Back into the Hills

Peru / Bolivia

by | May 18, 2016

July 16, 2015

I am hoping for good health today.  There are BIG hills between us and Cusco.  Best case, we should be 3 days from Cusco depending on how adventurous we get with our route. We set out for approximately a 100K day. Stomach feels better. Energy level is 80%. Still feeling a bit weak. I am open to the possibility of altitude issues since we’ve been above 13K feet for over a week however still convinced it was just bad street food. The road today is much more scenic and the canyon walls are tighter. We cycle about 50km on highway 3S (main road). See a sign for 100K to Cusco. Decision point.  We could be in Cusco in 2 days…but what sort of adventure is that?  We opt to get off 3S and head west into a lesser traveled canyon and really not well marked.  Remarkably, it is paved. It climbs steeply with continual switchbacks however no traffic to an elevation of over 4000m. From here it rolls through very remote and small desolate villages. This is the bike tour we’ve both been hoping for. This is the Peru we envisioned, not the touristy highway. I’m free.

After summiting the canyon at 330p, we begin an amazing descent toward the town of Acayuno. Half way down we both notice a single track trail cut into the side of the mountain. After exploring, we decide its perfect for camp. This may be the best camp site I’ve ever had. We are overlooking a huge canyon, and our tents are perched on the edge of a cliff. Interestingly enough, we are on farm land. There is a sprinkler running all night that is watering some crops that are literally sitting on a 50 degree angle hillside. As we set up camp, we are greeted by locals walking up a path along their hillside, carrying crops from the day. The stars are perhaps the clearest I’ve ever seen. There are no city lights or lights anywhere. I’m free.

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That’s our route

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Pretty nice camp site

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This is the tour we were looking for

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The World Spins By is an intimate journey of loss, curiosity, and love—recounted one pedal stroke at a time along Jerry’s two-year bicycle journey back to himself. 

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