After picking up the new tyres, we made the 60mile hop from Mala into the madness of Lima.
The drivers of Peru are undoubtedly the most crazy we’ve come across: swerving left and right across the lanes, no indication, apparent disregard for cyclists and all the while hammering away at their horns as though the sound itself makes them happy. Cycling through this city of more than 8 million people was one of the more stressful rides on the trip.
But Rita – our host for the week – immediately made us feel welcome and calm with her warm nature and easy smile. We were given a room in the garage of her family home, right next to a bike shop that she runs with a few friends, and were told to make ourselves comfortable.
We were so comfortable that week, with the space and facilities to cook, do our laundry, watch the telly. And we ate Rita’s delicious soul food with her children, husband and friends all together at the table. We were made to feel fully at home: something very special when on the road.
And Rita – a passionate cyclist – introduced us to a few of her many cyclist friends. We took an afternoon to all tour together around the sights of Lima, visiting galleries, museums and churches along the way. Lima is a tough town to ride in, but with us safely visible in a group of 15, the cars and busses were forced to take notice!
It was Rita’s suggestion that we change up our plan for the trip. The rest of Peru’s coast, she assured us, was equally as uninspiring as what we had already seen. Much better, she insisted, would be to take a bus back into the mountains and visit some of the stunning scenery there, before bussing up to Ecuador, stopping off to visit the ancient ruins of Chan Chan along the way. The 800 miles we skipped riding could be made up for somewhere more exciting: Belize!
We listened to wise Rita’s intelligent words. And decided to bus much of the remaining miles through Peru, so that we can head east through Guatemala and spend time in the Yucatan Peninsular and the Caribbean coast.
It was an easy choice to make.
Vida! Saúde! Felicidade!
As ever, if you’ve enjoyed reading these posts, or if you see value and a challenge in this trip, or if you’d simply like to support a wonderful cause, it would be great if you drop a little sum towards my fundraising goal for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Head over to https://www.justgiving.com/Mike-Edmondstone/ to get involved. Thanks 🙂