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Old 06-27-2011, 07:23 AM   #5
poolman OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Darnestown, MD
Oddometer: 754
Cusco and Pisac

We had planned to spend the second day in Cusco acclimating before beginning the ride, but at breakfast we decided we were ready to hit the road. I made a quick stop at the clinic for some meds (the doctor said I'd picked up Cryptosporidium and Giardia from the local water), and we were off to pick up the bikes.

We had breakfast at the highest Irish pub in the world.

Given the logistics involved in shipping our own bikes and the time constraints of a two week trip, we made arrangements with Alex Luna, owner of Peru Moto Tours. Alex is the winner of multiple Peruvian National Motocross titles and runs a quality motorcycle rental and tour outfit in downtown Cusco. Apart from Alex's riding prowess he is also perceptive; at the airport he had no trouble recognizing two guys garnishing motocross boots and carrying helmets and full riding gear as his clients.

Alex set us up with Brazilian-built Honda NX400 Falcons, equipped with Pirelli knobbies, and properly jetted for high altitude.

Picking up the bikes.

We left Cusco en route to Pisaq, viewing the archeological ruins of Sacsayhuaman on the mountainside. Overlooking Cusco is the Cristo Blanco.

Nice view of Cusco from above.

We rode through Huayllarcocha and Tambomachay, and then found an amazing vista overlooking the Urubamba River. To lend perspective, we are at 12,000 feet, the valley below is at 9,000 feet, and the snow capped mountains in the background tower to 17,000 feet.

We then descended through a series of switchbacks and crossed the Urubamba River into the town of Pisaq.

I was feeling the fever and lack of oxygen at this point, so I tried to drag Culin back to Cusco before dark. We almost made it.

It was a short but stunning ride; the following day we would hit the dirt!

More to follow...
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