What is life? Is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime. It is the shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.                                Black Crow


I go to bed at night thinking “OK I have this together and am ready to go” then I wake in the morning with a list in my head of multiple things needing to be done.  Bike adjustments,  the right spare parts, clothes to take, get in shape, prepare the house, i.e.  teach Jeanne the things I normally do, check car and health insurance’s as will be gone when the normal application period rolls around.  The list goes on and I am amazed at the little things one does, which one never really thinks of,  just to get through the days.  But one thing at a time and by the end of the day I am again thinking OK this is good you have it together.

Have been reading a few other blogs from the folks which started in Quito, Ecuador 1 August.  Sound like a great group of people.  Friendly helpful, from all over, primarily Netherlands, Australia, Germany, France, Norway, and numerous other places.  Then I read of their credentials, one just finishing 12,000 kilometers across Africa, another has done the Iditabike (Anchorage to Nome winter time), one has done the Great Divide race 3-4 times.  Whew.

Then there is the biking 2000 – 4000 foot climbs.  Sound like the Andes are big.  My sister commented about driving through Colorado at 11,000 feet.  Sounds low, as Cusco where I start is 11,200.  La Paz bolivia is about 12,500 feet.  There are some mountains around there which taller than Denali, I understand.  Exciting, learning a new place.  Have never been to South America and it sounds like a most interesting place.  And what a way to explore it, by bike.  The people sound incredibly friendly and interesting.  Each area with its particular dress and customs.

In the weeks at Cusco Jeanne and I will hike about a bit, taking a 4 day camping tour through the Lares Valley ending up at Machu Picchu, and a bus tour with a family stay at  Lake Titicaca.  (The highest navigable lake in the world at 12,500 feet)  We have a couple nights of 14,500 feet.  Hopefully that time will help me to acclimate.  Usually do pretty well with altitude, but have usually worked my way there not flown in to 11,200 feet.

The bike is together although seems to always be some tweaking to be done.  A new saddle for my behind, which had to be returned as broke on second day.  Brakes adjust, figure out which parts may wear out and need replacement,  On and on.The bike is a 26″ Ibis Tranny with removable rear triangle for transport.  Rides very nice.  Have put on about a thousand miles now and she is a dream.  Fits in a duffle bag and bought a wheel bag to carry the wheels. Am limited on the flight from Lima to Cusco to 2 bags and a total of 23 kilos (50 pounds). So must pack light.  Jeanne will be along and can help with a bit. Bike weighs in at 30 pounds fully outfitted with bottles and frame pack. It will be tight.

Ibis Tranny

Piles of stuff beginning to accumulate
Piles of stuff beginning to accumulate

Purchased a bike GPS as a few notes of people losing the right path, turning left instead of right.  One fellow apparently went backward for 30 miles making for a long day.  Something new to learn to use.

Training going OK but seems to take a lot of time and never enough of it time or training.  Have had some great hikes, and good rides.

Enough of this self importance, time to get back to things that need to be done.

If you don’t do it this year, you will be another year older when you do.  Warren Miller

If you don’t do it this year, next year it will be even harder.  Jim Howard

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