Puya Raimondi Huayhuash Loop Day 6
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 2: Tickled Pink in Ticllos

July 3, 2017

The ‘Great Divide’ route through the Peruvian Cordillera allows bikers to pedal through an incredibly varied mountain landscape from grassy plateau to the blue-green waterfalls of the Cañete valley, passing everything from immense slabs of folded rock and giant glaciated peaks in between.


What happened…

Andrew writes: Today marks the first day of our cycling what has become know as “The Peru Divide”. This route was popularized by Neil and Harriet Pike, and their website, Andes by Bike. Amanda somehow convinced me to cycle it, despite not being a fan of other “Divides” like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route which stretches from Banff, Canada to Silver Springs, New Mexico, or the newly routed Baja Divide which goes from I don’t know, to I don’t care. These routes often sound great on paper, and I think a lot of weekend-warrior, or three-week warrior vacationing types are keen to put their bodies to the test of these somewhat torturous routes, but I’m a big wimp. I like my highway, and I like it long and flat.

A couple of days ago Nici talked about how she wanted to take a rest day when we reached Conococha, so I booked an English lesson for that day. It turns out that Conococha didn’t have enough to hold Nici’s interest for a day, so she and Philip left this morning. Amanda and I decided to just cycle a few KM out of town to the boundary of cell-service. We spent a relaxing afternoon amongst the sagebrush and cactuses. I’ll teach my class at sunrise tomorrow and then we’ll meet up with the kids in Ticllos. Ahhh, sweet bliss.


Amanda writes: Not many attempt the Peru Divide as it is incredibly challenging. I however, am very keen to tackle it. We have as much time as we need and the views and remoteness of the route appeal to me. The total route is 343 km long including almost 10,000 meters in climbing over 50 mountain passes, many of which are over 4,000 meters in elevation. Over 90% of it is unpaved and for many days you are near 5000 meters. We have yet to see how our bodies react to all of this but I’m eager to find out. We know of many cyclists who have tried it and more than half have had to descend from the route to lower elevations at some point due to altitude sickness or pure exhaustion. So knowing all of these facts I managed to convince Andrew to give at least the first part a try and see how we make out. And so we head off following the trails of others rather than figuring out our own route.

A very nice relaxing day with a beautiful wide open camp spot. Andrew and I needed to stay close to internet connection for an English class so only cycled a very short distance to stay within the cell tower. It was nice to kick back on a short ride and enjoy some down time.

The aerial view of our ride:



Today’s Photographs

Puya Raimondi Huayhuash Loop Day 6
Peru Divide Part 1 Day 2: Tickled Pink in Ticllos