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    Archive for November, 2008

    Day 966 – Chimbote -> Trujillo (casa de ciclistas)

    Sunday, November 30th, 2008

    Chimbote -> Trujillo (casa de ciclistas)
    Distance (km) : 135
    Time on bike : 5h 24m
    Brutto time: 08.30 – 15.30
    Avg : 25.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 83.3
    Total (km) : 38.644

    Rice terrasses in Peru...

    Poor village south of Trujillo...

    Incline in the desert south of Trujillo...

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    Day 965 – Casma -> Chimbote (hostal)

    Saturday, November 29th, 2008

    Casma -> Chimbote (hostal)
    Distance (km) : 59
    Time on bike : 3h 9m
    Brutto time: 09.15 – 13.20
    Avg : 18.7 km/h
    Max.speed: 61.5
    Total (km) : 38.509

    Market in Casma.

    Early morning in Casma, Peru.

    Ahhh, more desert...

    Sandy cycling south of Chimbote, Peru.

    Ahh, more desert...

    A rare curve and incline in the desert road. South of Chimbote, Peru.

    Cloud formation on island off the coast of Chimbote, Peru.

    Nicolai on the esplanade at the Pacific in Chimbote...

    Before the cock fight gambling. Chimbote, Peru.

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    Day 964 – Chancay -> Casma (hostal)

    Friday, November 28th, 2008

    Chancay -> Casma (hostal)
    Distance (km) : 300
    Time on bike : 7h 36m
    Brutto time: 08.30 – 17.30
    Avg : 39.4 km/h
    Max.speed: A lot
    Total (km) : 38.450

    Same scenery as yesterday...Hot and boring desert.

    Exaggeration is better than being boring, eh?

    My salvation: Valderama and the longest truck surf ever...

    The Lonely Ride, south of Casma, Peru.

    Sand dunes near Casma, Peru.

    300 km in a day. 5/6 of which truck surfing. Wow, mad dog.

    It´s not a tan...

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    Day 963 – Lima -> Chancay (hotel)

    Thursday, November 27th, 2008

    Lima -> Chancay (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 92
    Time on bike : 4h 55m
    Brutto time: 10.00 – 16.00
    Avg : 18.6 km/h
    Max.speed: 77.6 (!)
    Total (km) : 38.150

    Lunch stop in a soulless village north of Lima, Peru.

    Endless desert cycling along the Panamerica north of Lima.

    A dusty, tired me.

    Ceviche - a local dish with raw fish marinated in lime and chili and onion...

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    Day 962 – Ass Jack

    Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Nicolai and Jesper - happy Danes in Miraflores, Lima...

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    New text in diary (UK)

    Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

    Check it here:

    Day 952
    Day 953

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    Day 961 – The Trendy Dog

    Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Huaca Pucllana - an adobe pyramidal structure from AD400 in central Miraflores, Lima...

    Huaca Pucllana - an adobe pyramidal structure from AD400 in central Miraflores, Lima...

    The Trendy Dog. Miraflores, Peru.

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    Day 960 – Lima Historical Centre

    Monday, November 24th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Monastery in Lima downtown.

    After a week of cold beers and organized debauchery in the Lima suburb of Miraflores, I thought it was about time to do just a bit of sightseeing in the UNESCO preserved, historical part of downtown Lima.

    Facade on Plaza de Armas, Lima - Peru

    These are all pretty standard shots from the downtown. But the centre actually possesses an architectural beauty that my limited Lima pictures don’t really do any justice. Please excuse me – was still recovering today (Monday, would you believe it!) and not really in it.

    Policia Nacional on Plaza de Armas, Lima...

    Touristy shopping arcade in Lima...

    Plaza de Armas, Lima - Peru.

    Palacio de Justicia, Lima - Peru.

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    Day 959 – Picking Up the Pieces

    Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

    0 km etc.

    What a total waste of an otherwise beautiful Sunday (I think, though didn’t really see it).

