A Tour Guide's Life is not a Glamorous One

 The following day found us saying goodbye to Ollantaytambo, I was suffering, oooh was I suffering, having somehow picked up food poisoning - yes, Miss Coates, Queen of the Iron Stomach was battling some nasty bacteria and oh dear the results were not pretty. You don't need photos, but I think you might get the picture when I say that I couldn't keep the Imodium (Lomotil) down to treat certain symptoms because I was vomiting so much. I warned my group, as I knew they would be following me along. lots of sympathy from them, sweeties that they are. The good news is that because I'm the only vegetarian I was the only one who got sick..dodgy quinoa dish.
I set off riding very gingerly. And of course it turned out to be one of those days when there are lots of bends and curves, luckily, focusing on my riding took my mind off the pain, vomiting and worse! I even managed to take a couple of pictures, 

I was last to leave the hotel, and when I stopped at a police checkpoint 55kms down the road I asked the officers about the other bikes- only to be told that NO bikes had been through that morning. Oh great, not only am I feeling ill but now my whole group has got lost! I wasn't in a fit state to go looking- not sure where I'd start to look as the Andes mountains are a pretty big area!!

Finally my faster riders caught me up - with sheepish excuses about their lack of route finding.

Here's a picture of the rubbish-strewn layby that I...  no, no, no actually I just really needed to pull over and 
... sleep.
I'd been riding for several hours, feeling awful and having to really concentrate on my riding, not only was it cold and rainy but we were at altitude, attempting to overtake unpredictable lorries on twisty roads, crossing mountain passes. I was exhausted and knew I needed to sleep. I promised myself that as soon as the altitude had dropped to 3000m or less (about 10,000ft) AND the temperature had risen to 10 degrees, I would stop somewhere, anywhere.

It seemed to take forever as I kept glancing at the screen (on board computer!!) to check altitude and temperature, finally those magical figures were reached and I started to look around. eventually a layby appeared and I pulled over.

Minutes later one of my fellow riders came past, I gave him a thumbs up to let him know everything was OK and then as soon as he was out of sight, I pulled off my helmet, and lay down on the ground in full bike gear and thermal balaclava with my gloves tucked under my head, within minutes, despite the steady rain that was pouring I fell asleep. Not the deepest sleep in the world, I think a part of me was conscious of the vehicles going past on the road just feet away. But I slept for a good half hour, and woke up feeling refreshed just as the sound of GS engines were coming down the hill. I jumped to my feet and was able to smile and wave to them whilst rubbing my eyes and shaking the rain off me. The GS Dry suit proved its worth, I was still dry. I changed my balaclava for a dry one and was soon back on the road and catching them up.
Our hotel that night was a collection of cabanas beside a river, with its own chapel complete with, well, take a look for yourselves

I wasn't hallucinating, those ARE peacocks on the roof of the chapel. 

The next day feeling better, I start looking around me a bit more.

As we'll be leaving the mountains soon, I'm wondering if I have space for some souvenirs in my tank bag...