In 2004, in order to 'de-wimp' herself, Eleanor Meecham embarked on a solo journey by bicycle through parts of South America. Llamas and Empanadas is her personal account of this trip. Paralleling her actual journey was her personal odyssey, as she came to terms with the death of her brother. Ignoring those who insisted that cycling alone in South America was not only inadvisable but possibly suicidal, Eleanor ventured unprepared into the wilds of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. Travelling on Vagabunda, her trusty bicycle of twelve years, she crossed the Andes twice, pedalled through the barren but beautiful wastes of Patagonia and cycled to the world's highest city, Potosi, via its largest salt desert. Despite battling ferocious headwinds, the draining effects of altitude, a malfunctioning knee and rocky, sandy, un-signposted roads, she couldn't help but be charmed by the countries she travelled through and the folk singers, tea-slurping truck drivers and flirtatious policemen she met along the way.
As well as developing a fascination for the stories, legends, history, people and landscapes of this colourful continent, she also acquired an addiction to the ubiquitous empanada, an irresistibly delicious Latin American pastry. Llamas and Empanadas is illustrated with Eleanor's fabulous photographs.
Winner of Whitcoulls Travcom Travel Book of the Year Award 2008.