'Anna and I (Alister) were fortunate enough to stay with Werner and Maria in their house in Recuay which at the time they were renovating and building their dream of opening a hostel in this quiet Andean town at the foot of the Cordillera Blanca. As far as we know we would be their last warm showers guests as they were busy with building and renovating, and once it would be finished they would then have hostel guests (although I think he always had a soft spot for touring cyclists so he would have opened his doors). Well they finished the hostel project recently, but sadly Werner passed away on the 20th of May 2011, almost a year to the day that we said goodbye to them.
Werner Steidl was a German man, who fell for the Andes, more specifically the Peruvian Andes. He and Maria, his Peruvian wife loved each other in a special way. She quit her busy life working for the Peruvian government and fighting for healthcare and education for poor children. For years she had driven up the countryside to small communities on her own with food and clothes and medical supplies. She gave up this work and living close to her daughter in Lima to pursue his dream, living simply in the mountains in the clean crisp air of the Cordillera Blanca, hosting travellers and bike tourers and providing for visitors to Recuay. He dreamed that people would come to their hostel to explore the mountains at their doorstep with endless trekking opportunities to pre-incan ruins, and up to the white peaks of the Cordillera Blanca.
Werner had done a significant amount of bike touring in South America specifically in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In recent years Werner had a problem with his spinal cord, which caused problems with walking and cycling, and thus he tried to enjoy cycling by reading about and hosting other cyclists touring the region. He followed the blogs and stories of his guests religiously, long after they had moved on and regularly kept in contact with us from Recuay. He was a man of great humour in both english and spanish but also very modest about his achievements.
He refused to seek medical care, knowing that that would extend his suffering.
Rest peacefully Werner in the tranquility and beauty of your beloved Peruvian Andes. Love, strength and support to Maria his wife and his daughter in Germany. Adios amigo. Que descanse bien en paz.'