After what feels like an age of stopping and starting and easy living we’re back doing what we do best, pointing the bikes toward our destination and cranking for all we’re worth.
We left Lima late on Tuesday, having lunch after a litany of punctures- I’m not sure if that’s the correct collective term for punctures but it seems appropriate. Leaving a capital city is never comfortable and our nerves were shot after 30km of dueling with traffic. We managed another 40km before being forced to camp on a cliffside behind a group of shanty houses less than 10m from the road, and had little sleep due to cacophony of passing trucks.
Up with the lark, we headed north the next morning and had a surprisingly tough 140km, both feeling a touch demotivated, so we decided to stay in a cheap hostal revive our spirits with a bag of cream cakes. At 25c a pop gluttony is affordable in Peru. Thursday, was a little better, but progress still felt slow. With an unexpected amount of climbing, roughly 800m, the 120km wasn’t handed to us on a plate. We camped on a sandy bluff overlooking a deserted valley, and ate more cake. On friday a chance encounter with a kind stranger, and covering a decent bit of the black stuff turned things around. As we arrived in Chimbote, the self named capital of fish, we were escorted by Juan, a champion cyclist, and stayed in Carlos’ place, next to an anchovy processing factory and fell asleep with the aroma of tinned fish in our nostrils after a dinner of roast chicken and chips. A long day yesterday added another 140km to the week’s total of 605km, with an average speed of 21km per hour and a max speed of 63km.
Next week is a big one, 600km in four days(all going to plan) with 190km of desolate desert to cross on Wednesday. Then, all going to plan, we’ll be rewarded with two days off in the beach resort of Mancora where we can share our appalling tan lines with the world and club together for a Pina Colada or two.
We’re in such a hurry, as we have to make it to Bogota in Columbia, about 2,400 km away for the 18th of June to catch flights to Shanghai.
En-route we’ll be crossing the Ecuator which is a significant element for our circumnavigation criteria. To-date we’ve hit one antipode, covered 7,600km and crossed 6 time zones. Bubble Brothers are also excited, and planning one hell of a give-away to celebrate the occasion- more on that soon.
In other news, we’ve been asked to do a guest post for Alastair Humphreys’ blog, which we’re thrilled about. We’ll be in good company too, as the first guest poster was Mark Beaumont, who’s a bit of a hero in the revolution camp.