Reunited with the three of us, we are about to cross the Bolivian border after 5 weeks Peru. The last two weeks were again really amazing. Read and watch.
Roel and Steve left Arequipa on Monday August 16. We got deeper into the Andes on our way to Cusco.
A fantastic route at 4000m and higher passing large pampas with all sorts of lamas. Riding just between them.
We drove to Chivay, a little mountain village where people were having a festival.
We enjoyed watching the local people dance, make music and drink.
Apparently Steve had been here before…..about 4 years ago.
We had a cold night high in the Andes @3500m.
Next day we got up early, because we had a long day of mountain dirtroad ahead of us. The first few hours it really looked like we were the only ones in the Andes.
The entire day we stayed at 4000m and higher (also according to Roels altimeter).
The altitude really got us, because we were both short of breath. Hours and hours, it was just Roel, Steve, lamas and the most beautiful views. We were on top of the world!
We had lunch in Yauri (Espinar) and a powernap in the sun.
After 270km of which over 200km were dirtroad we arrived in Sicuani, where we got a cheap hotel and didn’t leave the room. So tired! It was one of the best rides so far…..
Wednesday we drove to Cusco, a beautiful colonial city, but very touristy.
You can tell how touristy a place is, based on how many times you have to say: “no gracias”…. I don’t want my shoes polished, I don’t want your paintings, I don’t want your sunglasses, I don’t want anything… No fucking gracias! And the most touristy places have an Irish Pub selling t-shirts with “no gracias” on it. Cusco has an Irish pub like this….
But to be honest, we really did enjoy our days in Cusco (and in the Irish pub..). We had a nights reunion with Vince (KTM 990), and the day after with Rhodri (we knew from Colombia). Sometimes it is just really nice to be in a comfort zone and have some proper food and nightlife. Unbelievable how big the differences are in Peru . The real Peru vs touristy Peru. We enjoyed both, travelling on motorbikes. But we think some other tourists might think that Peru isn’t that poor, only travelling from tourist highlight to tourist highlight. “Look mom, they even have Mc Donalds here”
Saturday we woke up very late……because we thought we were 18 again the night before (and one of us called RAAAALPH again on the big white phone). Bas had sent a sms saying he would be at the Plaza de Armas around 2pm. Just in time we were there to meet again.
WELCOME back Bas, have a coffee.
That night we exchanged stories over some beers and Sunday was relaxing day…Bas had driven over 800km (of Andes) in two days.
Monday we left Cusco trying to get close to Machu Picchu. We drove to Ollantaytambo, a petite inca village and a nice place to start your Machu Picchu (MP) adventure.
We got ourselves a hostel and had an early afternoon nap. That night we took the 11pm nighttrain to Aguas Calientes (from where you can visit MP). We arrived at 1 am and found a place where we could sleep a few more hours. At 4 am (read: in the middle op the night) we got up to arrange bustickets and entrance tickets and we wanted to be first in line to be one of the first 400 visitors. There were already hundreds of people…. We took the bus to MP and arrived at 6 am. We were lucky we were three of the 400 first visitor.
This means we could hike up to Huayna Picchu (where only 400 people are allowed per day) and watch the sunrise over MP. This is the high peak with a priceless view over MP.
We climbed the one billion, gazillion Inca stairs to reach the top….and regretted we had the one billion, gazillion beers a few days ago in Cusco. Like old men, we reached the top and enjoyed the MP views for a several hours.
Breathtakingly beautiful! Very very impressive, this old lost city of the Inca’s on a mountain ridge.
After that we walked around for another few more hours and enjoyed the lost city and the sun. Although this is probably the most touristy site in South America, it is really worth visiting. This place is so much more impressive than the other sites we have seen so far, because of the location high up in the Andes on a mountain ridge.
We had the nighttrain back to Ollantaytambo at 10.30pm. Dead tired we went to sleep at 1 am….
On Wednesday we woke up late, our bodies aching in every muscle. After a sunny breakfast we got on our bikes. Time to go to Lago Titicaca and the Bolivian border. We spent the night in Sicuani (again…). Thursday we drove to Puna, the port city of Lake Titicaca. The large lake at 3800m.
Manana it’s borderfest! Crossing the Bolivian border.