    Meeting up with a great group of travellers (incl. a big group of Danish Vikings, the size of which only Israelis might match ;-) ) here at the Loki Hostal in Miraflores, Lima has been an unforgettable, social experience to me. My liver’s been tested to the limits, but it’s been all worth it. We all need to unplug ourselves once in a while, and this week had the tag Nicolai’s Unplugged Week on it.

    I’m sorry for the long silence (sort of) but you really haven’t missed out on anything. Days have been spent with the folks here at the hostel, chilling, laughing, playing pool, enjoying free wifi, recovering (not from the cycling this time) and getting ready for the next big night out. ‘Cos that’s how it goes here in crazy Lima. It’s a mad place and I love it – especially the nocturnal part of it.

    Most of the guys I’ve been hanging out with all leave today. To different corners of the globe. The inevitable truth and ending of being part of the travelling lot. Knowing that the last 4-5 days of social (and mainly Danish) feast was a complete, random encounter and that we all got along very well makes me feel fortunate (and – on a less important note – a triffle exhausted/knackered).

    Aske, Tobias, Kasper, Christian, Lisbeth, Mette, Majka (all Denmark), Trevor (Saskatchewan, Canada), Andrew (Tonga), Les & Liam (Melbourne, OZ), Frederik (Sweden) plus a small army of unsong heroes all made the week outstanding. Thanks, guys!

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    Photo Album from Bolivia!

    Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

    I spent 35 days in Bolivia from 22SEP2008-26OCT2008 and cycled a total of 1.560 km on all sorts of surfaces. Heavenly paved, hellish washboard, bum-shaking cobblestones, gravel, sandy, stony, potholed. You name it – Bolivia’s got it all.

    I don’t know just how many darlings you are allowed to have. But this photo album from Bolivia is one of them anyhow…

    WT Photo Set from Bolivia (170 photos)

    or see photos as a slideshow on Flickr here!

    (I suggest 2 things here: 1) Clicking once on the photo for a little text box pop-up and 2) clicking on the “4 arrows icon” in the bottom right hand corner of the link for watching the photos in full screen mode)

    Feel free to leave a comment! I enjoy free wifi from my hostel here in Lima, Peru and all comments will be re-commented…

    Nicolai

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    Day 958 – Reprise

    Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Lisbeth, Kasper, and I. Miraflores - Lima, Peru...

    The slow start of another long night out in crazy Lima!

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    Day 957 – Astroturf and a wet Bierhaus

    Friday, November 21st, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Kasper, Tobias, and Lisbeth (all vikings) playing drinking games...

    We were an amazing 8 Danes staying at the Loki Hostal in Miraflores. Now that's a great party!

    (Text might pop-up at some point)

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    Day 956 – Chilling in Lima

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Feeding time! Miraflores, Peru.

    Tune of the Day: This is a Song – The Magic Numbers

    Miraflores seafront, Lima - Peru...

    Óvalo Miraflores.

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    Milestones Updated

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    Milestones updated (38.000 km, Peru – November 2008)

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    Day 955 – A Danish birthday party…

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Danish Lisbeth and Kasper - the latter, now 25.

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    A Letter from Home (DK only)

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

    (Article in Danish only. Published in the national paper MetroXpress Friday 14NOV2008. Apologies to the non-Danish-speaking lot… :-) )

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    Day 954 – Miraflores

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

    0 km etc.

    Miraflores seafront, Lima - Peru...

    Parque del Amor, Miraflores - Lima, Peru...

    Working out in Miraflores (incl. free Pacific views)...

    Miraflores boulevard...

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    Day 953 – Chilca -> Lima (hostal)

    Monday, November 17th, 2008

    Chilca -> Lima (hostal)
    Distance (km) : 63
    Time on bike : 3h 9m
    Brutto time: 10.30 – 15.00
    Avg : 20.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 77.3 (TS)
    Total (km) : 38.058

    Kilometer-wise I know it’s a micro day getting in to Lima today. But the headwind is fierce. I’m trying to grab hold of one of the slower, passing trucks. After a few failed attempts, I manage to connect myself to the back of an old Dodge truck going up a minor hill. But the big potholes make it a little too risky and after just a few kms I have to let go again. Mentally, it’s a great boost though.

