Peru Wrapup

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Closeup of old man at Pisac
Closeup of old man at Pisac (View on flickr)

Pictures from southern Peru and Northern Peru are up... And our route maps and elevation profiles are all up-to-date as well.

Peru was a delightful and challenging country for bicycle travel. The people are warm and open and cry out "Gringo!" from every field and household. (This may be rude in "gringo" terms, but it's just friendly banter from most Peruvians. Who knows why everybody does this in Peru!)

It was also a hard country. We climbed to passes as high as we've ever been (4700 meters, over 15,000 feet) and suffered endless dusty dirt roads. The toilets (or rather outhouses) (if they existed) in rural areas were often of the "squatter" type, not the "sitter" type, where you put your feet beside a hole and aim at the hole.

The country is incredibly beautiful, with striking snow-covered mountains, green rice paddies, huge rivers, and everything in between. And, of course, it has Machu Picchu, which has to be one of the world's most beautiful places.

It was cheap most of the time, except around Cusco and Machu Picchu, where they have the squeeze of the tourist down to a fine art.

Some price examples:

  • Hotels: US$5-10 for the two of us. Sometimes surprisingly good.

Our Plan: To Uyuni and the Argentine Border by Bus

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Thanks to all of you for your wonderful advice! After a week of resting in La Paz, Bolivia, here's what we have decided to do:

Tonight we're taking an all-night bus to Uyuni, in southern Bolivia, where we'll see the amazing Salar de Uyuni. After a few days there we'll take a train or bus to the Argentine border and ride south on the bikes to Salta, Argentina. In Salta we'll probably take some more time off, perhaps a month or so. Randy will try to pick up some work on the internet doing some web development, and Nancy will be refreshing some of her skills and doing some more drawing. Then we'll probably head south on the bikes and continue the ride.

Thanks so much for your care for us and for your encouraging comments!

-Randy and Nancy

Riding around Lake Titicaca and into Bolivia

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We rode from Puno, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia mostly along Lake Titicaca where the high-altitude lake reflected silver sunlight off the deep blue-green water. During the ride we saw villages harvesting reeds to make into mats, individuals making fishing nets, groups of people preparing the earth for the planting of potatoes, with mostly human power or oxen, but a few had the benefit of using tractors. The first night out of Puno, we outraced a tremendous storm and dove for cover in Ilave after riding 35 beautiful, flat miles. It was so good to be in a hotel room, dry, and safe from the blasting winds and pounding rain which lasted for most of the late afternoon and evening. The next day when we awoke the sun was shinning and the skies were clear. We rode another 49 miles enjoying vast open altiplano which was a wide open valley of dry flat fields. The closer we got to the Bolivian border the more we saw sheep and llamas grazing in the open valley. We even stopped for a photo shoot at the market in Juli where the livestock market was full of sheep and llamas. I saw live sheep hauled up on to the roofs of mini buses and lashed down. I watched as they stuffed live llamas inside the buses. I found it amusing to see a big bunch of live giant sheep on top of a van and a heads of llama sticking out an open window as the buses called colectivos drove past us. I was glad I was not one of those animals.

We stopped for the night in the last town in Peru called Yunguyo before we crossed into Bolivia. To our delight the town was celebrating the fiesta of its patron saint.  read more here... lee mas aquí... »

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