interest in us.

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15 Feb 2015

Inside there was a cast iron stove, and plenty of space to cook and relax...beats the tent!

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15 Feb 2015

First Estancia!

After a long day cycling, we stopped 1 kilometre before the border and asked at an estancia (ranch/farm) if we could pitch our tents and get access to water. At first the older man we asked seemed a bit stern in how he looked at us, and how he spoke. However, he couldn't have been kinder and offered us a nights accommodation for free in this farm workers house, and even made sure the gas was working so we could get hot showers.

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15 Feb 2015

Sheep, loch, hills definitely could be...wait for it Scotland!

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15 Feb 2015

Wind got up, so lunch was spent in a tunnel.

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15 Feb 2015

Mark and Alex enjoying the gravel road on a rare day with little or no wind!

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15 Feb 2015

One bike, one guitar, one road...

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15 Feb 2015

Ostrich

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15 Feb 2015

Wildlife!

We saw both foxes and Ostrich together on the Pampa, which is more wildlife than we saw in the whole Carratera Austral.

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14 Feb 2015

The scene inside.

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14 Feb 2015

Ruta 40 with a nice evening glow.

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14 Feb 2015

Your naught fraaam raaand eeer are you!

This looks like a scene from a 'white trailer trash' movie with Jed and Mary-Lou hanging out front. But actually this is where we got to sleep after being given permission by the road workmen who stay in the nearby house.

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14 Feb 2015

Crazy cyclists going north!

With the prevailing wind mainly behind us we were making good time, these guys from France, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Argentina definitely had a real fight with the wind going north/west.

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14 Feb 2015

Back on the road towards Chile...again!

In Calafate we met Alex again, he had sorted out a new passport and had got himself some 'breakfast' panniers - apparently after cycling with us on the Carratera Austral and seeing the amount of food we put away he decided to get himself 'breakfast' panniers!

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13 Feb 2015

Nearly got you...

There was no point in scrambling to get your camera to catch a bit of the glacier breaking off, as you would miss the spectacle, but my camera was out and nearly ready for this one, so I got the splash!

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13 Feb 2015

Blue blue blue...

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13 Feb 2015

Glacier Perito Moreno

After turning west from Ruta 40 we faced a severe headwind for 30k to the town of Calafate. We struggled on for 10k or so before succumbing to hitching a lift. At 5k PH and with heavy trucks passing far too close for comfort we decided it was too difficult and dangerous for the last 20k. A good decision as we got a lift within 5min and soon we were booked into a campsite and tucking into a meat feast (Parilla) in Calafate. After a couple of days rest we took a bus up to the mother of all South American glaciers. Although very touristy and definitely overpriced, this was the most impressive glacier we had seen to date. We witnessed three large chunks break off and land in the water, which was amazing! This glacier is one of the few in this area that is still advancing, and due to tourists in the past getting to close to the face, which resulted in injury and death in some cases, they have built all these wooden platforms where you can view from a safe distance.

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10 Feb 2015

Goodbye Swiss Army!

This is where we said goodbye to Sam and Flu. We met in Bolivia in mid October, and we have cycled big sections of our trip together, they have been fantastic company, even although Sam caught more fish than me.😜 It won't be the last time we meet I'm sure!

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10 Feb 2015

Love this sign!

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10 Feb 2015

Cycling in style!

We joined 'Romain' and 'Annie' from France who are on their honeymoon cycling this fantastic tandem, what great view you get.

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9 Feb 2015

A much more bleak and windier Patagonia in Argentina compared to the green/wet Chilean part

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8 Feb 2015

Nice!

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8 Feb 2015

Area En Recuperation...

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8 Feb 2015

Lago below mount Fitzroy.

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8 Feb 2015

Us and the Frenchies at the Fitzroy campsite.

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7 Feb 2015

Fitzroy hike

We arrived in El Chalten to shops, cafes, hostels, campsites and more shops. To be honest we weren't to impressed with El Chalten, as it was very expensive compared to what we had experienced in Argentina so far. Also, it was too busy (being the peak of the Argentine summer holidays) so we decided to go on a 2 day hike in the Mount Fitzroy area. In the mountains there were parts like this picture with nobody, but it was also really busy with many tourists, so not the wilds we expected. However, the scenery was spectacular! We also met some French people we had hung out with in Villa O'Higgins.

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7 Feb 2015

Day 1 of Fitzroy hike, Lago somethingorother....

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6 Feb 2015

Flu looking back on the road to El Chalten

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5 Feb 2015

At last...got one!

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5 Feb 2015

Mount Fitzroy from Lago De Desierto

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5 Feb 2015

Bike and hike!

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5 Feb 2015

Argentina again!

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5 Feb 2015

Bike and hike

The next section was short but took a day as, we took our time with the Swiss army go-pro, and there was sections that you couldn't cycle. Eventually we reached the Argentine immigration post on Lago De Desierto, where we camped with magnificent views of Mount Fitz Roy.

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4 Feb 2015

Sunset from our camp spot

After the ferry we camped in the only place possible, which had great views, home made bead and jam!

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4 Feb 2015

Two hairy bikers and clean shaven Swiss dude!

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4 Feb 2015

Whoooooo put all that ice there?

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4 Feb 2015

The glacier!

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4 Feb 2015

Hiding from the freak wind and waves

As we got nearer the glacier the wind came howling off the glacier causing a decent swell, and lots of spray raining down on everyone, so everyone cowered down low, taking a wee peak now and again.

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4 Feb 2015

Touring bikes galore!

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4 Feb 2015

On the ferry heading south to see 'Glacier O'Higgins'

After a few days rest in Villa O'Higgins we had to take a ferry for the next section, as there is no road. We also took the option to see 'Glacier O'Higgins' en-route. This turned out to be good decision as the glacier was spectacular, with big blue icebergs floating nearby.

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4 Feb 2015Villa O'Higgins, O'Higgins, Chile

The end of the Carratera Austral!

This classic cycling route is finished now, it was a great experience, with fantastic scenery, however, not as wild as I was led to believe, as you can access food every 2 days (maximum) and the water is better in the steams than out of a tap! No fish yet....

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3 Feb 2015Villa O'Higgins, O'Higgins, Chile

Birds eye view of Villa O'Higgins

There is not much going on in Villa O'Higgens, but the scenery around is spectacular. We were also forced to have 2 days rest here as the ferry on Monday was full, and the next one left on Wednesday. The rest was well needed, and we met lots of other cyclists/backpackers in the campsite, that had terrible Internet but a fantastic kitchen with an 'Aga' that was constantly on. Mark cooked his trout in the oven.

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2 Feb 2015Villa O'Higgins, O'Higgins, Chile

Sunrise Villa O'Higgens!

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1 Feb 2015

Villa O'Higgens sunset

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1 Feb 2015

Mark caught a nice brown trout near here, the pressure is now on...

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1 Feb 2015

The artistic shot!

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31 Jan 2015

Rod-river-motivation...no fish...

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31 Jan 2015

On the last stretch of the Carratera Austral.

You have to be careful not to get too used to this scenery every day and think it is normal, as it is amazing cycling through it!

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31 Jan 2015

Leaving Tortel early next morning.

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30 Jan 2015

Tortel

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30 Jan 2015

Road to Tortel

We said goodbye to the Swiss army for a while, and took a detour to Tortel, which took us along by the Rio Baker which became a fjord that flowed into the sea. The day was rainy but very atmospheric. Tortel is a world unesco site, where there are many wooden walkways that go for kilometres along the coast. We stopped for a half days rest, then left early the next morning to catch the 'free' ferry at Puerto Yunguy to continue the last section of the Carratera Austral.

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29 Jan 2015

Lots of dead forests

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29 Jan 2015

Mackerel skies and fish tails makes tall ships lower their sails...

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29 Jan 2015

The Carratera Austral!

