Back on the bike (Loja – Puyo)

Back on the bike (Loja – Puyo)

From Loja it would be about 750km to Quito. I could have gone on a shorter route through the mountains, but I decided instead to drop down to El Oriente, the foothills of the Andes where they drop into the Amazon. I figured it would be flatter than the mountains, and also I wanted to visit my friend Nick, who had not only hosted me on my first day in Mexico, but also I’d ridden with in Cuba.

There was a climb into the clouds out of Loja, on rather steep roads (as seems to be the Ecuadorian

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Peruvian slumber party

Peruvian slumber party

It was an earlyish start, the father taught classes at the local school as apparently the area is not very religious, which considering how I was still fairly low was perfect for me, so I spent the day following the Rio Mantaro valley, and generally climbing up slowly. The sky was quite overcast at times, and about 5km before the town of Mariscal Cáceres I finally did it, and ran into a rainstorm while on my bike. It started to bucket it down, and I tried to take shelter under the overhang of

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Dropping down to Ayacucho

Dropping down to Ayacucho

Having made it more than half way up the hill the day before, there was a mere 20km to go to the top of the climb through countless switchbacks. Just before I got to the top, I met Daniel, a German cycle-tourist who, not being crazy, was of course heading south. We sat on the side of the road and chatted for over 2 hours. Considering the lack of traffic, we could have almost sat in the middle of the road without a problem! We shared stories from the road, and advice for what lay ahead.

The only

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Up and down again

Up and down again

Another day, another climb. This time a mere 40km up, and the same down the other side, and after being offered 3 lifts the day before, I did it all by myself! The rain is coming, and I saw plenty of clouds, but thanks to dumb luck I managed to avoid them all. At the top of the climb, around 4000m, I did however see the results of an earlier hailstorm that I’m definitely glad to have avoided. Hail is one of the times when I really wish I wore a helmet on my bike, because otherwise it’s

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Leaving Cusco

Leaving Cusco

My package, after a mere 10 days stuck at customs, arrived in Cusco on the Monday, but DHL still managed to throw in another proof of their lack of communication. I got a message from Jon on Facebook when I was having my breakfast that it had arrived and was ready to pick up. I hadn’t been expecting it until the afternoon, as that’s when the guy in the DHL office told me that they usually got deliveries, but great, I’d be able to leave a bit earlier. Of course it wasn’t

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