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Old 04-28-2013, 07:35 PM   #2161
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Nasca Lines

Granted, I am sure the lines would have been more impressive from the air, I did it the more economical way and went to the view point to see them.......barely

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #2162
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I also paid a couple of bucks to climb the tower to see a couple of the figures.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:38 PM   #2163
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One figure that could be clearly seen was "The Hands"

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #2164
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The other was a tree or something else. No one really knows for sure.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #2165
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The Nasca lines were a bit of a let down. I am sure it would have been better in a plane. But the one thing that I noticed is that they are much smaller than I thought. The two I saw were about the size of a football ield or less. I could have turned over those stone in a day or two. So it was no big impressive feat. I think all my traveling has turned me in to a critic.

Here's my moto from a top the tower

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:53 PM   #2166
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I left Nasca and took the road towards Cusco.
I was not sure what to expect and I wasn't sure where I would be spending the night.
I figured I would just ride and figure it out.

As soon as I left Nasca, the road started to wind up in to the hills. These were not mountains with peaks and snow. They were just rolling hills. And really big hills. The hills topped out at 15,000 feet

Just before dark, I saw this saw for Pampa Galeras Reserve. It had the international camping symbol. So I stopped for a look

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:56 PM   #2167
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Here's the road winding up in to the hills. It went on like this for miles. It reminded me of the slot car tracks I used to build as a kid

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:01 PM   #2168
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So I pull in to this compound which seemed to be abandoned to see if I could camp there. And out walk to college girls. They not only told me that I could stay there, but they would let me use one of the rooms with its ow bathroom. I was up 13,000 feet so it was going to get cold that night.
It kind of remined me of that scene from Monty Python's In search of the Holy Grail. You know the scene where Lancelot goes in to the castle Anthrax.
So there I was alone with these 2 Peruvian girls
And they were being really friendly like no one has been there in months

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #2169
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Again, from the movie......here is the Bridge of Death

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #2170
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Here was my room in the castle.
Even with all the warm blankets I needed, it was still cold

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:06 PM   #2171
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There were so many of these critters up there.
I like these pics because you can see the moon coming up on the horizon



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Old 04-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #2172
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The road from the coast from Nasca to Cusco doesn't get any better.
And I did it on a picture purfect day.
The road goes from sea level to just shy of 15,000 feet.
And it stays between 14,00 and 15,000 feet for quite a while.
It was not like some of the mountain passes like in Europe. This road just climbed to 14,500 and stayed there. The were a couple of times the road dipped to about 8,000 feet but not much below that.
There were lakes and some snow covered mountains off in the distance.
Right now, I am thinking Peru has some of the best roads in the Americas.
Most of these pics were taken at an elevation of 14,500 feet.
That is higher than any mountain peak in California or Colorado.
That is impressive









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Old 04-28-2013, 08:18 PM   #2173
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Getting closer to Cusco and Machu Picchu, the mountains get more rugged and have snow/ice on top





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Old 04-28-2013, 08:24 PM   #2174
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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu.
It is one of those places that is on everyone’s bucket list.
If you tell someone that you have been to Machu Picchu (MP), it earns respect in the eyes of any traveler.
We all have seen the pictures. It is a truly spectacular setting – one of the best in the world.
But what do you really know about the place. For me……..not much. I knew it was in Peru near Cusco and that is about it. The other thing I heard was that you can not ride there. You have to hike in or take a train. I heard about people riding the train tracks in but I just wanted to get to the nearest town and walk the rest of the way in. My friends told me to go to Agua Calientes. This is the town that serves as the jumping off point for Machu Picchu. So that was my plan – to ride to Agua Calientes.
I rode the whole day. I started in the mountains near Nasca at 7:30 am. I got to around dark. The town of Agua Calientes (AC) was not on my GPS so I asked a taxi driver how far it was to AC and he said one hour. It was longer than I had hoped but I was determined to have a beer and a good dinner in AC and then get an early start to MP in the morning.
So I headed out in to the twilight. About 5 minutes down the road, the police stopped me at a routine check point and asked where I was heading. I told him AC. He mentioned that it is a dangerous road at night but sent me on my way with a smile.
I was low on gas but the cop said there was gas in AC. And I had enough gas to get there. And you know me, I like to push things with the gas.
The road wound up in to the mountains with ten jillion switchbacks. As it got darker, it was hard to tell where I was going and how high I was climbing. My GPS said that I was over 14,000 when I crested the pass and started to head down in to what I thought was AC. I was watching both my gas gauge count down the miles to empty and the clock. I was riding over an hour and still no signs of AC. And my trip computer said I had 20 miles to go until empty. Then 10. Then 5.
Something was wrong. I was going to run out of gas and I was in the middle of fricken nowhere. It was night and I didn’t really even know where I was at. The road was not showing on my GPS.
And to make matters worse, the fog was so thick, I could only see about 30 feet in front of me. I was riding in 2nd gear the whole way down the mountain. A couple of times I nearly went off the road because the road would curve and I would see it only when it was too late. And because I could only see 30 feet in front of me, I had no idea how far the drop was. But because I was riding in Peru, it was probably a very long way down
At 4 miles to empty, I pulled over at this little house and some guys came out. I asked them if they had gas but they didn’t. But they told me where I might find gas so off I went looking for gas in the dark, in the fog in the middle of nowhere. My gauge got down to zero but my bike kept chugging along. I was short shifting and doing everything I could to conserve gas. I found the place and the guy said he had gas! I didn’t care what octane it was or what the price was. I got 2 gallons. It was in a bucket. We poured it in my bike and that is when I got the news……………it was not possible to ride to AC. There was no road. The only way to get there is by train. I wasn’t sure if I believed him. I had others along the way that didn’t stop me from trying to ride there. But in any event, I turned around and headed back to the nearest town with food, gas, beer and a warm bed. And that was almost 2 hours away.
I headed back in the fog and nearly went off the road again and that was it…….I was just going to find a place to camp and ride out in the morning. I found a place off the side of the road. And just as I pulled over, the fog cleared and revealed this massive mountain that I was looking face to face with. It was covered in glaciers and there was a full moon lighting it up. I stood there in awe. That was a sight I will never forget. Pictures will never due it justice. And at night, the mountain looked much bigger than it did when the sun came up. I heated up some water to make one of my dehydrated dinners and at that moment, the glacier spoke to me with a big crack and roar echoing thru the canyon.
I had a yummy hot dinner and got in to my bivy sack and fell asleep fast.
Funny how things work out sometimes. I didn’t know where I was going and my ignorance caused a problem that could have been avoided. What could have turned out bad, turned in to an experience that I will not soon forget.
In this case……..my ignorance was truly bliss

