Day 72/164: Limatambo to Cusco – 76km

1,500 meters climbing, 950 down.

During the night it poured, and that small omission I made yesterday with clipping the tent? Well, the whole floor of the tent got soaked along with most of my gear 😦 😦 :(. Thankfully not my electronics as they were safely in my bag, but I use a packing cell of clothes as a pillow, so I am not sure if I will have anything to wear in Cusco!

I wrapped everything that was wet in black plastic bags, and will deal with it in Cusco!  I said goodbye at breakfast to those who are leaving, in case I don’t get to see them again.

I set off from camp thinking to myself “Only 76 kilometres standing between me and three rest days!”. The first five kilometres was pretty tough as the gradient was quite steep, thankfully it improved. I caught up with Michelle at about 10 kilometres and rode with her. Luckily there were some parts of the hill that were pretty reasonable riding.

 A view of Limbatamo and yesterday's valley that we pedalled up (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

A view of Limatambo and yesterday’s valley that we pedalled up (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

I had thought the main hill was 20 kilometres, we passed Sue and she thought it was 15 kilometres, which would have been great as we were nearly at 15 kilometres. We were all wrong: it was actually 25 kilometres.

Finally we got to the top and Michelle yells out “Yay!”. I try to yell as well but I don’t have any spare breathe, oops my asthma is worse than I thought. I used the reliever a couple of times, and then it was downhill to lunch.

The lunch truck party, playing oldies on the stereo (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

The lunch truck party, playing oldies on the stereo (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

After lunch I rode with Michelle and Tony, only 36 kilometres to go! There was a bit of a headwind and some more hills but the thought of getting to the hotel and a warm shower kept us going.

Up the hill for the final climb and down on the other side. Our first view of the main part of Cusco. The red earth, tile roofs and brown bricks make for a drab scene (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Up the hill for the final climb and down on the other side. Our first view of the main part of Cusco. The red earth, tile roofs and brown bricks make for a drab scene (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

At 8 kilometres out, we were on the outskirts of town, it was dirty rubbish bags, mangy dogs, mud, buses, taxi vans, pot holes, gravel and a steep gradient. Once we got to the city, getting to the hotel was chaos –  the traffic was everywhere.

Trying to manage the traffic, and look out for flags and potholes was very challenging. I was lucky there were three of us navigating, as I would have got lost if I had been on my own. Finally we got to the hotel, to my amazement in one piece.

Getting through Cusco to our hotel was a bit of a challenge. Lots of turns combined with steep, rough cobbled streets made it exciting. One of the streets had a vegetable market. It made for lots of dodging bodies and produce (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Getting through Cusco to our hotel was a bit of a challenge. Lots of turns combined with steep, rough cobbled streets made it exciting. One of the streets had a vegetable market. It made for lots of dodging bodies and produce (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

We're nearing the hotel. Here's the Mercado San Pedro (Market) (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Nearing the hotel. Here’s the Mercado San Pedro (Market) (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

We are staying at Hotel Garcilaso in Cusco for three days 🙂 🙂 :).The hotel is old but situated right in the middle of the tourist hub. The staff are very helpful and friendly. Like a number of the riders I am not in the best shape, I think it’s a case of being exhausted. I have a burnt and bleeding lip, pressure areas on the butt, gastro, asthma, altitude breathlessness, and an annoying cough, plus my neck has frozen on the left side. I think the three day’s rest has come just in time.

Grant – the rider I was concerned about the other day – went to a private clinic and is on penicillin injections for a chest infection. Other riders have a mixture of problems.

I got changed, got some water etc. I had dinner with Tony and Michelle at a nice restaurant (the name escapes me) to celebrate them having finished the section, and completed all of it! I am also feeling pretty pleased to have completed all of it. I had filet mignon, fettucine, fresh salad, and a glass of red wine. Then back to the hotel to bed.

Yay, no 5am start tomorrow or the next two days.

 

We made it! Park the bikes, unload and shower, and it's off down the street for some grub. This is the Plaza San Francisco (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

We made it! Park the bikes, unload and shower, and it’s off down the street for some grub. This is the Plaza San Francisco (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

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Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Day 72/164: Limatambo to Cusco – 76km

  1. Wendy

    Congrats on the “doing all of it”, so impressive. You sound really happy. Enjoy the rest days.

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