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Old 01-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #841
diegoteck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Wow! Thanks a ton man! I can't believe you called a hostel in Peru! That's incredible! It's a good thing you didn't pay for my stay though, because I've run up a little tab on the microbrewed IPA's that they sell here.

My paypal account is through my email. If you just click one of the links on the bottom of my signature it will take you to my blog where I've set up a paypal donate button. Thanks again so much!
Done, It was much easier that going to a western union.
I guess I was confused bc your signature only mentions Justin's recovery fund.

Keep the frequent updates coming, I'm anxious to see how everything goes in Argentina, that's where I'm originally from. I hope I can help you with some information so f you feel you need to aks a local, just email me.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:06 AM   #842
ONandOFF
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You certainly have captured the sense of beauty of cusco in your images - nice job on the panoramic too. Bigger kudos yet on working around the standard tourist trap into M.P. - that's the spirit!

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #843
Ulyses OP
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The Back Door to Machu Picchu

Day 97 (January 20, 2013)
Cuzco, Peru to Agua Caliente, Peru
Day's Ride: 150 Miles, Day's Train Ride: 20 Kilometers



When going to Machu Picchu, you are required to enter through the town of Agua Caliente. The only way to get to Agua Caliente is by foot, train, or bus. Even though there is a road, you are not allowed to ride your motorcycle or take a privately owned vehicle into the town. I asked a few people if it would be possible just to ride in, and they told me that the Police have roadblocks to make sure no one tries to do something as pernicious and underhanded as that.

In order to get to Agua Caliente, most people either take the train or do the hike from Cusco along the Inca trail. The Inca trail takes three days. For a one way ticket on the train from Cusco, you have to pay over $70! Then there is the entrance fee into Machu Picchu which is around $60, not to mention the money that you have to spend on food, lodging, and other things like taxis and bus rides. All in all, Machu Picchu is probably the most expensive piece of tourism in South America.

In order to minimize my expenditures and maximize my time, I had been looking for a slightly cheaper and more DIY way to get to Machu Picchu. After talking with a motorcycle rental shop in Cusco, I learned that you could ride all the way around the mountains on the opposite side of Machu Picchu to a small town called Santa Theresa, park your bike at a Hostal, then hop on a train at the nearby hydroelectric dam and ride into Agua Caliente for a mere $17. If you were really feeling cheap, you could just walk the 20 kilometers along the train tracks for free.

The owner of the motorcycle shop warned me that the route to Santa Theresa would go over a 4,500 meter tall pass, have a fair amount of dirt roads, and would take anywhere from five to seven hours. That sounded like a plan to me!

Mike and I left Cusco at 8:00 AM and started riding towards Santa Theresa via the Sacred Valley. We had originally thought that we would wait one more day in Cusco and then make the trip; however, after waking up this morning, we decided to just bomb it. We did have a deadline though: the train left "hidroelectrica" (the dam) at 4:30 PM which meant that we had to have the bikes stashed in Santa Theresa before 4:00 PM so that we could get a taxi to the train station and buy tickets.

The initial part of the ride was on relatively smooth pavement through a series of small towns along the Sacred Valley.



We passed numerous ruins and archaeological sights......



....and eventually came across Hewby (Deb) and Huzar (Marcin), two other riders that we knew through advrider. Huzar was low on gas and had to turn back and refuel before continuing onto Santa Theresa, so we said our goodbyes and continued on.



Upon reaching the town of Ollantaytambo, the road immediately cut north and begin climbing. The switchbacks rose in a crescendo of dizzying turns, climbing higher and higher into the clouds until all visibility was lost and the thick mist drenched through riding gear and rider alike.



Eventually the climb topped out in a high alpine pass over 14,000 feet and then descended down the other side. Crystal white torrents of glacial runoff cascaded out of the clouds and down the green hillsides, creating an impressive view and distracting us from the treacherous road.



As the road descended farther into the valley, large gaps in the pavement began to appear. Due to the rain and the traffic, these sections turned into muddy slogs for our bikes.



We eventually reached the turn off for Santa Theresa and left the pavement for good. The final 30 kilometers were all on an amazing dirt road.



Mike and I had an amazing time rallying down this track. It wasn't smooth graded gravel by any means. It was washed out in several spots, covered with potholes, strewn with large rocks, and overflown by several small streams; in other words, it was amazing!










All in all, the ride from Cuzco to Santa Theresa was amazing! It was easily one of the top three rides I've done on this trip. It was an incredible mix of pavement and off-road, combined with breathtaking scenery and miserable weather; in essence, the perfect adventure ride!

Arriving in Santa Theresa, Mike and I had a victory beer to celebrate the amazing ride that we had just completed....



We then went about the business of stashing our bikes at a Hostel and finding a taxi to take us the remaining 10 kilometers to the hydroelectric dam and the train.

We arrived around 4:00 PM, purchased our tickets, and sat down to watch the swarms of Gringo backpackers begin trekking down the railroad tracks.



It turns out that the back door to Machu Picchu is becoming fairly well known. I saw one guy who was carrying nothing with him save a guitar and a small fanny pack. I began to joke with Mike that when the train finally caught up with some of the backpackers, it was sure to run over a drum circle or two.

