San Francisco – Quillabamba

Funny birds nests (?) waving in the wind.

Made it to Quillabamba and a wifi source after a short jungle ride.

Need to make the road passable again after some heavy rainfall

We left San-Francisco/Kimbiri with the idea of hitchiking to Quillabamba. That quickly turned out to be impossible. Almost all cars passing us were owned by a pick-up company, the few private ones didn’t take anyone as you’re supposed to take ‘the bus’ (a pick-up, pay for a seat inside or a spot in the back.)

Tasty lunch in a fancy restaurant. 4 euro for more than you can eat, quite expensive but worth it

We rolled back the 10km we cycled and talked to the drivers to take us to Quillabamba for 80 sol (crazy prices. Super expensive). They told us to take the car at three, so we went and had a tasty lunch. At three, we were told the car for Quillabamba already left, maybe there would be another one if enough passengers showed up. In the end we got a ride to Kiteni, a smaller city on the way.

Taking pictures of the local fauna

Birds!
More birds! There’s a whole bunch of different ones, but only these posed nice and quietly for the picture.

Glad we didn’t cycle the first part though. The road is rough, at some points almost dissappeared through mudslides, but most of all, there are no spaces to camp except just on the road. (disadvisable as the region is known for highwaymen and drug mafia.) There are no farms or villages until an army checkpoint at about 2000m elevation. The guarding soldiers are very friendly but check Europeans carefully, as Europe, next to Brazil is the biggest importer of Peruvian drugs. The road on the other side rapidly gets better and by Kitene, it is mostly asphalt. The population also gets more friendly. We only got warned about 3 villages to stay away from, the road was said to be, and felt, safe. Honestly, I felt a lot less safe in higher up in the region between Ayacucho, Huanta and Tambo, there people clearly had little respect for us. (Turns out American government officials, among others, are not allowed to enter that region.) By now nobody spits nakachu at us anymore, even gringo we hear rarely. People call me mister and point at our bikes instead of our faces. Incredible how the reactions of people affect our mood and appreciation of the countryside.

Tube repair by the roadside. Hopefully the first and last time!

And then the break pads

From Kiteni we cycled to Quillabamba in two days. One day of bad luck: my back tube got punctured and break pads wore out, and one day of hard pushing. Apart from dogs, we didn’t have any trouble. Seriously people, educate your dogs! It’s reached the point that we are scared of approaching houses or villages. Anastasija almost got hit by a car because of a charging dog. Now we standardly carry a bunch of stones.

I don’t see the dogproblem getting much better in the close future, every single bitch is either pregnant or has puppies. There’s wild dog everywhere, but the “owned” dogs usually behave the worst, the owners just laughing when we get attacked. One day when I have boots instead of sandals I’ll kick them in the face.

Now the plan is to rest a day or two, cycle to Santa Teresa,visit Macchu Pitcchu and hopefully hike/drag our way over the Salkantay trail to Cusco.

Late arrival in Quillabamba

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