Tom Skipper con In the Shadow of the Andes: A Cycle Journey Through South America
Glistening sweat beads amalgamated on my forehead. Inevitably gravity soon won, sending a salty stream to sting my eyes. I wipe it away with a foul smelling cycle mitt and concentrated on keeping my speedometer reading at least double figures. This crude game acted as a method of motivation and distraction from the hardship and tedium of today’s sweltering ascent. The juicy orange in my handlebar bag was my reward, spurring me on until our next break some countless switchbacks further. We were by now well acquainted to life in the saddle. The trip was broke in to conceivable daily targets and during the day into even smaller targets in measures of either time or distance. Today was much like any of the others: sweltering tropical heat, poor roads and just one little hill to climb: all two thousand two hundred meters of it. At least we don’t have to worry about altitude today unlike the Bolivian Altiplano, the Patagonian winds and the mindless boring pampas of Argentina. This was life, as we knew it for quite a while. Crazy as it probably sounds I think I miss it In the Shadow of the Andes: a Cycle Journey Through South America is the story of a pair of friends gap year; an eight month charity cycle ride the length of South America. This books documents, in diary form, the ups and downs of this epic journey.Travelling by bike was in itself fundamental to the experience of the trip. It became rapidly evident to us once in South America that it wasn’t as much the places we reached that made the trip; it was the getting there. The journey became the experience. These experiences; be it an amazingly scenic road, a perfect camping spot, or something a seemingly trivial as a lorry driver handing you fruit from his window were what left the lasting impression on us. This is the story of our journey retold from memory, diary and pictures of our Eight months travelling from the southernmost city of South America, to the northernmost, all 10019 kilometres of it!