We were probably a bit under-prepared and a bit naive when we decided a 3,600m decent to the beach on the Olleros Trail would be a nice way to spend a day out. All four of our party had varying degrees of riding ability, from weekend warrior, to occasional off roader, to riding to work in Brisbane on concrete bike tracks.
I think that our inexperience was brought home with an off (over the bars) on the first corner of the trail. I guess when they advertise a trail as being for the expert rider, we'll take a little more notice next time.
The day began at 6:30am when Paul, bike mechanic from Perubikes and part time driver, picked us up from our hotel in Lima with four pretty serious looking downhill bikes. From the hotel, it takes about 5 hours wind up the mountain road to the starting point of the ride. The road is a rough, switchback accent with some spectacular view points along the way. Paul impressed us all as a very steady, level headed guy. Along the way we picked up Peto, our guide for the day and a very good downhill rider.
The decent commenced at around 11.30am. The first 20km is all granite rocks, sand and dust (we did the ride in November at the end of the dry season when the trial is most chopped up) as you descend from 3,600m to 600m. We were warned by Cesar (manager of Perubikes) that brakes would be our best friend on the downhill and he wasn’t wrong. The tail is deceptively steep, although not sure what we were expecting.
Along the route there are some fantastic views, including views to the ocean on a clear day. The trail passes through the village of Olleros which is an opportunity to take on a little more water and meet the local kids who are happy to pose for photos.
At the bottom of the downhill section, the trail snakes through a deeply incised valley and then out into a wide river valley.
It took 5 hours for our inexperienced group to negotiate the trail and we didn't make it to the beach. More experienced groups can easily ride the trail in around 4 hours.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. The ride is fantastic however I would prepare a little more and ensure the rest of our party were similarly prepared.
A big thumbs up to Perubike for a great day out on the Olleros Trail. The Perubike guys are very level headed, well prepared and were really focused on getting us all down the hill in one piece.
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