After our visit to Machu Picchu, we left late in the afternoon to try and put some miles behind us back toward Cusco. We rode for about three hours into the evening growing dark not only from the hour but also by a nasty-looking storm. A bright rainbow signified the last bit of sun as we rode through a small town to begin the long-steep ascent into the mountains. The sharp curves in the road along with the rain and fog, both getting thicker in intensity as we rode, had us surrendering 50 km before Ollantaytambo, a town we’d hoped to get to as we’d met a woman in Machu Picchu who along with her husband own a brewery there. We couldn’t safely go further so around 7:00 p.m. in the very wet darkness, we quickly boiled some noodles for a pasta dinner then retired to our tent around 8:00 p.m.
In the morning the heat in our tent woke us around 7:00 a.m. Through the red fabric we could see it was clear and sunny. Happy for a way to dry out the tent and other items we casually unzipped the fly. Our mutual cry of WOW echoed around us. The scene we could see from our sleeping bags was unreal. Pulling up in the dark, we had no clue we’d camped in such a beautiful place. We were at 3996 metres (13,110 ft), the mountains above sat at about 4500 metres (15,000 ft) and were cloaked in glaciers. The blue of the sky behind was a great contrast.
We jumped out of the tent and took some photos still saying WOW every few minutes.