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April 14, 2019

Category: Monkey Run

 

Dodgy taxi drivers, flight cancellations and an abundance of Pisco sours. All before even seeing the bikes. In true Adventurists fashion, if nothing’s gone wrong, everything’s gone wrong.

The teams trickled into Lima and Ayacucho, mostly later than expected. Fatigued from flights and eager to rest for the upcoming adventure, the Monkeys responsibly hit the town.

Staggering to, or from a karaoke bar – sideways. Possibly. Depends on how many free beers were snaffled. Either way, its a nice flag.

What dedication to the cause.

We don’t have prizes for that, but rest assured the trauma of the next two weeks is trophy enough.

The first – and last – time the Monkey bikes are both uniform and clean. Truly a rare sight to behold.

Upon seeing the bikes for the first time, every gentleman present promptly realised that the phrase ‘size doesn’t matter’ is a cruel, cruel lie.

‘I’ve already bonded with my bike, I’ve named her Daisy, like a strong, independent woman.’

– George Vernon Hunt

What a handsome little devil. And George, obviously.

Some Monkeys enjoying the view from the Ranch.

Serial Monkey Runner Mike Evans quickly discovers the distinct lack of seat-belts.

He’s very cheerful about the whole ordeal, he’s even giving us a wave.

Did you know, Noah built the Ark with nothing but a hacksaw and a few plucky rolls of sellotape?

Probably. Strangely, we couldn’t find instructions. Anyway, our brave Monkeys laugh in the face of instructions.

A true craftsman. Our very own Mr Dan has decapitated a rake for re-purpose – as his luggage rack. Look at those rubber bands. Of all the Monkey Runs we’ve done this is without a doubt the worst idea we’ve ever witnessed.

And this is all that separates our plucky heroes from certain doom in the mountainous Peruvian jungles; rubber bands, a stiff upper lip and a dangerously unwavering optimism. Monkeys, we salute you. Drink up and rest easy – you have much in store.

We’ll see you at the starting line.

 

Sunday 14th April 2019.

Day 2 for our plucky heroes. Start day.  The early hours were spent not in bed, but celebrating by standing much too close with colourful explosives.

 

Phwoah. Well, it’s the last time they’ll have heating for the next couple of weeks.

 

 

What better alarm clock than the shrieks of a Monkey Bike?

 

 

Best office in the world.

 

I’m sure that if you prod it with a screwdriver enough, it will splutter back to life. Such is the versatility of the mighty Monkey Bike.

 

 

Still learning how to use the bike. Ah well. There’s miles of open road to perfect the perfect monkeying about technique.

 

 

Pushing with your feet is an effective way of transporting the bikes from A to B. If only they had an engine.

 

 

Balls.

 

 

Kicking up dust. Monkey Bike football should be in the Olympics, quite frankly.

 

 

Monkey Bikes tend to enjoy falling over. Frequently.

 

 

The start line, a hustle and bustle of frantic checks, duct tape and general confusion.

 

 

Now this is preparation. Top job. Guaranteed to turn the head of every bemused Peruvian local.

 

 

Is this a makeshift mudguard? Or a cool flag. Perhaps both. Perhaps it will get sucked under the wheel. Who knows. Certainly not the Monkeys.

 

 

 

And they’re off! Thank fuck the start is downhill. It would be terrible planning to start uphill, right?

 

 

Last to leave, but certainly not last in our hearts. Ride on.

 

 

Noble monkeys ready to embark. Look how happy they are. The fools.

 

Monday 15th April 2019.

Day 3. The open road. Well, the open Peruvian countryside, which is as open as it gets. It’s a right shame if you break down, and by a shame, we mean an opportunity to actually go and talk to the people to dig you out of whatever cactus you’ve embedded yourself in.

Nothing a bit of duct tape won’t fix.

‘Mine’s bigger than yours.’

Beats the office, right?

