Here is a quick run down for those too lazy to read the entire post….
Day 3: early wake up again…another crazy drive through the mountains on some seriously exposed roads. Some massive vertical drops inches from the buses tires. Arrive in a little village at 4000 m then find out we are riding horses up to 4400, it sucked. Unbelievable decent back into Lima
Day 4: fly to Cusco, almost moss the plane. Our bikes and luggage don’t make it but arrive an hour later. Shorter ride up in the hills (3800 m) of Cusco.
Day 5: another great day in the high mountains. This time we shuttle from Cusco and then climb from 4000 m to 4400 m. Decend and end the day in Ollantay Tambo.
Day 6: Machupicchu, amazing hike.
Day 3 was a wild day. After having survived the drive we ended up in this little village where the locals happily took our bikes and handed us horses. Bob got bucked off right away and was lucky to be wearing his helmet and camel back with full bladder which cushioned his fall. Dan Shepansky and I went out first and were on the two oldest horses I’ve ever seen, lets call one of them Rusty (farted the whole way up) and the other Glue (as that is what it’s near future will likely be). Dan was on Rusty and lucky for me Glue decided to ride right up behind Rusty’s stinking ass… I finally managed to pass Dan’s smelly beast and then the fun began. Dan and I were both in pain as the stirrups were way too short. The ret of the crew caught us near the top of the climb and Dan Swanson’s spirited Philly just had to have the lead which caused Glue to start trotting at the top of the climb into the meadow. I was nearly bounced to pieces. I realized that horses just aren’t for me.
The ride was nothing short of spectacular. We descended all types of steep, rocky, flowing terrain. There were some massive rock drops (not everyone road these), super fun technical rocky sections and lots of beautiful vistas.
let me quote for you here:
4:45 am wake up, and then on the bus at 5:30 to the airport to fly to Cusco.
Robyn, “can you imagine if someone forgot the plane tickets?”
Dan Swanson, “I have them in my back pack, I double checked.”
somebody else, “that would be so funny, get to the airport and no tickets.”
we arrive at the Lima airport and Dan starts looking in his bag. “I know I brought the tickets, but I can’t find them.” Jon Bula, “you double checked heh….”
Hahaha, no tickets. Dan forgot them at the hotel. The problem was we had no idea what airline we were on. After a massive cluster f#%k and a few wrong line ups, we made our flight as they were calling our names for last call. Our bags didn’t make it, but came on the next flight an hour later. Dan has not been allowed to forget that he ‘double checked’ his bag.
The ride that day was a nice 3 hour afternoon exploration of Cusco. We saw sown great Inca ruins and then descended all the old cobble stairs in town. That was really fun bombing down these long steep flights of stairs.
Day 5 thought me a couple things. There is only one climbing speed above 4000 m, and its slow. There is absolutely no chance of going fast or putting too much effort in, and don’t make the mistake of trying to attack as you will last only seconds and spend at least 10 minute recovering.
After our shuttle to 4000 m we had the option to hire porters to push our bikes and hike, or trying the climb ourselves. Jim, Glenn, Troy, Richard, and myself joined our guide and decided we would test our legs and lungs and ride. Richard gave it the old college try but was smart enough to pay a porter to walk along with him just in case. After a valiant effort he sucked up his pride and gave the bike to the porter and hiked the rest. The decent was another beauty. Inca trails, steep drops, tons of fun.
this is Peru’s number one tourist destination. It’s a very spiritual place and definitely a must see. The only downfall being the thousands of other tourists you have to deal with. Everything there is steep, so you can imagine what it does to most people touring the site - they suffer…
Troy was super sick all day and really had a tough go. He ended up sleeping on the grass for a few hours. After hiking to the temple of the sun we took the bus back to town and went to the hot springs. A long but great day.
More pictures to follow - really struggling with the slow internet