The way to Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes

Date: 04/03
City: Chalhuanca , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 326
Cumulative kilometre: 35766
Street: windy good condition
Weather: cloudy/warm/cold/rain/snow

We had a nice breakfast, packed our noble steads and left.

We didn’t go very far and stoped in front of Cerro Blanco before we continued.

It was still hot, so we had all our vents open and were wearing only the minimum of our gear. For the next hour the road went up until we crossed a national park, and here they are, our first wild Llamas -which were actually vicuñas.

We were really excited!! We took plenty of pictures and just looked at them. After a while we continued carefully not to hit a vicuña, they just crossed the road all the time. After a while we stopped just before a Peaje station- pay station for South American toll roads. Again there were Llamas, this time the real once.

Then we continued to the pay station and we got into the wrong lane, so we had to get the bike around to use the outside lane and pass the station without paying. Sigrid didn’t like to pass through two red barricades – which was tight with our luggage – so she tried to get around all lanes all together over a gravel patch. To cut the story short, getting off balance Sigrid laid the bike gently down. She was asking if I could take a picture of it, here it is

Thanks to the boxes and the tank nothing was damaged, only some more scratches. So we picked it up, no harm done.

As short while later we hit a road construction, they were just clearing a sand slide from our lane.

The weather was warm and mostly sunny, so we enjoyed the short break. After the road was open again, we kept climbing until we were over some clouds.

Then the first rain started, turning into hail. We stopped and put all our raingear on.

Now we were ready – rain or hail would not phase us – and it did not stop for a while….But finally it stopped. However riding on the plane at 4000m, it started to get freezing! So – stop again and out came our heated jackets and gloves. Now we were fully kitted out. The picture below shows Sigrid with the heated glove on.

It started to rain again, first light then heavier. Around 4500m we saw our first snow on the side of the road and then on the road… shock for the system. Should we have gotten snow chains for the bikes after all?

We started to ride really slow following the trails trucks had made before us. Luckily after a while we got out of the snow, but it was still raining. Finally the road started to descend and we got down to around 3000 m. There it was warmer and the rain stopped. We arrived in a town called Chalhuanca, booked into a hotel and fell into bed. Tomorrow we will see if we can make it to Ollantaytambo.

Date: 05/03
City: Cusco , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 319
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: windy/straight, good condition, partially dirt road
Weather: cloudy/warm/cold/rain

Started a bit later hoping that the clouds might disappear, but they had other plans. Below are some pictures out of the window of our hotel.

The road was windy and we didn’t progress fast. The weather was overcast/sunny but no rain! The ride went up to 4000m but no rain or snow this time.

The ride was easy; the roads were mostly great and not too many trucks or busses on the road. When arriving in a town called Ancahuasi we took the road to Ollantaytambo. Around 100m after the town ended, the pavement stopped and the dirt road started. After some contemplation we though we don’t need 50km of windy dirt road at the end of the day, particular when it started to get dark. So we turned around and road the 20km to Cucso and looked there for a hotel. First in the outskirts of the city – no Cama Matrimonial,… then inner city, but no hotel with secure motorcycle parking. Finally Bjoern spotted another hostel with secure motorcycle parking and where we could leave the bikes when we visit Machu Picchu for 2 days.

Date: 06/03
City: Cusco , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: –
Weather: sunny/cloudy/rainy/fresh

Today we were organising our trip to Machu Picchu. Lucky for us, the travel agent was just next doors. There we got prices for the whole Machu Picchu trip (Bus & train tickets, accommodation in Aguas Calientes and the entrance fee). Then we went around and compared it with others and couldn’t find anything cheaper, so finally we went back and booked it, that was easy J.

Then we explored Cusco, and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures from two llamas and a duck.

The expression Lama, Lama, Duck is part of a song, have a listen to it J

While taking the pictures we meet Nuria from the Galapagos trip. What a coincidence! Will, her partner, was currently tracking along the Inka trail- but she had been suffering from Altitude sickness and had to stay in Cusco instead. We agreed to meet at night to go together to a lecture about Machu Picchu she had found. For more sightseeing we walked to the main plaza and took some pictures.

At night we went to the pub were we meet with Nuria.

It turned out the meeting was organized from the South American Explorer club which we are members off. Finally that paid off J Paolo Greer´s lecture was really interesting. He is a guy from Alaska with an interest in the Inca period. He did so much research and collected so much knowledge that eventually he was asked to give a guided tour to the head official of Machu Picchu. The story is that the restorations weren’t done quite properly and therefore some history is lost.

After the seminar we had dinner together and then went to our accommodation. When we arrived at the hostel, a guy met us and told us that there is going to be a problem with the bus to Ollantaytambo the next morning. The bus drivers will strike. We should get out of the city at 4AM. But Sigrid was not well all day and didn’t agree to get up that early. So she negotiated a car around 7.30AM. We packed everything that night and were nearly ready to leave.

Date: 07/03
City: Aguas Calientes , Peru
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 36085
Street: –
Weather: rainy/cloudy/fresh

We got up at seven just in time from the night porter at the hostel to tell us that the travel agent has arrived. She told us the driver will be there in 20 minutes so we got ready and jumped into the car . We got out of Cusco before the strikers blocked the road. The taxi dropped us of at the Ollantaytambo train station where we had a coffee and tea before we decided to go back to the city for the next two hours. In Ollantaytambo we walked around and took some pictures around the main square. On the right there is the storm water system -a bit peculiar, partially open, partially closed.

A bit later we found a local market and had a look around.

We found as well a place where we could buy a cheap wrist watch. Since Sigrid couldn’t find her mobile in the morning and had asked in the hotel to check for it We would now use the watch for timekeeping instead of the mobile.

There are as well ruins close to the city, but it would have taken us too long to get there and back.

When the time came we walked back to the train station and hopped on the train. At this point it was raining heavily.

The train ride was beautiful despite the rain. When we arrived in Aquas Calientes, the receptionist of our hostel picked us up. The hostel was just a couple of minutes away from the train station. The view from our room was great.

At night our guide for Machu Picchu came past to talk to us about tomorrows arrangements. Then we had a short stroll through the town, taking a couple of pictures on the main square.

After that we settled for a pizza and coca tea for dinner.

1 comment

  1. Hi guys,

    Nice to see you’re enjoying your trip, I’m sorry about Sigrid’s operation, but I hope all is well now. I still remember that day up in the Peruvian mountains, before reaching Chalhuanca.


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