After around two months in remote areas, travelling through areas of the Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon. My bike and I were both ready for some comfort, a good clean and some repairs.
Casa de Cyclistas, Cusco
I arrived in Cusco and made my way to the Casa de Cyclistas. This one was located in the old part of the city and was actually in a courtyard with a restaurant and bar. The Casa de Cyclistas is great because you can stay for free and you can meet other cyclists. The only issue with this particular one is that there is only really space for two people. But when I arrived there were four of us in total. This meant that me and another guy had to sleep on the floor. To be honest, this isn’t really a problem as we are all used to camping already. The other three cyclists had been travelling for a while. One was from Mexico and was heading south. Another was from the US and was heading south to Argentina. While the final guy was an Italian who has started in the south and was heading north. I really enjoy spending time with other cyclists so that we can share stories and advice. It’s also interesting to hear the different reasons that people travel. Some just do it for fun, others for charity and some people have set themselves a challenge. For example, the Italian guy had set himself the challenge of cycling the length of the Andes mountain range, from the south to the north of South America. But we don’t only see the the good sides of travel, sometimes people are struggling with their motivation and decide that they want to go home. This was the case with the Italian guy, he was heading as far a Lima and was flying home in time for Christmas. I sometimes find it hard to think of a reason that I am travelling the way that I am. I usually just say that I want to see as many places as I can, while I can.
Cusco is one of the main tourist towns in Peru. It’s the starting point for a lot of tours into the Amazon, where I just came from. But also for hiking tours to the many archeological sites in the area, including Machu Pichu. I explored a little and was surprised at how beautiful some areas were. Not at all like the towns and cities I had experienced in Chile and Bolivia. The Plaza de Armas is one such place, with a huge open square surrounded by old shops, cafes and a cathedral. But the place I visited most often was the San Pedro Market. It’s a cheap place to buy fruit and vegetables, but it also has stalls where you can get a meal for around 6 or 7 soles (£1.30-£1.50). So I headed there a few times a day.
Giving the bike some attention.
I spent a whole day sat cleaning my bike with a toothbrush and a couple of small sponges. After the muddy and dusty roads, then the river crossings, my bike was in need of some attention. I cleaned everything, including the gears and chain, until they looked like new. Then checked and tightened all the bolts. I also took the opportunity to stock up on spare bolts while I was in town. I had to replace them a few times after they had shaken loose on the rocky roads. I’m still trying to get hold of a decent tyre for my front wheel. Hopefully I will be able to find one before I move on.
I cycled to Urubamba to meet up with Huong. She has recently finished her workaway on a farm in the area and we will do some hiking trips together, including Machu Picchu. I am actually planning on staying in Urubamba, and the surrounding areas, for a month or so. Not only to explore the many archeological sites, but also to wait for a replacement part for my drone. It should arrive within two to four weeks. So let’s hope it’s not delayed.