A three week stop in Cusco, Peru was exactly what was needed to recharge my batteries, reacquaint myself with a daily coffee, eat way too much good food and put the final touches on my Spanish. As Spanish classes were finished by 1pm, I was left with plenty of time to ensure my bike didn’t grow moss, taking it out and about around the very pretty hills of Cusco. I also had my front rim fixed after the unfortunate incident with a rock in a river, replaced the very fast wearing Metzeler rear tire with a Pirelli MT60, stocked up on decent chain lube and scratched my itchy feet. After a couple days of sharing stories with Alberto and Naomi, two Canadians who road a similar route to us, and are on their way back north, I well and truly had the urge to get riding again. Pulling out of the courtyard at Hostal Marani for the last time, I locked Machu Picchu into the GPS, and set course for one of the Wonders of the World.
Most normal people either take the train from either Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calienties, then a bus up to Machu Picchu, or spend four days hiking in on the Inca Trail. I, however, have a motorbike, satellite images and a GPS, and have decided to get as close as possible on my bike. My route plan takes me around the back of Machu Picchu to the town of Santa Teresa. After Ollantaytambo, for the next four hours I got a bit of everything: smooth roads, high mountain pass, rain, fog, road construction, river crossings, and then finally, a mud slide. Mudslides, an uphill road, drop-offs to the river and no riding partner, do no bode well for safe passage. A conversation with a New Zealand chap walking in the opposite direction revealed there were multiple slides ahead, 45cm of water crossing the road and the general consensus that I wouldn’t get through.
8pm found me sitting in the same seat in the same cafe I had been at at 11am. A very miserable ride back found me very happy to be nice and warm. Tomorrow I would be a normal person, up at 5 and on the train to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu, what can I say? All I will say is I got there early enough to climb Waynapicchu, the mountain that sits right behind the main city. The rest, I am not even going to try and compete with photos.