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29 Jan 2015

We caught up with the Swiss army!

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28 Jan 2015

The road south from Cochrane.

After a day's rest in the Irish sounding 'Cochrane' we continued South on the Carratera Austral. We had to say goodbye to Alex from OZ as he unfortunately lost his passport, and had to fly back to Santiago to get a new one. The Swiss army are just ahead probably catching all the salmon! The route South from here was pretty spectacular with fast flowing rivers, nice lakes, mountains and later on fjords. So far both Sam and Flu have caught nice sized trout, Mark and I have had no luck yet...

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26 Jan 2015

Is this Scotland again...

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26 Jan 2015

Nice American family

This family have been on the road for 2 and a half years! Their baby was born in Brazil, and they intend to travel/live on the road indefinitely. They kindly stopped to ask us if we needed water.

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25 Jan 2015

Sun on the peak above Puerto Bertrand

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25 Jan 2015

Look at me I'm cycling in a straight line up a steep hill with one hand...

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25 Jan 2015

68 years old and loving it!

We met this couple from France on a fancy bike for two. Pretty impressive doing this at 68. I think the wife on the front has the best deal!

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24 Jan 2015

Nice camp

Both Sam and Flu caught really nice big fish here. We ate Sam's as it was a trout, but we put Flu's back as it was a native fish. We also had a visit from the local 'fish police' and Mark and I bought licences, whoops caught....

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24 Jan 2015

Can't beat these views!

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24 Jan 2015

Later we were joined by Alex from Australia travelling really light!

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24 Jan 2015

After Puerto Tranquillo we left Angelo and rejoined Flu, Sam and now James from Minnesota.

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24 Jan 2015

The caves

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24 Jan 2015

Our boat driver

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24 Jan 2015

The caves of Capilla de Marmol

We took a 2 hour boat trip on Lago General Carrer to see these amazing caves. The boat driver took us into the caves, very interesting colours and texture.

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23 Jan 2015

Who is that emerging from the dust?

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23 Jan 2015

The road south beside General Lago Carrer

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22 Jan 2015

Heading south

After half a days rest we got back on the bikes and continued south towards, hopefully, good fishing grounds...

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21 Jan 2015

Nice view!

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21 Jan 2015

We're ready what's happened to the Great British expedition team???

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20 Jan 2015

Great camp spot

We swam/washed in the Lago, and then had a great night/morning watching and listening to bits of the glacier breaking and falling into the Lago.

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20 Jan 2015

No stoping the Swiss expedition team!

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20 Jan 2015

Great camp spot!

We camped here and swam/washed in the Lago, then watched and listened to bits of the glacier break and fall into the Lago.

20 Jan 2015Villa Cerro Castillo, Coyhaique, Chile

Ok...

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20 Jan 2015

Too good to be true at times

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20 Jan 2015

Hope we're not going up there...

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20 Jan 2015

Amazing views

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20 Jan 2015

Good opportunity to get rid of this guy who keeps following me on my bike...

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20 Jan 2015

On a 750m climb up towards Cerro Castillo and our second campsite.

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19 Jan 2015

Glacial Lago

After a good nights rest we took another hikers advice and left our tents and stuff and went a few kilometres up to a small Lago nestled in a corrie below towering mountains, very dramatic.

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19 Jan 2015

Nice camp spot

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19 Jan 2015

What a day!

We had to rent backpacks, and then transfer the kit we would need for the next 3 days in the mountains. The weather couldn't be any better.

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18 Jan 2015

There it is...

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18 Jan 2015

View towards Cerro Castillo after the rain cleared.

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18 Jan 2015

Villa Cerro Castillo here we go.

After 2 days off the bikes in Coyquachie and the usual maintenance and stuff we headed south for Villa Cerro Castillo, where we would meet Sam and Flu and hopefully do a 3 day hike in the Cerro Castillo mountain range. The weather was very mixed today but the forecast is improving, so good for the hike!

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16 Jan 2015

Our warm shower host, Boris and his brother

'Warm shower' is a network for cyclists, who can sign up to agree to host other cyclists in your own country, and in return you can stay in their houses as you pass through. A great system, and you are always welcomed with good hospitality.

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15 Jan 2015

Great lunch stop, shame we couldn't stay longer...

We found a great wee campsite, with very friendly Chileans running it, and a nice French family who were drying meat, and smoking it 'old style' over a big hearth fire. We would have stayed the night but we had arranged to stay with a 'warm shower' host in Coyquachie. This wee girl kept giving us flowers, then demanding we return the gesture.

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14 Jan 2015

'Pau' from Valencia

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14 Jan 2015

Bike maintenance.

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12 Jan 2015

Our first Glacier

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10 Jan 2015

Pinochet had the Carratera Austral built for military purposes to gain a foothold in the south.

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9 Jan 2015

He's got more than me...

We caught up with Sam and Flu, and on this evening, Sam caught his first fish, which although on the 'wee' side was promptly put out if his misery, gutted by Sam, cooked by Flu and eaten by us all, very tasty and hopefully a sign of things to come.

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9 Jan 2015

Cycling the Carratera Austral with Mr Evans.

We caught up with Mark at Lago Yelcho, Sam and Flu are quicker in the mornings at getting ready so they are a few k's ahead. We met a Spanish cyclist 'Pau' and a Chilean cyclist. There are many cyclists on the Carratera Austral, much more than we have been used to in the Northern parts, all friendly.

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7 Jan 2015

Nice

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7 Jan 2015

Love these mountains

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6 Jan 2015

This is the devastation left in the wake of Volcan Chaiten's eruption in 2008

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5 Jan 2015

On our way to a really nice campsite.

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5 Jan 2015

Local fisherman with his catch

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5 Jan 2015

Ferry number 2

This was the longest (4 hours) of 3 ferries, which took us south to the next part of the Carratera Austral. We decided to put our bikes on the roof of a truck so we had enough time to catch ferry number 3, which left 30 minutes after a 10K cycle on a dirt road. The weather was mixed, but the views were spectacular from the ferry.

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4 Jan 2015

Another nice camp, but full of wacko's

At this spot, the owner of the house nearby let us use his shower and toilet, later we gave him some pesos for it. A local wacko and his really nice dog then decided to plonk himself at our fire, and talk non-stop in Spanish mainly to me, even although he knew I didn't speak Spanish, he eventually left after I gave him a few pesos. Later he returned, but Flu saw him of this time with, "we're going to sleep now, good night" which was much more effective and cheaper than my bribery method... He seemed harmless, but you just couldn't speak, and we had to watch our kit.

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4 Jan 2015

North Patagonian fishing boat

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4 Jan 2015

A recycled exhaust!

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4 Jan 2015

Lunch

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4 Jan 2015

The coast road.

We decided to take the coast route, which although 30k further than the normal route, it would give constant sea views, which so far I have missed on this trip.

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4 Jan 2015

Volcan Osorno

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3 Jan 2015

Love west coast sunsets

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3 Jan 2015

Love west coast sunsets

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3 Jan 2015

No fish today, sausages will have to do

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3 Jan 2015

The evening before the flood!

After 60k in the saddle and a ferry, we took advantage of the good weather to camp and fish. Unbelievably we got flooded! We thought this tranquil spot was perfect, with green grass, blue sky and the ocean at least 400 meters away... How wrong were we, at 1.30am all I heard was"Carwyn Carwyn there is water everywhere" coming from Sam and Flu's tent. I put my hand down on the tent floor, and it was like being on a water bed....nightmare, the tide had come exceptionally high, on what was almost a full moon night. After a 2 hour struggle to get ourselves and all our gear safely to higher ground we finally crawled back into damp salty tents and thankfully dry sleeping bags! Apparently, being the son of fisherman and coming from the coast I should have known, ha ha. But in reality the spot where we pitched looked good and rising tide levels were far from our minds. A fortunate escape with little or no damage, but a good story all the same!