A few minutes later, Hewby and Huzar caught up with us, and we all boarded the train. The train was extremely nice; very reminiscent of the "Nariz del Diablo" train. It even had the forward and reverse switchbacks. The tourist car even had windows in the roof so that you could look up and see the mountains.



Eventually we came around a corner and were treated with our first view of Machu Picchu perched on it's cliff high above us.



Arriving in Agua Caliente, we hunted down a hotel and then went out to get some dinner. I finally buckled down and ordered the Cuy. Cuy is fried guinea pig, a traditional Incan dish. I had been holding out, trying to find a guinea-pig-on-a-stick from a street vendor or a market, just so I could get the "authentic" experience. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to find one, so I just ordered one at the restaurant.



In case you're wondering, it tastes like chicken!



Tomorrow I wake up early (4:30 AM) and go up to see Machu Picchu.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:49 PM   #844
BcDano
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Nicely done

Great report! Looking forward to more.

Sara
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:36 PM   #845
Spud Rider
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Thanks for the great report, Bryce. I eagerly await your photographs from Machu Picchu!

Spud
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:41 PM   #846
DRRambler
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Incredible
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #847
Kawidad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Day 97 (January 20, 2013)
Cuzco, Peru to Agua Caliente, Peru
Day's Ride: 150 Miles, Day's Train Ride: 20 Kilometers


I finally buckled down and ordered the Cuy. Cuy is fried guinea pig, a traditional Incan dish. I had been holding out, trying to find a guinea-pig-on-a-stick from a street vendor or a market, just so I could get the "authentic" experience. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to find one, so I just ordered one at the restaurant.



In case you're wondering, it tastes like chicken!



Tomorrow I wake up early (4:30 AM) and go up to see Machu Picchu.
Errrrr!

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:23 AM   #848
Plasterman
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Judging from the size of that critter and your usual appetite, you must have had to have about 10 of them before you were full.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #849
purpledrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Day 97 (January 20, 2013)
Cuzco, Peru to Agua Caliente, Peru
Day's Ride: 150 Miles, Day's Train Ride: 20 Kilometers

We eventually reached the turn off for Santa Theresa and left the pavement for good. The final 30 kilometers were all on an amazing dirt road.




OK, I admit it: I cannot see the line. How in the world did you navigate this?

I agree with your comments: Based upon the previous posts/pictures, this seems to have been one of your best rides yet. Very beautiful!
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #850
Spud Rider
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Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
OK, I admit it: I cannot see the line. How in the world did you navigate this?

I agree with your comments: Based upon the previous posts/pictures, this seems to have been one of your best rides yet. Very beautiful!
I'm betting the road goes off off to the right; notice the traffic sign.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #851
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I'm betting the road goes off off to the right; notice the traffic sign.

Spud
OK, that makes sense. Good eyes, Spud.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:40 PM   #852
Ulyses OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
OK, I admit it: I cannot see the line. How in the world did you navigate this?

I agree with your comments: Based upon the previous posts/pictures, this seems to have been one of your best rides yet. Very beautiful!
Didn't you know that adding 100 lbs of luggage to an XR650L turns it into a trials bike?

Spud is right; the road is on the right side of the picture, off screen.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #853
alvincullumyork
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Hmmmm. It seems to me that there are a set of parents somewhere in Oregon who have done a fine job in raising their children.
Yeah they did a pretty good job.

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Originally Posted by 96ssportsp View Post
You really have no idea! They have been my neighbors, and friends for over ten years. What a fine job they have done raising both of these young men. These guys just need to stay away from "hardleys' and they will be alright!


Ride safe, Scott.
If you give me your Multi I will never buy a Harley.
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How to ride your XR650L to South America: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...2#post19932112
If you're in my area on a ride and need a place to crash, a hot meal, or some beer let me know. 913 260 7873
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #854
alvincullumyork
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This one goes out to my first donor, who initially contributed $1,000 to the purchase of an old 92' R100GS that was eventually scrapped in favor of the Honda. He also spent countless hours working on the bike, adding modifications, and fabricating parts. Finally, he gave me tons of encouragment to actually embark on this trip at a time when I was dealing with some tough issues in my personal life, things that almost kept me from going.



So, here's to you allvincullumyork. Despite giving you a hard time, you're a hell of a friend and a great brother. Have fun back in Oregon. I'll try and get the bike back to you in one piece. "El Hermano" means "the brother" by the way...
Sweet!!! It's about time you recognize. I would have punched you pretty hard several times if you had not gone on this trip by the way. Are you still using the highway pegs?

I went skinning on Saturday with some Jenna and some friends and had a great time. We took both dogs and Landry ended up doing a gainer over a small snow melt stream. I also got your truck slightly lodged in the snow.



I bet Brown Falcon can guess were these were taken.



When you get back we are going to climb South Sister and ski down.
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How to ride your XR650L to South America: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...2#post19932112
If you're in my area on a ride and need a place to crash, a hot meal, or some beer let me know. 913 260 7873
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #855
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Damn

God damn Hippies!
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