10,000km: the stats so far
In the blistering heat of the Sechura Desert we celebrated cycling 10,000km since we left Rio de Janeiro in May this year. In the process we have survived the traffic in Buenos Aires and Lima, cycled up the Andes in the snow, sweated it out in the Atacama Desert and battled altitude sickness crossing the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.
It’s been a fantastic six months with many highs and some fantastic down hills. We thought we would take a look back at the highlights from the road.
On the bike
Highest climb: 4,400m Abra la Raya pass, Peru
Shortest day: 7.9km from Los Penitentes to Puente del Inca. We had to turn back at that point as the snow got too heavy and the road was closed.
Longest day: 218km from Chiclayo to Piura, Peru on the day we hit 10,000. We were helped along by the wind and not wanting to sleep in the very sandy desert.
Highest speed: Paddy, Brazil – 71.3kmph
Number of punctures: Laura 2, Paddy 15!!!
Craziest city to cycle in: Lima, without a shadow of a doubt. Leaving at 6am on a Sunday morning was still terrifying.
Off the bike
Longest number of days without a shower: Five on our way from Calama in Chile to San Juan de Rosario in Bolivia. Camping along volcano alley and on salt plains was the best time in the tent of the trip.
Number of brothels stayed in: Two for sure, possibly one more, the mirrors, red light bulb and plastic mattress made us think it might be.
Cheapest country: Bolivia
Most expensive country: Brazil , especially the Costa Verde where accommodation prices were on par with London, ouch!
Best tourist attraction: Machu Picchu. More stunning than we could possibly have imagined.
Favourite country: Difficult….. perhaps Chile for the beautiful scenery along the coast and desert and Paraguay for surprising us with some great cycling roads on the way to Encarnacion
Favourite food: The roadside stalls in Peru, friend cheese and potatoes, Lomosaltado and vegetable tortillas. The best country for vegetarians so far
Favourite cocktail: Sipping capirinhas on Ipanema Beach listening to locals playing guitar and singing. Note before: not wise to drink the night before starting a bike tour.
Best wine: Mendoza’s Malbecs, which were so good that we got engaged after drinking them!
Biggest change: Paddy’s hair. We managed to tame the beard, but the hair is increasingly out of control (see below!)
The first 10,000km in pictures