Peru is incredibly affordable. Our first class bus ride from Lima to Huaraz was 60 soles each ( 21.60). Our private room with separate bath at Jo’s Hostel is 35 soles (12.60), camping is 10 soles, a dorm room is 15 soles. Food prices in the grocery stores and open air markets varies, if it’s local and unpackaged it’s quite inexpensive, ie; avocados, mangoes, plantains, etc. Packaged food isn’t a real bargain. Beer and wine are more than in most of Europe. It’s hardly worth cooking though because most restaurants have a “menu” option for 5 soles (1.80) which includes soup or salad, a main course, fruit drink and usually jello for desert. The colectivos, which are van type buses, usually cost roughly 1sol for each 5-10 miles traveled.
Riding in the colectivo.
Most travelers we’ve talked to have been sick, if they’re lucky it’s only once and for a short time. Several people have had not only intestinal issues but colds and, earlier on the flu which seems to have passed now. I caught my cold from a German neighbor here at Jo’s, I think. I visited a private health clinic /hospital /ER and got a steroid shot for the bursitis in my shoulder a few weeks back. My doc back home sent me what drug and dosage he used before . The Orthopedist I saw here seemed very knowledgeable and knew just what my issue was and where to do the injection. I was having my first intestinal problem while there and the same doc was very helpful in treating that. Overall we we’re both very impressed with how thorough and knowledgeable the whole staff seemed to be, friendly too. The cost? About a third of what the visit at home would have cost, including the drugs. We were told to avoid the public hospital, this private facility was highly recommended though.
The local riding here is good. Like home, only more so, there is lots of climbing. The roads out of the valley tend tobe rough dirt. They’re in good enough condition that a car can drive them but are quite rocky and bumpy. Not the most enjoyable surface to ride on, especially on the super long descents. The trails are the routes people and livestock use daily to get from point A to point B. Often times they’re too rough or stair like to ride by all but the downhill guys. But.. riding the little lanes, paths and even roads up into the hills takes you through villages and dwellings that might look the same as it has for hundreds of years.
We did a day ride up into the Cordillera Negra, which is the opposite side of the valley from the Cordillera Blanca. We had a nice mellow climb up to about 4000 mtrs. (13,200′) and then rode an unused 2-track that contoured close to the top along to the north. This gave us some great views of the Cordillera Blanca and Huraz below.
It occurred to me that I never updated the blog with bike parts we replaced in Portugal. If you aren’t into bike geeky stuff stop reading now. – 🙂
New rear tire, Maxxis Crossmark steel bead
New chain PG-970
New cassette – 11-34 PG-950, her old one had many miles on it.
New 22t chainring- she was getting some chainsuck.
New derailleur cables – full length housing to avoid the cable stop at the TT/Steertube junction, the angle of the housing was too abrupt because of the harness. With the longer housing and avoiding using the cable stops it’s no longer an issue.
New rear tire, Maxxis Crossmark, steel bead
New chain PG-970
The Crossmarks weren’t my first choice, they are 2.1″ but in reality are noticeably smaller than the 2.2″ Saguaros. The Crossmarks have weak sidewalls when run tubeless but since we’re running tubes I’m pretty confident they’ll hold up fine. They are a nice rolling tire and should work well for our needs. I’ll be really surprised if they last as well as the Saguaros did, I continue to be impressed by the Saguaros. Speaking of- the tires and chains that we replaced had right around 3,000 miles on them. The rear tires still had a lot of miles left in them. We measured the chains, out of curiosity, and they were just getting to the point of needing replacement.
I installed EBC Gold BB-7 brake pads on both bikes before the start of the trip based on a recommendation on one of the forums. I’m very impressed with them. They seem to be quieter than Avid sintered pads and they are still only about 1/2 used up so they wear very well . We had some descents in the Pyrenees that would have had my hydraulic brakes boiling but these pads just seemed to work better the hotter they got. I may not go back to my Maguras when I get home.
I ran full length brake housing on both bikes and the cable actuation still feels as smooth as day one.
I’ve still not needed to true a wheel or adjust bearings.
It’s pretty amazing how reliable a well maintained bicycle can be.
Both bikes are set up as 2X9. 22-34 front and 11-34 rear. I really like this set up.