Probably the most annoying day on the bikes!

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Apurímac,
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I was feeling fine by the morning, which was great as neither of us wanted to stay in the tiny, basic room, that we had found for the night.  After giving the bikes another wipe off we were ready to hit the road....i mean mud bath again.  We can only presume that they are intending to pave the whole road and are doing a massive upgrade, but what I found infuriating was that they had chosen to do 90km of it all at once, and hadn't just worked on one small section at a time. 

Basically I am not going to be able to describe how ridiculous the notion of cycling along this road was.  It was 22km of fairly steep uphill, which should have taken us a couple of hours to cover but it took us almost a full day.  We were cycling through deep mud, which had the look and consistency of melted chocolate, occasionally with big pebbles underneath for us to skid over.  It covered every area of our bikes and got into all of the delicate gear and brake parts.  Our tyres would get clogged up and the wheels would refuse to spin, as the mud dried them stiffly into place.  We stopped regularly to remove the mud to enable us to plod on a bit further.  The one saving grace was that the road was closed to all other traffic so we were able to stumble all over it to try to find the easiest place to cycle. 

We were both exhausted and annoyed when we finally made it into town at around 3pm, after covering only 22km.   Kory had a standard lunch and I had some left over avocado with bread, which we had bought the previous day.  Then we decided to push on to the next town, which was a further 9km up the hill.  We realised that we needed to cover the little bit extra or else we wouldn't make it to a town the next day. 

As we left the town we were greeted with an amazing sight, a paved road.  We presumed that it would end at any moment, but were so grateful for it being there at all.  It felt amazing after our horrendous morning, and we hoped that it would last just a little bit longer.  Somehow it lasted all the way to Uripa, which was the second town.  We saw a petrol station and cycled to the water tap/hose station, to try to clean down our bikes before the mud firmly stuck on.  As Kory attached the hose the weak, plastic tap broke off in his hands.  Sometimes we forget that simple things here just aren't made the same as they would be at home and you can't use any strength when touching them.  We cycled to the other end of town and found another petrol station where we had a lot more luck.  Finally our bikes looked a normal colour again.

We found a little hotel, which had tiny rooms, with beds that were slightly bigger than a single.  Although we were over 3000m altitude, where the air is cold and the climate is wet, the showers were still freezing.  I have no idea how the locals can entice themselves to wash everyday,   Regardless of all of these things, Kory and I were shattered and could have fallen asleep as soon as we arrived at 6pm. 
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Gramma on

My goodness, what an experience... all that mud.....You's must have been happy to hit the pavement.....

Karen on

Bet you were glad for that suit you bought Hey Gemma?

gemandkory on

Hi Karen,
Thanks for all of the comments. It was a tough couple of days, and annoying with all of the mud, but thankfully it joined up with a paved road, which is better than we were expecting. We are now in Abancay, which is three days away from Cuzco, our destination for some tourist sights. We are still on that scary looking graph I put up the other day with all of the parade photos, with two steep climbs left. However, there is meant to be a few Incan Ruins along the way and some fantastic views, so we can't complain. Hope all is well with you. I bet you are looking forward to Jordon arriving home in a couple of days with lots of travelling stories. Chat soon. Gem x

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