Hey there! Remember us? Yes, we know it has been a while since we wrote something, or posted something, or made a YouTube video… Are we bad influencers? Yes! Because we aren’t. We were two tired Belgians who took a little break.
A lot of people ask us why we flew from Mexico straight to Peru and not cycle Central America as well. The answer to that question is because we wanted to do volunteering work. When we were planning this trip, there was always one certainty, one fixed point in our planning: Oye LENA. We arranged that we could do a few months of volunteering work starting from January. We also didn’t want our trip to take 2 years or more, so it became obvious pretty quickly that we would have to skip a few countries. That’s just the way it goes, we almost felt a little sad to not cycle the rest of Central America. But we have other priorities and are very excited for that!
We arrived in Cusco after a night spent partially in a plane with too little leg room and the rest in the airport in Lima. The word “tired” just got a new definition for us. Our bike boxes held up pretty good in the plane, but assembling them was a pain in the butt. To make them fit properly we had to deflate the tires. Only, Fien’s rear tire is tubeless. We aren’t very experienced with tubeless. So when we tried to pump it, it wouldn’t hold air because the sealant had hardened on the edge of the tire. It was a mess.
After paying way too much for a taxi, we got to our hotel on the hillside above Cusco’s historic city center. We spent a few days exploring the narrow streets and markets of Cusco and also got Fien’s tire fixed. After that, we were ready for our last ride for almost half a year. A two day ride to Curahuasi, the town where we’re going to live and work.
The ride was beautiful! We cycled through farmlands lying in an almost 3000m high valley, descended to 1800m on a winding road only to climb to 2800m again. All the while surrounded by the Andes mountains. And dogs…
In Mexico we’ve encountered some aggressive dogs, but the Peruvian ones take the cake (or our ankles!). Apparently they really don’t like cyclist and come barking at you and almost bite your ankles or pedals. Not really convenient when you’re cycling uphill and want to get out of there quickly…
We planned on spending a few days in Curahuasi, get to know the other volunteers and the project a little bit, and then fly to Santiago (Chile) to be with Fien’s sister and her family in-law. But the Peruvian people had other plans. The whole country went on strike, blocked the roads and took over airports. So our few days in Curahuasi turned to 3 days, 4 days, a week. Until a taxi driver got some information that the roads were opening. He took us and two others to Cusco, slaloming around rocks, debris and various other artifacts. The Peruvians sure know how to block roads!
Finally! We made it to Santiago. Fien’s sister and her husband were waiting there to pick us up, our holidays could finally start! Or continue? It’s weird to take a holiday in a holiday.
We had so much fun in Santiago, we went climbing a lot, relaxed at the pool, met Sebastian’s (Fien’s brother in-law) family and spent Christmas and New Years with them. That’s why we’ve been a little more silent on the internet. We were enjoying some time off.
But now it’s time to go back to Peru and start our volunteering work