    Toll road booth just south of Metropolitan Lima, Peru...

    A mango break (4 ripe Fruits of Heaven consumed in no time at all. And at 0.70 USD a kilo I can afford it!) at the road side just before I hit the metropolitan area of Lima (approx. 9 mio. people) gives me enough energy to battle the huge capital and find my way to Miraflores, a “safer, more up-scale” (according to the travel litterature) suburb 10 km south of central Lima.

    I’ve studied the Greater Lima map and quite easily find my way through the suburban hordes of cars, minibusses, pedestrians and street vendors. To check in at the Loki Hostal feels just fine after 10 days of mostly hilly cycling and 1.150 km since I left Cusco…Time to relax and socialize for a while now. :-)

    Me, Brazilian Marcelo and US Kitty at Loki Hostal, Lima - Peru...

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    Day 952 – Chincha -> Chilca (hospedaje)

    Sunday, November 16th, 2008

    Chincha -> Chilca (hospedaje)
    Distance (km) : 138
    Time on bike : 6h 36m
    Brutto time: 08.00 – 17.30
    Avg : 20.9 km/h
    Max.speed: Well, a lot!
    Total (km) : 37.995

    Cycling 130-150 km every day has its price, and often I’m just too knackered to bring out the electronic equipment and get myself updated on the laptop. After dinner I simply fade out, around 8-9PM. Power’s out and sleep is the only thing I can muster really.

    But nothing (no experience, thought, i.e) is wasted here – it all ends up in my hand written diary.

    Hot milk, bread, tamales in Chincha...

    Am looking forward to some anonymous big city days in Lima. Without the bike that – most likely along with the colour of my hair – attracts shit loads of attention everywhere. Especially in the smaller village everyone wants to chat and hear my story. It sounds pretty harmless, I know, but it gives me nothing (apart from irritation) and being treated as if I was made of some bulletproof, inhuman material (and not flesh and blood like anyone around) just isn’t the ideal basis for a proper conversation.

    This is not just 15 minutes of fame. It’s 24 hours a day of annoying, unoriginal questions that ruin my concentration and focus when all I want to do is keep cycling…

    My brekkie hosts in Chincha...From the Club Ciclista Chincha.

    Hazy desert cycling south of Lima...

    Sorry, mother Earth. We've gotta build a road through here...

    Panamerican Highway...

    Sopa de Pollo. Chilca, Peru.

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    Day 951 – Pisco -> Chincha (private)

    Saturday, November 15th, 2008

    Pisco -> Chincha (private)
    Distance (km) : 39
    Time on bike : 2h 4m
    Brutto time: 12.00 – 14.15
    Avg : 19.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 52.1
    Total (km) : 37.857
    Altitude (end of day): 10 m

    (Text to come…)

    Being interviewed on the street in Pisco by a young English student and his teacher...

    Brazilian cyclist Edmilson. He travels with a massive 80 kg luggage bulk!

    Earthquake damaged cathedral in Pisco, Peru.

    Inka Kola, where ever you go!

    Deserted houses on the Pacific coast...

    Pacific to my left, desert dunes to the right. Ahead of me: the Panamaricana...

    Desert cycling south of Chincha, Peru.

    Cable TV and a soft bed. Chincha hospitality.

    BBQ dinner in Chincha with Jesus (center) and his friends...

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    Day 950 – Ica -> Pisco (hospedaje)

    Friday, November 14th, 2008

    Ica -> Pisco (hospedaje)
    Distance (km) : 89
    Time on bike : 4h 13m
    Brutto time: 09.30 – 14.30
    Avg : 21.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 56.4
    Total (km) : 37.817
    Altitude (end of day): 10 m

    (Text to come…)

    A different insight into the world of chickens...Ica Central Market.

    OMG! Let the vegetarians keep marching! Ica Mercado Central.

