Where has the time gone? and Approaching the Cordillera Blanca – Sihuas, Pomabamba, Llumpa

Amazingly (or perhaps not, knowing me) I find myself on the closing end of my visa in Peru and the shoulder months of the rainy season. I smugly entered Peru right at the start of the dry season in May and it is now the 1st of October. I’m writing this only two-thirds of the way down the country towards Bolivia (in the attractive colonial city of Huancavelica). It’s a big country but what on earth have I been doing all this time? I hear you ask.

Well, the answers will be covered in future posts in more detail but in short summary: hiking and mountaineering in the Cordillera Blanca, 13 days roaming extensively off route around the phenomenal Cordillera Huayhuash, a jungle trip and ayahuasca retreat in the Amazon, three weeks lost to pneumonia in Huaraz (self-diagnosed, not a fan of hospitals), a visit to the enchanting Lima, some self study / education (yes that’s right) and of course the inevitable cycling up and down ridiculous changes in elevation in the massive Peruvian Andes. All this has meant time has been slipping through my fingers at an uncontrollable speed. The breaks in the cycling have been both fantastic for the new experiences yet frustrating for the changes in rhythm. That’s what happens when you have a greedy mind that wants it all. But it’s so hard to let these things just go by! So I don’t.

With a two week family reunion out of the country pending in October I’m in the tedious position of having to start making trade-offs in order to arrive in Patagonia before Winter 2017. Gems such as Cusco and Machu Pichu may have to be skipped. I’m also considering more extreme measures; bussing down to Patagonia and then cycling north Cass Gilbert style to hit the seasons more sensibly and enjoyably. The decisions will be made when I return at the end of October.  In the meantime, let’s rewind back to June for some photos:

I followed Paul’s route from Conchucos to Vaqueria up to the epic Portachuelo de Llanganuco pass; you can check out the second half of his route notes here and his ‘triple heart bypass’ experience here. I differed from his route in that I avoided Yanama and went right at Llumpa re-joining at Vaqueria but this turned out to be a lot more climbing. Some photos of my approach to the Cordllera Blanca via Sihuas and Pomabamba.

Next up: crossing the Cordillera Blanca via Portachuelo de Llanganuco.

6 thoughts on “Where has the time gone? and Approaching the Cordillera Blanca – Sihuas, Pomabamba, Llumpa

  1. As always I am always thrilled when I get news of your next posting as you are showing me so much of our world in a wonderful way through your photos and your descriptions. OH Machu Pichu and Cusco – dreams I had to give up due to high cost from Canada. I hope you will get a chance to hike around Machu Pichu, you the man who have conquered so many odds since leaving Alaska! I leave for my 6 months to Mexico Oct 27- my and the cats 10th year with no winter (snow expected Thurs but it will not stay- 70 years ago Oct 6, 1946 my parents in their Model A could not make it to town with hospital in a raging snow storm with zero visibility so I was born in the next town in a Doctor’s office).!!! Extreme cold and snow predicted for coming prairie winter! Wishing you a great time at your reunion and catching up with friends back to GB…. Adele

  2. Hi Nick – I’m curious to know if you managed to return to Peru and get another 180 day visa? We’re considering staying longer, perhaps waiting out the worst of the cold further south before restarting in the spring.

    • Hi Hana, I think when I did it in 2016 I was able to get another 180 days but I heard that the rule changed and it’s only 180 days max per year – not 100% sure though, worth researching further. It’s tedious, I have the exact same problem in Brazil right now…

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