Run to the Hills!

With Semana Santa set to take over the streets of Huaraz it was time to get out of town. Drunken revelry, inflated hotel prices and general hassle are what Latin American Easter time means to me.  So accompanied by my new cycling friend Alex Messner, I packed a couple of panniers and headed up into the hills for a few days. Alex hails from Austria (not to be mistaken with Australia) and has been cycling in South America for about a year. A funny fella with brutishly strong legs Alex is powering his way up from Ushuaia. With a knack for twisting the English language into hilariously funny forms my new riding partner is proving the perfect antidote to rainy grey days.

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After a leisurely morning we eat lunch and set off out of Huaraz

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The city is soon a memory as the Cordillera Blanca begins to absorb us

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A series of steep climbs take us up through small villages…

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… towards rain filled skies

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Up and up…

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… we grind…

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… until after 11 miles (18 km) and 2.5 hours of riding we’ve climbed the 2,500 ft. (760 m) up to The Hof

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Pitching the tents…

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… we quickly settle into the rhythms of our new home

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The next day we head off on a day ride up to the Laguna Llaca

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It’s a 2.5 hour 11 mile (17.7 km) ride, climbing 2,430 ft. (740 m) on rough roads to reach the lake

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On the way we’re afforded views of the distant Huaraz

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On light bikes it’s a really fun grind uphill…

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… into the glaciated clutches of the Blanca’s higher peaks…

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… and up to our destination, the Laguna Llaca

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Despite less than optimal conditions…

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… we embark on an orgy of photography…

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… trying to capture…

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… the captivating surroundings

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A period of lounging later and the cold is starting to catch up with us…

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… so we start the descent…

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… back down the valley…

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… past towering cliffs and wild flowers

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As the rain closes in…

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… we speed up the bone-shaking drop…

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… reaching more soothing dirt stretches…

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… for the final beautiful few miles…

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… back to camp

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The next couple of days are spent relaxing in the quiet beauty of the Hof before finally returning back to Huaraz to prepare for our next adventure… an 8 day trek around the Cordillera Huahuash

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3 responses to “Run to the Hills!

  1. Hi Nathan.
    Great blog and pics. Hope you’re fully recovered. Turns out we missed you by a matter of hours at the end of your Huayhuash circuit. We’d pedalled N the morning you hiked down. We met Neil and Harriet on the road to Huallanca.
    We enjoyed sharing a pizza evening with you and Alex (+pikes) in Huaraz several weeks back.
    We’re now back in the UK with return to work looming.
    Happy pedalling
    James and Jane
    PS our blog is on crazyguyonabike and called “the lid is off the cage”

    • “Pleased we had not ditched the kettle in Huaraz…” I will certainly never forget you guys! I suppose you’ll be carrying the kettle on your daily commute to work now! You ever know when you’ll need a quick brew.
      The Pikes told us about meeting you, what a surprise that was for them. More power to you for riding that route, sounds like fun.
      Well I hope that the return to work isn’t too painful… I’ve heard there’s something cycle related happening in Yorkshire this year to numb your pains. And I presume you’ve heard about this… http://www.hopeandhomes.co.uk/get-involved/fundraising-and-events/events/night-of-adventure-yorkshire
      Take care guys

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