Touring by Bike South America, Africa and Europe by Bicycle

Touring by Bike
Day 20. Biking to Machu Picchu. Cusco to Ollantaytambo

Km today: 128
Km total: 1348

I left some stuff at the laundry, so I have to wait at least untill 11 am. I have breakfast with a nice view over Cusco, check email and…most of all, continue searching for my glasses. I know I had them when I arrived in
Cusco (I check that by looking at the pictures I took with the little boys).
After alerting all hostel’s stuff that I could alert I finally find them in the gap between the bed frame and the mattress. I check out and I go to take the stuf from the InternetCafe that is in fact just acting as an intermediary for the laundry, as I was about to find out. I have to wait here one hour, so I leave Cusco late, at about 2 p.m.

Luckily the road is mostly downhill and I could be on the sacred valley earlier if I would’t stop to see a swamp declared RAMSAR site for birds’ protection. as I do a tour of this lagoon I ask some guys at a bar on the road if that road is going back to the main street, they ask me where I’m from, I tell them what I’m doing and one of them offers me his glass of beer. almost one hour lost for this birds, but I enter the Sacred Valley and manage to keep a good speed, with long moments of cruising at 30 – 35 kph. However, the dark comes right before I arrive in Urubamba. I’m thinking of stoppng here, but it makes no sence, since the train to Machu Picchu leaves from Ollantaytambo. the travel industry already seems to be doing very well as we get closer to Machu Pichu. Many hostals, hotels, some of them really good looking. But not cheap. the one I checked in urubamba is 268 Soles/single room/night. Compare this to road from Urubamba to 15 I payed in Paracas (another tourist place). So I push towards Ollantaytambo, even if it is 8 pm when I stop in Urubamba. I hope to arrive at 9. Is dark so the descents are not funny on this unperfect road. Well, I called it unperfect, but I cannot use the same word when we talk about an area few km from Ollantaytambo. A small climb of pure dirt road, that probably never say the astphalt. I have to push the bike both uphill and downhill, that’s how bad the road was. And the wind from the face gets really strong now, it couldn’t have been any other moment. But soon I see the Ollantaytambo sign and cheer the victory…well wait, that’s the entrance, not the hostel/hotel. The town is conserved as in old times, that’s probably why the road is …much worst than cubic stone. Just some stones put next to each other. I had pushed many bikes uphill on the street, on the mountains, on grass, on rain, on some sand, on bad streets, but never had the feeling that I cannot push the bike (when I had it was in Carpathians’ forests, with my mountainbike, but I knew the bike was supposed to be carried up). However here I cannot carry the bike, since I have half of the total luggage for the trip to Machu Pichu. After 1 km of real struggle, I see a hostal where a little girl with a bike is oppening the door, I go in an check-in for 30 soles.

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