The Push for Cusco

Peru / Bolivia

by | May 18, 2016

July 20, 2015

Last night’s hostel was arguably the worst one to date.  There was a steady line of bugs scaling the wall along the door, around the light switch, and that light switch was not grounded…meaning that each time we turned the light on or off, we got a pleasant surprise…which, after a couple times, really wasn’t a surprise any longer.  My bug bites from camping at the Shire seem even worse. My legs and back are littered with dots.  We cook breakfast in the room then set out at 930a. .  Welcome to South America.

Our first climb is on a double wide road under construction. It is in the process of being paved. We climb for over 3 hours, summit, then descend into the next town and get lunch. We order soup but it somehow comes with a full chicken and rice entree. Taylor finally caves and samples the national soft drink, Inca Cola.  It can best be described as bubble gum flavored cola. You remember the bubble gum flavored polish you got at the dentist as a kid?  Well, same thing.  It was probably fine then, but now….

For $12, we’re on our way for another 3K foot climb (6K for the day), this time on a paved and somewhat busier road. The climb again is unrelenting and unforgiving.  The past 5 days have just been a gauntlet of perseverance.  The climbs, while breathtaking, are relentless and humbling.  Maybe we were not supposed to do this journey on bike because in many places, it feels like not many others before us had.  As we crest the top of the final climb with the impending descent into Cusco, we pause for a few minutes to take in the magnitude and magic of our journey.  I know that my adventure ends at the bottom of this descent, however Taylor will continue north.

The descent into Cusco is nothing short of euphoric.  We receive numerous waves and cheers of encouragement from the people that we pass.  I think possibly they know at least a little bit of what we experienced.  They know there is something mystical in these mountains.  We arrive inCusco and make our way toward Plaza de Armas (town center).  After checking into half dozen hostels that all full, we find a great B&B for $45, complete with wifi, hot water, breakfast, and CLEAN.

It has been a truly amazing journey, filled with unexpected highs and lows.  True to my other travels by bike, the people that we have met in Bolivia and Peru have been kind, warm, and welcoming.  The have reaffirmed my confidence in the human spirit…and my greed for MORE.

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Climbing out of town

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Barefoot runners are fast

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Coming home from school

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Amazingly paved and quite climb

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Still going…

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Still going…

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Traffic

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Lunch break.  Coke helps

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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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