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DAY 144, Mar.2, 2012, Puquio, Temp 30-5C (320/18,680km)
|Very pleased with this photo while going 120km/h|
|extremely windy, one day those|
trees will help
|A real dual purpose vehicle|
|The sign says enough|
|Green valley in the middle of desert|
Video from the Nazca lines viewing tower
|"The Hands" to the left of the tower|
|Just look at the switch backs|
|Shop in the middle of nowhere =|
not much for supplies.
|Entrance to the 2 mile high shop|
Riding in the dark you can only see the lines, definitely not the potholes, urgh!
|Getting dark and spooky. Road|
looked ok at this point, but....
turned to shit in the dark
|Other items on the menu|
|Some of the menu items at the restaurant patrolling|
the parking area
|20km out of Puquio|
|Just me and the Alpacas|
|Top of the Andes|
|Housing in the highland villages|
|Back on the descent|
|View of mountain pens|
|It's cold, 9 deg C|
|A temperature break down to 3000m, valley riding|
|WTF, this looks like a solid delay|
|CAT working away to clear the massive rock slide. |
Unfortunately it was unable to work constantly due to
more falling rocks. In total I only waited 1.5 hrs.
|People racing through while the CAT|
was back during more mini rock slides
|Of course we weren't happy waiting|
for the people interrupting the CAT
|River bed riding|
|Locals playing futbol even here?|
|Road block 2, parade down main street Abancay|
|This outfit was very capivating|
Still suffering from altitude sickness and with an enticing offer of free accommodation closer to Machu Picchu I was on my way after only one night in Cusco (sorry). I did manage to take a little tour of the town before I left to a secluded spot 5 km from Urubamba (which you all know, yeah right).
|Plaza de Armas every Sunday they have a gathering of|
military. Initially I thought it was a Gay Pride movement
based on the rainbow flag next to the Peru national flag.
That's actually the flag of Cusco. Wow!
|These guys are pretty bad ass|
|Another cop bike|
|Take a closer look! They are carrying tiny lambs.|
|One more time, "Casa Grande"|
RECOMMEND: Hotel Q'awana!
|short ride to Urubamba|
|Winding back down to Urubamba|
|Finally, there's the Q'awana sign|
Q'awana Hotel tour
|Beautiful view for Bumble|
|Love the welcome bell|
*Note: Aguas Caliente is the town at the base of MP where virtually everyone spends the night if they want to try and be first to the park. It's a nice place even though Lonely Planet hacks on it.
Option 1 (Highest price) 4 hour train from Cusco to Aguas Caliente $75, night in Aguas, MP bus $9 (up and $9 down), MP $50, return to Cusco on 4 hour train $75.
Option 2 (RECOMMENDED) 2 hour train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Caliente $35, afternoon at MP (or night in Aguas), MP bus $9 (up and $9 down), MP $50, return to Ollantaytambo on 2 hour train $35. Note: park bike in Ollantaytambo 30 min from Q'awana.
Option 3 (Most difficult! see map below) 5 hour ride to Santa Teresa via Santa Maria essentially going (way) around MP. 1st) 70km C8/9R6/7T1/2V8 crossing a mountain range way up (5 deg C)! 2nd) 80km C7R5T3V7 down in to the jungle where you find rivers crossing the hwy and unpaved, pot holed towns. 3rd) 30km to Santa Teresa OFF ROAD C7/8R2T2V8 bad wash outs with rocks still falling and a nasty edge with a 100+m drop. 4th) 3km finding Cola de Mono where I parked the bike and took a shuttle with zip line enthauiasts. 5th) 30 min shuttle to Hydro Electric Plant. 6th) 11km train ($18) or walk (free) along the tracks to Aguas Caliente. 7th) Fantastic value: Mosoq Inti Inn in Aguas (RECOMMEND, $8 private!). 8th) 5:30am bus to MP $9 and MP $50. 9th) Walk down the shitload of steps from MP to the train tracks (anywhere from 300 to 1700?). 10th) 9km walk to Hydro Plant. 11th) 30 min Shuttle to Cola de Mono. 12th) 2km walk to Cola de Mono because the shuttle guy drops you at the corner you think is close!
13th) reverse steps 1 to 3 and you are back in your bed at Hotel Q'awana! Easy, right?
An unbelievably tough experience, but I'm better for it and potentially I saved as much as $120 (after $20 for gas).
PART 1 OF OPTION 3: GOING TO MP
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|Racing the train to Aguas, yeah!|
|Cobble stoned Ollantaytambo|
|Up at 4000m again, incredible!|
|Wash outs on the main hwy|
|This was the main hwy|
|Bike + Mud = Not Good|
|Fantastic! Washing a bike |
in a wash out
|And now the rough road to Santa Teresa|
|At least there's a bridge over this one|
|Not remote enough as this guy still|
had mobile reception
|Taking it slow as the rocks were still falling|
|at least Santa Teresa is paved!|
|Road in to Cola de Mono|
|So we have to walk 11 km down|
some train tracks?
|Extremely dangerous bridge in the wet|
|I chased 1 butterfly for 10 min to get|
a photo. 1 km later I found this!
|Track side restaurant in the middle|
of nowhere. Entrepreneur?
|Tricky bridge crossing|
|Entering Aguas Caliente which sits below Machu Picchu|
|The place was lovely and inexpense|
considering its a huge tourist spot
|Best value of trip, $8!!!|
|First buses to MP 5:30ish am|
|I made it!|
|Could spend all day shooting here|
|I tagged on to a tour for free|
|You can walk everywhere |
except on top of walls
|I'm guessing this was a team build. |
One good mason and one bad one...
|Shooting back towards the entrance|
|A marking rock carved to|
represent the backdrop
|Man, these Alpacs make it anywhere|
|Lots of cleaners and it showed well|
|Discoverer of Machu Picchu|
|Down, down and more down|
|A rest stop was needed on the steps|
for my struggling bad stomach
|Entrance of MP at the bottom. MP|
in the top right corner of the photo
|Sharing the tracks with a train|
|sharing with other tracks|
|Sharing the tracks with|
one of the scariest dogs of the trip
|Tough crossing as I headed towards hwy 28B|
|I got wet ;o(|
|A sign... Nah...|
|Gas from a barrel in the back, yikes!|
|That's a lot of mud!|
|Rain = Cold at elevation|
|Way up again|
|More crazy mountain dogs|
Dog Bite: While riding around town I stopped in to ask a question at one of the restaurants that just happened to have 3 dogs hanging around. They didn't like the bike, but relaxed when the engine was off. When I started off again the dogs went crazy and started looking intensely at the bike while barking their heads off. As I put my leg up to go one of them nipped me on the shin, ouch! I stopped the bike, got off and chased the little F'er for 100 m! Checking my leg beneath my pants I discovered a bruise, but fortunately no skin was broken which was good because I never did get my rabies shots. The girl asked if the big shaggy dog bit me and I said no, it was the little runty one. She replied with a relieving smile. I guess I was a lot closer to rabies then I realized that day.
|Night watchman Sixto and |
Manager Marco at Q'awana
|Riding around town with my cool Lima helmet|
|More heavy lifting|
|A sign I was back in a town, but not a city|
|Peru lawn mowers|