Finally cornered KB, the hostel and tour guide extraordinaire of Ollantaytambo, Peru, to take me on a bike ride. Needless to say, KB is half Czech. Us Czechs and Slovaks are everyone. India is the only the place I haven’t met a Czech or Slovak, since I’ve begun travelling.
Anyway, it was just KB and myself, taking the bikes in a taxi to the top of Abra Malaga. Abra Malaga is an amazing mountain range, with the city of Quillabamba on the other side. Quillabamba is a jungle city, which another blog will cover in a couple of days I’m sure. Anyway getting to our starting point at 4316m was a bit stomach turning. The road had sharp curves, winding back and forth, barely skimming past on coming traffic sneaking out from behind the blind u-turns. My stomach was turning and I was a little considered about how I’d feel going down on the bike. But I knew my driving was much smoother taen the taxi drivers. It took about an hour to get up to the top, stopping for a truck cleaning up the road from the latest landslide. As KB yelled at the truck driver to “Vamos”, get going, the dump truck dropped a load of humongous bolders into the back of the truck making it wobble. We all laughed nervously as the truck regained it’s balance and got out of our way.
Finally at the top we were in the clouds. Wrapping my fleece and windbreaker around me I walked in to the little chapel and crossed myself (just ’cause it was there) while KB put the bikes together. Good Kona, full suspension flat peddle bikes. I was worried about not bringing my clip less on the trip, but according to the local riders you really don’t want to be clipped in that close to a cliff.
KB be said it takes 2 hours to ride down from the 4316m start back to Ollantaytambo at 2800m, if we don’t stop for pictures. Well we stopped for pictures and a quick bike tune-up and still maybe it back to the hostel in 2 hours. I think KB was a little surprised at how fast I went and kept yelling “You’re flying!”. At least that is what he told me when we stopped, since I couldnt’ hear a word whenever he was behind me.
We strapped on some protective knee and shin pads, more for warmth than anything and we were off. Racing down the road my left eye instantly began to water, regardless of the glasses I had on, and stayed like that until we got to bottom and began to climb.
I was really going fast. It was so much fun! Coming towards the first blind u-turn I could faintly hear KB yelling something behind me. As I approached the turn I finally pressed on the breaks slightly just at a huge tourist bus took a wide turn into my lane. KB came up behind me saying, “I’m glad you breaked. I wasn’t sure you heard me.” I laughed and said, “I didn’t.” KB looked a little taken back and said with some scolding and relief, “Sheesh, you got to watch out for the wide turns.”
The scenery was amazing. Huge mountains, covered in green, with blaring waterfalls ever 100m it seems. Alpaca and cows along with tonnes of Inca ruins. Some ruins that were only uncovered 2 months ago. We stopped to look at the latest uncovered ruin and it was incredible to think that they build this road and didn’t notice the ruins and just found them 2 months ago.
Cutting through some trials to get off the road was great. Apparently, the trial is a top-notch competitive downhill race course that sees competitions every year. Next week some films crews are coming, maybe I’ll catch them in action. If not it would be nice to hit more of the trails before I leave, but they are pretty wild. My derailleur kept making noises so while KB did a tune-up I did a waterfall crossing to get a closer look at the ruins. I just can’t believe so many no ruins are being uncovered everyday. This is really may be one of the only places left in the world where new ancient discoveries are happening and the best time to be visiting. Seeing as if I had come here in the beginning of my year off I would not of seen this ruin that was just uncovered 2 months ago.
KB share a strange theory of how this ruins actually got here with a German writer, and that is it was aliens. I’ve borrowed the book, “Chariots of the Gods”, or as KB says “God was an Astronaut”. I’ll let you know if I share the theory later.
Either way the bike ride and scenery was great. Ending with a short, hot climb back into town. Finishing with a great meal and a huge jug of mango juice.