Weds: Quillabamba Incatambo (55 km, 1500 m of ascent)
We bumbled out of Quillabamba, misled by faulty directions. Its 21 km to the Chaullay bridge: quite far enough for the road builder to squeeze in one final gratuitous climb and descent.
Chaullay has supplies and restaurants along the road. Indeed there must be quite a lot of traffic over the Abra Malaga because shops and restaurants are quite common: every 5 or 10 km on the lower half of the climb. But the road is quiet as we are riding. After Chaullay it heads unremittingly upwards, but the surface is better than it has been since Quellouno. It is hot.
Lunch is a picnic: bread and an avocado from Quillabamba market, with tomatoes bought along the way. The best and ripest avocado salad ever.
After lunch we ride wearily upwards, and after a while start looking for camping opportunities. We find a rather questionable campsite near the village of Incatambo in a clearing above the road occupied by a ruined hut. You are well advised to camp here or hereabouts. Below the land is mostly banana plantations and rather dense, while above it becomes too steep.
Trucks thunder past all night. Colin remarks that if he was a truck driver he would prefer to cross the Abra Malaga in daylight.
Thurs: Incatambo Veronica camp (41 km, 1800 m)
The treeline is at about 3800 m, and above this level the ground is open, a little bleak, and perfectly campable though water is a little scarce. We pitched tent at
Fri: Veronica camp Ollantaytambo (53 km, 500 m)
The road makes a large sweep at Peña, and then zigzags down to the Sacred Valley between huge cliffs. The works seem intended to shore the road up against rockfall. They are not pleasant riding.