Pisco to Cusco We woke up this early this morning in the Kamila Hostel in Cusco and are to be picked up around 7:30am for the long trek to Machu Picchu. The process involves a 5 hour bus ride from Cusco to a small town near Aguascalientes - then a 2 hour walk or 20 minute train ride from there to actually get to Aguascalientes. I think we will spring for the extra $12US to take the train. There are no roads allowing vehicles to Aguascalientes only a train to get there and out from either side of town. Then we spend the night at a hostel in Aguascalientes and take a short early morning shuttle ride and arrive at Machu Picchu around 6am. We will tour the site all morning, then depart on the train, transfer to another bus and arrive back in Cusco around 6 or 7pm on Friday. I'm told the hassle is totally worth it. I'm hoping this is true because as I type this update, we are 5.5 hours into the first bus ride and only half-way to our destination. A massive landslide has completely blocked the mountain road and we have been sitting and waiting with a hundreds of others for over 2 hours for road crews to arrive and clear the slide. Oh well, what can you do. I just hope we can make it to our destination tonight and get to see Machu Picchu tomorrow. It would be a crusher to have to turn around and return to Cusco at this point. Our bikes and gear are stored at Kamila Hostel where we plan to stay on Friday night upon our return. Flashing back to Tuesday morning we left Pisco for Nazca early to hopefully get a look at the lines from some vantage point. I've been told the only good way to view the Nazca lines is from an airplane and we probable won't take the time or expense to do that. About a few kilometers outside Pisco we came upon the Dakar stage start for Pisco. The was actually the REAL start of the race as the racers ride down from Lima (official start) on the roads in a ceremonial parade down to Pisco. This is mostly for the viewing public to get to see the vehicles and racers as the actual stages are off road and inaccessible to most everyone that doesn't have the vehicle and and/or huevos to get there. Many of the Peru stages are in the sandy dunes of the desert and especially nasty. As we ride up to the starting arch to snap a few pics I of course dumped my bike in the deep sand. One of these days I will work on my sand skills on an unloaded bike - until then the sand continues to baffle me on how to ride it successfully. We arrived to the Nazca site around 11am and soon found the only accessible high ground was a small rise costing 2 Soles (about .60US for access). We paid and hiked up but you could not make out any shapes - just barely see the lines streaking across the desert. Oh well, guess pictures on the internet from above will have to suffice - we can at least say we were there. We grabbed a quick lunch in Nazca and started heading east towards Cusco - at least a two day ride. After several days on the coast and desert we were welcoming the change in terrain to mountains - many 15,000 foot passes were ahead of us on the way to Cusco. We quickly experienced a big temperature drop and noticed storm clouds building in the massive mountains ahead. Shortly after gearing up and climbing to 13,000ft. it began to rain, then sleet, then to snow slushing up a couple of inches on the road. We were careful to stay in the truck tire tracks to avoid the slippery slush. The 550k ride that day turned out to be one of the more miserable of the trip - rain and snow with temps in the low 30's makes for some tough conditions on a motorcycle. We rode the last 2 hours in the rain and dark as there were no towns with anywhere to stay until reaching Chuqimbambilla just after 8pm. Soaked to the bone and exhausted we changed into dry clothes and ventured out into the rain to find some food. Turns out Dick from Holland was also there as he had sent Ken a text earlier that he noticed shortly after we arrived. We had originally met Dick on the road while riding through Colombia. We met up that evening and arranged to ride the remaining 300k to Cusco together the next day. My body was a wreck after the 10+ hours on the bike and I collapsed to bed and easily fell asleep that night. Wednesday morning we met up with Dick and started the ride to Cusco. Fortunately the morning started out partly sunny and dry after raining almost until sunrise. The ride started along a large rain swollen raging river and slowly started climbing back up in elevation. We had dropped to about 10,000ft. by the end of Tuesday's ride and slowly climbed back up to 13,500 - and then the rain came again. Luckily not as hard or as cold as the day before and only lasting a couple of hours. By the time we stopped for lunch the sun had come back out and we were mostly air dried from riding. We got into Cusco just in time for rush hour and it was nasty. It took about 1.5 hours from the edge of the city to arrive in old town where Dick had booked a room at the Kamila Hostel. Luckily for Ken and I they still had rooms available so we decided to stay there as well. Old Cusco is one of the most interesting cities we have experienced on the trip. Very old with of character - I'll have to research the history of Cusco at some point as I really know nothing about it. After changing out of riding gear and getting info from Kamila's owner on Machu Picchu tours we set off into the city in search of the Rocoto Relleno - suggested by my friend Maday who had lived and worked in Lima for two years. After much walking and inquiries, we found the elusive Relleno - and at a very good restaurant that. We had the Relleno' as appetizers and enjoyed wood fired pizzas as the main course - Yum. Food in Peru has been good - I can't get enough of the Rocoto sauce!!! So as I finish this update the heavy equipment has arrived and they are attempting to remove the debris from the giant land/rock slide. Hopefully we will make our intended destination of Aguascalientes tonight - however late that may be. Nazca lines...didn't see much. Riding along the river. More river...getting greener now! Back up over 13,000ft just before dropping into Cusco. Landslide blocking the road on the way to Machu Picchu. Main square Old Town Cusco.