Back in South America again and the continuation of our travels north. We flew into Arequipa last night and we are chilling after the long day of flights and a hectic few days before leaving home. our plan is to spend a few days here looking around and acclimatising before we set off. We have to cross our first high pass (4900m) only 100km from here and Arequipa is 2300m.
We have new bike frames to replace the old trusty Treks that have carried us faithfully from Ushuiai to Cusco. Jo now has a black Surly Troll (Tui) and Alan a yellowThorn Raven (Hue). Weight is more an issue this trip because of the hilly nature of the Peru and we are fitting everything in 4 small paniers each this time and hopefully I don’t regret the last minute addition of my ukulele on top of the back carrier! Our bike weights are approx 15 kg and all our kit incl. panniers was about 13kg each. There will be food, fuel and water on top of that.
Leading up to this trip we have been getting vertical mileage on the local ski field roads, and other good local tracks. We had a great shakedown trip on the Clutha Gold trail from Roxburgh Dam to Lawrence and return the next day. Amor came along as 8kg of training payload, hot water bottle substitute and of course company. Amor is now ensconced at my sisters in Dunedin and is in love with Katniss
So from Arequipa we head north. The easiest way is to follow the coast but that is boring. The next ‘easiest’ way is on peru’s mountain highway but it sounds busy with trucks etc so we are taking a route slightly to the east of the mountain highway. Most of it is minor, unpaved and quieter roads. VERY hilly. Our first major goal is Huaraz, at the base of the Cordillera Blanca and that will take close to two of our three months. Most of our info has come from andesbybike.com. We finished last time in Cusco. Yesterday we flew Auckland to Santiago, Santiago to Lima, then backtracked south to Arequipa.
And we have made it to the terrace rooftop of our hotel, enjoying the views of nearby 6000m+ volcanoes and some hot sun. Note Alan is a wee bit under the weather so not looking his happiest.