Two years in the saddle.

Congratulations to Martina on two years in the saddle, which began Tuesday morning, November 3rd 2009, cycling to Buenos Aires railway station at Retiro for the train out of town, with bikes loaded to the brim. Continue reading Two years in the saddle.

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Cordilliera Blanca Sur, Super-Sherpa, two Princesses

We meet Victor 7.30am in the plaza and take a taxi to a bus stop.  Two indio women join us, heading the same way. A shared-taxi drives up and we get in.  The driver doesnt want to take the women till we finally intervene. Continue reading Cordilliera Blanca Sur, Super-Sherpa, two Princesses

Huanuco-Huaraz, Give me your flyswatters

(Excerpt, full text pending.)

[Fast forward to Huaraz – F.] ….In Huaraz we are suddenly surrounded by Gringos again.  Funny somehow.  Should actually get away as soon as possible from such a place.  We are just standing around, when this guy asks me, if we are looking for something.   Yes – an inexpensive vegetarian restaurant.  He takes us to one, but it is too dear for us.  Victor –who is a tour guide– then walks with us to another restaurant, where a normal simple dinner menu is available.  Including tortillas de verdura. He asks if he may sit with us. Of course, then we can ask him all about his tours.

Continue reading Huanuco-Huaraz, Give me your flyswatters

La Paz: Chuquiago Cafe & Casa de Ciclistas

[Original German version at http://tinyurl.com/paz-casa-ciclistas dated June 6th 2010]

[Translation added June 25th 00.30am London time.]

A special mention for the Casa de Ciclistas [house of cyclists] in La Paz, comprising the Chuquiago Cafe (Linares 903, corner with Sagarnaga), which is main gathering point for cyclists, as well as the varied houses in which cyclists may stay almost for free.  Cristian and Luisa are responsible for getting this project on its feet.  Their hospitality and helpfulness is one of a kind.  They dedicate themselves heart and soul in the service of their guests.  Cristian went to a great deal of trouble to sort out my spare parts, which got stuck at customs. Ian’s accident demanded many additional visits to the police and meanwhile Cristian has just taken on a new job at the Goethe Institute.  Despite all this stress they are always good natured and willing to help.  Cristian &Luisa – Many thanks to both of you, for everything.  You are heros !

[complete]

In and around La Paz

[Original German version at http://tinyurl.com/mg-bolivia-paz dated June 17th 2010]

[Translation completed September 17th 2010 18.25pm UK time.]

La Paz the Bolivian capital and with a height above sea level between 3200 to 4100 meters, is the highest capital in the world.  Despite a bad start here, I like La Paz.  The colorful markets, quite chaotic street (traffic)  and the unique location in the Canyon of the Rio Chokeyapu.  The city is full of life.  I like it.  On the second day I hunted for a new camera battery and head lamp.  The latter was quickly found in a camping shop, but I finally found a camera battery in the ‘electronics’ area of Eloy Salmon – not an original part, but it works.  I take a look at the Plaza Murillo with its cathedrals and the government buildings, and walk past central park, a patch of green for joggers and ball players of all kinds. Apart from that I’m waiting for my bicycle parts that should arrive around the middle of the month.

Continue reading In and around La Paz

San Pedro – Uyuni: Lagoons, Snow- and Sandstorms

[Translation updated Sunday 27th June 2010 11.45pm London time]

San Pedro – Uyuni : Lagoons, Snow and Sand-storms

[Original at colorfish.wordpress.com dated Weds 26th May 2010]

On Sunday 9th May we leave San Pedro (de Atacama, Chile) taking ten days of food and carrying 12 litres of water each – the bikes are mega heavy. At 8:30am we obtain the exit visa stamp at border control, then we’re off,  heading once again towards Paso Jama.  At first the way is fairly flat, this is followed by 13 km of gentle climb.  Next comes the hard climb. Travelers describe this stretch as the most brutally steep climb in the world. Continue reading San Pedro – Uyuni: Lagoons, Snow- and Sandstorms