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Old 06-30-2011, 05:46 AM   #16
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Urubamba to the Abra Malaga Pass

In the morning I awoke with dry clothes and bedding for the first time in days. The fever was gone. I drank a liter of water, enjoyed a hot shower, and went to the main lodge for breakfast with Culin. The buffet appeared to be self-service, so I made a three egg omelet (duck eggs?), and consumed it along with bread, fruit, ham, yogurt, and another liter of water. I was famished and figured I could deal with the consequences later.

The view from the room:






As I was loading my bike, Culin and Juan suggested that since we were in such a beautiful place, we should consider taking a rest day. Clearly they were concerned about my health. It was a nice display of sympathy, but they were both relieved when I said I was feeling better and ready to ride.


Our route for the day:


We made a water stop at the touristy archeological site of Ollantaytambo.








The water/sanitation scheme is quite simple along the Urubamba River. Clean, fresh spring water emerges from the mountainside and is channeled through town in open troughs for human and livestock consumption. Sewage and waste are added as the water flows downstream and the polluted mess then dumps into the mighty Urubamba. Clearly it is beneficial to live upstream.


Good breathing at just 9,300 feet.


We would be traversing the Abra Malaga high mountain pass at more than 14,000 feet above sea level. Once a treacherous Andean crossing, the road has now succumbed to asphalt. Still, the riding is fantastic with one switchback after another. Our tires were somewhat squared when we picked up the bikes; we focused on properly rounding the sides on this leg of the trip.








Enjoying the twisties, we have climbed 5,000 vertical feet in just 90 minutes.


We reached the pass...


... And were greeted by a girl.




I can't imagine living in these conditions at over 14,000 feet elevation.



More to follow...
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:46 AM   #17
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Did you address water issues with a Steripen, filter, or chemical treatment?

I tried to be 100% with the Steripen everywhere in Perú, and had good results with it. I used it even on bottled water since the world over bottled water meets local standards. I would pour the bottled water into a Nalgene bottle and zap it with the Steripen.

The only time I suffered the consequences of the water was in Cuzco, when I absent mindedly drank two cups of coca tea in the hotel lobby.

I'm really paying attention to what happened to you with altitude. Just another comment on the altitude there....for me, I found the adjustment was required going down as well as up. No stomach problems the whole trip in Perú, but I found myself wandering around like a zombie in Lima, at sea level, waiting to fly home. For days after getting home, I still found myself adjusting to the altitude changes.

Facinating story, keep it coming...
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Did you address water issues with a Steripen, filter, or chemical treatment?

I tried to be 100% with the Steripen everywhere in Perú, and had good results with it. I used it even on bottled water since the world over bottled water meets local standards. I would pour the bottled water into a Nalgene bottle and zap it with the Steripen.

The only time I suffered the consequences of the water was in Cuzco, when I absent mindedly drank two cups of coca tea in the hotel lobby.

I'm really paying attention to what happened to you with altitude. Just another comment on the altitude there....for me, I found the adjustment was required going down as well as up. No stomach problems the whole trip in Perú, but I found myself wandering around like a zombie in Lima, at sea level, waiting to fly home. For days after getting home, I still found myself adjusting to the altitude changes.

Facinating story, keep it coming...
tricepilot,

I saw a good doctor at a modern clinic in Cusco and he did not believe I was suffering from altitude-related issues... the Diamox seemed to do its job. I took it for three days before arriving in Cusco and two additional days once at altitude. The doctor was actually impressed with my pulse-ox level of 94%. His diagnosis was Cryptosporidium and Giardia infection, and he prescribed an antibiotic and an anti-parasitic.

I too used a Steripen (great device), but I remember buying a bottle of water from a street vendor when we first arrived in Peru and consuming it before realizing that the plastic security ring was missing. The doctor said it is not uncommon for vendors to "recycle" name-brand water bottles, sometimes even using crazy glue to reattach the security ring.

