The Final Countdown – Desafio Huarochiri III…


Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in superb form and that you had an awesome weekend.
A busy week to wrap-up, but to be honest all roads (bumpy as they are) led to the lofty pueblo of San Andres de Tupicocha, nestling 12000ft up in the clouds of the Sierra de Lima.
The third and final race of the excellent Desafio Huarochiri league.
It had been a week of little sleep. Lima is a place where the people dream of sleeping, but don’t really get much of it! Thanks to the World’s most inconsiderate neighbours, I managed about 6hrs kip over 2 days. But I won’t get my multi-volume book of “Johnny’s poor race performance excuses” out just yet…


The Nipper decided she wants to be a Jockey, which is handy as we live very close to Jockey Plaza (which is next door to the racecourse).


Britanico Annual Conference. Top day out. Your day depends if you manage to pick decent lectures, which I did. Good to hear a friendly Yorkshire accent too from one of the guest speakers. (All my colleagues think I have a dodgy accent, but this lady was a professional/expert from Sheffield, so it made my day!) Good to see the lads and other work friends I don’t see (apart from at the Conference).

Good to see Hyrum and always good to see Mamita and Melissa :-)

In the evening I had an invitation to go to a swanky gym, I had no real idea what for, so curiosity got the better of me. It turned out to be Circuit Training, something I last tried (and realised I was useless at) 23yrs ago. The trainer’s patience was stretched to the limit by my complete inability to skip. Interesting, but I don’t think I’ll be getting asked back there again.

gym(Standing on a box is not as easy as I make it look!)


44 today!


My birthday.


First day of classes.
Bit of a bonkers day, but fun.
For a complete caffeinehead, a brilliant coffee bean grinder made me very happy indeed!


Dropped hints to my students that it was my birthday, was a tad embarrassed when they bought presents the next day :-/



Got excited about a potential parcel delivery, but two days later I realised I had got my tenses mixed up in Spanish and it hasn’t actually arrived in the country yet.


Britanico have a great little campaign called “Disfruta la fruta” (enjoy fruit).
Friday was banana day, so I was giddy!


Got in from work late, to bed late and my delightful neighbours were having their regular “Strangled Cat” orchestra party. I was up for work early Saturday morning, so by 12:30am I went round “for a word”. They told me it would finish at 3am and slammed the door in my face.
Rang Serenazgo, the local law enforcement (not quite the Police, they are frying bigger fish) who are about as useful as Serenas (mermaids). At 1am they said “Well, it is the weekend”
Got about 2hrs kip after the party/wailing finished at 4am.


Was therefore a very l-o-n-g day. Teaching Juniors is testing at the best of times.
Managed to get about 4hrs shuteye (another party was going off nearby, noisy buggers!)

Sunday – The Big Day!

Race III of the Desafio Huarochiri was a race that I have been training for/daydreaming about/focussing on for the last 4mths. I did a recce of the course last weekend, it is a beauty!
Fast and runnable, with a few technical downhill bits, but (and it is a big BUT) it starts at 12000ft and goes up to around 14000ft over a 25km loop. Altitude is a strange thing, I’d need to keep something in the bank for this one…


Up at 3:15am, brekkie, bus stop by 4:30am, bus rocked up late at 5am. I was expecting a speedy 10-seater to take us up into yonder hills, my heart sank when a snail-paced 25-seater opened its doors to me. The only seat left was the back seat and the bus appeared to have no suspension.
I had hoped to get my head down for an hour, but it just didn’t happen. Two toilet stops (not me this time). Progress was not too fast and I was clockwatching as my race began at 9am. The driver was a really good driver, but his steed just wasn’t nippy enough and we arrived at 8:50am.

Rush around, adrenaline surge, khazi, drop bag off, register, line-up and off!
Luckily (for me) the start was delayed 10mins as 56 runners still hadn’t arrived. (Unluckily for them, they didn’t make the delayed start!)


Bad guts made an unwelcome and untimely appearance on Saturday. The Wee One passed on her cold to me and I felt absolutely knackered afore I even started. I didn’t want to get carried away at the start (nor carried off before the end!) A fine line; set off too slow and lose too many places, or go off too fast and lose my legs on the narrow trails and tricky last descent.


It was a lot hotter than last Sunday, but the trails were bone dry so it was good going. A lot of traffic (mainly donkey convoys, sheep, goats and cows) on the move. One gradual climb, a hectic rocky descent and then a killer second climb. The field was strung out like the washing, but I managed not to get lost. I was goosed an hour in, but got round in a shade over 3 hours.
23rd place, my lowest position, but I’ll take it. Will have to wait for my overall result.


The fun didn’t stop there though…

The only problem with being on the bus is that you really don’t have a clue what time you’ll get off. A friend kindly offered me a seat in their car and we were off. Away by 2pm and planning to stop for food in Chosica. I’d be home by teatime.

Then we got a puncture.


Now I don’t really follow Formula 1, but I marvel at how fast they can change 4 wheels.
(I used to live opposite a tyre shop, and I was impressed at how fast he could replace four taxi tyres, but I am easily impressed by things that I cannot do well myself).


We wouldn’t have got either job today. Changing a wheel, on a slope, on sandy gravel was never going to be easy, then the car fell off the jack. (“La Gata” not “El Gato” like the cat that I was calling it). Another team turned up, they had a bottle jack, then another team turned up and they gave moral support. An hour after we’d started, we were in business and we continued the skydive descent to Cocachacra, then to Chosica for some eagerly awaited tucker.


The poor waitress was a bit distracted, she had 3 colleagues who were sat on their asses, doing bugger all, whilst she brought our food, in staggered intervals. I’d polished off my “Arroz con Mariscos” 20mins before my last friend got her “Trucha”. It was really good to sit and chat with a group of friends that I had made as a direct result of this fantastic race.


We then headed home, back into the inevitable bedlam of Sunday night Lima limping traffic chaos, but all full of some good tucker and memories of a brilliant day out :-)
A big THANK YOU to Marie and Carlos for getting me home.

And finally…

There can only be one video this week!
My favourite YouTube snippet.
We all danced a similar dance around 4pm in the Highlands :-)

Have a week full of awesomeness!

Johnny, Lina and the Nipper

p.s. Thanks to Lina for this timely drop. Cheers :-)





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