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Old 02-10-2010, 09:37 AM   #1
Trailblazer OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Oddometer: 251
From the vaults: Peru 2003

This is a ride report, of sorts. A ride that occurred over a period of 10 days or so back in July of 2003. In Peru.

The set up
The story begins in January 2003 when I happened to be vacationing in Cuzco, Peru with my friend, Linda. By chance we ran across Juan Carlos, a Peruvian who was starting up a motorcycle rental company. On a lark I rented his bike at $50 a day and took it out for a couple of days, riding two-up with Linda. I was so enthusiastic about our little adventure that I thought it a grand idea to organize a return trip that summer, made up of my closest motorcycle buddies from Austin, Texas. I was thinking maybe 5-7 guys. Juan Carlos and I made priliminary plans to meet in the capital city, Lima, and lead a 5 day ride to Cuzco.

Me & Juan Carlos, Cuzco, Peru. January 2003.

Back home in Austin I talked up the idea but after 5 months I only had two buddies show even a modicum of interest. (And in the end…, even they backed out.) But Linda had a friend who wanted to go, a guy named John. He worked at a major computer company, is a gifted guitarist and song writer but possessed only minimal riding experience. Now I didn't know John all that well, but he had one big thing going for him: he was seriously intent on making the trip with me back to Peru..., to “ride motorcycles in the Andes”.

I worked on an itinerary. July seemed like the time to go partly because of an annual festival being held in Puacartambo that Juan Carlos insisted I see. Partly because that month would place us on dirt roads during the dry season. It was now or never.

When it came time to plunk down the cash for air fare, John didn’t flinch. My other two friends dropped out. In an effort to get John up to speed, two weeks before departure I loaned him my kick start, street legalized 1995 650cc Kawasaki KLX-R, and told him to put his car in the garage and ride this beast everyday, rain or shine, wherever he went. No matter what. Kick start and all.

Meanwhile, a plan developed. I wanted to see the rapids of the Pongo de Mainique, in the Amazon basin. We dropped the idea of riding from Lima to Cuzco. We didn't have that much time. John and I would fly into Lima, and from there onto Cuzco to meet Juan Carlos and pick up our motorcycles.

So we had 3 destinations: Machu Picchu (logico), Paucartambo and the Pongo de Mainique. How to work in Machu Picchu? Because there are no roads to Machu Picchu we would be forced to ride the train, however, once we left Cuzco we didn't want to ever return until the trip was over. We decided to ride the motos from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo, leave our bikes in Ollanta and catch the train from there to Machu Picchu, return back to the bikes via the train and then head across the Sacred Valley to Paucartambo and the festival. And after that, finally head for the lowlands of Quillabamba, Ketini and the Pongo.

Ready to come along?

Trailblazer screwed with this post 04-14-2010 at 08:41 PM
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