Photo of the day. Drop your tea and sign up for something special, or die condemned to the office. Good choice, Jonny Hale.

Monkey bikes look reasonably sized with kids sitting on them. What a fancy flag, too.

The middle of fucking nowhere. The perfect place to be.

Monkey biking basics: driving into a cactus is perhaps not the best course of action. Not to mention the cliff behind it.

‘We found a spare tyre!’

Attaching the aforementioned spare tyre. Having to replace a wheel on day 1 is a positive omen, surely?

Oh dear. A pack of wild dogs has attacked a poor monkey. Thankfully some kindly locals have rescued the bike from a ditch.

Ouch. Ah well, nothing a couple of plasters won’t fix.

Oh dear, the plasters didn’t work. Ah well. A stitch or two and you’ll be be brand new. Hit the road monkey,

Not the worst place to break down.

Where does this go? No clue. I don’t think the monkeys know either, but trial and error will win the day.

Ride on monkeys, we’ll see what the day will bring. And stop using google maps. Bad things will happen. You have been warned.

 

Tuesday 16th April 2019.

Another day on the road. The Monkeys truly are in the middle of bloody nowhere now; scattered throughout the Andes like the hoard of confused primates that they are. What have they been up to?

The primitive Monkey, in it’s natural habitat.

Get lost – you might learn something for once.

If you can’t find a hostel, then sleep on the floor.

100km a day, through the Andes, on a bike designed for children.

Accidental Renaissance Painting: Agony on an Andean Cliff.

He’s so overwhelmed by the view. It’s magical. Beautiful. Life changing – or he’s chundering his guts out due to altitude sickness. You decide.

‘Front suspension leaking all the way from Huanta – fixed now thanks to an angle grinder and 12 beers.’

Motivating the bikes through the alcohol sickness. A few words of encouragement is all they need.

PR is honestly one of our specialities. Trying to explain the plan to bemused Peruvian locals is always a highlight.

Maps are for wussies. Get out, get lost.

Get stuck in.

Not like that.

Lost a standoff to an overly aggressive wild mountain cactus. Look how upset he is.

Austen, Matt Ellison, Mike Evans and Coulter on the road to Izchuchaca.

‘When the first order of business is getting a moto peg fabricated in the Andes. You know life is good.’

How cinematic. Look at those Adventurists approved riding boots as well.

Lovely spot for a smoke break. Made better by a dog pissing over Dan’s bike.

First puncture of many.

First crash of many. Ah well. Rough and tumble maketh the man. Or something. As long as you make it home in one piece, the bashes, cuts and bruises are memory of a greater time. Get back on your bike.

When a peg doesn’t exist, make one.

‘Blew my hard earned solas and with no functioning ATM within reach — and not yet willing to reach out to give a hand job — I’m being sheparded to the nearest town with one. Of course I couldn’t get a bus or truck but this madman driver is straight out of the legends.’

Wow, getting that thing in the sedan. Those are nice new seats.

Were. They were nice new seats. Look at the mud.

Had to take the engine apart. Thankfully, because Monkey Bikes are as complex as Lego, they can be rebuilt fairly easily.

Meanwhile, Adventurists are enroute to the finish line. Or so they thought.

Oh dear. This is somewhat awkward for us. Monkeys, don’t read this. Everything is under control.

Sorted. Nothing to worry about. See you at the finish line Monkeys, and remember – if you make it there first, you didn’t get lost enough.

Not sure where this is. Don’t think anyone else knows, either.

Make life less boring.

Another breakdown? Another dodgy backstreet repair, and back to the hills.

Negotiating the unroute. Or, in the words of the fine poet Robert Frost; ‘The road less travelled by.’

We salute you, Mr Frost. We trundle forth in your footsteps.

I wander what tomorrow brings.

 

Wednesday 17th April 2019.

The Monkeys are well and truly scattered, with nothing but their wits, hip-flasks and breathtaking optimism to pull them out in one piece.