    Laughs at the Ica Mercado Central.

    Chicken heads. Ica - Peru.

    Banana Wagon. Ica - Peru.

    Leaving morning busy Ica...

    More desert cycling along the Panamericana Hwy. North of Ica, Peru.

    Me and Brazilian fellow cyclist Edmilson enjoying the sedate Pisco night life...

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    Day 949 – Nazca -> Ica (hospedaje)

    Thursday, November 13th, 2008

    Nazca -> Ica (hospedaje)
    Distance (km) : 150
    Time on bike : 6h 47m
    Brutto time: 07.50 – 17.30
    Avg : 22.1 km/h
    Max.speed: 88.0 (!)
    Total (km) : 37.728
    Altitude (end of day): 420 m

    (Text to come…)

    Leaving Nazca and Walter at the super hospitable Los Montes Hostal...

    In Nazca and ready for the Panamerica Hwy...

    French tandem cyclists Robert et Marise. Nazca, Peru.

    Nicolai at the Nazca Lines

    Nazca geoglyphs.

    In the desert...Betw. Nazca and Ica, Peru.

    Arid cycling north of Nazca, Peru.

    Earth quake damaged church in Ica, Peru.

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    Day 947 – Nazca restday

    Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

    (Text to come…)

    Cactus. A local delicacy?

    Nazca market.

    Nazca street scene.

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    Day 947 – Puquio -> Nazca (hospedaje)

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

    Puquio -> Nazca (hospedaje)
    Distance (km) : 161
    Time on bike : 7h 0m
    Brutto time: 07.30 – 17.30
    Avg : 23.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 66.8
    Total (km) : 37.577
    Altitude (end of day): 568 m

    (Text to come…)

    Puquio elderlys.

    Puquio madam + donkey...

    Road side encounters west of Puquio, 4.000+ m.

    Road side encounters west of Puquio, 4.000+ m.

    Herdsmen outside of Puquio, Peru.

    (Not so) bad roads leaving Puquio, Peru.

    Back in the Andes....

    Back in the Andes....

    Hombres trabajando!

    Meeting with European travellers, east of Nazca, Peru.

    Heavenly downhill east of Nazca. Peru, November 2008.

    Heavenly downhill east of Nazca. Peru, November 2008.

    Ahh, bring it on!

    Fighting the elements...

    Heavenly downhill east of Nazca. Peru, November 2008.

    Nicolai in the mountains...

    Nazca dusk.

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    Day 946 – Negro Mayo -> Puquio (hotel)

    Monday, November 10th, 2008

    Negro Mayo -> Puquio (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 75
    Time on bike : 3h 20m
    Brutto time: 07.30 – 11.00
    Avg : 23.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 57.8
    Total (km) : 37.416
    Altitude (end of day): Ca. 3.400 m

    (Text to come)

    Negra Mayo on the Peruvian altiplano...

    Rustic brekkie spot in Negra Mayo, Peru.

    Peruvian pampas east of Puquio.

    It was pretty much just me, the llamas and the pampas.

    Another cool downhill awaits me just before Puquio, Peru.

    Puquio back street.

    Puquio poster.

    Puquio's main drag...

    Moto taxi in Puquio, Peru.

    Puquio main square.

    Puquio night scene + ghost

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    Day 945 – Chalhuanca -> Negro Mayo (bed of llama skin, private)

    Sunday, November 9th, 2008

    Chalhuanca -> Negro Mayo (bed of llama skin, private)
    Distance (km) : 114
    Time on bike : 7h 6m
    Brutto time: 08.40 – 17.40
    Avg : 16.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 74.8 (!)
    Total (km) : 37.341
    Altitude (end of day): Ca. 4.050 m

    Morning coffee in Chalhuanca, Peru.

    Morning in Chalhuanca, Peru.

    My trusted, Dutch friend. Peru 2008.

    Welcome to Cotaruse, Peru.

    Facades in Cotaruse, Peru.

    Mom and kid.

