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Old 02-02-2013, 09:59 PM   #39
huzar OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 Quebrada Honda to Pisac

I wake up relatively early today. Not hard to do, given that the construction work has started outside already. I try to rouse Hewby from her birthday slumber, but she’s even less of a morning person than I am. Finally, we go out for breakfast, to a place whee the only two dishes are either liver, or chicken. I get the liver. Hewby finds the chicken to be too much this early in the day, and asks a blind beggar to join us and gives him her meal.

We saddle up after breakfast and head on out. The road continues to climb, with the Yakatali river down below. We cross a few smaller streams, and then get to a whopper. This tributary looks fast and deep. I wade across, with the water easily spilling over the top of my Crossfires. I’m not confident that we can walk the bikes across, but we seem to have no other choice. Hewby mentions something about a road that split off a bit earlier and went down, but I look at the GPS, which tells me we’re on the right road, and push ahead. We slowly walk the KLR into the river. We’re about mid-stream, me on the upstream, Hewby on the down, when we hear a honk. A pickup has pulled up, and the driver mentions for us to turn back. We try, but have a hard time backing the bike up, so he pulls up his pants and hops in the river to give us a hand. We manage to bring the KLR back to dry land, and he tells us that we should have taken the road that went down – that has a bridge. This is way too dangerous, etc. We thank him for his help, and head the way he suggested. He, meanwhile, points the truck into the river and heads across.

The road out of Quebrada Honda:

IMG_2680 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The pedestrian bridge we were directed to after our unsuccessful river crossing attempt:

IMG_2681 by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

More river crossings:

Porwit-20130123-0544-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

We follow the road… it is a good track, with a good mix of clay and rocks. There are the occasional stream crossings. Some of them are nice and simple, others require that I ride across, then walk back and ride Hewby’s bike across as well, as they’re a little tricky for her to find footing. After gaining some confidence, I come to a crossing where Hewby has already stopped, as has a local. I hardly slow down, point the KLR into the river, and go. What started out as a very simple looking crossing gets suddenly deeper, with a steep lip on the other side. Somehow I get the KLR across. The local goes next, but needs help from me and Hewby mid-stream. He waits on the other side as I bring Hewby’s bike across and gives us a hand with it.

A waterfall crossing:

Porwit-20130123-0549-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Climbing higher:

Porwit-20130123-0553-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

And higher:

Porwit-20130123-0554-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Hewby decides to give her bike a quick wash:

Porwit-20130123-0558-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The road climbs ever higher. We had started the day at maybe 3400 feet, but I had read that Lares was at over 10K. We finally make it to Lares and lunch – a quick stew of potatoes, carrots and some meat, followed by a second course much the same. We eat for 8 soles total. After we come out, we see a bunch of hippies in the town square. One points out a dangling hose at my front wheel. Turns out that the speedo pickup cable has unthreaded from the bike. He threads it on, but I have no speedo/odo for the rest of the day. Fortunately, the GPS can handle those duties.

It got a little muddy at times:

Approaching Abre De Lares:

Porwit-20130123-0560-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

This guy seemed more interested in the grass than anything else:

Porwit-20130123-0561-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The road is great:

Porwit-20130123-0565-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr


Porwit-20130123-0567-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

And sheep:

Porwit-20130123-0570-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The road out of Lares really starts to get pretty. It climbs higher still, and the landscape becomes alpine, with craggy, snow-covered peaks visible on the horizon. Sheep and llamas graze by the side of the road. There are a few road work crews trying to keep up with the pot holes in the dirt. The road tops out over Lares pass at 14,500 feet, and drops down the other side. Not much further now. We lose elevation quickly, and pick up nice pavement which looks like it will take us straight into Calca. Great! Nice turns and twists are interspersed with rock and debris fall on the road. There is little traffic. As we descend, the pavement goes away inexplicably, and the last couple of miles into Calca are dirt.

I think this is the back side of those snow-covered peaks we saw a few days earlier, when we got stuck in the dirt on the way to Ollantaytambo:

Porwit-20130123-0573-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

The weather is cooperating:

Porwit-20130123-0576-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Back on pavement:

Porwit-20130123-0585-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Cute objective hazard:

Porwit-20130123-0587-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Just because it is paved doesn't mean it's smooth:

Porwit-20130123-0588-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

More rock slides:

Porwit-20130123-0589-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

Approaching Calca:

Once in town, we pull over to mount up Hewby’s mirrors again, which have been off since Santa Teresa to keep them from breaking in a spill on dirt. We’re back on pavement, so on they go. We figure out where we’re aiming for in Pisac – the Pisac Inn. We head out, and within 20 or 30 minutes are at our destination. They don’t look like they’d have secure bike parking, but they call and steer us to a private house a block away where we can leave the bikes. We do laundry, nap, and grab a birthday dinner for Hewby, and that’s about it.

She was just too cute not to photograph, even if it did cost me 1 sol:

Porwit-20130123-0593-Orig by Marcin Porwit, on Flickr

huzar screwed with this post 02-02-2013 at 10:15 PM
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