Finally its time to leave the big city for the 1500 + km trip north to the Canyon del Pato, for what is supposed to be the number 1 day ride in all of South America…..
Starting out from Cusco at 8 am we had plans for a big day (500 km), but ended up with only 297 km on what was probable the worst day of the trip so far.
We got out of the city very quickly this time as we knew the route now, but only got 10 km to Poroy to get gas and Dan noted his front tire was a few pounds down. We topped it up and continued on. Shortly after this it started to rain and we donned our over suits.
About 20 min later Dan’s front was flat and we had to change it on the side of the road in the rain, but at least we are getting quick at it now. Looking at the rim there is a small dent and likely the tube was pinched the day before when he hit a manhole with no lid, but with just crossed with rebar.
Heading farther up the mountain it was raining and so foggy I could barely see Dan in front of me.
We headed up and down 3 mountains from 1800 m to 4200m.
On the first there was a lot of construction with a muddy dirt road where the 3 S had been washed away by several slides over about 20 km.
Then we came to a block in the road and they told us to go up this hill to get around the “deep excavation”. This was in fact a 25 km detour over the steep mountain on a very muddy dirt road in the now pouring rain. AGGGGH!!
Now we were finally back on the pavement, but again headed up to 4200 m. As we watched the temperature drop rapidly we got worried. Luckily it did not go below 0 and we just had to deal with slush on the road and being pelted with freezing rain.
We gave up on our plans to get to Ayacucho as it was now 5 pm. We made for the next town Andahuaylas. Arriving just at dusk we were exhausted took the first hotel that luckily had hot water. Our helmet pads and gloves were soaked, but our feet dry in our Daytona GTX boots! We were again disappointed in our Revitt H2O over suits and neither of us was dry, especially the underwear.
Well rested we were up and out early at 8 am and back on the 3S.
The road was good for the first 250 km on amazing winding switchbacks again to 4200 m.
Driving along here I was trying to get a photo when my Contour fell off. The glue gave up at 2.5 degrees. Luckily there was deep drainage ditches so it was no too hard to find.
Arriving at a small town the GPS said go straight, but the construction crew said no way. There was again a detour to the highway of about 30 km of dirt on a windy mountain “road” that dumped you back at the 3S, but this was onto about another 30 km of construction. There were several stoppages of 20 min where they were clearing the road of slide debris and piles of gravel.
Then there was 100 km of paved 1 lane road hanging on the side of the cliff, that actually had 2 way car and truck traffic. Luckily on the bikes we could pass. The hairpin corners were nerve racking with oncoming vehicles. What was the most crazy was the number of significant river crossings on the “ highway”. We were again racing the sunset to get off the road.
We eventually found some no name town we would like to forget, with a “room” about 40 min after dark and 400 km. This would probably be one of the worst places we have stayed in, but what can you expect for 8$. The one highlight of the day was a pretty good dinner we had. We just followed the police officers to the restaurant they were eating at.