Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1511, Raquia – Catac: Into the Sky

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Nov - 07 - 2014

Distance: 84.60 km
Ride time: 7:20:38
Average: 11.52 km/h
Max speed: 52.18 km/h
Total: 30330 km

I woke up to the sun making it’s way across the valley where I had spent the night. I hadn’t bothered putting up my tent last night – full panorama view from my 5 million star hotel, including a few shooting stars.

I was expecting a very hard day on the bike, knowing that I would have to climb to over 4000 m of altitude. Luckily I was passing a small town within the first hour of climbing for a big cup of coffee and a solid breakfast. I would need it!

The road only got steeper and steeper as the day progressed and I started to ask myself the question why I had left the coast where I could have cruised along enjoying a comfortable tail wind. I only had to look around to find the answer to that question though.

I had been thinking that climbing straight from sea level to 4000 m could give some problems with the altitude, but as I left the tree line and got closer to the pass I was still feeling fine. In fact I don’t think I cycled much slower than I would have done if the climb had been at 2000 or 3000 m. I’m adapting much easier to altitude after climbing all the mountains and volcano’s down in Arequipa.

I could now see the top of the pass. It was with a great feeling of satisfaction that I finally rolled down the other side of it, into the village of Conacocha. The climb was without any comparison the longest I have done on the trip (130 km since leaving the coast, the last 65 being very steep) and one of the harder things I have done on a bike.

I spotted a few guest houses but they didn’t look too inviting. In fact I would have preferred to stay in my tent, even though I knew that the night would be cold up here. I decided to continue towards the village of Catac, hoping there wouldn’t be more climbing on the way. My legs were pretty much out of energy at this point.

I was now cycling across a plateau with snow capped mountains in the background and yellow grass on the slopes beside the road. This was exactly like being back at the altiplano in Bolivia where I had spent two months earlier this year. The reunion was happy enough, but at the same time I was looking forward to make it a little further down the valley where I could already now see that the lush and greenery would return.

Tomorrow I should make it to Huaraz.

Categories: Peru
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Marie says:


  2. With that scenery, you certainly made the right choice by taking the mountain route! Hard work pays off!