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May 2017: Good Weather And Much Needed Van Repairs

May 2017: good weather and much needed van repairs

It’s already the end of July and I’m only now writing my summary about May. Luckily I have my travel journal to look at what happened such a long time ago. May started on the coast in northern Peru. After some great mountain time near Huaraz and some lazy time in Lima, the month ended in the desert of central Peru. So that means it was a whole month in the same country. That doesn’t happen very often.

The Good

  • After two months of rainy and cloudy mountains in Colombia and Ecuador, I finally had sunny days in the mountains!
  • Relaxing time in Lima while staying with Hans and Yvonne was a very welcome break
  • The van is doing better on altitude than I expected: I drove up to 4700m and slept in the van overnight at 4200m. I’m not saying the van enjoyed it, but it kept working.

The Bad

  • Van issues: flat tire, leaking coolant and of course a lot of oil disappearing
  • Being sick for two days running for a toilet. (I know two days aren’t much but I can’t remember ever being sick for more than a day).

The Unforgettable

  • Waking up all alone with incredible views over mountain lakes (Laguna Paron and Laguna Huachuchoca)
  • Driving an endless amount of hairpins to get to the highest altitude tunnel in the world (Punta Olympica)

The Stats

  • No days: 31 (467 total)
  • No. km: 2006 (50756 total)
  • Countries: Peru
  • No. Border crossings: 0
  • No. of places stayed at: 13 (12 campsites, 1 friends)
  • Hikes: 30 km height difference 1887 m
  • Books: 4
  • Movies: 3
  • New Beers: 7
  • Photos: 868
  • Weather:
    • Days: warmest 28 coldest 10, average 22
    • Nights: warmest 19, coldest 2, average 14

Being on the southern hemisphere in May means it’s slowly getting winter, the altitude doesn’t help either so that made May one of the coldest months so far. But hey, at least that means no mosquitoes.

Daily costs for May

  • Camp sites: 3 Euro per night (plan was 7)
  • Food: 4 Euro per day (plan was 7)
  • Fun: 2 Euro per day (plan was 4)
  • Total: 9 Euro per day (plan was 18)

Peru was already a pretty cheap country, getting to stay with Hans and Yvonne for a week and a half pulled down costs even more. For camping, food and fun May was the cheapest month so far.

Overall driving (14 months):

  • Distance: 50756 (plan was 50200)
  • Fuel costs: 62 cents/l (plan was 62 cents/l)
  • Efficiency: 11.1 km/l (plan was 11 km/l)

I managed to keep the detouring to a minimum this month, but still I drove more than I had planned.

Extra costs:

  • 1150 euro big car repair
  • 200 euro new tires

The normal costs might have been low in Peru but the extra costs weren’t. I finally managed to find a good mechanic that spoke English, knew what he was doing and could do a full checkup of my van (Thanks Hans!). With all the driving I’ve been doing, especially on shitty roads and the lack of a decent checkup over the last 14 months did ask for a 6 day repair session. Luckily they could find all the needed parts, but of course they are not very cheap here in Peru. I was already planning to replace my back tires soon when I got the flat so that wasn’t that terrible. Anyway the van is now in a much better shape and much safer.


The route for May was mostly coast except for the fun detour to the mountains in Huaraz.


Mountains! That was 5 peaks of over 4000m this month. The first one was on the way to Laguna Paron. The road went up by 2000m in only 30km distance. Plus this month had the highest point of driving (or walking) so far: 4762m!

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