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3 Jan 2015La Arena, Puerto Montt, Chile

The Carratera Austral!

After a few days rest over new year in Puerto Montt it was time to get back on the bike and start the much anticipated 'Carratera Austral'. Mark had left the day before, I had a few things still to sort out in Puerto Montt, like fixing the zips on my tent, and getting a new part for my water filter which was leaking water when filtering. Sam and Flu were also ready to go the same time as me so we set of in fine weather. The first section has a mixture of Tarmac, gravel road and ferries. We had to take 3 ferries in total, one for 4 hours down a fjord, with spectacular views of sheer cliffs and cascading waterfalls. I have been very much looking forward to this part of the adventure, my fishing rod is ready, and the hiking boots are in my bag, so it won't be all cycling!

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1 Jan 2015Puerto Montt, Chile

Sam stuffing his face with an Empanada

Sam and Flu arrived last night just in time for the New Year celebrations.

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1 Jan 2015Puerto Montt, Chile

Happy new year everyone!

We spent new year with the Swiss family and extended family who run the hostel we are staying at in Puerto Montt. They invited us to a BBQ, and we could see the town fire works from the garden.

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29 Dec 2014Ensenada, Puerto Varas, Chile

A well earned cake and coffee!

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29 Dec 2014

Nice view on a rainy day

Very mixed weather today as we made our way around the lake towards Puerto Montt.

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28 Dec 2014

The Lake

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28 Dec 2014

Another great camp spot!

We asked at a farmhouse if we could camp nearby, and the owner let us cycle down a private road to a perfect camp spot. The lake was perfect for swimming/washing, however still no fish!

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27 Dec 2014Entre Lagos, Puyehue, Chile

Nobody was going to get past the Chilean food control

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27 Dec 2014

An old volcano

Apparently the bit of rock sticking up is all that's left after a volcanic eruption. Don't know who the two numpty's are that bombed the photo.

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27 Dec 2014

Colourful ascent of the pass

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27 Dec 2014Lago Correntoso, Los Lagos Department, Neuquen, Argentina

The Slovakian's

We met Pavvel and Suzzana from Slovakia again, the last time we met was in North Bolivia near the beginning of our trip, small world the cycling world!

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27 Dec 2014

The end of the Lagos area.

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27 Dec 2014

The Lake District was a bit like Scandinavia in places

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26 Dec 2014

Nice views

There were many other cyclists on this route, but with views like this from the road then you can see why it's a popular route. We did find that they were a lot less friendly than the cyclists we had met north, but I guess this is because it is much more touristy, and most of them were only doing the 7 lakes route for a few days, so they understandably were not wanting to stop and do the usual chat about routes and what to expect ahead, still we tried...

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26 Dec 2014

Cycle selfie

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26 Dec 2014

More and more European looking houses as we cycle South

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26 Dec 2014

You've been Tango'd

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26 Dec 2014

Selfie on the the Routa de Siete Lagos. (The road of the 7 lakes)

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26 Dec 2014

Looking back to San Martin

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25 Dec 2014

A San Martin Beurkis model

We spent Christmas in San Martin De Los Andes, where we met up with Mark. Sam and Flu have made T-Shirts for their trip, so Mark willingly modelled for the camera haka style. The weather was nice, funny spending Christmas in shorts and t-shirts. On Boxing Day Mark and I hit the road again and headed back over the border to Chile and down to Puerto Montt. Sam and Flu took some extra time to chill in San Martin.

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24 Dec 2014

The evidence

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24 Dec 2014

Latitude40

This is me at latitude 40 exactly according to Sam's GPS.

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23 Dec 2014

The sunset!

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23 Dec 2014

Nice wild camp spot.

After a long day, it was a cold bath in the river, a good meal and then time to sit back and enjoy the sunset.

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23 Dec 2014

Volcan Villarrica!

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23 Dec 2014

Sam and Flu from a Patagonian bus shelter

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23 Dec 2014

They stood patiently and waited for me to pass then carried on north, while I went south.

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23 Dec 2014

Plenty of water and greenery, but the temperature was going up again.

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22 Dec 2014

Is this Scotland??

After crossing the border back into Argentina we cycled along a beautiful lake, which reminded me of Scotland, sheep n all!

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22 Dec 2014

Patagonian sheep pen

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22 Dec 2014

We then followed the river South to Alumine

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22 Dec 2014

Now that's what I call posing

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22 Dec 2014

More monkey puzzle and dirt road

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21 Dec 2014

On the way up the Lcalma pass of 1300m

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21 Dec 2014

Clear at last

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21 Dec 2014

It's like cycling with the Red Cross!

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21 Dec 2014

Finally Volcan Llama gave us a wee peak...

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21 Dec 2014

Lava lava lava

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21 Dec 2014

Nice light in the mornings

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20 Dec 2014

Fresh snow, now it feels like Christmas!

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20 Dec 2014

The Michelin man goes fishing

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20 Dec 2014

Lago Conguillio, where we camped and fished...but no fish

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20 Dec 2014

What a cast!

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20 Dec 2014

A wee bird

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20 Dec 2014

Jurassic park

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20 Dec 2014

Where are the monkeys?

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20 Dec 2014

A lonely monkey puzzle...

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20 Dec 2014

Monkey puzzle trees!

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20 Dec 2014

Lava!

Volcan Llama erupted in 2008, there is lots of evidence of this in the lava flows that have engulfed the trees and vegetation on the hillside.

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20 Dec 2014

Where is that park entrance?

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19 Dec 2014Lautaro, Temuco, Chile

Trees!

Nice to be in forests again!

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19 Dec 2014Lautaro, Temuco, Chile

Kind Chilean family

Towards the end of the first day back in the saddle, we were rewarded with kindness from a small farming family who allowed us to camp in their garden, and then went out for the evening, trusting us with their 5 dogs, 4 cats and 3 chickens! The next morning they invited us in for breakfast, they were very kind. It turned out they were Christians and that the family had gone to a church meeting the night before, and both the mother and father were musicians who perform in their church.

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18 Dec 2014

First glimpse of Volcan Llama

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18 Dec 2014

Time to start cycling again!

After a week off the bike and two buses that took us from La Serena to Santiago then Santiago to Temuco, it is time to get back on the bikes. We found a nice hostel/B&B in Temuco which actually felt like being back in a house for the first time since starting the trip. Then the usual last minute preparations we hit the road, and headed north briefly to pick up the route we had planned that would takes us through Parque National Conguillio (national park with a 3125m volcano and lots of giant monkey puzzle trees) and then over the border back into Argentina and South to San Martin where we will meet Mark and spend Christmas.

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18 Dec 2014

Cycling North in heavy traffic, fortunately only for 20k or so!

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12 Dec 2014

The Moller!

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12 Dec 2014Vicuña, Chile

Our kind hosts

Our first taste of Chile after crossing the border, for the second time, was to experience kindness from this family who let us camp for free in their garden. They also made fresh bread in the morning,which we were more than happy to purchase. After this we cycled down to La Sarena on the Chilean Pacific Coast. We expected extreme heat but instead if was cloudy and much cooler. We stayed in a nice hostel with the best internet connection we have had yet! We then borded a bus to Santiago. This was always on the cards, as the road is really busy around here and the scenery is not as impressive. It would also mean we had more time for cycling different more interesting routes in the south around the Patagonia area. In Santiago, we ended up in a massive hostel, that was party central for 4 days, so not so relaxing, actually in many ways it was more tiring than being on the bike...must be getting old ha ha. We then thankfully left that mad house and took another bus almost 700k South to Temuco where we would start cycling again. Mark stayed for a few days longer visiting friends near Valpareso, we are all planning to meet again for Christmas in San Martin, Argentina. Temuco is the beginning of Patagonia (the Lake District) so looking forward to the next 3 months or so cycling and hiking here!

