Just a brief post from a wet, muddy, sloshy – but beautiful – Peru.
I’m still travelling the (back) roads with Kurt, plugging away at the most almighty medley of high mountain passes I’ve encountered in some time. Altitudes have been almost touching 5000m… with grades at over ten per cent. We’ve had it all. Rain, sleet, hail… even blue skies.
Thanks Pikes on Bikes (undisputed masters of mining roads) for concocting this incredible route, via Google Earth. Do check out their excellent blog post and ogle at the ridiculous elevation profile of this ride.
Next stop Huancavelica. Only a half dozen passes to go…
There’s no internet in Cajatambo, but there is in Oyon. Fight with the kids to get a seat in a cramped booth.
As well as doubles with bathrooms, El Minero (by the football pitch) has more basic rooms – 25 Sol for 2. It also has the perk that you can use its reasonably fast wifi – the only place in town, from what we could see.
What epic foto’s and trip. Gruesome height profile. I like climbing, but that’s a lot and mud,.. wonderfull. 🙂
Fantastic scenery. Wish i was there.
Had my eye on a Salsa Mukluk for this kind of terrain, since Kurt’s riding fat and appears to be surviving the battle, any thoughts on that?
I’ll ask Kurt to chip in… but as far as I can see, he seems delighted with his Pugs and fat tyres. Certainly, they descend rocky terrain together like scorched monkeys, while I’m bouncing around behind. Loads of extra comfort too – just keep your pump handy for psi tweaking. For an extended trip, arranging to have spare tyres sent out is obviously an issue, but at least there’s plenty of 26×2.5in downhill tyres to hand (in Peru, at least), that you could fit in a pinch.
On the Pugs at least, mud clearance is on the tight side, and Kurt did grumble (once) about the extra wheel/tyre weight during on one of our monster passes – but to be honest, I think that was the 10.5% average gradient at neigh on 5000m… I should add that Kurt is an especially strong rider, so I’m not sure any bike would really slow him down in any other conditions…
are the alpacas wearing earrings?!
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Great photos as always – you’re doing a way better job of documenting the storms and rain! Aren’t you getting any sun in the mornings?! We didn’t for a while last week, but mostly have…
Good news is the few days before Huancavelica were on good, non muddy, surfaces. And there are lots of good bakeries in town. Turn R out of La Portada hotel, go 1 block, stuff your face.
We’re only a day from the paving now…
We have been getting some sun in the morning. At times it’s been brief, but always appreciated. This said, today was ace. Sun most of the day for the fantastic singletrack treat. And no rain on the climb to Laraos in the afternoon. Yeeha! (yesterday, on the other hand, was monsoon conditions en route to Tanta).
Must say, am much looking forward to Huancavelica…
Our main issue initially has been a joint refusal to peel ourselves out of the sleeping bags for crack of dawn departures. We’re learning though…. been setting the alarm at 5am for the last few days…
“Turn R out of La Portada hotel, go 1 block, stuff your face.”
Off to do that right now…
I have been a friend of Dirt Kurt since he was 3 years old. Cass, I really like you website. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful photographs of this epic journey, keep them coming. Happy trails to you both.
Cheers Batman. I heard a little about you during one of our long evenings sitting out the storms…
Thanks for the pictures – Also, I did read your trip with Jeremy on the Co. Trail outside of Durango, thanks for the sweet words.