Monday, July 22, 2013

Abancay to Machu Picchu to Puno July 14th-22nd

  1. July 14th, 2013
    Second night in Abancay.  Had to wait on my foul weather gear to finish washing at the laundry (covered in dust from the dirt roads) so I stayed a second night, and she sewed part of my jacket where it ripped.  Ran into the french guy again Jango and we talked a while at the ladies lavanderia.  Then hung out around town.  It rained on and off so there was no one out and it was a Sunday, so everything was closed.  Went to bed early for the ride tomorrow to Cusco. 
    July 15th, 2014
    Abancay to Cusco.  Woke up, packed the bike, and headed to Cusco.  Nice ride as usual.   Leaving Abancay a truck forgot to turn,  see photo.  Rode the 200km ride easily with nice roads.  Got to Cusco at around 3pm.  Looked for a hostal.  Found one near Plaza Armas, and talked him down from 100sols to 40 sols and he ended up giving me a room upgrade because the bed wasn't made.  Then they tried to sell me a package to Machu Picchu but after some serious consideration I declined.  I am here for the adventure, not to ride a bus and a train and have someone tell me what to do all day.  This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I've made.  Ate the best pollo ala brassa, away from the touristy centro for 6sols, it was so good I had a second...I was hungry after riding all day and not eating, and they kinda laughed that I had two plates.  Walked around the square and went to starbucks for a coffee.  It's funny to me the tourists don't know what they are missing in the "bad parts of town".  I have gotten to where I despise the tourist areas all together.  This is where all the greedy Peruvians go to separate the rich tourists from their money.  The kind and genorous Peruvians are not here. The best meal I have had in Cusco was on the street this lady was selling stuffed chile rellenos with a side of new potatoes for one sol...that's 40 cents.    They were so good I walked back and had three and was stuffed.  Then next to her I got hot flan in a cup for another sol, the best flan I have had in Latin America so far.  These people are willing to accept foreigners  if you are willing to accept them...They sometimes get excited when I walk into their out of the way restaurants and smile and laugh among themselves, and I get really good service for the most part.  This is what I am looking for in my's the best part.  And they usually want to know everything about me and ask me before I leave where I am from, been, and going.
    July 16th, 2014
    Cusco to Santa Maria.  Woke up early for my ride to Santa Maria.  I was a little aprehensive about this ride because I had heard so many conflicting stories.  Got my motorcycle out of the building and headed off.  I asked for directions a couple of times and ended up on a dirt road which wasn't supposed to happen.  Apparently I went the wrong way.  Luckily the road wasn't too bad and I got to see some really nice lakes in the valleys, see photos.  This road got me there and eventually I made it to Ollataytambo, cool place, then to Santa Teresa, even cooler, really small, and the ruins are right there in town.  Got gas from a kid with the funnel and pitcher method.  Didn't have time to see these ruins though, just wanted to get to Santa Maria.  Then the road was paved the rest of the way and had a great ride.  Found a great family run hostal for 15 sols a night.  Walked around town had dinner and asked anyone and everyone of the locals if I could make it to Hidroelectrica with the motorcycle.  They all confirmed problem and there was a cochera at a mans house where I could park....34 km one way of unpaved roads though.  There were two guys I was talking to about it, but they couldn't understand what I was saying when I say "tren" which means train, so I made the chookachooka sound to describe it.  Then he made the chookachooka sound and we all three cracked up and from then on we just made the chookachooka sound to say train.  Bought my food for the trip then went to bed.
     I Left Santa Maria on the motorcycle at 6:05am
    By 7:41 am I had parked at hidroelectrica 10 sols fee.  Then started the 2 and 1/2 hour walk to Aguas Calientes.  Arrived in AQ and bought tickets at Aguas Caliente ticket office at 9:41 am 128 sols $46.89 to enter park.  Bought bus ticket $9.50 or 26 sols.  On bus leaving up the mountain by 9:54am after taking 5 minutes to watch parade (see video)
    10:16 got off bus near entrance to Machu Picchu.
    10:19 entered ruins through turnstyles
    10:21 stamped passport with machu picchu stamp but turned back and exited when I realized no food allowed inside, went around to the tables to eat.  ( 7 bananitas 1 sol, 1 large avacado 2 sols, wedge of local cheese 1 sol, 1 sol worth of purple olives, 1 - 625ml water 4 sols, 1 chocolate bar 1 sol, 3 breads .5 sols total   =10 sols)  Ate lunch - 30 minutes.
