Gringos Locos
Amazing Andes

October 21-30, 2016

We woke up in Tamborapa to Philip being horribly sick. When I first heard someone puking across the field I thought it was just some local drunk still feeling the effects of the night before. Alas it was Philip and he had been at it all night long.

Cycling Stats

October 21, 2016
Start Point: Tamborapa, San Ignacio, Peru
End Point: Jaen, Cajamarca, Peru
37.4 km distance, 2:45 time on bikes, 52.8 km/h maximum speed, 13.6 km/h average speed

October 23, 2016
Start Point: Jaen, Cajamarca, Peru
End Point: Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Peru
3.83 km bicycle, 175 km bus, 0:28 time on bikes, 23.5 km/h maximum speed, 13.6 km/h average speed

Accommodations & Route Information

October 21, 2016
This route included a good quality paved road. There is a very gradual 6 kilometre climb out of the town. The road includes a shoulder most of the way. At one point there is a pretty good downhill. There are lots of hotels, restaurants and a super market in Jaen. We stayed at a hotel that was 25 soles per night for two people with a private bathroom. It’s hot in Jaen and you need at least a fan.

October 23, 2016
We took a collectivo bus for most of this ride. The road seemed the same as what we had experienced thus far in terms of quality although we can’t speak too much to the terrain. In Chachapoyas there are lots of hotels to choose from and again it has stores and restaurants. We paid 30 soles per night at a hostel that had a kitchen. We had a shared bathroom and there was no need for a fan.

What happened…

Amanda writes: In the middle of the night I could hear some activity from Nici and Philip’s tent. When you travel with others for awhile you get used their sounds and don’t pay much attention. For example I know that they get up to pee at least once a night similar to myself. So when I heard a bit of commotion in the middle of the night I didn’t think much of it. At one point I did hear Philip say ‘super’ followed by someone wiping or scraping something inside their tent. Again I didn’t give it much thought … maybe they had a little hanky panky or something or spilled a drink. Then as the sun rose I heard someone puking in the bushes over by the toilet by the police station (and I use the term toilet generously as it was disgusting). At the time I thought it was just some local feeling the effects of last night. I would learn in a few minutes that it was in fact Philip. Philip got incredibly sick in the middle of the night inside the tent which would explain all the commotion. As we climbed out of the tent we were warned of which areas to avoid on the football pitch as there were areas that Philip had been getting sick for hours; he was a mess! I felt so bad for him as he could barely take 10 steps without getting sick out of both ends. We took it slow in the morning and waited for the health centre to open in hopes of getting help. The police offered to drive him to the next big city to the hospital but that would have been without their bikes. After a couple of hours getting moving they decided they were going to take a taxi to Jaen; the next town and try and get some help and their own toilet. After we got them to the area for taxis Andrew and I hopped on our bikes to ride the short distance to the next town to meet them.

It became clear after a day in the next town of Jaen that 1) Philip wasn’t getting any better and 2) it was too hot to stay there. Jaen was a city at lower elevation and the town had constant power outages which meant the fans in the rooms stopped working. So after sleeping there our first night we all decided to hop in a collectivo van to the next reasonably sized town at a higher elevation so that it was more comfortable for Philip to rest. And so we found a van that could store 4 bikes and 20 bags on the roof! Off we went and then we spent the next week trying to wait for Philip to get better.

The local municipal market had many vendors who pre-made sauces and spices for you.

The local municipal market had many vendors who pre-made sauces and spices for you.

Lots grains available for sale at the market.

Lots grains available for sale at the market.

Copious amounts of fresh fruit at the market.

Copious amounts of fresh fruit at the market.

There was a part of me that just wanted to ride ahead as I really like riding my bike. At the same time I really enjoy their company and I think we are a really good match for traveling together. They both have an incredible sense of humour and we travel at the same pace. So after planning our timing and upcoming flights we agreed that we could wait a week for Philip’s antibiotics to finish. As long as we left on October 31st we could still make it to the town that we needed to be in to access the other City for our flights. And so we enjoyed a week hanging out with friends and doing some local sightseeing.

We went to Kuelap which is a walled city associated with the Chachapoyas culture built in 6th century AD. It consists of more than four hundred buildings surrounded by massive exterior stone walls. I was very impressed by how large it is and how in tact some of the structures still are. I’m very curious to see how it differs to Machu Picchu when we go there. We also went to the 3rd largest waterfall in the world and saw some amazing grand valleys. Northern Peru really does have some incredible sights that I had not heard of before.

As we closed in on the week of waiting it was becoming clear that Philip wasn’t getting any better. It was hard to watch because he’s usually such a fun and outgoing guy and with him not being able to eat, he didn’t have a lot of energy. Nici came with us for some sightseeing which was great, but it just wasn’t the same without him. And while I enjoyed some more time with Nici and got to know her better, it was hard to see Philip so down. It was a tough reality to face that in spite of waiting for him to get better we were going to have to move on without them. We shared a couple of nice dinners before we left (well except for Philip because he still couldn’t eat) and got ready to head out.

Today’s Photographs

Gringos Locos
Amazing Andes