Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 60 - Andahaylas to Cuzco, Peru

RobT:  It took a while to get out of Andahaylas, as the new road was closed due to pre-paving construction and we had to find the detour, which wasn't very well indicated and we were given many different directions on how to get out of town and onto the detour.  We circled the small plaza a few times before we found the mud detour across a creek and up several muddy switch backs and finally, after about an hour, we merged onto the main road.

 After the "detour" and 30 km on the smooth gravel of the main we came to road closed gate.  The sign stated it would open for an hour at 12:30.  We showed up at 9:30.  The "chocolate guy", as the orange-clad road workers fondly call the brown-clad security guards, told us we could go through at 10 am.  Excellent!

Streams always flowed over the road in the hairpin corners, almost never
through a water drainage pipe under the road.

Another road closed, this time due to a land slide. 
We got here at 10:30 and this time there was no getting through early, even though RobC was trying to schmooze the lady traffic director.  We had to wait until 12:30.

We bought some boiled potatoes with the skins on and some country cheese from a Quechua woman selling food at the road block.  It was very good and hit the spot as we was getting a bit hungry. The potatoes were wrapped in several layers of the colorful ponchos the women carry on their backs.  The cheese was in a plastic bag inside a plastic tub, also wrapped in cloth.  The cheese was cool and potatoes were warm.

Yet another crowd gathers around the BMWs.

Quechua women watching their husbands being entertained by RobC and his BMW - they were really fascinated by the GPS.

The valley down into Abancay.

RobC:  The city of Abancay is located in a fertile valley at a low altitude of about 1500 meters (5000 feet), which provides for a climate that is called "eternal spring." The city is hilly and surrounded by mountains, in fact, you can see the city for at least an hour as you come down the mountain to the west and after crossing the city you can see it again for another hour as you make your way east up the mountains to Cuzco.

RobT:  Planting seed potatoes the old way with yokes of oxen.  At one point the beige ox on the bottom started to stray and the farmer had a hard time getting it back into the furrow.  He noticed I was taking pictures and wildly gestured for us to leave.  I can only assume he thought the yellow bikes were the problem, or maybe my photo taking.

The road out of Abancay.

Cathedral in the main plaza in Cuzco.

We arrived in Cuzco at 7 pm (after a 327 km - 210 mile) day, in relative warmth and comfort without a single drop of rain.  It was a great feeling. After some effort we managed to find a place to stay which had parking for our bikes, but we had to ride through the glass doors and the lobby into the courtyard.  After all was settled and my tour for Machu Picchu was organized, we hit Norton Rats for a burger and a beer.  Norton Rats is a biker bar located right on the plaza and is operated by a guy from Ohio, USA.  After our food and drinks RobC had to show me the 12-angled Inca stone just down the alley from Norton Rats.   We noticed hardly anyone out on the streets, accept peddlers and beggars when an 8-year old girl approached us peddling chewing gum.  She also lead us to this famous stone so we gave her a few coins.  She was quite the little entrepreneur, but what is an 8-year old doing out on the streets selling gum at 12:30 at night on a Wednesday?

No comments:

Post a Comment