    By 11:55 I was done and was leaving the ruins.  Hard to breathe!  Too much walking, beautiful place (see photos) 
    Started walking down from the entrance at 11:59am
    Arrived back down the mountain to Aguas Caliente at 1:10pm.  Walked too fast and missed one short cut costing me 10 minutes.
    Bought water and power aide 5 sols in town. Then Another water and icecream 5.5 sols... At this point I was Sore...many blisters
    Left town at 2:02 for the walk back
    Met a guy on the 2 and a 1/2 hour walk back named Adam, from Lithuania who plays accordian and rides a unicycle simultaneously...was on Peru's got talent and currently advancing for this ability and asked if I had an extra helmet and if he could ride. (he also did this for money on the streets in Peru) I said absolutely, but we had to go slow.  So it took until 6:00pm to get back to Santa Maria.  Scary ride in the dark with dust, headlights, fast drivers, huge deep water running across the road.  Scared I would pinch the back tube.  Made it, and Adam was able to get a taxi back to his friends house in Ollataytambo.  I thought I had walked a lot...he had walked from Ollataytambo 35km one way down the tracks, wow!
    Had Dinner in Santa Maria 5 sols icecream 1.5 sols
    Gas there and back 15 sols
    Total for the day 207sols or $75.82 not too bad considering some spend over $1000.00 for the day to stay in Machu Picchu.  An amazing day, I will never forget it, like no other experience ever in my life.  Well worth the pain, and effort.
    Santa maria to Cusco.  Took my time riding back to Cusco.  This time I stayed on the paved roads.  Found a hostal, had dinner, walked around.  Met a guy at another Hostal who offered me a great deal, so I told him I would stay tomorrow night there.  Took my laundry to be done.  Then took the backpack to the seamstress to be repaired in several spots.
    Woke up and told the front desk girl bye we talked a while...she seemed sad. Gave her a bit of encouragement then left.  The hotel was cheap and they were nice here, but I needed wifi to plan my trip to Puno on my way to La Paz.  So I took off and had the oil changed, then had it washed.  Then I took the guy up on his offer at the other Hostal.  I didn't realise it was a dorm bed.  Oh well, couldn't be that bad.  So I chatted with some Americans and really enjoyed the atmosphere.  I asked Fred the host where I could get a Chuleta (a very thin cut t-bone). He said the mercado.  So I bought enough for the both of us, for $5.00.  Then I came back and prepared everything and Fred was busy the whole time until it got time to cook the steaks and he did that part.  But I decided to invite the other two workers to join us because we had plenty. The meal was good, and we had a great time...Fred likes to joke around and he told me his name was Goliad (goliath...) when I told him my name was David, til I finally figured out his name was really Fred.  Then he made a proposal.  If He printed some stickers would I let him put them on the moto, and I said yes.  So he let me stay an extra night free while we wait on the stickers to be printed...pretty good deal I thought.  Then bedtime came...i was in a small room with four beds, all alone at first.  Then two Brazilians showed up and we talked for a long while in their portuguese/english/ was great.  This was the first time I had met a Brazilian.  There was also an Irish guy who was in the room who told me he was going out and would not be in til very late.  So I went to bed and then the older Brazilian comes in and when he snores the walls vibrate, and so do!  Then the other guy comes in and when the bedroom door opens it's like an old Castle door in an old horror film...he goes to bed.  Then 1:30 in the morning these two spanish girls come in half drunk I think and the hostal was full and so was our room, bit I guess the front desk clerk got confused, and told them they could stay.  They were laughing the lights were on, music going...really frustrating, then they went to bed without turning the light off.  Then around 2:30 am the Irish guy shows up knocks several times, then the Brazilian opens the door and the guy doesn't turn the light on, he goes straight to the bathroom.  Then he comes out, sees all four beds are full and I look at him and kinda hold up my hands like I don't know man, and his jaw is hitting the floor.  He leaves through the dracula door, and the lady comes back and all this commotion ensues.  I don't know what happened.  i heard salir and then maybe they got him a bed, not sure...I am still in bed typing this listening to the Brazilian rattle the walls at 8:30am on the 20th...what a sleep at all.

