Friend, Crewroom Ambassador and Adventure Queen, Anna McNuff, is four months into her latest world adventure and, by the powers of modern technology, she shares her story so far...
It's now been 4 months since we crash landed our ill-prepared British bodies into La Paz, Bolivia at 4,000 metres above sea level. From there we began a 9,000km, 6 month pedal south, taking on as many peaks and passes of the Andes mountains as possible along the way.
The first week at such dizzying heights was a shock to the system to say the least. The greatest shock being that we had no appetite! None whatsoever. I mean, we'd buy a burrito for breakfast and I'd have to stash 3/4 of it in my bag because I just couldn't force more than two mouthfuls of it down. As girls who love to eat - it was the most bizarre start to a journey where we hoped to be eating everything in sight (this is a key benefit of cycle touring after all).
Bolivia absolutely blew us away, and we frequently say to other travellers, in fact to anyone who will listen that Bolivia has been our favourite country so far. Not because the scenery is more stunning than Chile or Argentina, or the people more kind, but because it is just so different to the UK. It's a country in which we travelled for hundreds of kilometres between tiny towns, and where we learnt that the convenience of readily available food and water is a luxury that many areas of the country aren't afforded. Oh what we wouldn't have given for a king sized snickers bar on so many days!
But we grew to love the isolation and the high altitude passes that came with it. One of our toughest yet most memorable days was a journey up Volcán Unturuncu - a 6,000 metre peak. We managed to pedal our bikes up to 5,100 metres, before ditching them to take on the rest by foot. We only made it to 5,900m before our bodies gave out, and we started to run out of daylight - but to be up on that volcanic slope, and have a 360 degree view of the surrounding red and black rock landscape entirely to ourselves - that was pure magic.
Other than living the literal high life, we have loved all of the scenery - from Wild West style canyons complete with cacti to lush green forests and alpine lakes - South America has it all. The people have been so kind, dishing out spare food to us at the side of the road and putting up with our terrible grasp of Spanish.
In four months living in one another's pockets, we have learnt a lot about one another too. I've learnt that Faye is rather speedy over rough terrain, she hates bugs, has a fear of anything moth related, loves mangoes (but hates mango juice) and loves to keep a clean tent.
In turn she has learned that I will eat anything put in front of me, I have crazy vivid dreams (which I will regale her with each morning), I love the sick burn in my thighs at the end of a tough day, and that I certainly do not keep a clean tent. But like bacon and brown sauce, there's something about the differences in our approach to life and in our characters that just... works.