The mighty Andes stare down, and the Monkeys stare back, bloody, but unbowed.

It is highly recommended that drones are not flown through clouds, according to most manufacturers. Thankfully, Lucas doesn’t give a shit. Be more like Lucas.

What a place for a pit stop.

That bag might be falling off. You might want to fix that.

5pm teatime must be observed.

Some views from the road from Huanta to Huancayo.

What a road. And by road we mean a muddy, sludgy path at worst and a guaranteed accident at best.

Another puncture, another backstreet repair. And another beer or seven.

The Monkeys are very proud of passing on our unique life lessons to the younger generations. Quite simply; ‘Get on yer bike.’

Adventurist in the making.

‘The second chap from the left gave me a lift back to Huancayo after I forgot to refuel!’ What a good guy. We like good people.

One lucky Monkey has sourced themselves a shower. Begone the sweaty sludge of blood, oil, dust and worse – at least, until tomorrow morning.

The sexual tension between Dan and Coulter is unsettling.

Meanwhile, the Adventurists team are travelling first class to the finish line. Air-con, fresh mints and comfy seats.

Taxi breakdown, as the sun sets, in the middle of muddy nowhere. Thankfully AA is only a phone-call and two continents away. Assuming you have reception, which they certainly don’t.

Blast. Two star uber at best.

Well balls. Even the Adventurists team is stranded now. Well, we are professionals after all. If any Monkeys are reading this, piss off. Everything is under control.

We’ll see you at the finish line.

If you get there.

 

Thursday 18th April 2019.

Congestion. Bah.

Another break, another beer. Or twelve.

Rickety and broken bridge. Still works, right?

A veritable tsunami of patheticness. Photo of the day for yesterday goes to Scott Pyett. Good work sir.

A main road, for once?

Not nearly muddy enough, you don’t fool us Monkey. Go fall in a puddle.

He’s lost his helmet. Blast. Any injury can be rubbed better though.

‘If anyone wants to know the contents of the magical elixir they gave us in Ayacucho, Google Translator confirms it’s a Leg Opening mixture of Hemp and Honey of Bee. I could bring home a case.’

‘What on earth is a grown man doing on a Monkey bike!?’ We feel your bemusement and condemnation – and we revel in it.

Even though I trundle through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; my monkey and my axle grease, they comfort me.

Better than Amazon prime. Take that, Bezos.

Got enough fluorescent colours there? All the traffic can avoid you now, alone in a muddy stream. Bless.

I’ve never seen so much green.

It might be pretty, but that water is freezing and in these mountains there’s no air ambulance.

You’ll start breathing funny at these heights. Its because of excitement and a newfound lust for life. Probably.

These guys are completely lost. Pity there’s no signs around.

Ah, civilisation!

Hi Mom.

Some dogs have taken to following the Monkeys around. Perhaps they smell nuisance.

‘Mate, what are you doing?’

All the information in the world, yet all any of them know for sure is that they’re completely bloody lost and are being questioned by the Peruvian rozzers.

Passing on the incurable disease of pining adventure.

Met a strange dog at the local market.

You don’t plan routes like this, you just kinda trundle into them, and ride along in awe. Until you crash, because your eyes should be on the road.

Did you know the electric starter isn’t really needed if you have the cap from a plastic bottle?

We admire the valiant attempt, but something tells us that puddle might be a tad too big. Pick up your Monkey before it sinks, as well.

Bike on a wall.

The bikes may have survived flooding, but the bags certainly didn’t.

Keeping it gourmet.

Honouring our Adventurist ancestors by swapping tales of disastrous endeavours with friends, lit by a roaring fire.

The Adventurist flag is a noble thing, that unites the degenerates and scallywags worldwide that just want something more. Wear it with pride.

To any Monkeys who are wondering why there are delays at the finish line – here’s why.

Naturally, the team is immensely disheartened and become dejected at the slightest notion of bad news.

Of course not. But can you fucking imagine the people who do?

