Posts Tagged With: Pisco Sours

Day 15: Monday 28 Nov – Wellington to Picton

Today we only had to ride 4km to the ferry and then 1.5 km in Picton to the camp.

Even though the ferry was not sailing until 9am we had to have our bags out by 630 am as the trucks needed to get down to the ferry to queue. There were no breakfast facilities at the motel so we were told we were going to get a breakfast pack. Turned out it was a breakfast and a lunch park. It was huge, a plastic supermarket bag full of food. A smoothie, a fruit drink, an orange, a banana, a fruit log, 3 small packets of savory snack biscuits, 2 cheese segments, 2 rolls with frankfurters, a Muesli bar, and a round plastic container 250gm of nuts. How many days was this for again?

I had been a bit nervous about the sailing as I suffer really badly from motion sickness and the past few days the seas had been really rough.Thankfully today it was really quite calm. I had a nice ride along the water front and crossed over at the Westpac stadium and down to the ferry. I could not believe how many people there were as foot passengers – the terminal was packed. Usually when I catch the ferry I am driving a vehicle.

We had to walk our bikes as a group onto the vehicle deck.

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The ferry we travelled on to Picton

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Onto the boat

We were sailing on the newest Interislander ferry, which had some really good seating facilities. I got a good seat at the back of the boat, with a nice view out over the water. The sailing was three hours and really calm all the way across. Once we got into the Marlborough Sounds I even managed to get a blog update done.

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Sailing to the South Island (Photo and Caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Once we got to Picton we had to go to the vehicle deck and wait to be let off. It was a bit unpleasant with all the cars with their engines running, but luckily they let us off  quickly.

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Waiting to get off the ferry

A short 1.5km ride and we were at camp by 12:30 pm. We arrived before the trucks, so had to wait for them to arrive so we could get our bags.

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Sunny and warm in Picton (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Once we had set up our tents Brett, Michele, Tony and I walked into the town and had a look around. We stopped at a bar with a nice outside area and had steamed green mussels in wine and garlic, wedges, and a ParrotDog Pilsner, then we moved to the next bar. Tony, Brett had I had a Kereru Pilsner, and Michele had a cider.

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Lazy afternoon in Picton

After this we walked around Picton looking at the shops. I tried a couple of hairdressers as I badly need a hair cut. Although they said “no appointment necessary” they were both fully booked. I will have to wait until after the ride.

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Another ferry in the Picton Harbour (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)

We called into one more bar on the way back to camp and saw “Pisco sours” on the cocktail menu, so we decided that as we had all done the section of the South American ride where they were from, we would have one. Well, although they are on menu clearly they are not popular as the bartender had to ask another bartender and they had to refer to notes, and they took over 45 minutes to make. They were not worth the wait but the thought was good. As I said to Michele – we will remember them more because of the disproportionate amount of time they took to make, and how uninspiring the end result was.

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Disappointing Pisco Sours

Dinner was fresh cooked (lemon) fish with couscous and a broccoli salad. Tony and Michele shared a bottle of Vidals (Hawkes Bay) Pinot with us.

We have a new rider called Justina from Switzerland, she has come all the way just to do the two week South Island ride. Every rider’s nightmare: she arrived but no bike or bag! Hopefully it will be sent on tonight’s ferry.

Tomorrow is the birthday for both Emily (the tour leader) and Mika (a TDA worker). A couple of the riders had organised cakes, candles, and cards, which we all contributed to and signed. After dinner we sang happy birthday and had cake and candles.

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Day 62/164: Cerru Azul to Paracas – 130km

1,000 meters climbing and 1,000 meters down.

We were going to be staying at Reserva national de Paracas at 135 kilometres (bush camping in a National Park) but instead this was changed at lunch to 115 kilometres in Paracas.

Today is a non-race day, instead it is a team challenge day. We had to get into teams of approximately 5, with at least one team member who joined in Lima, and team members from at least two continents.

The challenges were
1. Form a human pyramid with a scenic backdrop
2. Have a photo of each team member doing what they like to do
3. A tasteful picture of a Catholic icon
4. The team enjoying grapes
5. The team enjoying something sweet and sour
6. The team interacting with the locals.

We had a great day getting the challenges completed. We had a dog in our pyramid with a backdrop of the beach.

My photo of what I like to do was feeding a dog.

Feeding the dog in Pisco

Feeding the dog in Pisco

Our sweet and sour was Piscos in Pisco – I abstained. We had the Piscos in Pisco as we figured there should be bonus points attached to that. Thankfully not everyone had to have one, and Pisco was only 25 kilometres from where we were staying.

For interacting with the locals we did wine tasting, and then took a picture at a road side shop of a grandmother and her grandson (who was 3 like my grandson).  Ray from Missouri who was in the team speaks reasonably good Spanish, and was able to have a conversation with the grandmother. As we rode away from the shop I could not help thinking how different this grandmother’s life is than the grandmother at the shop.

With having to do 20 kilometres less than expected we did not even mind the unexpected 5 kilometre dirt road. The riding today was pretty easy going, as we were taking our time.

We got to camp in time to air the tent and do some washing. Dinner tonight was steak! First time that has appeared for dinner, big pieces and cooked medium or well done and salad.

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 50/164: Rest day in Pacasmayo

Not surprisingly I did not wake up feeling the best I ever had. I felt a bit like I had after the farewell party in Venice! Very seedy but thankfully unlike then I did not have a canal boat trip that I had to go on that day.

