Even having descended 25km the night before, there was still another 20km to go. 40-60km climbs, followed by equally ridiculously long descents, the story of the mountains north of Cusco having left the Altiplano. The climbs have to be long, because they go from 2000m to 4000m, but the length is augmented by the relatively gentle gradients of the climbs as the road switchbacks it’s way up the side of a mountain. Peru is famous with cyclists for it’s long climbs, but also that you can
The three iconic places in Peru are Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines. In Cusco, as well as being offered massages and shiny shoes at every corner, there are always people trying to sell you a tour to Machu Picchu (MP). Those with ridiculous amounts of money can take the Hiram Bingham train, named after the American who is credited with discovering MP, at a mere $400 per person each way for the 3 hour journey
I’d had a couple of loo visits during the night, and wasn’t feeling great when the day started. I got about 10km, before stopping for over an hour for a breakfast of omelette and coca tea which I hoped would give me the energy I needed to get to Cusco. About 10km of exhausted pedalling later, I stopped by a speed bump, stuck my thumb out and was picked up by the first truck that came past. He helped me put the bike in the back, I could barely lift it, and then told me to come and sit
We were up and out of the police station just after 6am, the police officer so eager to go home that he was asking us to take our bags outside and put them on our bikes there. The breakfast options were slightly more varied than lunch or dinner, as there were a few old ladies with tables and what turned out to be overpriced and badly tasting quinoa with a piece of llama that was basically all bone. A bus left at 5:30, and then the next one at 8am. I was insistent on taking the bus because I had
I tried to sleep in, which meant waking up at 7am instead of 6:30, but felt completely zapped. I had some breakfast and started the first 10-15km, which were basically flat. My legs wouldn’t go in circles, and while the desire to lose my breakfast wasn’t there, I wasn’t too much better off. Even though there were very few climbs, I still had to push my bike up them, not boding well for the long climb ahead up to 3200m.
After almost 3 hours of exhausted riding I made it to the