To be honest, I think we should offer biology classes.

That’s all for day 6. Trundle on Monkeys, the finish grows ever near.

We’re keeping a close eye on you.

 

Friday 19th April 2019.

Back on the road, back in the mountains.

Ignoring the cliffs, tucks, rockslides and lack of road line, it’s quite a good laugh.

See? Great fun.

More size appropriate riders.

The Monkeys never really break – they’re just somewhat attention seeking. Prod it enough and it’ll sputter back to life.

Back on the road.

I wonder if there’s a mechanic nearby.

Perfect.

A smile and a dash of oil will fix even the most stubborn bike.

The progression of man.

This is a sign. Dear reader, stop wistfully scrolling through other people adventures. Go make something happen.

The Spring Collection 2020

Smile.

Taking a well earned break in the shade. Trucks not pictured.

Accidental Rembrandt painting: the Anatomy Lesson of Shit Bike.

One does not simply walk into Mordor. But a comically small motorcycle helps.

Avoid hypothermia protip: use your engine as a hand warmer.

Putting the P in Peru.

Accidental Vermeer: Cow With the Yellow Earring.

When you have no other options, underwear hat.

A Rickshaw!? Wrong adventure. Not what our noble Monkeys signed up for, but I doubt they’re complaining.

Rain and a trusty Rickshaw.

Bah. Bureaucracy.

5 star accommodation in Lampa.

A solid bridge makes a nice change.

Sonny is not on a road. Sonny is lost. Be more like Sonny.

Do not drink this water.

A side effect of being an Adventurist is causing spontaneous smiles wherever you go.

‘I will never complain about potholes in DC after this.’

Make life less boring.

For the forlorn at home, we have good news: Adventure spaces are open for 2020. Places are running out fast, get to it.

The Spring Collection 2020

We’ll catch you tomorrow Monkeys.

 

Saturday 20th April 2019.

We’re in the endgame now, folks. Our brave Monkeys have coaxed, dragged and carried their weary souls – and their weary mounts – through one of the most notorious mountain ranges on the planet.

But don’t get complacent. We’re not quite done with you yet.

Gizza kiss? These dogs are very friendly.

True love. Nothing is more alluring than an Adventurer.

‘The death and final resting place of a handcrafted luggage rack. El flato. Worse places to get an el flato though. When a truck club (with Dakar Rally crew and drivers) stumbles upon you and doesn’t hesitate to load you up and take you in the right direaction. Goddamn I love this shit!’

‘They call me Flatman! Yesterday’s flat yielded 3 separate patches on the tube. An hour in today, after making a wrong turn and losing S&B, another pinch. Another VIP rescue. They had a new tube at this place (check out my old tube trophy!!) So, fixed, and off I go 2 hours later-ish. Starting the descent, out of the clouds… front flat this time. No choice but to limp it 20km, found a tiny village who had some tools, pulled the tube, no leak. Had to have been the valve leaking air, he had a valve tool, (wtf mountain village with 10 people in it) tightened it and off I went to pound out the last 40ish km to Satipo. Pulled in after dark, and all showered and ready for shenanigans! This shit is rad!’ – Jason ‘vans on a plane’ M.

Decided to take case cracking class before heading out today. Quite educational. Cheerio!

And had to limp it back from 5 miles out. Pulling it all apart now. Internal seal leaking oil into stator, which is leaking out through a shit gasket. You know that part about not riding at night?? Yeah, um.

‘Carried our bikes across the tributary with some local help, drove another hour, then put the bikes on a canoe – one at a time.’

She’s baffled grown men are riding these toy bikes around the jungle.

Got across this one with the help of a few locals carrying the bikes.

River crossings are a bloody nightmare. Or a great story, depending on who you ask and how long after.

Delirium is setting in for these Monkeys. Deep down, they might have learned something.

They might have experienced something, or some other mushy shit you’ll read in a Thomas Cook brochure.

