These pages contain information and photographs from our visit to Peru where we spent a month in July/August 2002. We saw our purpose as off-road cycle touring, but we spent a few days mountain biking unladen on footpaths and cattle tracks.
Below is a synopsis of our route. More detailed information is contained in five pages of route notes each with thumbnail links to photos and links to maps. The maps were drawn specially from GPS readings. A further page gives some general information.
Our plan was to fly to Cusco and spend a couple of days there and in the Sacred Valley acclimatising. Then we would set off through Calca over the Abra Huilcapuncu (4300m) and down the Lares valley into the jungle, reaching a low point of 900m at Quellouno. We would climb back up over the Abra Malaga (4200m) and drop down to Ollantaytambo, from where we would take an obligatory day trip (by train) to Machu Picchu.
Being back in the Sacred Valley would give us a few days rest in the lap of luxury. We would head up to Pisac, and then set off on our second main leg, which would take us to Tinqui via Urcos and Ccatcca. From there we would take our bikes along the trekking route which crosses a shoulder of Ausangate before descending to Pitumarca. We would return to Cusco along the road.
Everything ran according to plan until we set off on the Ausangate leg. The weather deteriorated, and rather than perservere through a blizzard we set up an early camp near Upis, just half a day beyond Tinqui. The next morning our bikes had been stolen. We returned to Cusco tails between legs. To fill the extra time we did a couple of day trips on hired bikes. Finally, rather despondently, we returned to England.