Cranking the uphills, hanging in there on the downhills

Abancay – Santa Rosa – Sanayca – Soras – Putongo – Antas – Vilcashuman

Struggling a bit with righting this after our first beer of the trip (at the end of another solid day on the bike)…but I will persevere!

We have had a challenging and amazing 6 day start to our mission following the Peru Great Divide Route that was put together by a British couple Harriet and Neil . It is set up in 4 stages and we are following it in reverse which makes it challenging at times converting instructions to read the opposite way. We have maps with us but they are next to useless for most of the trip as we are on minor roads or tracks, so it is like following a treasure hunt set of instructions backed up by a graph of the ups and downs, and GPS when there are no locals to ask directions or to confirm that the little track we are turning off onto is indeed right

It is a tough route. Our biggest up to date was 1600m and our largest descent in a day has been 2200m. We are bouncing between the high pampas above 4000m and our lowest point was the orange village of Anta which was at 2400m. This village of 11 families was special in that we were bestowed with oranges and chillymayo (a green ugly looking fruit which is sweet and yummy) from probably a representative from every family. I spent quite a bit of the evening hand juicing the oranges for our water bottles!

The locals have been great and really respect our journey. Lots of handshakes, some clapping even and big smiles. The roads are generally really quiet and the quietest roads generally have had the best surface. The weather is very stable – no rain and little wind. We have both recovered from our ills and our first few weeks biking at altitude have given us a good acclimatisation base, so really there are no excuses not to bike up the next 1100m climb!