Days 159-161: Into the Sacred Valley

Days: 159-161  -   Date: 30JAN-1FEB14  -   Itinerary: Ayacucho to Andahuaylas to Cusco to Ollantaytambo, PE  -   Miles: 441

Yesterday Fabian, Sarah, Hugo and I all met up again in Ayacuchco and planned to continue riding South towards Cusco and Machu Piichu.

We left around 1000 and had a good day of riding on some nice paved roads. Since Cusco was over 500km from Ayacucho, there was no way we were going to make it in one day, so we planned on a lay over in the town of Andahuaylas. Overall nothing too exciting to report on but it was a good day.PE_30Jan14_001

Fantastic twisty roads:

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Below is reason #134 why you don’t ride at night in Latin America. If the crazy drivers don’t get you, then either the cows in the road or the random boulders will. As I’ve mentioned before, riding in Peru may be adventurous but it’s certainly not relaxing.. you’ve always gotta be on the look out. We stopped at a pullout for a pee-break where this boulder was in the road and nearly witnessed 2 separate accidents as crazy Peruvian drivers came flying around the blind corner head-on.

The amount of times I say profanities out loud in my helmet due to crazy drivers (Peru is by far the worst) who almost running me off the road seems to be rising lately.. I’ve heard that the driving is actually civilized in Chile.. I’m kinda looking forward to it.
PE_30Jan14_003Andahuaylas is nothing special but serves as a good stop over point. After finding a hotel, I called it an early night and hung out in the hotel.


Back on the road, we had about 250km left to make it to Cusco. It would have normally been a quick and easy ride like yesterday was but due to another large land slide, we had to make another detour up into the mountains along a dirt road. We were told it was only about a 10km detour but it turned out to be about 50km. Regardless, it was an enjoyable dirt road and provided some great views.   PE_31Jan14_003 PE_31Jan14_002 PE_31Jan14_005

We made it into Cusco just as it was getting dark and in a bit of rain. We spent about 30 minutes searching for a hotel with secure parking near the main historic center. Afterwards, we all went out to check out the city a bit, grab some dinner and a few beers. The main plaza area of Cusco is nice but also very touristy. I’ve seen more foreign tourists here than anywhere else in Latin America.

 


My plan for today was to make it to Ollantaytambo. It’s only 60km North of Cusco and is a good base point to explore Machu Piichu from. Since it’s only a short ride, I spent the morning checking out the city a bit more.

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The Norton Pub. Famous with Adventure riders who are passing through Peru. Inside the place is covered in decals from past and present moto travelers. It’s really cool to check them out and see all the other crazy bikers that are out there just like you.PE_01Feb14_003

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Added my decal to the mirror

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In the afternoon, I went with Fabian to find a new rear tire for his bike. We ended up finding one fairly easily and had it mounted at this tiny tire place.PE_01Feb14_007

Around 1600, Fabian/Sarah and I rode out of Cusco towards Ollantaytambo. Hugo had been to Machu Piichu a few years ago, so he was going to hang out in Cusco. On the way out of town we ended up getting a bit lost around the city and then stuck in some very cold rain. It wasn’t fun and our spirits were low.

Finally back on the main 3S road towards Ollantaytambo, we got separated in traffic and I ended up riding one of the muddiest roads I’ve ever been on. I was only 12km from our destination for the night but had to turn around and back track nearly 50km to a different road because the mud was becoming too sloppy and it was nearing darkness. Once I made it into town, we linked up again and got settled in.

 

A few dark photos from around Ollantaytambo:

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Main plaza
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Lots of hand crafts for sale

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Tomorrow is off to see the Mighty Machu Piichu!

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