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11 Dec 2014

Cycling into a headwind beside the Lago.

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11 Dec 2014

A Lago lunch out of the wind.

I managed to put my foot into a clay quicksand, much to the delight of my audience, which nearly sucked my shoe off.

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11 Dec 2014

Down down down

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11 Dec 2014

Now that's what I'm talking about...

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11 Dec 2014

Now that is what I'm talking about...down hills!

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11 Dec 2014

Nice light and amazing colours

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11 Dec 2014

The morning after the big day...

Pitched camp in darkness, woke to stunning views and a great camp spot.

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10 Dec 2014

Well done Flu!

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10 Dec 2014

You wanting a push Sam?

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10 Dec 2014

Dancing to get my toes working again

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10 Dec 2014

Awww isnt that nice...

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10 Dec 2014

More snow as getting nearer the top

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10 Dec 2014

The route

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10 Dec 2014

Swiss flag

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10 Dec 2014

Three amigos banging heads together

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10 Dec 2014

Mini glaciers

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10 Dec 2014

Big mountains

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10 Dec 2014

Wrong way my man...

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10 Dec 2014

Up towards the snow

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10 Dec 2014

Dirt roads and an old old truck

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9 Dec 2014

The start of Paso Agua Negra

We started the climb towards the Agua Negra pass of 4770m (which means black water) to begin with the climb was gentle and on Tarmac, however it steadily got harder in gradient and the road became dirt. We had two fantastic camp spots on the way. The day we actually crossed the pass was long, 13 hours in total, with 8h 40m actually cycling. The temperature on the pass dropped to 'lots of degrees' below freezing, and my two big toes froze, I was literally dancing on the top of the pass to get the circulation going again. We were all exhausted by the time we made the second camp at 9pm. Amazing scenery, and interesting features en-route.

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9 Dec 2014

Siesta

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9 Dec 2014

Sam n Flu

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9 Dec 2014

The only way is up...baby

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8 Dec 2014

Lago

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8 Dec 2014

Wait for us...

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8 Dec 2014

Anyone for a photo?

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8 Dec 2014

A Swiss wave

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8 Dec 2014

Ready to hit the road again!

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7 Dec 2014

Can you see the face?

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6 Dec 2014

Night cycling

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6 Dec 2014

Sunset

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6 Dec 2014

Start of the sunset

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6 Dec 2014

Night cycling

As the day time temperatures were 40 degrees, we decided to try night cycling. So we had a siesta in a park in the afternoon and set of again at around 8pm. Definitely cooler, but really windy, we stopped at around 11pm and camped on the Pampa.

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6 Dec 2014

Usual morning carnage

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5 Dec 2014

That's a face of concentration!

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5 Dec 2014

The big downhill after a 2200m pass, got 65k on the speedo.

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5 Dec 2014

Bring it on!

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5 Dec 2014

No way through

The road was closed to all cars, but we could still get through as the workmen carried our bikes over this part. One guy was as strong as an ox, he was carrying the bikes with some of the bags still on. He was definitely loving the performance.

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5 Dec 2014

Back on the dirt roads

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5 Dec 2014

Amazing cactus!

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4 Dec 2014

I have got my tablet!

Left Chilecetto, (Marks favourite place after visiting there 3 times to recover his Samsung tablet) found a great wee campsite with fresh spring water. The guy running the place was half drunk and kept saying "relax, enjoy don't worry about paying now I will see you later" however later never came, so the next day we left payment pinned to the locked gate in an envelope. Back on the road heading to San Jose de jachal.

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3 Dec 2014

Hot hot hot!

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2 Dec 2014

Sam getting the chop from a crazy Argentinean barber

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2 Dec 2014San Blas de los Sauces, La Rioja Province, Argentina

Nice campsite near San Blas

We stayed here for a rest day, cooked nice food in the kitchen, updated blogs etc on the Internet, helped Ebert (the owner) transport his pig to a neighbours house... Good times

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1 Dec 2014

80K done 20 to go

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1 Dec 2014

Nice downhill

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1 Dec 2014

Mr big head and Mr confused...

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1 Dec 2014

Nice mountains

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1 Dec 2014

Un Grande Almuerzo

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1 Dec 2014

Warm Shower in Belen

We stayed with Antonio in his 'warm shower' house (you can join this network of houses all over the world that offer accommodation for like minded travellers, the idea is you then offer the same in your own country) with a French/English couple who were staying there for a few weeks to do 'woofing' (working on an organic farm). Antonio kindly let us camp in his back yard. We also met up with Sebastian, a cyclist from Ecuador that we had met in Cafayate, he was going the same way so now there is 5 amigos.

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29 Nov 2014

Campsite cooking Swiss style!

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28 Nov 2014

Where are you going Sam?

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28 Nov 2014

Riding South from Cafayate with Sam and Flu

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28 Nov 2014

The meeting of the cyclists.

On the campsite in Catayate we met Sam and Flu again from Switzerland, Robin and Diena from Liechtenstein, who incidentally are the 2nd and 3rd people I've ever met from Liechtenstein, but then apparently there is only 30,000 people living there.... Finally Gerhald from Berlin, who confessed to being an Agua thief from the roadside shrines, where there was literally hundreds of bottles of water, put there for superstitious reasons, but when your desperate for water then why not? Great to swap stories and hang out. By the way what is it with the guy on the left sticking his chest out?

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26 Nov 2014

Old and new amigos at Cafayate

After 6 days in the saddle from Salta to Cafayate we rested for a few days at a campsite. As soon as we arrived we recognised Sam and Flu from Switzerland, who we had last seen on Salar De Uyuni 3 weeks ago. We also met other cyclists, at one point it felt like a Camping de ciclistas. We ate big Argentinian steaks, and rested in good company. We then decided to alter our plan and instead of taking a bus to Mendoza, we would cycle South then west over a 4700m pass called Agua Negro into Chile with Sam and Flu. Then continue South to Santiago.

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25 Nov 2014

Nothing quite like a good dirt road...

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25 Nov 2014

This rock was the colour of wine.

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25 Nov 2014

He's definitely got a faster bike...

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25 Nov 2014

More nice landscape

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25 Nov 2014

Our road

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24 Nov 2014

View from our camp spot

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24 Nov 2014

Nice camp spot

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24 Nov 2014

River crossing

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24 Nov 2014

Weird rocks

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24 Nov 2014

New Amigos

We met Yong from Taiwan and Emily from Italy, both who were trying to hitch a ride South to Cafayate, definitely better with a bike!

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23 Nov 2014

Nice landscape

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23 Nov 2014

Road to Molinos from Cachi

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22 Nov 2014

Cachi

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22 Nov 2014

Siesta

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22 Nov 2014

More cactus

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22 Nov 2014

Forest of cactus

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22 Nov 2014

Bus shelter/kitchen/bike store

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22 Nov 2014

3400m camp spot

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21 Nov 2014

Two amigos a guitar and fishing rod

We are now loaded with a guitar on Marks bike and a fishing rod on mine, I though the idea was to get lighter? Bring on the salmon and entertainment!

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21 Nov 2014

Cactus flower

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21 Nov 2014

Kind British couple

This very kind British couple stopped for a chat and 1 hour later brought pizzas, water and biscuits for our lunch, which was much needed as we were in need of calories as we were climbing 2000 meters today to the pass of 3400m. I think they were pretty shocked at how fast we devoured the pizzas!

