C – During the night, poor Todd suffered from a short lived, violent emergency bowel evacuation sessions. We thought we may stay another night in Nazca, but he woke up feeling fine so it was back to the road!
T – It just came out of nowhere! Better out than in right? I was feeling pretty off for a while before my trip to the toilet, but once the nastiness was out I began to feel better straight away.
C – We were both feeling a lot more buoyant today, knowing that we would finally be off the dreaded PanAm Highway and heading into the Andes. The ride up to Cusco will take us a few days, so today we aimed to get to Puquio, just 150km away. But, we knew we were in for mountain climbing, as I had read that Puquio was close to 3000mtrs and Nazca at only 600mtrs.
The morning started well, with us finding perfect front sprockets for our little girls for a mere $2.15 each. Score!!
The ascent started straight away, with us climbing up with amazing views of the desert plains below. The hills gradually changed from void of vegetation, to snippets of green, to completely green with stock and llamas grazing the high plains.
It wasn’t long before we reached 3000mtrs and were stopping on the roadside for some layer adding. Shortly after this, we were at a shivering 4139mtrs, the highest for the trip so far. We were both keen for more layers but too scared to stop up hill at this height lest the bikes not want to get going again. They were both having some power issues at this height and neither of us felt like pushing!
T – The poor bikes. They were really struggling up here. Puffing and wheezing like the little old ladies they are. Both of us felt pretty bad for them! But true to form they kept on chugging along. It was quite chilly up there and at the coldest point my heated grips decided to bite the dust.
C – We began the long, windy descent and the views over the farming land was completely breathtaking. We stopped to add those extra layers now we were facing downhill and decided to have some lunch. Sitting on the green grass, overlooking one of the spectacular views I have seen this trip, and sipping hot, fresh Peruvian coffee was certainly a highlight for me. A moment that I will not forget.
After shedding some more height and getting down to a now warm 3300mtrs, with 10km to go to our destination, I came around a corner and felt Rosie suddenly swing sideways. I straightened her up and let her run on the other side of the road to take the corner wide, realising I obviously had a flat rear tyre. WHAT? We had such a good run from Baja in Mexico until near the Colombian/Ecuadorian border and now we are back to the old chestnut of regular rear flat tyres.
Immediately, we found the cause. And yep. You guessed it! Remember the problem we had with Mabel a few weeks ago? Same staples in my tyre, except it has taken weeks for it to become problem. Todd picked out six bits of staples and we found two holes in my tube which perfectly lined up with two of them.
We cruised into Puquio at 3pm and found a perfect little hotel on the square. We wandered the town and enjoyed the cool, clear mountain air.