Cycling above the Clouds

Riding the Andes by Bicycle


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What we need is…

Wild camping in Llocllora

After all the excitement of the fiesta in Huaro, we had a very quiet day’s cycling in the sun with the wind at our backs, as we continued our way up the Sacred Valley. Having now passed the main tourist towns, villages started to become further apart and we decided to find a spot to wild camp.

Stopping in a sleepy village called Llocllora, we walked up behind the few rows of earthen cottages, to find a perfectly flat and well hidden camping ground…or so we thought.

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An intriguing fiesta

Urubamba – Pisac – Huaro

After a rest day in Urubamba and a quick visit to more impressive Inca ruins at Ollantayambo, we got back on the road heading up the Sacred Valley to Pisac. If you’re ever in need of a road-side snack, a small town near Urubamba offers an abundance of roast skewered guineapigs (a Peruvian delicacy). Fortunately, or unfortunately, we’d had a hearty breakfast so pedalled on by to the tune of a few cheery ‘holas’ from the street hawkers.

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Our journey begins: Cusco to the Sacred Valley

Finally the moment came to embark on the first leg of our tour, which will ultimately take us from Cusco to La Paz.

Cusco to Urubamba

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation we set off up out of Cusco and over the hills towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In the fresh Peruvian sunshine we rode through Chinchero to Maras and Moray, peaking at 3,850m before descending the following day into Urumbamba. With relatively little traffic and a nice incline, we had plenty of time to stop and enjoy the sights along the way.

Ready for the off

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Great things come to those who wait

On reaching Cusco there are two essential things Sara-Ann and I need before embarking on our ride:

1) To be properly acclimatised to ride safely at 4,000m+ above sea level

2) To have our bikes.

On point 2, not so much luck! At our 2nd flight transfer in Lima, and after a long wait by the oversize baggage gate, it became apparent that our bikes hadn’t made it onto the plane from the first transfer back in New York. ┬áNot quite the value for money we expected having each been stung by an unexpected $100 baggage fee back at JFK…

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Getting ready for the off!

Finally I got around to sorting out this much requested blog so please be patient with me whilst I play a bit of catchy-uppy…

Looking back to 2 weeks ago in Blighty… flat decorated – tick (thanks Dad!), flat let – tick, work finished – tick, bike ready – tick, kit ready – tick, farewells done – tick. Months of planning all now seems a million miles away!

So what’s this all about? The big plan is to cycle the length of South America. To make the most of the seasons I’ll start in Cusco – Peru, then ride down through Bolivia and Chile to Ushuaia at the very south of the continent. If all goes well, I’ll then transfer back up north to ride through Colombia, Ecuador and back to Peru. 9 months and 11,000km in total, give or take.

I’ll be riding to raise funds for two wonderful charities – Hope & Homes for Children, and The Bike Project. If you think it’s worthwhile, check out more info on the ‘Donate’ tab or simply go straight here:

For those in the UK: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/Sarah_Brindley

Outside the UK: http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/s-brindley

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