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21 Nov 2014

Cliffs and valleys

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20 Nov 2014

Salta

We arrived in the city of Salta in the North of Argentina and stayed here for 5 nights. Again this was all about eating, sleeping and maintaining the bikes as this was a chance for Mark to fix his gears which had been a constant pain for him as he physically has to get of the bike and change down to the lowest gear for the big hills. We said goodbye to Julian the sailing French man, who had to take a bus south as he has less time and wanted to cycle Patagonia before he returns to France at Christmas time. Didn't take many photos in Salta, as although it is a nice city we just wanted to recuperate before starting cycling again. The next section we will do is a route to a traditional town in the mountains called Cachi which takes us over a 3400m pass then down to a famous wine region called Cafayate.

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15 Nov 2014El Carmen, Jujuy Province, Argentina

The three hairy bikers

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15 Nov 2014El Carmen, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Greenery

Big change in vegetation as we went lower to 1400m after spending 6 weeks above 4000m.

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14 Nov 2014El Carmen, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Leaving San Salvador Jujuy

Apparently we are now cycling through France.

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13 Nov 2014San Salvador de Jujuy, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Casa de Ciclistas San Salvador Jujuy

The family who kindly put us up for the night in The city of San Salvador Jujuy.

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12 Nov 2014Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Kinda airborne

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12 Nov 2014Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Airborne

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12 Nov 2014Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Airborne

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12 Nov 2014Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Purnamanca

We took a small detour to this village, which the locals say has mountains with 8 colours.

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12 Nov 2014Tilcara, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Local protest

A local community blockaded the main highway in protest to not having a school in their village.

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12 Nov 2014Humahuaca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Multi coloured mountains

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12 Nov 2014Humahuaca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

This area has an artist colony.

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12 Nov 2014Humahuaca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Ive had enough of my bike, any chance of a ride?

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12 Nov 2014Humahuaca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Humahuaca

We stayed at this hostel in Humahuaca, this was a really nice town, which we passed through. I could have stayed here longer as it had a ice atmosphere. This wee kid could talk for Argentina, he loved Herman.

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11 Nov 2014Humahuaca, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Cactus near Humahuaca

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11 Nov 2014Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province, Argentina

Nice landscape

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11 Nov 2014Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province, Argentina

The Argentine Army

After our first day cycling in Argentina we arrived in a town called Abra Pampa, as there wasn't many sleeping options, we asked at the police station if we could camp there and they pointed us to the army barracks. The Army were more than happy to accommodate and rolled out the red carpet for us giving us bunks in the barracks, dinner and breakfast! The commanding officer was himself a keen cyclist. The soldiers were all very friendly, and interested in our trip giving lots of good recommendations. This was one of the kindest things that has happened on our trip, their hospitality was second to none, it is things like this that you never forget.

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Llama llama llama...

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

There's a train a comin

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Siesta

After a lunch of a few thousand calories we a
Ways stop for a siesta.

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

No bother at all...

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Hello Argentina

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Bye bye Bolivia

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10 Nov 2014Villazon, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Orange juice

You can get fresh squeezed orange juice on the street really cheap, and the big Bolivian lady who serves, serves without a smile.

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9 Nov 2014Tupiza, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Tupiza

I managed to get myself pretty sick for a couple of days, I blame the Quinoa soup... So after I took a bus for 50k we rested a day in Tupiza, which was a nice town. The day we rested there was a street carnival with dancers from other regions. The next day we carried on, cycling through strange rock formations and tunnels. As we had dropped 1000m the scenery and climate changed quite dramatically.

6 Nov 2014Atocha, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Nice light

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6 Nov 2014Atocha, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Conquering another pass

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6 Nov 2014Atocha, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Woohoo....

This what happens when a big Bolivian Lady crosses your path!

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6 Nov 2014Atocha, Potosi Department, Bolivia

The EU is alive and well.

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5 Nov 2014Atocha, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Atocha

We found a hostel here, and ate our usual double helping of chicken and chips and I managed to trade my pliers which were too big for maintenance on my bike for better ones.

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5 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

Deserted villages

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5 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

How the locals live

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5 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

More canyons

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5 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

Do you wanna see me comb my hair real fast?

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5 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

"Hola Herman"

Here is the celebrity of the trip.

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4 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

Riverbed campsite

It was literally so dry that, we could safely camp in a dried out riverbed, amazing light.

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4 Nov 2014Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Not as easy as it looks!

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4 Nov 2014Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

We are sailing...we are sailing...

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4 Nov 2014Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

The sailing Frenchman

Welcome to Julian who we actually first met in Peru when he was travelling with his father, we kept in touch and now we are cycling towards Salta, Argentina. He is travelling with 'Herman' who sits on the side of his bag and is a massive hit with the local kids. Julian has developed an additional means to power his bike as you will see...

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4 Nov 2014Road to Tupiza

Sand eating sheep en-route to Villazon.

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31 Oct 2014Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Old steamer in Uyuni

The next three days or so is all about eating, cleaning, sleeping, blogging more eating and cleaning, eating and more eating....

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31 Oct 2014Salar de Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

3 new amigos heading to Uyuni

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31 Oct 2014Salar de Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

This is like the fellowship of the ring!

We met Sam, Flo, Johannes and Lyndsey in the morning on the island. This became a parting of the ways as Jorg who had been with us for 11 days cycling was heading South to take on the Lagunas route along with Sam and Flo while everyone else was heading east to Uyuni.

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30 Oct 2014Salar de Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Cactus and sunset

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30 Oct 2014Salar de Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Up for a header on the Salar.

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30 Oct 2014Salar de Uyuni, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Cycling Salar De Uyuni

After a good nights rest we felt refreshed so we set of on to the second larger Salar De Uyuni. The distance across was 150 kilometres, so we took two days with on night on an island in the middle, which was covered in cactus. We then met up with the Norweigens and cycled the second day to Uyuni for a much needed rest after 12 days non-stop cycling, and a chance to update the blog, and wash clothes!

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29 Oct 2014Llica, Potosi Department, Bolivia

Hard day

The road com Salar De Coipasa to Llica was hard work with lots of pushing in sand. The scenery was nice but hard to take in as we were all pretty much done in as the darkness was approaching. We were happy to reach Llica and get a great hostel and a double whammy of chicken and chips. By the way I have missed a date in this recent blogging, as it is actually the 29th of October today so I'm going to jump to that date now...

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28 Oct 2014Tres Cruces, Bolivia

Floating islands

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28 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

Silly Salar pic

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28 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

The 5 amigos

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28 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

Cycling the Salar

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28 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

The Vikings

Gunnar and Sven from Norway, we met them first in Sabaya, we later met them on the Salar then on the next Salar De Uyuni where we cycled with them to Uyuni. Both are characters, especially the taller one, Gunnar, who was full of stories of his travels.

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28 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

Breakfast!

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27 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

Sleeping quarters tonight

Actually best sleep in ages, think lower altitude helped.

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27 Oct 2014Coipasa, Bolivia

Friendliest kids in Bolivia

These kids were actually acting like kids, they were all shouting Hola and wanting a kick about with their football, which for us so far has been unusual in Bolivia as often you just get a deadpan stare.

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27 Oct 2014Coipasa Salt Flat, Atahuallpa, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Salt mining on Salar De Coipasa

We had to cycle around this mine as it was too soft for cycling. The miners kindly pointed us in the right direction to get to Isla De Coipasa.

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27 Oct 2014Sabaya, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Jorg leading on the Salar

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27 Oct 2014Sabaya, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Johannes and Lyndsey join the three amigos

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27 Oct 2014Sabaya, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Meeting of cyclists in Sabaya

We finally caught up with the other two, Johannes and Lyndsey.

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27 Oct 2014Road to Sabaya

First view of Salar De Coipasa

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26 Oct 2014Colchane, Chile

Caught them at last!

Finally caught up with Sam and Flo at Colchene, were they were living it up in a 5 star hotel, (at a seriously cut price). No sign of Johannes and Lyndsey yet.

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26 Oct 2014Colchane, Chile

Pista at last!

