Lima, Emergency Passports and flying to Spain!

I decided to get to Lima a few days before my flight, to sort out my emergency passport, which I am so glad I did. I had to vissit the Bristish Embassy three times to get my emergency passport, to then have to get my Visa stamps from the Peruvian Migration office, which I went and got. However, I checked my passport when I got back to the hostal, to find that the officer had stamped 23rd May 2012 as my date of entry.I went back there the next day only to wait in line for over 4 hours, eventualy when it came to my turn, I went up and explained my situation, only for him to take my passport and scribble the 2012 into a 2013. Imigration control leaving this country is going to be interesting ha.

Also, managed to fall of my bike for the first time in my trip, only to put a hole in my only pair of jeans. But I guess that is what happens when you rush through traffic in Lima, trying to make it to the Imigration office before it closes ha.

Super excited to be going to Spain, back to Europe and the all of the conforts of the western world, its going to be interesting!

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Losing my Passport, Cusco and the Sacred Valley

So it actually happened, I managed to lose my passport. I wish I could be one of these organised people who never has anything go wrong. At first I was gutted as I knew I would have to change my plans and it would cost lots of money.

But it wasnt the end of the world and because of losing my passport, I got to stick around in Cusco for a few weeks, which was a lot of fun as it really is an awesome city. Lots of Tourists, but that isnt allways a bad thing. Saw quite a few ruins and checked out some of the towns in the valley. I know that I will return to Cusco in the future with a bit more moeny so that I can go and see Machu Pichu and other sites I didnt get chance to see.

Cycling through the Huascarán National Park

After a recomendation from another cyclist, I left Huaraz, heading uphill southbound towards the National Park Huascarán. It was definitely a highlight of my trip, the landscapes were just incredible up there. However the altitude up in the park can be extremely overwhelming, with the road nearly reaching 4800m in parts.

I stayed one night in the national park, which I can defeinitely say was my most unconfortable night of sleep on the whole trip which is quite an achievement. I stayed in a tiny village just below Pastoruri Glacier, where an older lady gave me a room to put my tent up, to escape the wind, dinner and a few cups of mate de coca. But the village was just below 5000m and that night I expirienced how cold it gets up that high at night. I wore ALL of my clothes inside my sleeping bag that night and still was so cold I was unable to sleep much!! And to top things of, I got up at sunrise to find that it was snowing.

Pictures can explain way better than me, so I uploaded quite a few, enjoy

Going up into the Andes – Trujillo to Huaraz

I left Trujillo with two American travelers who are raising money for the water project (http://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/kurt-mccanles).

We traveled from Trujillo to Chao, where the police allowed us to camp outside the station. The next day we turned off down a dirt road in the direction of the mountins.

Ill try to update this when I have more time.

Trujillo and the Casa de Ciclistas

Leaving from Chiclayo, I expected a nice relaxing cycle along the coast. But, with a super strong headwind, making the cycling really difficuilt, it wasnt the best. Add to that the sand that the wind would pick up. It wasnt the funest part of my trip.

However there were some real highlights that made it all worth the while, like a roadside restaurant owner refusing to allow me to pay for a meal.

When I got to Trujillo, I made my way to the casa de ciclistas, where I met Lucho, one of the kindest people I have met on my travels. He helped me fix my bike up, even staying up in the night to fix my wheel, a free bed in the casa, showed us around the city, took us dancing and even excorted us out of Trujill. Incredible guy!

While I was in Trujillo, I went around the ruins of Chan Chan, stocked up on cheap used clothes from the market and went and checked out the tourist beach town of huanchaco.

Had an awesome time in Trujillo and met up with 2 Americans who I then travelled with. (http://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/kurt-mccanles)

Entering Peru & the Journey to Chiclayo

It was awesome to explore yet another country with its different culture, mentality, food, drink ect ect and as usual when entering a new country, I went about trying everything and have taken quite a liking to Ceviche, which is raw fish and sometimes clams marinated with lemon.

Being closer to the coast meant that I got out of the mountains, which meant I was able to experience flat, straight roads (Not a luxury I get very often in the Andes ha). With the flat roads, it is nice to be able to travel 100km a day without too much sweat.

The Peruvians (at least the ones in the north I have come in contact with) have been really friendly, outgoing and generally interested in me and my travels and I have ended up spending lots of time roadside, chatting and getting to know local people of the region. It is really improving my spanish and I am beginning to feel very confident in my spanish.

I also helped out my second motorist in need. a cattle farmer who was transporting his two cows in his trailer had a puncture and I was able to help him and his buddy out. Maybe I should start the RAC of Peru, but I guess call out times would be quite high when traveling on bicycle haha.

And I accepted another lift from two gas workers who were headed to Olmos, 10km down the road. It was dark and I was going to have to sleep in the tent, but because of the lift I was able to find a cheap bed and shower for the night. Thanks!

All in all, it has been a great introduction to Peru and I think I am really going to enjoy the month in Peru that I have ahead of me!

Cuenca, Loja & Getting to Peru

After arriving into Cuenca, I went and stayed with a group of Argentinian musicians in a little 2 room house for a couple of days. It was really interesting to go out with them while they were busking, it is amazing how differently some people live their lives.

After saying goodbyes, I left Cuenca in the direction of Loja and the Peruvian Boarder. On my night, I had no choice to camp in a roadside hut as it was dark and there wasnt a town in sight, but what I didn’t realise was that where i was, it was well over 3300m. That night was definitely the coldest night of my trip, it was horrible! But you only learn from mistakes ha.

The scenery on the journey to the border was beautiful with yet more views from above the pacific cloud layer. A highlight was definitely seeing the town of Catacoche rising up above the cloud layer.

I also fixed a puncture for two lads on a motorcycle, which made me feel really good as I have been helped roadside by countless people in the past. It is nice to give something back as such.

Throughout my trip on bicycle, dogs have been a small problem, they usually bark and chase you a little but nothing bad. However, I had my first negative experience, when climbing quite a steep hill on the way to Macara. These two dogs came bolting out of this house and started chasing me down and when they caught up with me, both dogs began trying to snap at my ankles. In the end, I ended up barking at both dogs at clipping one of the dogs in the nose before they would give me some room. Not one of proudest moments, but there wasnt a chance I was going to let one of those dogs bite me.

I ended up getting a lift for 20kms to the Peruvian boarder after a lady and her 23 year old son stopped and chatted to me until I ran out of excuses not to accept a lift, almost bullied in to getting a lift I might go as far as saying haha. They were really nice though and it was great to have a break from cycling and remember how much easier it is to drive in a car like normal people!!

finally arriving at the Peruvian Boarder was a mixed bag. I was super happy to have made it, but having to leave behind another country I had fallen in love with was again very difficult.

 

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