    July 20th, 2013
    Got up and had breakfast with a Canadian guy from Montreal.  We talked a while, then Freddy came over and said that the stickers couldn't be printed.  So I hung out all day and went to the mercado and bought some fish.  Then Lucy and the other two girls cooked lunch with me of fried fish, potatoes and salad.  Then all seven of us sat down and ate lunch.  Fredy jokes around alot and we had a great time.  Lucy even told me they would be my family away from home, which was the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time...pretty cool people here.  Then I walked around Plaza Armas and found two more flag stickers, and put them on the bike.  Leaving in the morning on my way to Puno.

    July 21st,  2013
    Woke up packed the bike, and tried to finish the blog. Internet too slow.  But I had to get on the road and it was 9:30 am and I had 389km to go to get to Puno.  I exchanged info with Lucy, the nicest person in the world.  Then called Fredy on his cell and told him bye.  Then they waved me off as I headed down the road.  I would highly recommend INKASPACHA HOSTEL in Cusco.  Cook them a meal and you don't know what will happen with this family.  Then I was in the high plains, headed to Puno.  The ride was straight and flat which makes for easy cruising.  The moto does not like the high altitude though and spits and sputters every now and then.  Also there are quite a few cyclists because it is so straight and easy riding.  I always honk, flash my lights and give them a thumbs up when I see them because I admire their stamina.  Like my friend Billy who has cycled from Alaska to Colombia last I heard and is still going.  So I made it 340 km to Juliaca and stayed one night in a 10 sol hostal, near the dustiest mercado in the world. 

    Woke up with an altitude headache, cold and wanting to go, so I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and took off around 11am for Puno.  I really like it here and found a great room at Brisas del lago with everything for 25 sols even breakfast, "Way fee" (wifi - the girl had wifi written as "way fee" couldn't help but laugh so I explained it to her), but no heater in any of the hostals, and it drops into the high to mid 30's at night.  Oh well.  Finishing up the blog although it's so cold in my room I am shivering and blowing smoke, and that's with my stove on!  Now going to find pollo ala brasa.  People seem really friendly here.  May take the floating islands of lake Titikaka boat tour.. Tomorrow, as a last event since it will be my last day in Peru hopefully....heading to Bolivia and the Amazon day after tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

    Here is a link to my friend Tony's video.  This video includes part of our travels together.

This is the truck that didn't make the turn.  I don't know what the statistics are, but drivers here have a high accident rate. 

Close up.  The driver had already left.

Almost to Cusco. 

This helicopter was next to the river in the middle of nowhere.  I guess they search for cave ins and rock slides along the highway 

Cusco...Finally made it!

This is a photo of my first sight of Cusco. 

This is a street in Cusco, made of brick and rough to ride on with the motorcycle.  The buildings were all historic and nice.

This is my hotel in Cusco where I talked him into giving me the room for 40 instead of 100.

This is where I had dinner my first night in Cusco. 

 Typical peruvian attire.

These were local people taking their goods to sell to tourists.

This was the lobby to the Hotel in Cusco my first night. 

This was on the dirt road where the locals side tracked me.  Here in Peru more likely than not they will give you directions even if they don't have a clue of where it is you want to go.  

This was the backway to Ollataytambo on my way there when I was off the beaten path, on a rural road.

Another view of Ollataytambo.

