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I am quite unaccustomed and unstable at the start. I have not been cycling for over two months and feel like a beginner. My body is aching of all the pedaling, of all the sitting, of all the effort, but it all feels right. There is something special about traveling on a bicycle with myself as a power source. Even if it does not feel as if I have that power within me, it is usually there when I need it. Altitude can drain all my strength. When a mountain road only continues to wind its way up and my back wheel only continues to whirl round in the gravel, I am just at a standstill. My body is so weak. I feel completely out of energy, but somehow there is some standby strength that keeps me going.

And when I continue, I eventually reach the top of those mountain passes, where I can admire the view while catching my breath in the thin air. I can freewheel down the hill with a sense of achievement and adventure. As I keep pedaling, the road keeps taking me to wonderful places.  I camp in the beautiful Huascaran national park, I dance on the happy festival streets in the Huariarca village and rest in the lovely water of Huayllay hot springs.

Most of the places I pass seem to be named something beginning with Hua. I am now in the city of Huancayo and ahead of me await a road with even more and even higher mountain passes, which probably will be the hardest stretch of the entire trip. The thought of crossing the Andes is overwhelming, but I think that I have, and that we all have, all the strength that we need.




  1. Marius Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 2:14 PM

    Much good luck, Hanna! Vaya con Dios!

  2. hanna Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 8:23 AM

    Gracias Marius, just a few more mountain passes left berfore I reach Cuzco.

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