A few weeks ago I completed my ride over the Andes mountains and into Salta, Argentina. It took me forever to finish editing the hours and hours of footage and create the 40+ minutes of video that I posted to YouTube. I finished editing the last video at the airport on my way to South Africa and just realized I forgot to post it here on the blog. I guess it’s better late than never!
I think it would be putting it mildly when I say I was surprised to discover that Bike was not waiting for me at the cargo terminal as promised. Let me refresh your memory. When we last saw Bike I was saying goodbye at the cargo terminal in Buenos Aires. I was told by the Navicon representatives that everything was set and I’d see Bike again when I landed in South Africa. But now, it appears that Bike is missing.
My flight from Buenos Aires to Cape Town, South Africa leaves in just a few hours. After months of planning, weeks of working out the logistics and permits, I’m now just hours from being in the air. I can’t wait to see Africa! This will be first time to Africa, but hopefully not my last. I’ll be riding from South Africa to Kenya, passing through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda along the way.
The ride from Cusco to Puno was beautiful but uneventful, and I was thankful for that. I was still pretty sick and I needed an easy day of riding. After a good night’s rest in Puno I crossed the Andes, reaching an elevation of just over 15,000 feet. Along the way I discovered that my planned route was a dirt road that clung to the side of the mountains with a precipitous along one side. Fortunately I was able to follow the road signs and find a much better route.
I went to Cusco for one reason – to visit my niece Genny and meet her fiancé, Fabricio. They were fantastic hosts and I had the time of my life. As luck would have it their friend Richard was visiting from the United States, he volunteered to bring my new DeLorme inReach from the USA to Peru. The four of us had so much fun. Unfortunately I was sick the entire time.
While I was in Lima I got sick. It wasn’t horrible, but I definitely had some kind of sickness that wasn’t getting better. I waited a few days and finally decided to push on. The ride over the Andes proved to be quite a challenge. It was cold and windy, the roads were covered in oil, the cliffs steep, and there wasn’t a lot of air to breath.
I’m currently sitting in a small cafe in Buenos Aires writing this post. I rode from Lima to Cusco, stayed in Cusco for a couple of weeks, and then made the rest of the ride across the Andes and down to Buenos Aires.
After much research, a lot of input, and many hours of research I’ve made my final decision about the route I’ll take over the Andes Mountains. I’m currently in Cusco, Peru and the ride from Lima was very educational; I encountered ice, snow peaked mountains, freezing temperatures, high altitudes, precipitous drops, and a very challenging ride. It was beautiful, but I don’t think I want to repeat it any time soon.