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Old 01-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #34
huzar OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 Aguas Calientes to Quebrada Honda

We head out this morning on the 6:44 am train. We get in to Santa Teresa after catching a collectivo from Hidroelectrica. Bryce and Mike start packing for their ride back to Cusco. Hewby and I go off in search of breakfast. We don’t have to look far. After breakfast we pack up the bikes, and I notice my front is once again flat. We air it up just before departing and go.

The road from Santa Teresa back to Santa Maria seems different this time. The raging Urubamba river is still there, but the road feels smoother, or something. There’s mud, potholes, some water crossings, and lots of decent track. We make good time out to Santa Maria, and turn left towards Quillabamba.

Riding out to Santa Maria:

IMG_2659 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Hewby getting more practice crossing streams:

IMG_2662 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

IMG_2664 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

I had expected the road to be paved, but most of that section is mud, with occasionalt construction zones. Quillabamba itself is the largest city in the region, with plenty of options for fuel and food. We gas up, and I check the pressure in my front tire – 27lbs, down from 34 two hours ago. OK, time to get this fixed. We find a llantaria, and conveniently enough next door is a place that has sudado on the menu. We get it, and it is delicious once again. My tube is patched and remounted, and we’re soon ready to go.

Deep puddle crossing:

IMG_2665 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

My front tire getting some vulcanizing love:

IMG_2667 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

A man and his dog:

IMG_2669 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The road out of Quillabamba is in pretty good shape, even given that this is the rainy season. Suprisingly, stretches of it are paved, and we make good time. We encounter more construction and road closures as we near the place where the Yakatali River joins the Urubamba, and are directed up a small side track that climbs in switchbaks to the top of the ridge. It then drops down the other side and backtracks to the bridge across the Yakatali, in Quellouna.

Waiting at a construction zone with some locals:

IMG_2670 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Nice, fast road:

IMG_2671 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

We rejoin the main road here, and continue our drive east to Quebreda Honda. At this point in the day we still have hopes that we can make it to Lares. Those hopes are dashed, however, when we encounter a road closure due to emergency construction. We chat a bit with the folks waiting to go across, and then someone puts out the word that motos can go. We go maybe 200 feet, only to be stopped by the actual construction. The crew is putting in a new culvert, but bikes have been climbing up and to the left around them. We get the idea to try this with the KLR after dropping the side bags. I run out of momentum about midway up, and tweak my right knee a little. Fortunately, a couple of friendly folks push, and with a little throttle, the KLR is up and over. Hewby hopes I can do the same with her GS, but after the incident with my knee, I would rather not try. Also, the crew foreman tells us they’re almost done and will let us cross soon.

Waiting for the culvert to be filled in:

IMG_2673 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Making friends with the locals:

IMG_2675 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The Yakatali river:

IMG_2676 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Bringing the KLR past the construction -- steeper and slipperier than it looks:

True to their word, about 15 minutes later, they let the motos through, though all others have to wait. We ride a few hundred feet, and encounter another crew finishing covering up a culvert. Again we wait, but maybe only 5 minutes, before the motos are motioned through. After that, no more closures. The road is in pretty good shape, and we try to make up the near hour that these construction closures cost us. At this point, we know we’re not making it to Lares tonight, so the goal becomes Quebreda Honda, where we arrive a little after five.

It’s a small town, with a few restaurants and only one hotel that we could spy. For 30 soles we get secure parking, but no internet and no hot water in the rooms. We’re welcome to come up and use the shower in their house if we want to, however. We wander a bit, looking at our food options, and decide to get some pollo a la brasa from the restaurant next door. It’s pretty tasty, and comes with a pitcher of chicha morada. The dogs that wander through the restaurant and beg for scraps get the chicken bones, and we go back to the hotel to do laundry.

Tomorrow, we should make it up to Lares, and then down to pick up the pista at Calca. From there, on to Pisac.

huzar screwed with this post 02-02-2013 at 10:11 PM
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