Monday, May 28, 2012

Learning a Third Language

They say the only part of a Peruvian automobile that needs to function properly is the horn.  In the land of noise, Peruvians might just be the most horn-happy people we’ve met.  And so, upon entering Peru we’ve found ourselves having to learn a new language … the Peruvian car horn.  Here are five of our first phrases:

1. beep ba ba beep beep … beep beep – Welcome to Peru!

Welcome to Peru, and the easiest border crossing in Latin America.

Crossing what must be the easiest border crossing in Latin America.  No traffic, no money changers, no fees, and friendly border guards!

Our first days in Peru, we’ve been welcomed with open arms, by foreigners and Peruvians alike. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Few Loose Screws

Since our last update, we’ve travelled through some of Ecuador’s mountain cities.  As usual, the scenery and the people have been wonderful, but unfortunately it’s been a difficult week for us due to problems with our bikes and with our bodies.


In Quito we had the chance to stay at one of the best hostels of the trip so far: Community Hostel.  Among other things, there was dancing in the dining room with a Mariachi Band for Marco, the owner’s, birthday!  (Thanks to Alex for the photo)

Southern Quito (and the Virgen) from the Basilica.

Quito is a colossal city crunched into a hanging valley over 50km long and only a few kilometers wide.  This is the view South to the Virgen of Quito from the Basilica.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Day in the Mountains

Since our last post, we’ve been cycling through the mountains from Popayan, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador.  It has been a land of extremes; high peaks separated by deep river valleys.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far, although we’ve noticed that our riding days are establishing a bit of a routine …

Climbing through beautiful scenery on the way to Pasto, Colombia.

1. Sleep well, bundled up in a cold room between 2500m and 2900m elevation.

2. Wake up and eat breakfast in bed.

3. Climb 500m to 700m to a pass between 3000m and 3300m.  The weather here is usually about 10 degrees with misty rain.

Cresting a 3100m summit near Otavalo, Ecuador.

Jenn cresting a 3100m pass near Otavalo during a sunny break.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The People Make the Place

In Colombia we’ve met the nicest people of our trip so far.  Every day we’ve met at least one person who has surprised us with their generosity.  The three destinations in this post also include brief stories of some of the people who made them all that much more special.

Our first stop on this leg was Colombia’s main coffee growing region.  Two days out of Medellin we reached the towns of ChinchinĂ¡ and Santa Rosa de Cabal.  Our main interest here was a set of hot springs in the mountains and a few cups of coffee.

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The main square in ChinchinĂ¡ and the best thing you can find there.  Yes, that’s a pineapple sundae served inside the pineapple.