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June 2017: Hiking And Driving High Up In The Mountains

June 2017: Hiking and driving high up in the mountains

Still trying to catch up on the web posts. So here is the summary for June 2017. I started near the coast in Huacachina, Peru and ended in Copacabana, just across the border in Bolivia. June was an intense month. I got new records on highest driving, sleeping and hiking; Vincent came for a for a quick and busy visit; I had the coldest nights so far; and of course there was some van and immigration issues.

The Good

  • Vincent’s visit was loads and loads of fun (also the first time in almost 6 months that I saw someone who I knew before this trip)
  • Meeting so many people again and again
  • So many furry animals: llamas, alpacas, vicunas, … and Peruvian naked dogs?

The Bad

  • Getting the van stuck 30cm deep in the mud and damaging the door getting it out again
  • While planning my trip I looked at dry/wet seasons, not at summer/winter. -13 nights are really really cold

The Unforgettable

  • The really long day hike that was supposed to be a three day hike (Colca Canyon)
  • Condors flying by only meters away (Colca Canyon)
  • Hiking up to Rainbow mountain with Nicolas and nobody else around

The Stats

  • No days: 30 (497 total)
  • No. km: 3209 (53965 total)
  • Countries: Peru, Bolivia
  • No. Border crossings: 1
  • No. of places stayed at: 14 (all campsites)
  • Hikes: 74 km height difference 4208 m
  • Books: 1
  • Movies: 0
  • New Beers: 7
  • Photos: 1205
  • Weather:
    • Days: warmest 26, coldest 7, average 17
    • Nights: warmest 16, coldest -13, average 3

This month had a lot of big hikes (Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain). So much stuff to see made for a lot of photos. With Vincent visiting and so many people I kept re-meeting there was no time for books of movies. A sad stat is the night temperatures: on average my nights were only 3 degrees and some of them went down to -13. No fun without heating in the van.

Daily costs for June

  • Camp sites: 5 Euro per night (plan was 7)
  • Food: 8 Euro per day (plan was 7)
  • Fun: 4 Euro per day (plan was 4)
  • Total: 17 Euro per day (plan was 18)

Camping in Peru was still pretty cheap. Vincent visiting meant a few more times going out for dinner and beers causing slightly higher costs on food. Even though we hiked to Machu Picchu, it was still pretty expensive, so I finally got to spend my full fun budget.

Overall driving (15 months):

  • Distance: 53965 (plan was 52029)
  • Fuel costs: 63 cents/l (plan was 63 cents/l)
  • Efficiency:  11.1 km/l (plan was  11.0 km/l)

Still can’t drive the same or less than planned. This way I’ll end up driving 70.000km on this trip and I only planned for 45.000…

Extra costs:

  • 253 Eur Car insurance for Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay

With no major van problems the only biggy this month was buying van insurance for the rest of this trip. A bit more expensive but it will cover all the remaining countries and all the remaining time. One less thing to worry about.


This month’s route has a bit of a funky shape. Because I only wanted to drive up these insane mountains once  and I really wanted to see Arequipa and Colca Canyon I went south first and than back north. And Vincent flying in and out of Cusco added another nice loop.



I started at the coast but after that it was only mountains. I spend most of the month between 3000m and my new record of almost 4900m. That big dip in the middle is the drive to and from Machu Picchu, which surprisingly is pretty low compared to its surroundings.

Note: the drive to Rainbow Mountain is not in this graph because Google maps does not include that road. So another peak to 4600m is missing.


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