Day 113 - November 23rd

Know what we haven't done in a while? Twisty roads! We started off by leaving Abancay after a quick basic hotel breakfast. About 10 minutes out of town, we hit construction and had to wait. Wait and wait and wait. 20 minutes later or so, we were allowed to go. No idea why such a long wait.

The road here was extremely twisty. I'm talking, so incredibly twisty. To travel 5km of horizontal distance on a map, the actual distance travelled was 29km by our odometers. That's crazy! Even the switchbacks had their own switchbacks. You can check out the screenshot of the map with today's photos. This was less than 5 km east of Abancay.

After what seemed like forever, we arrived in a small town called Ancahuasi. This is where the interesting part started. Google recommended we take a super duper shortcut to the north east of town instead of looping down to the south east then back north again. Sure, Google, we'll leave the comfort and safety of the main highway. You always know best, right? Well...

Right away the road turned to gravel. I'm talking, before we even left town. Okay, no big deal, gravel is fun and we have properly equipped bikes for it. Sweet. Then we come up to an intersection. Left or right? Both look not well travelled and super difficult riding. Google maps was no help, so we guessed right. Wrong. After a couple creek crossings, huge ditches, and sketchy washouts, we ended up in a farmers field with the road blocked by a donkey. Of course. Time to check the map.

Okay, so we're way off course, according to Google. Let's try the other road. A quick u-turn, which ended up with Trevor dumping the bike, and a short ride back, and we were back on track. This other road, instead of water hazards, had a bunch of crazy hill climbs. Loose gravel, dry rain ditches the size of a tire (while on the hill climb, of course) and even sketchy corners took us to another intersection. Time to check the map. Turns out we were once again off track, except the opposite side of the track as before. What the hell?

Okay, clearly Google maps had no idea what was going on. So let's try to make it on our own! That will work, right? Wrong. At the intersection, we took the road most travelled and that seemed to be heading the right way. After cruising through some more farm fields (on steep slopes, of course... No flat farms here) we found ourselves pointed straight at the mountains. Those are what we were trying to avoid in the first place! Luckily, we saw a local farmer lady, so we stopped and asked directions. "(In spanish) Is this the way to Ollantaytambo?" "No no no no no no no! (With her finger wagging)" Damn!

After a quick chat with her and a photo op, we decided it was better to cut our losses and head back to the highway. A quick u-turn, which ended up with Dave dumping the bike, and a sketchy ride back to town, and we were back on the highway. Wonderful.

I'd like to say it ended there, but it didn't. We were in our way along a "major highway" (gravel, but well maintained) when we were stopped for more construction. No big deal, right? Wrong. A whole hour was spent sitting in the dust, waiting for the workers to go on break. Brutal. Once they finally let us go, the road was so much under construction that it was incredibly difficult to ride through. Everything from dangerous cliffs to sand to dust to potholes to sketchy bridges... What an ordeal.

Anyway, after 6.5 hours spent on a 3.5 hour Google route, we arrived in Ollantaytambo. The afternoon was productive - after a late lunch, we bought train tickets for Machu Picchu for the next morning, filled our gas tanks (which was am adventure all in itself) and found a hostel. Then we even did laundry! The evening was spent wandering town and checking stuff out. We called it a night really early though... It was a big day today, and we have a big day tomorrow to look forward to.

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