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26 Oct 2014Enquelga, Colchane, Chile

Wait up Jorg

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26 Oct 2014Chaguane, Colchane, Chile

And Alpaca

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26 Oct 2014Chaguane, Colchane, Chile

Llama llama llama

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26 Oct 2014Santa Flor de Parajalla, Colchane, Chile

Jump

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26 Oct 2014Santa Flor de Parajalla, Colchane, Chile

Deserted villages

We came across quite a few random deserted villages all with a Catholic chapel, houses but no people....

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26 Oct 2014Termas de polloquerie

Nice one Kiki!

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26 Oct 2014Termas de polloquerie

Kiki's shortcut

Kiki from Spain kindly gave us the coordinates for shortcut that would save us 25k and a 4700m pass. The roads were smaller in places but thankfully the really sandy parts were downhill, so the shortcut was a complete success, so thanks Kiki!

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26 Oct 2014Termas de polloquerie

Vicuñas crossing the Salar early morning

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25 Oct 2014Termas de polloquerie

Whose the mud monster?

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25 Oct 2014Termas de polloquerie

More hot springs at 4200m

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25 Oct 2014Chilacaya

Another Salar de Surire flamingo

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25 Oct 2014Chilacaya

Salar de Surire flamingos

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25 Oct 2014Chilacaya

Christopher, the kindest policeman in the world!

At this police station we were met with nothing but kindness, Christopher who was on duty seemed to take pity on us, seeing we had fairly basic food, he gave us bread, pate, Tuna, Biscuits, Jam and lemonade, and wouldn't accept anything for it. He watched us munching heartily and kept bringing in more and more, what a guy!

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24 Oct 2014Paquisa, Putre, Chile

Freezing camp

It got down to minus 15 this night, coldest to date, my sleeping bag and down mat were on the comfort limit. Making porridge in the morning wasn't easy as all the water we had was frozen.

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24 Oct 2014Guallatiri, Putre, Chile

Desert

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24 Oct 2014Guallatiri, Putre, Chile

Amigos!

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24 Oct 2014Guallatiri, Putre, Chile

More clues!

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24 Oct 2014Guallatiri, Putre, Chile

Guallatire - a smokin Volcano

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24 Oct 2014Churiguaya, Putre, Chile

Filtering water

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24 Oct 2014Churigualla, Putre, Chile

Can't miss this clue

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23 Oct 2014Churigualla, Putre, Chile

Hot spring camp spot

Slept in the hot spring hut, great natural heat from the hot spring. Had a dip in the spring, but too hot as could only handle 10 minutes. Our cycling amigos Sam, Flo, Johannes and Lyndsey had been here the day before and as they had promised were leaving wee signs for us to follow.

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23 Oct 2014Chungará Lake, Putre, Chile

Top of another 4680 m pass in Chile

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23 Oct 2014Tambo Quemado, Atahuallpa, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Upside down on top of the world

After an uphill slog we reached the 4650 m pass that Borders Bolivia with Chile. The next 5 days will be really hard cycling all on dirt roads with some parts requiring pushing as thick sand, but it will be stunning scenery...rough with the smooth!

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23 Oct 2014Nevado Sajama, Sajama, Oruro Department, Bolivia

Last Sajama shot

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22 Oct 2014

That's me that is....

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22 Oct 2014

Finally reached Sajama village, and got an Alojamiento (hostel) and met Juan from Ecuador whose brother is studying in Edinburgh. He kindly invited us to visit him when we get to Ecuador.

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22 Oct 2014

Flamingos

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22 Oct 2014

Ostrich at 4400 meters near Sajama

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22 Oct 2014

What a view

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22 Oct 2014

Don't think I should be in here

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22 Oct 2014

Llamas and Sajama

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22 Oct 2014

All in one wee building

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22 Oct 2014

Hailstones and another electric storm

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22 Oct 2014

Looking towards Volcanos in Chile

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22 Oct 2014

Drystone walling Bolivian style!

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22 Oct 2014

Back onto the dirt roads

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22 Oct 2014

More canyons

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22 Oct 2014Curahuara de Carangas, Bolivia

Poor wee lamb

A local Bolivian decided to give us a close up of a lamb much to the annoyance of the mother, he then asked for money which is par for the course, which shows how poor they are and their view of us as rich 'gringos'

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21 Oct 2014Curahuara de Carangas, Bolivia

Camp spot near curahuara de Carangas

We set up camp near a river in sunny conditions, but within an hour the skies had darkened and before we knew it we were in the middle of an electric storm with big bolts of lightning hitting nearby hills...dramatic. Oh and Jorg is still with us as he decided to join us on our route, which is great as he has about 10 years more experience than us at this kind of thing.

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21 Oct 2014

Strange rocks

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21 Oct 2014

Llamas cruising around

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21 Oct 2014

Jorg and Mark on an uphill.

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21 Oct 2014

We saw quite a lot of thatched Catholic Churches like this.

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21 Oct 2014

Strange ancient buildings along the roadside

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21 Oct 2014

First Flamingo!

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21 Oct 2014

After a fairly monotonous stretch of road after Patacamaya, things got more interesting with canyons and reddish clay.

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20 Oct 2014Patacamaya Municipality, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Hostel in Patacamaya

Bikes now safe in the only hostel that would take us in after an hour of searching.

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20 Oct 2014Calamarca, La Paz Department, Bolivia

La Paz to Patacamaya

Back in the saddle today with Mark and now Jorg from Bavaria Germany who has joined us to Patacamaya where he will head South towards the Salars (salt lakes) and we will head west towards Sajama (Bolivia's highest mountain) and then into Northern Chile for 5 days of remote cycling in the Vicuñas National Park, before re-entering Bolivia and cycling through the two Salar's Coipasa and Uyuni. For the section from La Paz to Patacamaya we had 60 kilometres (out of 90) of our own private road which ran parallel to the busier old road.

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17 Oct 2014

La Casa De Cicilistas

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15 Oct 2014La Paz, La Paz Department, Bolivia

La Casa De Cicilistas (the house of the cyclists)

This is literally home from home, a great concept, one of many houses all over South America solely for cyclists. Everyone really friendly and so cheap that it's virtually free!

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15 Oct 2014La Paz, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Big downhill into La Paz

Part way down this 450 meter downhill into the La Paz bowl we saw a sign saying no cyclists...too late!

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15 Oct 2014Batallas, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Puno & East Lake Titikaka

We took Julian's - French cyclist's - advice to cycle around the much quieter and more beautiful east side of Lake Titikaka. First we had to go to Puno to get our Visa's sorted, so we left the bikes at a shop in a town called Pocura 120k north of Puno and went by bus to Puno and stayed 2 days. This gave us a chance to see Puno, take the mandatory boat trip to a floating island, and have a look round the British steam ship the Yavari, which had been built in London, then took some 8 years to steam around Cape Horn, and be transported in thousands of parts over the Andes by mule to Lake Titikak. After a visit to the Bolivian Consulate we were told that we don't need stamps as we are British, we only needed to get a stamp at the Bolivian frontier town of Purta Acosta. So with that 'official' advice we set of back to get the bikes and get back on the road again. First nights camp was interesting, as it was late on so we had to do a stealth camp near what we thought was an abandoned house. Turns out it was occupied, but the owners were very friendly, even although the neighbours were less so... The next 5 days were hard going as lots of headwind, and in places roads that were almost not possible to cycle, but the scenery and the local people we met more than made up for it, we had fantastic lakeside camp spots too. However, at Tilali (the Peruvian frontier) we found out that we actually needed an exit stamp from Puno to legally enter Bolivia!... The frontier police let us through telling us we could sort it out in Bolivia. Then at Purta Acosta we found out that they wouldn't give us an entry stamp without a Peruvian exit stamp, so then we were illegal immigrants in Bolivia. Not to worry we found out we can pay the fine of £30 in La Paz and get the paperwork sorted out. Now we are in La Paz chilling out in a 'Casa de Ciclistas' an open house for cyclists, so learning lots of good tips for the future roads ahead!

