Early in the morning, we load into the van and drive to Malaga Pass. We started our ride a few miles below the pass. The road is newly constructed and hasn't even been opened yet, so we have it to ourselves. It was freezing in the morning at 14,000 feet! Imagine that! As we continued to ride and lose elevation, it got warmer and we shed layer upon layer of clothing. The first half of the ride was paved, but the second half was packed dirt, as the road was not yet finished down lower. It was exhilarating riding down this major pass and the views were amazing! Ashley and I had perma-grins plastered on our faces the whole time. When the road turned to dirt, we ended up getting super muddy as the road construction crews were throwing water on the packed dirt to keep the dust down. I can't decide if mud or dust would have been better, but eventually we just embraced the messiness and purposefully hit the mud puddles. After the mountain biking, we drove to Quillabamba and camped along the river in a meadow. Some creature had obviously died nearby and the smell of rotting flesh was horrible. Today was Ashley's birthday and we celebrated with local Peruvian wine and a chocolate cake for breakfast. Thanks, Vidal!
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