Early Christmas

You know you have some special friends when they go way out  of their to willingly help you out.

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Our very close friends Steve B. and Kim (  http://m.yelp.com/biz/organic-peddler-on-the-edge-del-norte) rallied for us. Steve gathered up some gear out of our storage armed only with my list and some vague instructions on where he might find them.  Then Kim, bless her heart, took on the task of packing our box all the way to Lima. Then she had to brave Lima traffic and get the package to the bus station to be shipped to Huarraz, which is no simple task.  The package arrived here Tuesday AM on an overnight bus.

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In the box was a brand new set of Ortlieb Back Roller Plus rear panniers, a combo stuff sack/backpack, my lightweight shoes, bike shorts, a pump and the little keyboard for the Nexus.

Having items shipped from the US to Peru is, apparently, outrageously expensive, from others we’ve been told that it’s hardly worth it.  Plus, it takes forever .  When we learned that Kim was flying into Lima the gears started turning with thoughts of items we (I) wanted/needed. Actually about the only thing Patti got was some fancy sunscreen for her face. Inderectly, though, those big panniers (on my bike) will lighten her load. 🙂

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                     The first days of sans hydration pack.

As we were riding along the coast of Spain in the heat and had been stuck on roads for days we both began to play with idea of losing the backpacks. Those who know us know we always wear packs (we try to keep them very light) and never give wearing one a second thought. But, we never do as many road miles as we were doing, especially with the heat and humidity. So, we put the backpacks on top of my rear rack for a few days, shortly thereafter we mailed them home- and spent too much money to do it. After that the small panniers that were perfectly adequate with packs on our backs became barely adequate.  Hence the motivation to use full size panniers.  Honestly though, I still have mixed feelings about it.  Having all my personal stuff,  ie; passport, money, etc., having the camera on the shoulder strap and all the electronic stuff isolated from the jarring of off road travel still has a lot of appeal.  A bit of water in the hydration bladder makes life simpler for me. There’s no denying,  though,  that for long road,  or even smoother dirt, not wearing a pack is nice. The new panniers seem to be about three times as big as the fronts I was using.  We ought to have room for anything we care to haul with nothing on top of the rack.

We’re going to give the little Nexus keyboard a try again.  I talked about it here-  https://rollingwiththemoment.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/communicating-2/
At the last minute before leaving home we both decided it was extra weight we could do without so we left the keyboards.  We had one sent thinking it might make some tasks easier on the Nexus but there still seems to be a problem doing certain tasks.  Whether it’s worth hauling around the extra weight  is still up for debate.  We’re using the SwiftKey typing app on the tablets and it works really well.

The day pack /stuff sack (Dana Designs Kompressor) will normally stay in a pannier and will be used for grocery runs, day hikes and overflow from the panniers, things like a loaf of bread or chips and beer. – 🙂

In other news…We’ve been in Huaraz a month now. We’ve decided to head south to Arequipa and we’ll bus to Lima today (10/11) We hope to see Kim in Lima before going on to Arequipa. If any of you have specific advice on Arequipa let us know. We do have the Lonely Planet book.

We’re both healthy, finally!

Gary

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