Celebrate with us next Tuesday

Casa de Ciclista- Trujillo

Fearghal

Don’t forget to pick up two bottles of the delicious Tsarine Champagne for the price of one on Tuesday, and celebrate with us as we cross the equator the next big geographical marker on our journey around the globe. For each pair sold Bubble Brothers will donate 5euro to our Aware fund.

Find out more here

Gobble gobble gobble

Simon, eating

Simon

Pacasmayo – Peru

After a few months of eating dodgy Andean food, including such high altitude delights as slow cooked, gooey pasta, half cooked chips and mushy rice it is to my stomachs delight that the food has got much better down here at the coast. And, even better, my appetite has returned to it´s full capacity having being restricted by the low oxygen Andean environment, which was probably for the better. I thought I´d share with you what grub is required in order to keep our legs spinning nicely, here´s a list of what I ate in one day:

1st breakfast: porridge, cake and crackers

2nd breakfast: lomo saltado (chicken, onion, tomato and chips) and 2 buns

lunch: vegetable soup followed by fish, salad and potatoes

early dinner (street food on arrival): hamburger (with chips in), meat stuffed fried potato, 5 picarones (like doughnuts, but freshly cooked and crispy) with lashings of honey

dinner: minstrone soup, “meat” stew, rice and salad

late dinner (after a couple of beers): 2 big “royal” burgers and chicha morada (sweet Peruvian drink made from purple corn)

snacks during the day: 2 apple empanadas (stuffed pastries, similar to a Cornish pastie), 6 cookies, 6 mini chocolate tarts, 4 green mandarins and an alfahor (dulce de leche/ shortbread sandwich), all washed down with about 4 litres of water that had been warmed in the desert sun.

Bracing for Winter

asia route

Simon

Trujillo – Peru

We´ve done a bit of a U turn (not literally) regarding our route across Asia. We originally planned on cycling from Shanghai (one of our antipodal points), across the Gobi desert to Ulan Bator in Mongolia, then west across the Trans-Siberian Highway in Russia. But with the rutted muddy roads in Bolivia, and an unexpected amount of visits from the stomach monsters, we got a bit behind schedule. The delay would put us in Siberia in winter so, not wishing to get our nuts frozen off, we thought about taking the hotter Southerly route from Shanghai to Thailand, boat it across to India (to avoid Burma which has closed its land borders), then crossing Pakistan and Iran to Turkey. 

Yes, this did indeed sound lovely, good food, well populated and a darn sight warmer than the Siberian winter. Unfortunately though, events in Pakistan have meant that it´s pretty much out of bounds which would make the Southerly route more of a hop than a continuous cycle across Asia.

So now it´s back to the Northerly route through Siberia. We´re in two minds on the best way to cross Russia without turning into human lollypops. The first is to jettison as much kit as possible, step on the gas and try to get across before winter sets in properly. The second is to get lots of extra warm clothing (including of course one of those big, furry, floppy-eared Russian hats) making our bikes heavier and slower, and resign ourselves for a freezing winter. We´re still pondering on which is the better option, each having their merits. Either way though, it´ll be a great adventure.

For One Day Only

France- Week 3- Domaine de l'Aujardière

A Bike and Vines in the Loire

Fearghal

On Tuesday the second of November we cross the Equator. This a big occasion for us as it brings us one pedal revolution closer to achieving our goal of circumnavigating the globe by bicycle, as crossing the equator twice is one of the requirements set out by the Guinness Record keepers who’s criteria we’re sticking to. So we’re mucho excited.

On Tuesday the 2nd of June Bubble Brothers will give away 2 bottles of their delicious Tsarine Premium Cuvee Champagne for the price of one, donating 5 euro to Aware for each pair sold. 

Bubble Brothers, our principle sponsors are also pretty excited about it too. So excited in-fact that they’re offering two bottles of this sumptuous champagne for the price of one for that day only, and donating 5 euro to Aware for each pair sold. So that’s two bottles for less than 50euro in the shops or delivered to your door, or the wine lover in your life, for less than 65euro inc p+p. 

This is an opportunity to drink some serious bubbles, to drink a wine that reviewers have been raving about at a very tasty price- you can see what they’ve been saying here. We had the pleasure of tasting this golden nectar when we visited the guys in Cork last November en-route to France. My memory is of a rich and elegant liquid, with a refined, delicate mousse and a sumptuous finish, complex and lingering- of candied fruit, toasted brioche and orange blossom. 

I can recall the flavour vividly, as when things are rough, when food is hard to come by and the comforts of home seem half the world away I go to my happy place and imagine the last sophisticated and complex thing to pass my lips, and to date it has been that wine.       

So pop into the English Market or the Wine Depot if you’re in Cork, or get online here and order a few bottles for your next big celebration and drink a toast with us to excellent wine and adventure and help Aware in the process.

Just the two of us.

Horse and Cart and Si

Fearghal

Peru-Trujillo

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.                      

Choose Life

 
Simon drying out MSR flysheet
 

I was just reminded of this little speech from Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting over at the ever inspiring Alastair Humphreys.com

Just the right sentiment for a tuesday afternoon, no?   

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars,
compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good
health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed
interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your
friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a
three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics.
Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing
game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose
rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable
home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up
brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.

Update- Andes, Nazca and Lima

Blue Rock in the middle of the desert

Fearghal

Lima-Peru

So we made it out of the Andes. Unfortunately the 60km downhill was mared by a potholed road and road works. So that white knuckled ride wasn’t to be. 

At this stage we’ve grown accusomed to snap lansdcape changes in the Andes. Often the day might start with jungle green rolling hills and go through several climatic and goelogical zones as we climbed and descended- all in a days work as they’d say. I found the cultural change over the 60km from 4,200m to Nazca which sits at a reasonable 600m a bit of a surprise though. Over a couple of hours riding, the dress, housing, food, cars and general attitide of people changed dramatically. Gone are the women dressed in petticoats and bowler hats, gone are the toyota landcruisers, and bland food. A simple drop down a, admittedly drastic, geographical barrier and it feels like being in a different country.

A country I’m relieved to be in, as I was really getting sick of Andean “cuisine”. To be perfectly blunt the food above 2,500m was s%&t. Aprt from the lack of variety and culinary fair, we think that the food was so bad because water boils at a lower temperature up there and most meals were potato, pasta and rice, usually served together and accompanied by a nano thin sliver of llama or goat. So mostly this carbohydrate was either uncooked or cooked slowly to a water paste. This gets very trying when after a day of excercise.  

Eager to test my legs after 3 months of altitude training I split from SI and Emma and made a solo beeline for Lima. To my pleasant surprise I had an effortless run of 465km from Nazca in 3 days. Si is also feeling the positive effects of an inflated redcell count and popped out an impressive 330km in two days. Emma decided that she’d done her bit and hoped a bus in the middle of the desert 120km out of Nazca. I can’t say I blame her. 

Any worries that Myself and Si had been harbouring about making Bogota, 3,000km, in six weeks have melted away and we’re now dying to put our new lungs and legs to the test along Peru’s deserted desert coast. That is if this Swine Flu epidemic doesn’t hamper our wordly plans.