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:28 PM   #2175
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Machu Picchu

In the morning, the fog had cleared and revealed an impressive sight. I was camped at 13,500 feet. I packed away my stuff. It was cold and my hands were like ice. I still wanted to get to Machu Picchu that day but I wasn’t going to get the early start I wanted.
I arrived at the first town in about 90 minutes and it was confirmed……..I was not riding to Agua Calientes. I had to take the train. I found the train station. It was the closest and least expensive option. A train ticket cost a whopping $130 RT for a 15 mile train ride. Can you say….rape the gringos?
At this point, my whole feeling of MP had changed. For the past 9 months, I have been very independent and now I had to take a train and a bus to MP. I was not on my schedule any more. I was just one of the masses. I didn’t like it. The train was nice and the scenary was breathtaking riding the rails thru the steep canyon. The train arrived in AC and from there I had to take a bus up to MP. The bus ticket was about $20 RT for a 5 mile ride each way. Elsewhere in Peru, $20 would take you from one end of the country to the other. But this is MP. And then I paid $50 to get in to MP itself. So all in all, it was $200 minimum to just get there and in to see the sights. I could have bought a lot of good wine for $200. I waited for the bus to take me up the mountain, again on their schedule, not mine. And when it got to MP, there were a jillion other people there. Old ladies were getting in my way. Japanese tourist were oblivious to my desire to get around them. It was all so annoying. But at the same time…..wow! What a sight.
The ruins were cool but my eyes were focused on one thing……..this pointy mountain in front of me called Wayne Picchu. I could see people climbing around up there and there were ruins up there.
I got to a gate that restricted access. And I was being restricted to climb up. It seems they limit the number of people to 400 and you can only go up at 2 specified times each day. And they told me if I wanted to go up that I could come back tomorrow…………………..SURE!!! And pay another $200……………….RIGHT!
I just wanted to leave after that. Yeh, I was feeling like a spoiled child but after 9 months of calling the shots, I wasn’t used to these Disneyland like rules.
I got over it and enjoyed the rest of my day.
On my way back in the train, I met an older couple from Australia. The guy told me that it was one of the best days of his life. He took the luxury train in at $800 a person. And he wanted to stay in AC but there was no room at the $1000 a night hotel there. And that’s when it occurred to me……MP is a world class site and it attracts people from all around the world. And all those dollars and Euros are being thrown at Peru. Just like a bottle of Chateau Haut Brion commands $1000 a bottle now because that is what the world says it is worth. There are a lot of rich people in this world that feel $1000 is a fair price to pay for a bottle of Bordeaux. And the same holds true for MP. They spend thousands of dollars just to get there in airfare, more for hotels and food, so $200 is a small price to pay for the star attraction and the whole reason they come.
For me, the cost put a damper on my visit. Having to take mass transportation didn’t help either. And fighting the old ladies for a picture of the views didn’t make MP the special place that I had imagined it to be in my heart and my mind.
But with all that said, I am glad I went, I checked it off my list but I won’t be rushing back any time soon.

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