Ollataytambo, Peru from the hillside.


This was the river Aobamba in Santa Teresa.

In Santa Teresa part of the town was built on a historic site.

This is more of Santa Maria

This is Santa Teresa where they had plenty of Tuktuks.  I had to buy gas fro m a kid at a convenient store here.

Walking sticks, and colorful incan purses for sale, in Santa Teresa.

 This is the tourist mercado in Santa Teresa 

 Santa Teresa bridge and you can see part of the ruins on the hillside.

Jewelry stand for all the tourists.

This is for all the future tourists that like to shop.  Santa Teresa had a great selection. 

This is another little stand to buy stuff at in Santa Teresa.  

This is more of the shops in Santa Teresa which I rode through twice on my way  to and from Machu Picchu.

This is the Santa Teresa mercado for tourists.

I think this was a practice ring for bull fighting in Santa Teresa.  Wish I could have spent more time in this town.  Seemed pretty cool.

This was a small town outside of Santa Teresa.
This dog was wondering what the heck I was doing. 

Loved this photo.  The lady was here to pose for photos I am thinking, but not positive.  There were lots of people walking along the roadside, but most will avoid you if you approach them.

 This lady was truly living in the mountains.  She didn't want her photo taken, but I offered her 7 sols and she agreed.  She seemed so sweet and kind.

This was a ranch style home leaving was miserably cold and damp here.  Wouldn't want to live here in the winter.

Another view in Abra Malaga.  Many tourists would buy mountain biking trips here.  The minivans would put the bikes on top and drive the tourists and bikes here where they could pretty much coast 30 km down the mountain.  I was running low on fuel so I shut the engine off here and coasted 28km without the engine, and never turned it on once.  I had to hit the breaks a few time though.

 My favorite spot on the way to Santa Maria. This is where the terrain changed from dry to 

I had to just sit here for a while to saok it all in.  An amazing place on the earth. 

Another view of my  favorite spot.

The wild flowers here in my favorite spot were stunning.

Another roadblock.  There must have been 5 a day on average where I had to stop and wait.

 This was the bridge from Leaving Santa Maria on my way to Hidroelectrica.  The town on the otherside was literally  a ghost town of the old Santa Maria due to a 1998 flood that put the old town under water. 

Rafting in Santa Maria on river Urubamba.

This was taken from the bridge in Santa Maria. 

This was a huge waterfall on my ride to Hidro and gushing from the cliffside.  Not sure if it was man made or not. 

 In hidroelectrica there is no town, it is just a bunch of workers that go into the mountain through tunnels.  However there was this shack where all foreigners had to sign in to walk or take the train from here to Aguas Caliente or Machu Picchu pueblo.

This is where I parked.  On the right you see a driveway uphill.  It was actually a mans house.  Really nice guy.  He charged me 10 sols, and he kept some of my riding gear so I wouldn't have to lug it along. 

This is the mountain tunnel I parked next to in Hidroelectrica.  I am not sure what they were doing down there. 

Train is waiting to leave for Aguas Calientes with passengers aboard.  The cost is $15.00 from here to Aguas Calientes

This is the ticket office at the train station in Hidroelectrica.

This is where the walk to Machu Picchu began from Hidroelectrica.

This is a series of 11 photos I took as the train crossed the bridge right next to me.  If you scroll down fast enough you can watch it go by.

Another scenic river photo on my walk to AC 

A tunnel I had to walk through on my walk to AC.  Just glad no train came when I was inside, because there was not enough room for both of us.

One of my first views of Aguas Calientes. 

My first sight of Aguas Calientes.  I had no idea of what to expect and I was shocked.  

This was what I first encountered when entering Aguas Callientes after a  two and a half hour walk of forest and mountains. 

This train was ready to go, but it looked older than the other perurail train. 

Crystal glasses and wine already on the table. 

I really thought Aguas Calientes was a nice and clean little town, but definitely a tourist trap.  Once you are here they have you.  They won't even make the tap water drinkable.  They want you to buy the bottled water. I asked one street sweeper girl if I could drink the water here.  She said "you can't buy it?" i said why buy it when I can get it for free?

