Anticlockwise Ausangate hike – by bike

“Is this fun?” I think to myself stopping briefly to gasp on Ausangate’s thin air and ponder the value of my efforts. Stopping means no forward progress so I quickly get back to work and continue to haul my laden bike up the steep grassy slopes. I feel slightly dizzy due to my lack of good acclimatisation but, at last,…

Is Machu Picchu obligatory? Cusco

Whilst hiking through the jungle recently I stumbled across some rather pleasing looking buildings. Even though photos of this iconic structure have been published an inordinate number of times and 8 versions of almost identical photos probably exist somewhere on the web, I can’t quite help myself. Llama interlude More photos of MP With two days of travel effort it…

Slow down if you must but don’t stop – Huancavelica to Cusco

Keep going you lazy ****. Just find the damn groove. Don’t blow yourself up by going too fast but equally don’t stop altogether; find the sustainable pace that’s not overwhelmingly painful that allows you to keep making progress. Even if you’re hardly moving it’s better than stopping and making no progress whatsoever. If you know you can’t…

(Not) High on Ayahuasca – Iquitos

Famous for its healing properties, ‘purging’, psychedelic visions and mental revelations, I headed back into the jungle near Iquitos to explore the notorious ayahuasca ‘medicine’. Although I had no particular ailment to cure, my interest had been sparked by hearing of the positive life altering experiences of others. A reputed retreat centre was chosen rather than try a random…

Into the Amazon Jungle from Lagunas, Peru

Unsatisfied with the shortness of my trip (!!) on the 30th August I decided to head North and fly out of Lima in completely the wrong direction. The Amazon jungle is a significant part of the South American continent so I had felt uncomfortable about the idea of skipping it. The seed had been sown when passing the turn…

Escape from Huaraz – and a massive 4000 metre dirt descent (to Lima)

Huaraz is a great place to rest and restock. However it has a problem. It is right by the monumentally distracting Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash. A short planned stay of a few days can easily turn into a few weeks. Throw in an inconvenient bout of suspected pneumonia (self-diagnosed) and of course the standard tedious upset tummy and suddenly…

Cordillera Huayhuash – The 3rd Circuit – World’s Best Hike?

If you’re prepared to carry all your own kit and food and want the best possible hike in the Cordillera Huayhuash (without the need of carrying heavy mountaineering equipment) then read on… There are two accepted ways of circling the Cordillera Huayhuash. The well trodden 8 day Valley Circuit hiked by thousands a year or the less travelled and partly technical…