Photo dump: Alpamayo Trek

We’ve done the Huayhuash Circuit some years back so the only obvious multi-day hiking to be had in the Cordillera Blanca is the Alpamayo Circuit. Our fitness is not back yet and hopefully another round of high passes can whip us back in shape before tackling the infamous Peru’s Great Divide. It’s a route that…

Huascaran Loop the loop

We’ve arrived in Huaraz, the heart of adventure in Peru. Nobody seemed to show up in this town without sampling a day hike or multiday hikes and climbing on offer. Bike travelers are not get out of place here, there are tons of bike routes too. Beware though as most of it calls for lung-exploding…

Have Gear, Will Purge.

We’ve skipped a ton of dirt roads;-( in Northern Peru in hopes of arriving in Huaraz just in time to stash the bikes, take the crazy 30-hour bus ride to Cusco(Yikes!) and meet Dang’s family, a.k.a. gear mules. Incidentally, that calls for another round of gear purging, reevaluating what else can we get rid off,…

Towards the fun!: La Balsa to Huaraz

Entry stamps done and so the countdown starts. Six months is all we’ve got to explore Peru. I looked in the map, which Dang has been carrying since I don’t know when, she prefers to have a real map of her own and not just follow my ass. I see a massive landmass comprised of…

Peru at long last: Cuenca to the border

We have a group now, and a big one at that. I’m only half-surprised so many cyclists end up gathering in one roof in Cuenca. It’s a hub for cyclists heading south afterall. I’ve been lucky enough to ride with numerous tourers in the past but our rag tag bunch, all dirt road enthusiasts, seems…

Avenue of the Volcanoes: Part two

Our cool(literally) ride along the Avenida de Los Volcanes already feel like the highlight of our Ecuadorian bike odyssey. The enigmatic parámo that shines bright gold under the sun makes a perfect background to the snow-capped conical volcanoes that break the horizon. I’m trying to curb my temptation still to head straight to Peru now….

Onwards to Cuenca

All those time in rural Ecuador and I’m already antsy to make it to Cuenca, the second largest city in Ecuador. My yearn for good coffee and I’ve heard numerous times Cuenca being the more chillax and laid back cousin of Quito made me excited to make it there soon. I know it seems odd…

Avenue of the Volcanoes: Latacunga to Cajabamba

We take a rest day in Latacunga after our singletrack Cotopaxi adventure primarily to look around for a replacement to our Sea to Summit folding cooking pot which mysteriously appears to have a new hole. I should have known better not to replace the old folding pot with the same one. Sea to Summit sent…

Achupallas Moonshine Dancer

Music Maestro! There’s nothing quite like finding yourself in the middle of small town fiestas here in Latin America complete with the inebriated taking over the show, uncoordinated swaying of limbs, brain flooded by moonshine thus betraying and misfiring signals to the rest of the body. The result is sloooow pantomime movements only the dancer…

Cotopaxi Eastside: Bikepacking the Trans-Ecuador Mountain Bike Route Part 2

For those who are wondering what’s the Trans-Ecuador Mountain Bike route is all about, it’s a dirt route that transects almost all of Ecuador from north to south. It was created by Cass Gilbert of whileoutriding.com fame and the Dammer brothers, Ecuadorians, guides/bikepackers/climbers and first and foremost farmers. They were nice enough to share the…

Loving the cobblestones: Otavalo to Quito

Gone are the throngs of tourists coming straight from Quito to get a glimpse of that Saturday market. As expected Otavalo transforms back to its more tranquil state. We left too but not after a brief bout with some mysterious stomach bug. I guess it’s nature’s reminder as we were a bit careless with our…