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Old 07-06-2011, 02:20 PM   #26
poolman OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Darnestown, MD
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Machu Picchu to Quillabamba

There is one primary reason people visit Aguas Calientes; it is located near the base of Machu Picchu, and is the last stop for most travelers visiting the only major Inca archeological site that was not discovered and plundered by the Spanish conquistadors. After the spectacular riding of the past several days I honestly didn't have the highest expectations for our visit to the Crown Jewel of the Inca Empire. I considered that it may be somewhat anticlimactic.

We had an early breakfast at the hostel and set off for Machu Picchu.

We reached the site just as the clouds were lifting.

I asked Culin to back up a few steps, but he didn't fall for it.

Like birds, the llamas for some reason all faced windward.

The sacrificial alter. The Inca were such an advanced people in many ways, yet so primitive in others.

A lady told me this was a chinchilla, but her husband insisted it was a “Peruvian Rat”. I'll tell my kids it was a chinchilla.

Anyway, this is a motorcycle trip, so enough of Machu Picchu. After a great lunch in Aguas Calientes and a quick walk around town we boarded the train for the downhill run to Hydroelectrica.

We retrieved our bikes from the hostel in Santa Teresa and set off to retrace our way to Santa Maria, then on to the beautiful jungle town of Quillabamba.

Our short route for the day:

This young man was responsible for guarding the bikes.

We refueled again in Santa Maria.

The tracks were a bit dusty.

We arrived in Quillabamba just as the sun was going down.

Secure parking at the Hostal Don Carlos.

Beer issues had at last been fully resolved.

We walked around the town of Quillabamba until late in the night, eating delicious Pollo A La Brasa at a small family restaurant and then enjoying ice-cold Cusquenas on a bench in the Plaza de Armas in the warm jungle air. The people of Quillabamba were extremely welcoming, and wanted to learn about our travels and our "grande motos".

More to follow...
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