We don’t do brochures. We don’t do photoshopped tans and whitened teeth. We do madness, the ridiculous and the obscene.

Do our Monkeys look like they read pamphlets?

They’ve learned infinitely more in the mud.

 

We’ll see you tomorrow, Monkeys. A lukewarm beer awaits the victors. Ride on.

 

Sunday 21st April 2019.

Damn near the final leg now, Monkeys. But you’re not through the jungle yet though.

Also, who drunk all the Cusquena Dorada in Puerto Ocopa. Bastards.

Our fearless leader.

Hard to believe that just a few days ago this Monkey bike looked shiny and brand spanking new.

A messy Monkey is a happy Monkey.

Final leg in 10 hours time. Brutal.

Finishing in style. Quite rightly too.

Meanwhile, some Monkeys are still trundling through the jungle by night.

‘The lights are almost as good as lit birthday cake.’

What an absolute mucky state.

Emerging from the chaos are the first triumphant Monkeys.

Congratulations to Rachel, Ben and Jon, first teams in:

‘If my arse wasn’t pounded like a cheap pornstar in a gangbang movie I’d turn around and go straight back’ – Jon

More will be arriving soon. Congratulations, Monkeys. You did us proud.

 

Monday 22nd April 2019.

Victory day.

Some Monkeys have started pouring into the finish line, to a welcoming party of bemused applause and lukewarm beer.

Some other Monkeys are still lost somewhere in the jungle. Let’s find out.

Removing dogs from a boat. Questionable, yet effective methods.

Well done chaps. You’ve bloody done it.

At reception of the forest hotel. Not sure who’s it is.

A sacrifice to the Mayan Gods.

Bringing the good weather to the finish line. What a lovely bloke.

Big smiles all round. Everyone loves an adventurer.

Serenaded over the line. What a victory.

A true warm welcome.

An emotional parting. You can take her, just fold the bike into hand luggage. I doubt Peruvian Airlines would realise, right?

‘What the fuck is she painting on my face?’

‘Is it a penis? It’s probably a penis.’

Much more into the spirit of things.

Arriving to the finish line. They made it.

‘I’m happy to just turn around and go back.’

Damn right. Lucky for you, there’s plenty more adventures to be had.

The Spring Collection 2020

Hop to it. No excuses.

Meanwhile, at the finish line:

The photos of the day, by our Monkeys with adequate knowledge of Arts & Crafts.

The blighters made it!

With a flat tyre, naturally. Well, at least it doesn’t matter. They made it, whatever the cost.

More arts and crafts. A celebration, of course.

What’s that on your elbow? Looks like a bloody good story. The Monkey Run, being a bit of a stupid idea, is impossible to execute without a number of story’s.

Made it… under cover of daylight. It’s an aesthetic choice, of course.

Congratulations.

We’ll check in tomorrow to see if the rest of them made it.

Not too sure what this is. A shoe rack?

Finish line snacks.

Delicious. Strange feeling to relax now.

Victory Pose. You’ve earned it.

A sink? An upside down canoe? Porridge, maybe.

Yes, use that expensive steady-cam to balance your coconut. Precisely what the designers over at gopro envisioned.

What a finish line. Perfect place for some celebratory photos before collapsing of exhaustion.

Whats for dinner?

‘What on earth is that?’

Thunderous applause. Fit for a victorious Monkey.

Smiles all round. Hiding the misery and fatigue, as well as the bemused Monkey in her brain screaming ‘What the fuck have you just done?!’

Well done. We’re very proud of you.

Thumbs up. All in the name in charity, as well. We salute you.

You dreamt it – he went out and did it.

And helped so many people along the way.

Have a beer on us. We might even cool this one down first as well.

Jungle delirium setting in.

Artistically challenged Monkeys revel in pretty pictures.

Glorious.

Embracing the natural look.

A careful craft.

He’s beauty, he’s grace – he’s got a strange load of paint on his face.