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14 Oct 2014Batallas, La Paz Department, Bolivia

An inside camp!

We came to what looked like a fairly developed town, and we were tiered and ready to stop, so we expected to find a hostel, however, we were told there was none, but a local shop keeper agreed to let us have this unfurnished room...The lord provides!

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14 Oct 2014Near Ancoraimes

The view!

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14 Oct 2014The climb before Ancoraimes

Ominous

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14 Oct 2014Lakeside camp near Escoma

Poser!

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14 Oct 2014Lakeside camp near Escoma

Local fisher people

As we pack away this morning a local fisherman invited us down to see what they were doing, I told them my father was a fisherman, to which they were interested in what his catch was.

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13 Oct 2014Escoma, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Sunset over Lago Titikaka

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13 Oct 2014Lake side camp near Escoma

Two ducks

There were two ducks crossing the street in Inverness the other day and one of the ducks said "quack quack", while the other said "I'm going as quack as I can."

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13 Oct 2014Escoma, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Lakeside camp

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13 Oct 2014Escoma, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Tarmac!

Finally we hit Tarmac, but also the steepest gradient yet, we cycled up 120 meters elevation in the lowest gear with local school kids laughing and literally walking past us!

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13 Oct 2014Puerto Acosta, Bolivia

Don't think tarmac has made it to Bolivia yet

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13 Oct 2014Puerto Acosta, Bolivia

Bolivian frontier police - thief!

After getting told we can't get a Bolivian stamp without the Peruvian exit stamp, one of the guards decided to have a wee shot of Marks bike! Then they sent us on our way to continue the stamp saga in La Paz - in other words pay the fine....

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12 Oct 2014Tilali, Puno, Peru

The un-cycleable road!

After escaping the Peruvian frontier with a good ticking of for not having a stamp we came across the hardest road yet, with some parts requiring a push!

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11 Oct 2014Tilali, Puno, Peru

Local workies actually working!

These guys had a right laugh at us bouncing along on their unfinished roads.

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11 Oct 2014Moho, Puno, Peru

Grafting!

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11 Oct 2014Moho, Puno, Peru

Whoo hoo

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11 Oct 2014Moho, Puno, Peru

Whipping the sheep into shape!

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10 Oct 2014Huancané, Puno, Peru

Evening catch lake Titikaka

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10 Oct 2014Huancané, Puno, Peru

Storm brewing over lake Titikaka

We took refuge near the lake as it started to rain, pitching tents quickly (getting inner part of the tents wet) then once up the sun came out!

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10 Oct 2014Huancané, Puno, Peru

Free meal!

This guy Javier a taxi driver sat across from us in a cafe and got chatting, he had passed us cycling on the road, he invited us to a street party in his town in May and paid for our lunch, incredible kindness!

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10 Oct 2014Taraco, Puno, Peru

Locals going to the fiesta in Taraco

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9 Oct 2014Dirt track to Huancané

Stealth camp at non-abandoned house!

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9 Oct 2014Pucara, Puno, Peru

Off pista!

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7 Oct 2014Puno, Peru

Captain of the Yavari!

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6 Oct 2014Pucara, Puno, Peru

Day 5 - Ccatave to Pucara - 20 miles

This was just a half day as we had decided to leave the bikes at Pucara and bus it into Puno to see Lake Titikaka, the floating islands, and to have the comfort of a hostel and wifi to blog etc! After buying cheese of a local family and getting advice on a good shortcut across a river we cycled through fantastic scenery with no cars just open fields, we hit the ruta 3 and headed down to Pucara where managed to find a nice family/shop who agreed to keep the bikes. We then fought our way onto a local bus, and I mean literally fought our way on! It was quite bizarre as bus kept passing and picking up some locals, we didn't have a clue what was going on, every time a bus arrived there was a rush for it. Anyway eventually we got on one and headed for Puno.

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5 Oct 2014Ccatave, Peru

The view from our camp spot

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5 Oct 2014Ccatave, Peru

Great camping spot!

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5 Oct 2014Ccatave, Peru

The taxidermist and his Braveheart loving son

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5 Oct 2014Ccatave, Peru

Taxidermist

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5 Oct 2014Ayaviri, Puno, Peru

Day 4 - Santa Rosa to ccatave canyons 36 miles

Set of from Santa Rosa Hostel with a bag full of homemade bread, cheese and biscuits. The landlady kindly brought sweet tea in the morning as we were tucking into some of the fresh bread and cheese. We headed towards Ayaviri to suss out if we could get our bikes on the bus down to Puno, as we had changed our planned route from going on the west side of Lake Titikaka to taking the much quieter and more scenic east side (advice from our French friend we met in the hostel). After arriving at Ayaviri we found the place all pretty confusing, and couldn't get much sense on bikes and buses, so we headed out on a detour towards ccatave - a suggestion I read on another blog which looks like something of a 'western' movie. After a 8 mile cycle on a dirt track we arrived at a building in the middle of a dramatic canyon. A local on a motorcycle arrived shortly after saying he owned the building, and that we could sleep there if we wanted. It turned out he was a taxidermist, so after and enthusiastic tour of all these dead animals (he kept is helmet on the whole time) he left us too it. In the morning his son came down going on about Braveheart and William Wallace, it turns out I was the first scot they had met!

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4 Oct 2014Santa Rosa, Peru

Over the pass in style

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4 Oct 2014Santa Rosa, Peru

Bye bye to the propaganda flags

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4 Oct 2014Santa Rosa, Peru

La Raya Pass

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4 Oct 2014Santa Rosa, Peru

More flags!

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4 Oct 2014Santa Rosa, Peru

Day 3 - Over La Raya pass - 38 miles

Today was going to be a 'wee' milestone for us as we had to climb from our position of 3700 meters to 4340. So a right good bowl of porridge was in order. En route we stopped at a toilet and this time Mark was accosted by two local ladies who wanted to put the opposition candidates flag onto his bike, so now we were promoting both sides....could be handy. The ride up the pass was not too steep, however a combination of altitude and a headwind did make heavy going, but we got there and then decided to plant our flags respectively at the top before a big downhill to Santa Rosa village at 4000 meters. We found a really cheap but clean hostel, and ran into another couple of cyclists A French guy and his dad. He had invented an ingenious way to have a rest from cycling, he had a mast attached to his bike that could be raised when the wind was coming from the right way, so he would sail instead of cycling...genius!

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3 Oct 2014Sicuani, Cusco, Peru

Local security give us the go ahead to camp.

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3 Oct 2014Tinta, Cusco, Peru

This is Peru!

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3 Oct 2014Tinta, Cusco, Peru

Propaganda

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3 Oct 2014Tinta, Cusco, Peru

Locals cycling 'Ruta' 3 pales our efforts in comparison!

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3 Oct 2014Tinta, Cusco, Peru

The flag!

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3 Oct 2014Cusipata, Peru

Day 2 - Cusipata to Sicuani 46 miles

Porridge for breakfast a light tailwind and another sunny day made for pleasant cycling as we headed South West along 'Ruta' 3. We stopped for a lunch of local trout in a small village called Tinta, where when made to leave we were accosted by a van load of political activists who were very interested in our cycle trip, as we were bantering away with them one of them got their political flag and attached it to the 'cat catcher' of my bike, so for the next few days I was getting more than the usual Hola's from all the locals as I cycled by. For agreeing to take there flag I was getting hundreds of handshakes and thanks, they must have thought they had just pulled of the propaganda move of the campaign getting a 'gringo' to carry the flag all the away through Peru. After reaching Sicuani we camped a few miles beyond behind an abandoned house - another great camp spot - we were given permission by local security guards who were also interested in our trip.

