On the way to Bolivia

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

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Thursday, February 21, 2013

We were eager to get back on to the bikes and make up some of the distance towards Bolivia.  Our next tourist destination will be Lake Titicaca, which is the highest lake in the world, sitting on a plateau in the mountains, just below 4000m above sea level. More excitingly it is where we are hoping to meet up with my friend Karen, who I haven't seen for almost a year. We packed up our belongings, I sent Karen a final intended cycle itinerary and we set off.

Instantly I realised that my new pedal, which Kory had sorted out for me whilst I was ill in Cusco, was still not fixed. On closer inspection the pedal had been cross threaded into the slot, and therefore felt like it was wobbly and about to fall off at any moment. It was really annoying, as we pulled in to a petrol station 100m from the hostel, to try to fix the new pedal. Kory tried for quite a while but in the end decided that we should push the bikes to the bike shop and see if they could do a better job. The mechanic arrived about 15 minutes after being called and was great. He was friendly and a real pro, he had my new pedal fixed properly into place within minutes. Lets hope that will be the last of my extremely annoying pedal issues on this trip.

An hour after we left the hostel we set off again to cycle out of the city. The directions were really easy but with fairly busy city traffic and lots of traffic lights it was still slow going. We finally made it out of the city limits and through a valley, passed agricultural land. The day continued in this fashion, we didn't have any long slog hill climbs that we have gotten used to recently but were entertained with rolling hills. We would cycle up for 20 minutes or so and then leisurely descended back down into the valley. We were surrounded by green, farmed land, with rows of crops, mainly corn and potatoes.

There was a brown, fast flowing river rushing along the valley floor, which looked, at times, like it was close to bursting its banks. It felt good to be back on the bikes and to be cycling through a new landscape, on the way to a different country. We aim to be in Bolivia in four days time, which is really exciting, as we have been in Peru for over two months now and we feel ready for a change.

The children along the route were really friendly today and seemed really excited to see us, shouting out “Hola, Hola, Hola”, until we were out of sight or earshot. We thought they may have been more used to seeing cyclists, as nearly everyone entering Peru will come this way to Cusco.  However, they still seemed really excited to see us.

We arrived into our destination town, which looked like it would be a fairly large town on the map. As soon as we arrived we realised that it was no where near the size of town that would have good accommodation options.  Kory went in to look at the two options in town; one had a room with beds that weren't made and it hadn't been cleaned since the last visitors who probably left in 1982 (why would anyone stay here in this tiny place), or there was a room with no roof, just a bit of tarpaulin. The other hotel had a room, with no space for the bikes and the shared toilet in the main corridor had no door. Call me fussy but we decided to continue on to the next town in the hope of finding a room with a roof and preferably a toilet door.

Thankfully we only had to cycle a further 10km, and still arrived in well before darkness set in. This town was slightly larger and had a bustling, transport hub feel to it, there were numerous buses and minibuses pulling in, with people rushing about. Accordingly, there were four hostel options, and they all looking fairly decent. Kory went in to enquire about one, and I chatted to a local guy for 10 minutes, whilst watching the bikes. He was extremely intrigued on what we needed to carry with us to require so many bags. We checked in to the first hotel, which had a decent room, with a nice bed, AND a roof and a toilet door on the shared bathroom in the corridor. We didn't realise that there wasn't a shower at all, until after we had carried the bikes and bags up two flights of stairs. All in all, it was a good first day back on the bikes after our time off in Cusco.
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Gramma on

Very nice scenery!!!Do hope your bike pedal is fixed, too. Love and hugs

Karen on

Glad you have new postings....looks like I may be sitting awhile to "catch up " with you!

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