Important three words. Post Monkey Run interview.

More paint.

They’ve bloody done it!

Now that’s a proper cause for celebration.

Those little Monkeys may as well be thrones.

Now for the coconuts.

Warm welcomes.

Top job Peter. You can take off your helmet though, you know?

The poor Monkeys have earned a fair rest.

Meanwhile, back at the line.

I want to know the story behind that hat. Luckily, Monkeys finish our adventures with buckets of story’s.

A true champion. Now go and put a shirt on.

Nope, back to the coconut.

More paint. Wear it with honour, it’ll be sweated off in a matter of minutes.

Congratulations lads. You’ve done us proud.

‘Fucking glad to be here.’

Of course you waited until nightfall to arrive. How dramatic.

Rare footage of the actual Robin Hood in action.

More paint. (Only for the victors, of course.)

Legend tells, of a man that can fix any flight, rescue any passport and shrug off a matter of pure terror as a minor inconvenience.

And now he’s here.

We like nice people and good handshakes.

Victors.

After the Andes, you’d think a small ramp wouldn’t cause any problems. You’d think wrong.

Some of our Adventurists with internet access have concluded some thorough research into the ‘what’s what’ on the net these days. Apparently, baring flesh is all the rage, so here’s our two cents.

The Monkeys really are bloody tiny, aren’t they.

The juice of winners.

Not even being attacked and torn from the bike by wild dogs was going to stop these lads.

Top Job. This Monkey is a filthy animal, used and abused and flayed within an inch of her life. No wonder the Adventurers are popular back home.

More paint.

Important three word interview.

Smashed it chaps.

Finish line thoughts.

The jungle juice – a dangerous concoction.

Guaranteed to wash away the pain.

‘Drinking doesn’t impress anyone. Drinking isn’t cool.’ Our old high school teachers were liars, judging by those ladies in the back.

A drink fit for a hero.

The Inca Gods were watching over our Monkeys this week.

They were pissing themselves laughing.

More paint!

Sherwood forest was inspired by the Peruvian jungle. Possibly.

Who gave them sharp arrows. Oh dear.

Careful, you might hurt someone with those things. 

The face of a man who has just successfully hunted his victim.  

What, I wonder, is the worst possible place to possibly sit down when a horde of overexcited Monkeys get hold of a bow and arrow?

Oh right, right in front of them. 

This can only end badly.

‘Mummy, why are they hunting that man?’

‘They’re English. They’re very strange.’

Another challenger approaches.

Rain, forest, rain-forest, mountains, dogs, breakdowns, stitches, mistakes and a fuckload of blind optimism has led to this moment.

They made it.

Monkeys, you inspire us. We’re proud of you.

 

They’re still coming!

 

 

What time is it? Everyone’s very confused.

Cake solves everything.

This cake will absolutely not last until morning.

Best use of a Monkey bike so far; a rudimentary bottle opener.

Success.

Exhausted, the Monkeys responsibly party.

We’re not sure what you’re saying, but we’re damned if we don’t agree.

Well Monkeys, this is it.

A dream, a stupid bike and the longest mountain range on earth.

You’ve bloody done it. You’ve faced every challenge with your heads held high, confident in your purpose. You’ve faced mud, rain, dogs, breakdown after breakdown and a distinct lack of maps or support.

You sneer in the face of all inclusive.

You piss in the maw of guided tours and package holidays.

You’ve got lost in the arse end of planet earth and come through the other side with a smile on your face and stories to be told for generations.

And, to top it all off, you’ve been saving the planet as you go.

Monkeys, it has been an absolute pleasure watching your adventure unfold. You won’t enjoy falling back into normality. Give it a few days, and you’ll be missing the mud. Give it a few more, and you’ll be absentmindedly trying to find the keys to your bike.

Alas, the Monkey Run is over.

But the Adventures have only just begun.

The Spring Collection 2020

Don’t say we don’t look after you.