My friend Culin drank the local water, tea, lemonaide, etc. and had no stomach issues at all.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:30 AM   #19
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cool

nice to see pics of cusco again.

here is a link to my Cusco to Machu Picchu trip for ya



http://bamarides.com/rideforum/dual-...ride-is-on/40/
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp View Post
nice to see pics of cusco again.

here is a link to my Cusco to Machu Picchu trip for ya


http://bamarides.com/rideforum/dual-...ride-is-on/40/
swamp,

I'm glad you found this thread. Believe it or not, your ride report on bamarides is how I found out about Alex Luna and Peru Moto Tours. Great people to work with.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:20 AM   #21
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Here is a compilation of several video clips taken as we rode from Urubamba to the Abra Malaga mountain pass. No extreme riding here, just beautiful scenery.


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Old 06-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #22
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Descending from Abra Malaga to Santa Maria

Preparing for the descent to Santa Maria below, we layered up before entering the cold cloud.




The weather improved as our altitude diminished.






Juan is one pleasant man to ride with.



It was laundry day on the mountain side.




I first thought there were numerous streams crossing the road, and then realized that because of the switchbacks we were crossing the same stream time and time again as we weaved our way down the mountain. Sort of like the dogs a few days earlier.




Juan sported his Go Pro helmet camera (unfortunately, his memory card was lost).






We encountered road construction as we entered the town of Santa Maria.




The difference in climate was amazing; the temperature was near the freezing point just a few hours before at Abra Malaga. After descending nearly 10,000 feet into the jungle it climbed to 100 degrees F in Santa Maria. We refueled the bikes and replenished our water supplies.



A quick video of our descent down the opposite side of the mountain. Again nothing extreme, just amazing scenery:





More to follow...
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:10 PM   #23
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
swamp,

I'm glad you found this thread. Believe it or not, your ride report on bamarides is how I found out about Alex Luna and Peru Moto Tours. Great people to work with.
Good stuff ! good stuff!

please continue . im digging the hell out of this



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Old 07-05-2011, 02:41 PM   #24
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The Cliffside Ride from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa

We were eager (but slightly reluctant) to get on with our journey. The track from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa has been listed among the most dangerous roads in the world. It is a single-lane 40 KM long slice that has been carved high into the mountainside, and in certain places a fall would mean a 2,500 foot vertical drop to the raging Urubamba River below. This road is not for the faint of heart, and would provide an excellent opportunity for me to cure my fear of heights.

Departing Santa Maria.


We climbed above the Urubamba River.




Recent landslides added a bit of challenge.


Not many pictures, but we captured some video:






Finally we reached the village of Santa Teresa. I was amazed by the warmth and friendliness of the people. It is hard to fathom that in 1998 a massive landslide buried the original town, killing a large portion of the population and destroying the bridge that was the only link to the markets near Machu Picchu. The resilient survivors reconstructed the town in a safer location, and in 2007 completed construction of a new bridge. Next time I feel sorry for myself, I will remember this amazing example of determination and perseverance.











We found a hostal with secure parking for the bikes.


Hot showers (we don't see many 220 volt shower heads at home).


After a quick break in Santa Maria, we were off to Hydroelectrica for a short train ride to Aguas Calientes. It had been a spectacular day of riding, and the train ride would have been a nice reprieve except for the fact that it was well over 110 degrees F in the glass-topped coach cars.


The railway followed the Urubamba River through the jungle, and the scenery was incredible. I found it odd that Juan couldn't ride in the same train car as us. For some reason, Peruvian nationals are forbidden to ride with international visitors. At this point I realized that a paradigm shift had occurred: Juan was not just our guide any more, he had become our friend and traveling companion. A quick 90 minutes later we arrived in Aguas Calientes.






The view from our hostel.




That night we had a delicious dinner of local pizza and fire-grilled Peruvian meat. I was happy to be feeling well again, and my stomach was proving to be incredibly robust.



More to follow...
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #25
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:20 PM   #26
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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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Old 07-07-2011, 05:39 AM   #27
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Brilliant.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:09 AM   #28
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Fantastic! Keep it coming!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #29
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Video from Santa Teresa to Santa Rosa

Some video compiled from our ride between Santa Teresa and Santa Rosa (notice the difference in perspective between my camera mounted low on the bike and Juan's helmet camera):


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Old 07-08-2011, 07:57 AM   #30
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Swift Water Crossing near Santa Teresa


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