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2 Oct 2014Cusipata, Peru

First camp

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2 Oct 2014Cusipata, Peru

Lunch!

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2 Oct 2014Cusipata, Peru

Day 1 - Cusco to just past Cusipata 53 miles 550 meters ascent

We set of from Pantastico in good spirits at around 7am to beat the traffic and the fumes that go with it. The traffic got busy but the drivers were surprisingly courteous, only the buses were a pain, and you had to be careful as they would cut across you when stopping to pick up people, but all good and some fast lessons learned! Out on the open road the scenery improved as did the air, it was a great feeling of freedom to be travelling on bikes, this is what the next 7 months will be all about. Sorry about the bike selfies but we are at the novelty stage! We found a great place to make our first camp which seemed like a deserted campsite right of the road, it even had toilets and a thatched roof. Time to try out the water filters in the river.

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1 Oct 2014Cusco, Peru

Ready to go!

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1 Oct 2014Cusco, Peru

Bike building

Today was all about building the bikes. It all went smoothly except for one spring for my rear axle mysteriously went missing, fortunately I had a spare. Packing tonight then on the road tomorrow to start this adventure for real.

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30 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

Our guide - blah blah blah

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30 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

The Inca Bridge

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30 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

Original

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30 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

Machu Picchu

We chose the cheapest trip to Machu Picchu, which meant a 6 hour minbus ride hugging the sides of mountains and gorges to arrive at hidroelectrica where we then hiked along the rail track (2 and a half hours) into Aguacalientes where we stayed the night in a very surreal place that reminded me of a Peruvian Disneyland built in the middle of stunning sheer mountains. After a few hours sleep we got up at 4am to start the hike up to Machu Picchu getting the sunrise enroute. How do you take an original photo of Machu Picchu? We met loads of people from all over the world, out of the whole trip I can't imagine we will be anywhere else with so many different cultures in the one place. Machu Picchu definitely lived up to the hype, the nice weather also helped.

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29 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

There's a train a comin

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29 Sep 2014Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

Hike along the rail track to Aguacalientes

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28 Sep 2014Pisac, Cusco, Peru

I got in!

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28 Sep 2014Pisac, Cusco, Peru

Pretty indomitable position!

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28 Sep 2014Pisac, Cusco, Peru

Main Pisac fort

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28 Sep 2014Pisac, Cusco, Peru

Inca terraces

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28 Sep 2014Pisac, Cusco, Peru

Pisac & The Sacred Valley

We took a local min bus and after a few hairpin corners arrived at Pisac which is home to another impressive Inca fort. We hiked up 450 meters from the town to the upper fort. For anyone who intends to visit there we would definitely recommend that you hike up and don't take the easy option of a taxi/bus as it is a fantastic experience where you feel you are the only ones there (mainly because everyone else takes a taxi!) Meeting loads of nice people in Cusco both locals and other travellers, everyone is really friendly, and interested in the cycling trip. At the moment it is good being a tourist but I am itching to get cycling, D-day is Thursday 2nd of October - Machu Picchu first.)

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27 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Hey Tonto

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27 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Inca power!

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27 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Saqsaywaman fort

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27 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Plaza De Armas from Saqsaywaman

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27 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

View from Saqsaywaman

Hiked up to the Inca fort called Saqsaywaman which had fantastic views right across the valley that Cusco sits in. In 1945 a (smaller) replica of the famous statue that sits above Rio De Janeiro was put above Cusco. The Inca's who built Saqsaywaman must have been supremely powerful to be able to harness the manpower required to build the fort, apparently they had 20,000 people working on it daily for 75 years! We had a chance to visit further sites on horseback, Mongolia here we go again yeehaa a... (Nice horses Margo!)

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26 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

University Plaza De Armas

We found out you can access the uni toilets so we 'blended in' with the locals while using their facilities.

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26 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Plaza De Armas

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26 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Plaza De Armas

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26 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Cusco streets

Shoe shiners everywhere, maybe not a good idea having leather shoes! Cusco is a stunning city, with lots of narrow streets all perfectly kept, maintained and protected from modern intrusions, MacDonalds has made it here as has Starbucks but you would hardly notice as they have to blend in. We had a look around taking it easy acclimatising while taking it all in. It is amazing to think that so many people have consistently lived and prospered at such a height in the Andes over the years.

25 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

Pantastico!

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25 Sep 2014Cusco, Peru

View from Pantastico bed and bakery - cusco

After a no thrills flight with Air Europa, our bikes and stuff have made it in one piece. The air is thin, but the Pantastico bread is good! What a view!

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23 Sep 2014Norwich, United Kingdom

Cusco here we come!

Bike finally boxed and bang on 23K (few other bits in there) and other panniers in a laundry bag also bang on 23k. The blue one will be hand luggage. This must be what being organised feels like... Leaving Norwich (my sisters) at 6.30am in a taxi to bus station to get 6 hour bus to Gatwick, nothing like a long bus ride to prepare for a longer plane ride, bring on the cycling:) I hope the baggage handlers like my wee drawing of a bike and register that the box contains a bike and are gentle with it.

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22 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

More kit

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22 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

All my kit

Crux storm 2 tent
Exped down mat
RAB Alpine 600 down sleeping bag
Silk liner
MRS dragonfly multi stove + 600 ml fuel container, two cooking pots.
MRS 'sweet water' filter/purification system
1.5 litre Nalgene bottle, cup, bowl, spoon, knife, chopping board.
10 litre Ortlieb water carrying bag.
Cycling shorts
Padded cycling shorts
Long padded wind stopper cycling bottoms
cycling t-shirt x 2
Wind stopper long sleeved cycling top.
Specilized fingerless gloves
Sealskin 'warmer' gloves
Sunglasses + elastic
Wide brimmed hat + Helmet
Specialized cleated cycling shoes
Sealskin waterproof socks
Jeans, underwear, t-shirts, jumper, trainers (city clothes)
RAB Wind stopper hoodie
RAB down jacket
RAB waterproof shell (top + bottoms)
Flip flops + swimming shorts
Spare folding tyre
Inner tubes x 2
Spare chain + chain links x2
Spare spokes
Spare break and gear cables
Chain lube + rag
Grease + ball bearings
Break pads x 3
Pliers, cone + nut spanners, spoke remover, chain breaker, multi tool, allan keys, aluminium ext pipe, cable ties, duck tape, hacksaw blade, wire, puncture repair kit, selection of nuts+bolts+washers.
iPhone (emergencies only)
iPad mini
Panasonic lumix Z40 camera
Maps for all countries + compass!

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20 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

The 'Cat Catcher' bottle cage

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20 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

Fully loaded on Arran

Here is the bike fully loaded and ready for the off. It is a Surly custom made, strongly built with South America in mind! The 'basic' version of the main specs are as follows:

Surly long haul trucker frame
Rigida Sputnik rims and DT competition Swiss spokes
Shimano LX hubs front and back
Schwalbe Marathon Tour plus tyres
Tubus racks front and back
Brooks 17 saddle
XT group set & pedals - 10 speed
Xtra large BBB bottle cages
Ortlieb front and rear classics plus 35ltr extra rack bag
Vaude road bar bag.
Mirror (not attached in this shot)
Cats eye computer (for speed and distance)
The following shot shows an extra bottle cage (for fuel) expertly fixed on by my father...thanks dad!

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18 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

Sir Francis Drake

"Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ."

18 Sep 2014Clachan, United Kingdom

Introduction

I'm a teacher from Scotland and with a friend from London we are about to embark on a trip of a lifetime cycling through the Andes to Patagonia. Broadly speaking we will begin in Cusco Peru and cycle South through Bolivia, Chile and Argentina before returning North to Colombia to continue cycling south through Ecuador and back to Peru. There is much I could say regarding the motivation and planning of this trip but in instead I will leave you with the words of Sir Francis Drake before he sailed around the coast of South America.

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