The train runs right through town in AC.

Where you buy the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes. 

This was a local dance and song presentation that was going on as I exited the ticket booth. 

The bus ride to the top. The buses were nice and plush.  But for $9.00 for a twenty minute ride you would expect that. 

This was my view as I had lunch right outside the entrance to the ruins. 

 My first view as I walked into the ruins.  

 Another nice view.  Although the photos don't capture the full view.

This is the entrance where the well worn dirt path is to the left.  The lady with her back to me  was from Australia and I asked her to take my photo. 

This is probably the best view you will get of the entire site.

I would like to have seen this structure with a roof. 

As you can see here there was a bit of math involved in the construction.

This room seemed to be the penthouse suite in it's day. With nothing blocking the view. 

The ruins were well maintained.  These are not the only ruins in the area.  Apparently the son of this king had ruins built nearby that are not as impressive but very similar. 

 This mountain in the background had a flag on top and there were people who had climbed it but I could only see them with my binoculars.

 I got a guy to take this photo for me here, because it looks like I'm on the edge of a cliff. 

I think this is a duplicate, but you can't have too many photos of

Llama at Machu Picchu, apparently they were allowed to roam  the site.  Beats buying a lawnmower! 

Llama Llama!  This girl  was hiding in the ruins, but I found  her.

I like pitting my sticker in random locations.  This one is on a sign you might see walking back from Aguas Calientes to Hidroelectrica.

 This was Adam from Lithuania who rode back with me from Hidroelectrica.  He had lived in Peu for two years making his way by riding the unicycle and playing accordian, and ended up on Peru's Got Talent.  Cool guy. 

 This is the main entrance to INKASPACHA HOSTEL in Cusco. Loved the ping pong table, but too many good players kept beating me.  So I bowed out.  I didn't mention I was in a league, except to David an American from North Carolina who was hilarious and we laughed about so many things. 

 This is the main entrance to INKASPACHA HOSTEL in Cusco
This was the view of Puno on lake Titikaka, where I will spend my last night in Peru.  Hopefully.  This photo is a little out of order.  Should be the last photo for this post.
Welcome to Puno!
This is the highway in Juliaca.  Dirty, dusty, and chaotic.  
The high plains on the way to Juliaca and Puno, leaving Cusco. 
I was bored. 
Llama llama near Juliaca. 
Llamas on the lake.
One of the typical adobe brick home in this area of the high plains.
Another ranch style home of adobe brick in the high plains between Cusco and Juliaca. 
Almost to Juliaca. 
A cool photo of "Super Honda" which is about to roll 15,000 kilometers.
"Super Honda" in the middle of the Panamericana Highway on the high plains of Peru.  I wish I could get her to "pop a wheelie" but no chance... :( 
Where I parked the moto while at hostal INKASPACHA in Cusco. 
A photo of my cool new stickere I bought in the souvenir shop after a lengthy search.
This was a photo on my way back to Cusco at  Abra Malaga from Machu Picchu after the shroud of clouds around it had cleared.  It was sleeting on me as I rode up.  Luckily the ice wasn't sticking to the road.  By the time I got to the bottom it was back to 65 degrees.  I coasted 28 kilometers on the way down with the motor off from this point.
CAUTION GRAPHIC IMAGE-  this is what your feet look like after walking 30km  to Machu Picchu.
This is the Cathedral in Plaza Armas in Cusco. 
A living statue in the Plaza de Armas near the cathedral. 
This is the main street near the mercado in Cusco. Where all the Peruvians do their trading.  This is where I like to hang out, eat buy stuff and donate money occasionally.  
Same street, other side of the bridge. 
 This was the highest altitude at over 13,000 feet that I rode through on my way to Machu Picchu.
These horses which were wild I think, were at the top near Abra Malaga.

My room in INKASPACHA HOSTEL in Cusco.  This photo is way out of order...oops.

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