The Inca Trail
Our Highest Elevation Yet

May 14, 2017

Another hard day with even more climbing.


What happened…

Andrew writes: We had two choices today, take the “long way” which would have been all the way on Hwy PE3N, or hop off the road and take some backroads which would save us time, energy, and elevation gain….except it didn’t. We encountered a gorge with a dozen switchbacks on either side, and this took awhile to get down and up again. In the good news column, I was able to load up the Yankees-Royals baseball game on the cell phone and we listed to the Yankees win. Ain’t it strange? Here we are in the mountains of Peru and we’re able to listen to baseball. Perhaps the days only saving grace.

Any day that ends in tears must have a good story to it, right? I dunno, I think it’s just been really hard these past few days, and tensions are running high. Once again, we found ourselves at the limit of our endurance, with dusk approaching and nowhere to camp. We were so close to the city of Huamachuco that I wanted to push on, but Amanda stood firm. Then both of our air mattresses blew up! Argh!

In the morning we checked out the nearby ruins, and then headed into Huamachuco itself. There we stayed in a beautiful hotel right on the Plaza des Armas, thanks to the recommendation of fellow cyclists, Mike and Linda Stuart (Gone4aRide). Even though we rode a short distance, it really felt like a rest day.


Amanda writes: Today’s ride was fun. We went through the town of Shitabamba which I wasn’t expecting to because we were going to head in a different direction than most cyclists. It’s a common town name to take pictures of simply because of the unfortunate name. We then descended into a little town which was really hopping with activity. It was Mother’s Day so I think a lot of the festivities were related to that. We had a nice lunch and then the proprietor wanted to take our picture. I’m never sure if it’s because we’re white or because of the bikes. In any event they were really excited to have us as customers. After lunch we continued riding and it was proving to be harder than I had hoped. As we were approaching the town near sunset I told Andrew I didn’t want to get stuck in a big town after dark riding around.

We had a good battle about this and in the end we camped just outside town; literally like 2.5K. In hindsight we could have made it in the time we were arguing but I didn’t want to risk it again. So we set up camp in the bushes and to add insult to the situation both of air mattresses popped! Shit! Not just because they now have a big bulging baffle in them but because it is so hard to get anything imported into Peru so the likelihood of getting them replaced is not very good. In any event we had a good sleep all things considered and then woke up the next day, checked out some lame inca ruins and then headed into town for a hotel.


Today’s Photographs

The Inca Trail
Our Highest Elevation Yet