Image: Living the High Life at the Park Hyatt in the world’s second tallest building -Shanghai.
This update comes from the brave new world of China. We originally intended to do these updates on a monthly basis- then we hit the road, and were distracted by such natural obstacles as the Andes, and the virtual beaurocratic hoops that one needs to jump through for visas on this complex continent. We’ve resolved to turn over a new leaf with this new continent and file the monthly updates… every month. So, pop your address into the thingy that says Subscribe just below the big picture at the top of this page and we’ll send you a reminder when we do.
Before reading this you might want to read this first.
After La Paz, we headed for Cuzco in Peru passing Lake Titcaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Simon ran the gauntlet of angry Peruvians for 40km as he passed their road blockades set up to protest against… well, we never found out exactly. In Cuzco we picked up a new revolutionary, Emma we all trekked to the mucho impressivo Machu Picchu before hitting the road for Nazca and the famous Nazca lines. After a few days of boring and hot desert cycling we reached Lima, where we found time for a few sneaky Pisco Sours.
On a grey foggy morning Simon and I packed up and headed North with a deadline and 3,000km to cover in 4 weeks. We stuck to a relentless schedule, and covered healthy distances through the coastal desert, pushing out a massive 212km day on one lonely stretch. Then, as it looked like we were on track to make our flights in Bogota on time, fate had other plans. On a mild climb I heard a crunch, and my rear wheel jammed- somehow my chain had gotten tangled and mangled my de-railler and the hanger on the frame. Simon pulled off a roadside bodging job that McGyver would have been proud of and we were mobile again- but this time I was down to one gear.
We plugged on into Ecuador, described by the Lonely Planet as the original Banana Republic, spending long monotonous days on a road flanked by the muggy banana plantations of Del Monte and Dole for hundreds of kilometres. Then, the road pointed up, and we had a two day 190km climb from sea level to Quito which is perched in the Andes at 2850m. On the steep climbs it became apparent that we were not going to make Bogota with the bike in it’s current state, 1,000km of Andes down the road in time for our flight. Unfortunately, the rear hanger is a specific piece of kit, our from replacement from the KTM factory in Austria would never have arrived in time, so we opted to finish in Quito and travel to Bogota using more conventional transport.
Now, six weeks later we’re in Shanghai, we psyche ourselves for the next big push- 10,000km across Asia to Turkey for Christmass. There’s only 20,000km of road between us and home. Hopefully ten months more, thats only 300 revolutions of this green and blue planet until Greystones- the journey continues…