    Little waterfall along the way...

    The Peruvian pampa...

    Plenty of llamas and alpacas around here...

    The Peruvian pampa...

    Llama territory!

    Eroded hillside north of Negro Mayo, Peru.

    Beware vicuñas!

    Indigena village at 4.000 m. Peru, November 2008.

    Indigena village at 4.000 m. Peru, November 2008.

    Pampa + llamas.

    Settlement on the way to the 4.000+ m pass.

    Smooth, bleak pampa...

    Hail was coming my way!

    Tired and exhausted. Too many mountain passes and climbs!

    Sunset light in Negro Mayo, Peru.

    My night in a store room in Negro Mayo - the village that (to my surprise) didn´t have any accomodation. I slept for a beautiful 9½ hours on the soft llama skins...

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    Day 944 – Abancay -> Chalhuanca (hotel)

    Saturday, November 8th, 2008

    Abancay -> Chalhuanca (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 122
    Time on bike : 6h 0m
    Brutto time: 08.20 – 16.00
    Avg : 20.3 km/h
    Max.speed: 62.0
    Total (km) : 37.227
    Altitude (end of day): Ca. 2.800 m

    Great views just outside of Abancay, Peru.

    I decided to stay on the smooth asphalt towards Nazca!

    River valley cycling west of Abancay, Peru.

    River valley cycling west of Abancay, Peru.

    The Japanese cyclist who got robbed and tied to a tree for 26 hours in Nicaragua...

    River valley cycling west of Abancay, Peru

    Chalhuanca main square. Peru, November 2008.

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    A Salut from the Andes…

    Friday, November 7th, 2008

    (Abancay, Peru, 07NOV2008)

    I finally managed to escape the ubiquitous traps and glue of Cusco. Met some really nice people that added to the difficulty of leaving. Cuscu is truly a fantastic and very lively city high up in the Andes. But I’m rolling again. Adventure (the two-wheeled kind) is back.

    2 superhilly cycling days and 200 km later, I’m now in Abancay somewhere lost in the middle of the Andes. It’s great to be back in the saddle. Cycling has been hard and demanding. Today presented me with a brutal climb from 1.800 m (hot weather, parrots everywhere, sugar cane fields, banana palms and papaya trees and a few too many sand flies to my liking, the smell of the tropics) to the Abra Sorllaca Pass at 4.000 m (cold, drizzling, windy – it all changes so rapidly here in the Andes, something I (as a Dane) am not used to at all).

    The Fruit of the Day was the superb 35 km downhill from the pass down to Abancay at 2.378 m. It was without a doubt the coolest (as in funky) and thrilling descent in WT History. Brilliant!

    It’s touch cycling here, crossing the Andes from Cusco to Nazca, but not as hard as I expected after reading a few online blogs. The mental preparation rules supreme. And the asphalt is smooth and shiny.

    Ahead of me is another 3-4 days with several 40-60 km (horizontal, that is ;-) ) ups and downs before I reach Nazca and the Peruvian coast (I see flat bitumen, high temperatures, the ocean (after nearly 3 months absense) and, well, semi-boring cycling coming up, but that’s fine for now. 2 months in the mountains have left a longing for the tropics again. No more freezing balls.

    I might not be back in Camp WT before Nazca. But do leave me a note and a thought below. I don’t have any (physical) mail box to check everyday. I miss that kind of excitement. This (WT) is my only life line to you guys & gals out there, so don’t hold yourself back. :-)

    Nicolai

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    Day 943 – Km 104 -> Abancay (hostal)

    Friday, November 7th, 2008

    Km 104 -> Abancay (hostal)
    Distance (km) : 90
    Time on bike : 5h 40m
    Brutto time: 08.00 – 15.20
    Avg : 15.9 km/h
    Max.speed: 56.7
    Total (km) : 37.105
    Altitude (end of day): 2.368 m

    OMG! Switchbacks west of Cusco.

    Cool river valley cycling west of Cusco

    Peligro!