I had breakfast, then more water, and then went for a walk around the town. Jackie, who had joined me drinking the pisco sour, came to breakfast wearing dark glasses and also feeling fragile.

View of Pacasmayo

View of Pacasmayo

Walking down hill my legs were sore and I am very thankful not to be riding today. Interesting town, I walked down to the pier. It used to be where people and goods were unloaded and then shipped across Peru. A number of dogs, cats, pelicans, and vultures, were hanging hopefully around the fish market at the pier.

View of the pier from hill in town

View of the pier from the hill in town

View of town from the pier

View of town from the pier

Cats sitting by fish market on pier in Pacasmayo

Cats sitting by fish market on pier in Pacasmayo

Pelicans keeping close eye on fish market in Pacasmayo

Pelicans keeping close eye on fish market in Pacasmayo

Fishing boats

Fishing boats

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Vultures in Pacasmayo

This place is now very popular as a surf beach, and as a claim to surf beach fame it can create waves that you can ride for up to 4 minutes. According to the surfers that is very rare.

The amazing surf on the beach here (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

The amazing surf on the beach here (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

TDA staff head down to surf (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

TDA staff head down to surf (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

For such a small city there are a lot of tuk tuks, and every time you cross a road you have to look out. Just like in Cartagena, and the rest of South America so far, pedestrian crossings mean nothing. I had lunch at a shop in the plaza square, then headed back to the hotel to catch up on the blog!

At 6pm I headed down to the laundry to pick up my washing. I have been very fortunate and all my washing is back, even though it is damp and had to be aired in my room. Some of the riders have some or none of their washing. One of the riders got a bag back with his name on it, but nothing in the bag was his. A number of people the washing had not been started and they were told to come back the next day!

We are going to have a box at the hotel to put all the laundry that is not ours in and hopefully washing can be reunited with the correct owner. Always a problem relying on a local provider but there was not the option here to do our own. So far I have been lucky and have only lost one pair of riding shorts.

I watched a lovely sunset and had dinner at the hotel. I thought I had ordered something like a tortilla but when it arrived it was a lump of beef in a thick cheese sauce! Was quite tasty, I had a nice glass of red wine with it and retired for an early night (early for a rest day at about 8:30pm, was an hour and half past riding day bedtime).

Sunset over the waves (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Sunset over the waves (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

There was a street fair / party that started after I had gone to bed and I woke up a few times with it still going on but managed to go back to sleep. If I had known it was going to be on I may have stayed up a bit later, but probably not.

It was nice to go to sleep with the luxury of another rest day and not having to set the alarm clock for the second day in a row.

Possibly a distant relative of Benji's

Possibly a distant relative of Benji’s

A vulture airing its wings

A vulture airing its wings

Another picture of vultures in Pacamayso

Another picture of vultures in Pacasmayo

Late afternoon light (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Late afternoon light (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

View from Sue's hotel room corridor this evening (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

View from Sue’s hotel room corridor this evening (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 49/164: Lambayeque to Pacasmayo – 118km

800 meters up, 950 down.

It was nice to wake up and not have to pack up a tent etc. I am looking forward to getting into two rest days. I have not ridden 7 days in a row before and my legs are certainly feeling it.

Every morning before leaving my tent (or room) I spray myself with bug spray. Today it helped for the bits I had sprayed, but I was bitten through my bike shorts and top! Just when I was almost free of bites. Due to this I had a very short breakfast and was on my bike by 6:15am.

I rode in a group of 5 for the first 35 kilometres. It was useful for getting through the crazy traffic. Where cars would not stop for one rider, they did for five. We still had to be constantly watching – a few times a tuk tuk got in the middle of the group. The police escort from yesterday may have had some uses today!

On the road today (Photo from Jo Platt's Facebook)

On the road today (Photo from Jo Platt’s Facebook)

On the road today (Photo from Jo Platt's Facebook)

On the road today (Photo from Jo Platt’s Facebook)

The city is the dirtiest I have ever seen, rubbish bags, deal animals etc. The trucks and buses would fail a WOF in New Zealand due to fumes. The drivers are aggressive with cyclists and each other. The horns are constantly blaring. Some of the rubbish at the side of the road has been lit, so there is also the fumes of burning plastic and other waste. Overall not pleasant riding.

Once we got out of the city we were in the desert, endless sand as far as the eye can see. Then more dirt towns. At about the halfway point add to this a significant head wind!

Lunch stop today

Lunch stop today

With about 15 kilometres to go, we went back into the desert, with a strong head wind, little road shoulder and trucks and buses going past blaring their horns and covering you in fumes. The landscape is bleak and dry with very little vegetation. I was developing very low expectations of the rest day accommodation.

We turned left with 5 kilometres to go still, there was sand and old – almost derelict – buildings. We got down a steep road, came round a corner, and there was the most quaint little seaside town, with a promenade along the sea shore, little shops and a nice hotel! And best of news – I have been allocated my own room for three days! The joy! Not only do I have a view of the sea, but the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach can be heard from my room.

We arrive at the Pacific Coast of Peru (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

We arrive at the Pacific Coast of Peru (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

I unpacked and took the washing to the laundry, and then Jackie and I met for a cold drink on the hotel balcony. Nice outlook looking at the sea, warm and sunny, and only 2pm. A feeling of contentment and relaxation pervades. Then I was introduced to an innocent looking drink called a Pisco Sour. This is made with cane sugar liquor, lemon and egg. It does not taste like it contains the punch it does.  During the evening I had another 3 of these, thankfully I only had to navigate my way upstairs to my room. I was sensible enough to drink a litre of water before bed.

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments