We left Chalhuanca with the decision to ride only as far as Abancay as the ride from Abancay to Cusco had been billed as a ride not to miss, so we didn’t want to find ourselves doing it at night fall. The ride was a relatively short one, we checked into our hotel, caught up on some chores and then enjoyied an evening meal on site.
We encountered our first incident of ‘wrong doing’ on the journey in Abancay . Tom and Tracy had left their dry bag containing their camping gear strapped on the bike as we were in a very secure parking area. But it seems some kids managed to get in and slashed the netting and bag while taking a water purification bottle. Fortunately the wet bag could be repaired with a bit of duct tape and the bottle replaced, but it was a bit of a security reminder.
We left Abancay the following morning enjoying the warm, sunny riding conditions.
We arrived at the outskirts of Cusco around 3pm. What met us was a city in transition. Construction and disorder were our first impressions.
Once through the outskirts and into the center of the city, things were more organized. We arrived at our hotel to find that the parking for the bikes was a few blocks away. Lindsay and Tom headed only to return a short while later still with the bikes. The lot that the hotel had arranged resembled a junk yard with vehicles parked amid the debris. The bikes were allotted a space in the midst of broken glass and discarded metal. The guys talked to management about the situation and it was agreed that the bikes could be left on the sidewalk in front of the hotel where there was 24 hour security. Everyone felt better.
We spent a couple of days in Cusco enjoying the sites before taking the train to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu.
We left for Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu on the 22nd of December via Peru rail.
Along the way.
Arriving at Aguas Calientes.
We arrived in Aguas Calientes around noon and caught a bus up to Machu Picchu right away as the skies were relatively clear with high clouds.
After two great days of exploring the sites we travelled back to Cusco to celebrate Christmas.
Christmas morning at church.
Next morning December 26th, Boxing Day, we packed up and rode to Puna to see Lake Titicaca, a cold and beautiful scenic ride.
While in Puno we arranged a Boat excursion on Lake Titicaca to see the Floating Reed Islands. Historically these were thriving villages, now mainly a tourist attraction, but very interesting to see how a whole culture carved consolidated masses of reeds from the lake, joined the carved blocks together and created islands to build their homes on.
After an incredible ride through an amazingly beautiful and diverse country it was time to cross borders once more and make our way into Bolivia and Chile.