    Friendly kids demonstration in Curahuasi, Peru.

    Friendly kids demonstration in Curahuasi, Peru.

    Great Peruvian cycling near Curahuasi...

    Friendly kids demonstration in Curahuasi, Peru

    Getting back up the mountain side - to another 4.000+ m pass

    Getting back up the mountain side - to another 4.000+ m pass

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    Day 942 – Cusco -> Km 104 (hostal)

    Thursday, November 6th, 2008

    Cusco -> Km 104 (hostal)
    Distance (km) : 102
    Time on bike : 4h 30m
    Brutto time: 09.00 – 16.00
    Avg : 22.6 km/h
    Max.speed: 57.3
    Total (km) : 37.015
    Altitude (end of day): 1.800 m

    The Goody Bag...

    Downhill west of Cusco, Peru.

    Hills west of Cusco, Peru.

    Cool river valley cycling west of Cusco.

    Cool river valley cycling west of Cusco.

    Cool river valley cycling west of Cusco

    Me and Swiss Marc that I had a great time with in Cusco, Peru.

    Peruvian mud brick house.

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    Day 941 – Cusco still…

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

    …and something’s still missing here :-)

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    Day 940 – Cusco

    Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

    Something to come… :-)

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    Day 939 – Cusco Chilling (part II)

    Monday, November 3rd, 2008

    Sepia in Cusco.

    Football is popular here in Peru as well!

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    Top 20 Hard to Leave Places (UK)

    Monday, November 3rd, 2008

    People often ask me if I just keep pedalling all the time like some Forest Gump on a bike.
    As you’d know by now, the answer is a big and clear no. I take my time whenever I want and whenever I find something worth staying for.

    Sometimes it is because of the people I meet, the friends that I’m staying with, the weather, the beauty of the place, the general feel-good vibe of the place, the cultural possibilities of the big city, the need for some time off the bike, the liquid (and most likely alcoholic) temptations of the night life, or what feels like unavoidable glue in the streets. There are lots of things to blame here.

    Without having a return ticket and no apparent rush to get back home to Denmark (well, that wish for having my own family some day is still lingering), it can actually be harder to leave some places than you’d expect. Stay or go? is a constant (and, admittedly, luxury) dilemma on this RTW crusade.

    Cusco, Peru will definitely make it to the list as well. But since – after 4 days and still counting – I haven’t left this wonderful city yet, it won’t figure here.

    Top 20 Hard to Leave Places*

    1. Chiang Mai, Thailand (31)
    2. Kathmandu, Nepal (17)
    3. Sydney, Australia (30)
    4. Koh Tao, Thailand (8)
    5. Luang Prabang, Laos (11)
    6. Moorea, French Polynesia (20)
    7. Pokhara, Nepal (6)
    8. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia (6)
    9. Melbourne, Australia (25)
    10. Istanbul, Turkey (11)
    11. Adelaide, Australia (12)
    12. Foa Island, Tonga (5)
    13. La Paz, Bolivia (6)
    14. Perhentian Island, Malaysia (5)
    15. Kuta (Bali), Indonesia (8)
    16. Salta, Argentina (6)
    17. Hanoi, Vietnam (7)
    18. Koh Pha-Ngan, Thailand (4)
    19. Varna, Bulgaria (4)
    20. Kraków, Poland (5)

    *) 13 cities, 7 islands. Numbers in parenthesis signify (approx.) days of stay.

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    Day 938 – Sunday in Cusco

    Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

    Plaza de Armas, Cusco - Peru.

    Nicolai updating WT.

    Cobblestones in Cusco.

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    Day 937 – Cusco Chilling

    Saturday, November 1st, 2008

    Narrow Cusco street in the San Blas quarter.

    San Blas quarter. Cusco, Peru.

    Cusco, Peru.

    Camelid in Cusco.

    Cusco, Peru.

    Uhh, anyone?

    Adobe in Cusco.

    Plaza de Armas, Cusco - Peru.

    Night time in Cusco, Peru.

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