I left my Hostel in Abancay and after some sneaky street burgers for breakfast, I made my way out of the city. The day began with 35kms of up hill. 

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Leaving Abancay

I was sitting on around 7km/h when I spotted a dog ahead poke its head up at me. So far its been about 50/50 weather the dog cares that I’m there or not. Today he cared and after a couple of aggressive barks his 4 mates appeared from around the side of the house. I picked up the pace (to about 9km/h) and before I knew it I was surrounded by dogs snapping at my heals. I was using the old favourite of pretending to throw things at the dogs but today it wasn’t working. All of a sudden I felt one of the dogs pulling at the bike. I gave a pretty big yell and they backed off. At my next rest stop I saw that one of the dogs had left a nice big hole in one of my rear panniers.

My new arsenal for dogs

My new arsenal for dogs

 The hill seemed to keep going and going. Eventually I made it to some roadworks about 2km from the 4014m Summit. When I arrived I bumped into another cyclist, Pablo who had been on the road 1 year and 1 day from his home of Mexico. It had been his long time goal to arrive at Cusco.

Pablo and I

Pablo and I

When we got to the summit we could see the huge Ice capped mountains in the distance.

Ice capped mountains

so close

We descended the mountain and on the way down we took a 2km detour to see some ancient Incan ruins. 

Inca ruin

Inca ruin

Kids everywhere, seemed more interested in our bikes than the ruins

Kids everywhere, seemed more interested in our bikes than the ruins

Once we were back on the road we continued descending. The temperature began to increase again and we started passing tropical fruit trees like bananas, Pawpaws, and Mangos. 

We eventually got to the bottom of the hill and came to a river crossing. I was hoping to get to the next town but by this time it was beginning to get a little late… and cool.

river crossing

river crossing

Pablo stopped and spoke some Spanish to a woman who’s house backed onto the river and before I knew it we had a camp spot for the night. We set up out tents in her backyard overlooking the river. We had a covered area, table and chairs and even a hammock! 

camp

camp

We went down to the river and cleaned up a bit before combining our food and cooking up a feast.

river

river

I slept well and in the morning we packed up our gear and we were off again. This was going to be a tough day as we had to ascend 50km followed by another 50km of undulations before we arrived at Cusco. We pushed the first 20km to the first town, Limatambo (where we had planned our second breakfast). I should mention that Pablo has been suffering bike problems from a faulty screw in his peddle, causing the peddle to fall off mid ride. This started happening more and more frequently causing us to stop to make repairs.

The view

The view we had to endure

After around 4 and a half hours We finally made it to the summit. A couple of high fives later, we began the amazing decent past schools an farmland. I was reaching speeds of close to 70km/h winding through the smooth roads. To make things better we had a strong tail wind which enabled us to sit on around 25km/h with no peddling. It was great! I cruised along passing Pigs, Goats, Horses, Donkeys, and other random animals for around 20km with close to no effort. We would be in Cusco in no time!!

The easy road

The easy road

After a while I noticed there was no Pablo behind me so In stopped and waited for a while. I met a few locals while I waited and after around 10 minutes I started getting a little concerned. Eventually I turned around and fought the wind back about 2km before I came across Pablo limping his bike towards me. His Pedal had come off again and this time it was pretty bad. We did some makeshift repairs and limped it into the next town (less that 25km to Cusco). As it was getting late we decided to stay in town and see if we could find a part for his bike in the morning. We found a hostel and went and had a feed in town. 

I don’t know if it was the fact that it had had been such a big day, or that morning I sustained some type of insect bite on my bum cheek so bad I could hardly sit, but I got a fever that night and lost a few kgs on the Banyo. After no sleep and feeling close to death all night I slowly got my things together ready for the last 25km into Cusco. 

After a quick stop at the local bicycle repair shop, Pablos bike was finally fixed and we were off.

The local bike shop

The local bike shop

We only had 25km to ride but to me it felt like 100. I had no energy and was feeling really weak. After the final 6km ascent we found ourself rolling down the hill into Cusco. It was really an amazing sight seeing this enormous City stuck right in the middle of all these mountains.

View of Cusco as we descended into the city

View of Cusco as we descended into the city

We rolled down the less than average road passing large packs of wild dogs sifting through piles of rubbish. We found a look out and spotted a large grassy square in the middle of the city.

Park in centre of Cusco

Park in centre of Cusco

We decided to make our way there and celebrate by eating a piece of Chocolate Pablo had been saving for this very occasion. We rolled through the cobblestone streets (actually just badly paved bricks) and eventually made it to the centre square and before we could sit down and celebrate we were approached by 4 different people each interested in how we got there with our bikes.

After about 2 hours of talking to everyone we sat and enjoyed Pablos Chocolate. Could very well be the first chocolate I’ve had in around 3 years and I must say it tasted amazing!

Pablo and his chocolate

Pablo and his chocolate

We found some food and checked into our Hostels.

Tomorrow I plan to check out some of the trek options to see Machu Picchu and just eat and rest up.