Cycling over salt to the end
Juliaca -> Copacabana (ROUTE)
Salinas -> Uyuni (ROUTE)
After The Peru Divide, we couldn’t leave the country without visiting the main tourist attraction. Arriving in Cusco, we spent some time sampling the delightful cuisine before taking a 7-hour bus followed by a 3-hour hike along the train tracks to reach Machu Picchu. An iconic site, we were glad to have done it, although the hoards of people crowding the ancient city on the mountain were a shock to our system after months of solitude!
Continue reading “Peru South & Bolivia”
Huaraz -> Ayacucho (Route)
Let me explain: The Peru Divide is a route initiated by the Pikes on andescycling.com, attempting to cross the mountains of Central Peru only on small dirt roads, away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal region around the capital of Lima. Since 2013 the route has been refined by many riders to hit the most secluded and prestigious spots and has gained reputation as one of the most beautiful as well as hardest cycling routes in the world. Across roughly 1000km the Peru Divide rarely dips below 4000m altitude, climbing over 5000m peaks fifteen times. With very few exceptions, the road is only gravel at best, with surfaces ranging from fine sand to big slippy rocks. The active mining industry has developed a network of secluded routes through some of the most breathtaking mountain regions. These roads are rarely driven by anybody else and remain an absolute highlight for any keen cyclists who want to treat and torture themselves. Sounds right up our alley…
Continue reading “The Peru Divide”
The final chapter! We are climbing the Andes twice, crossing a desert and make our way to the border of Ecuador
🚴🏻♂️🚴🏻♀️ Chinchiná – Pasto (1000km) -> Route
Cream! It must have been the cream. There was a lot of it on the dry cake we had eaten the day before. It had to happen at some point, but food poisoning certainly wasn’t the way we had imagined our start into the new year. Early in bed, we luckily recovered enough to cycle out of Chinchiná in the early morning hours on New Years Day.
Continue reading “Colombia – Part 3: Climbing”
We rent a flat and become students
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ Cartagena – Santa Marta (250km)
Arriving into Colombia was an experience like no other! We built our bikes right beside the baggage carousel whilst we waited for our panniers, loaded them up and wheeled our way directly through customs. We cycled out of the airport and were immediately on small back roads with next to no traffic, worlds away from the 8 lane highways we had left behind in the states. As if that wasn’t enough, we soon turned onto a cycle path right next to the beach. We had made the right decision.
Continue reading “Colombia – Part 1: Learning”
From the Redwoods to the Golden Gate
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ California Border – San Francisco (500 Miles)
A small blue sign marked the entrance from Oregon to California, the last state of our Pacific Coast route. Shortly after was a checkpoint. A border control between states? Yes! The import of any fresh produce into California is illegal. For a second we were worried we would be arrested for smuggling kale and other vegetables in our panniers but, as usual, being on bikes didn’t register as a (produce related) threat and the border police waved us by. We were in Cali!
Continue reading “USA – California”
Yoga in the rain on Otter‘s Lair Lane
🚴🏻♂️🚴🏻♀️ San Juan – California Border (1300km)
We arrived by boat at what may be the quaintest entry point into the United States – Friday Harbour. A harbour large enough for just one ferry and a small shed, within which the two border guards resided, on the island of San Juan, the largest of the 170 San Juan Islands. Testing the assumption that all small islanders are friendly, even border guards, Lucy ran straight over the border keen to pedal to the campsite before dark. Unfortunately, border guards are still border guards, the smiling face turned to a frown and I was pulled back to the arbitrary line to show my passport.
Continue reading “USA – Washington & Oregon”
Friendship and ice cream cake
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ Vancouver – Victoria (550km)
On leaving Asia and telling our tales of people’s immense kindness, we were told not to expect anything like that from our next leg through the Americas. People with more give less, said almost everyone on hearing our stories and learning of our future plans. Two and a half weeks in Canada has blown that out of the water entirely!
Continue reading “Canada – B.C.”
Solitude, Single Malts and Sunsets
🚴🏻♂️ Ardrossan – Inverness (800km)
After bobbing around in Thailand, England and Germany, Lucy and I decided to split up. Just for a couple of weeks, that is. After being in the saddle for so many days, it was time to stretch the legs before we would embark on another epic trip later this summer – but first things first. While Lucy enjoyed the time off, not having to pedal for hours every day, I remembered that northern corner of the United Kingdom I never had the time to properly visit, while I had lived in England. The itch was back and I packed up to visit the rugged coast of West Scotland.
Continue reading “Scotland”
We cycle among 3000 temples and get conned by Mr. Wisdom
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ Myawaddy – Myawaddy (800km)
The decision to cycle in Myanmar was quite spontaneous and so we arrived a bit unprepared in Mae Sot, the Thai-side border town. Luckily we met local resident and cyclist Ton, who gave us, and many passing tourers before us, essential knowledge on how to survive a trip through Myanmar. Things we learned:
Continue reading “Myanmar”
We camp with monks and Lucy learns to scuba dive
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ Satun – Mae Sot (1300km)
“Mr. And Ms. Bicycle, over here!”, welcomed the Thai border officer at the small Wang Prachan border crossing leading us straight into the Thale Ban national park. The sun was buzzing as we descended the main road towards Satun. Other than trying to avoid main roads in the upcoming weeks, we had made few plans and so we cycled on bicycle/motorbike lanes until the sunset.
Continue reading “Thailand”