Andes back: Father and son team complete epic motorbike trek in Peru

Joe and Paul at the finish
Joe and Paul at the finish

A team from Horsham have successfully completed their arduous journey across Peru, covering nearly 1,000km in just seven days.

Joe and his father Paul Harrod took part in the Monkey Run, an event which takes participants from Ayacucho, across the Andes and through dense Amazon rainforest, down to Atalaya.

One of the incredible views during the event

One of the incredible views during the event

The riders use special ‘monkey bikes’, a shrunk down version of a motorbike which is down on power and difficult to handle.

Joe and Paul struggled with altitude sickness towards the start of the trip, reaching a peak altitude of 4,600m. Joe said: “I only had a day or so where I felt a bit rough but my Dad was suffering with it really badly for the first four or five days.

He added: “The bikes have suffered more than us”.

While crossing the highest mountain passes the bikes struggled for oxygen to continue to run.

The bikes fully loaded

The bikes fully loaded

Joe said: “We’re down to first gear with them just coughing and spluttering along at about five miles an hour.”

Despite the struggles of the climbs progress was quicker on the descents but just as treacherous. On the better sections of road the team reached up to 50 miles per hour despite dangerous drops being just feet away.

Joe added: “The views... And the drops were to die for”.

The Harrods final day was a 10 hour slog with two breakdowns and a crash. With no backup and the bare minimum of tools available Joe and Paul had to work hard to keep their bikes functional.

Joe and Paul at the start of the event

Joe and Paul at the start of the event

The Harrods were the first team to finish that completed the full route, some teams having missed the final track which took the hair raising terrain to new levels.

They completed the event in aid of three charities, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Sue Ryder Hospice Care and Cool Earth and have raised nearly £1,000 towards their goal of £3,000 so far.

ABF is the National Charity of the British Army and provides financial and practical support to soldiers, veterans, and their immediate family in times of need, even after they have left the Army.

Sue Ryder Hospice Care provides compassionate care to people with end of life and long term needs.

Cool Earth works with indigenous villages putting local people back in control with the resources they need to keep their rainforest intact.

Now back in the UK the team are holding a charity barbecue and raffle at the Warnham Club on Saturday April 28. Starting at 5.30pm any profits from the event will be added to their fundraising total.

To support Paul and Joe’s adventure visit their fundraising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/harrodsmonkeyrun