Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rained out

We finally made it to Cusco arriving in the pouring rain. We were looking for the historical centre but the one way streets, side roads and lack of signage made it an impossible affair while on the bike. We found a hostal that allowed us to drive the bike right into the lobby and up a set of stairs via a plank and into a courtyard. This kind of hospitality has become commonplace and I'm beginning to expect it where ever we go now.

With the bike unloaded we headed out in search of something exciting to eat rather than chicken or rice. We found Romero's Pizza. We were so excited that we orderd the "Romeras Pizza"! It came as a rather large portion and we went home pretty stuffed.

The next morning the order of priority was to get a new memory card and book a trip to Machu Picchu. With all our ducks in a row we went for some coffee's and had some lunch. Following the advice of our guide book we toured two museums. The first one was a walk through the history of the Americas with several artifacts from local and other South American countries that were under Inca influence. The museum took a couple of hours and off we headed toward the next museum which was a church built upon Inca temple. In 1950 a huge earthquake rocked Cusco and leveled the church (Santo Domingo) under the rubble the lost Inca temple was rediscovered and restored.

We headed to bed early in anticipation of our train ride to Machu Picchu. Alas at 7:00 am the woman who booked our tour informed us that our trip was cancelled as the rain was too heavy and the train would not pass. She informed us that she would drive us to the bus, the bus would take us to the train station, however, the train might not go today. We asked how we would then get back to Cusco...she said that she wasn't sure. I looked at our reciept, the total for the trip included all the transportation ticked off in little boxes which included: (1) drive to bus station (2) bus to train (3) train to Machu Picchu (4) guided tour (5) train back to bus ...Etc. She was unsure what we should do. She was unsure about everything and it really pissed me off. The one thing I knew for sure is that she had all of our cash in her little bag and she offered us a refund in US dollars. This was the crux of the matter so I asked Julie what she wanted to do and we decided to get our money refunded and by pass all the hype and the other 2500 gringo's and Euro's waiting to board a bus and train. We opted to head to the wide open spaces free to our own devices in the pouring rain on the KLR.

Within 50 km the clouds parted and we had sunny skies with intermittent rain clouds that got us a little damp. The rivers in the area we raging torrents some dark grey/black from the rich soils and others chocolate brown. We were heading south to Puno, a town right on lake Titicaca. After 7 hours we arrived in Puno I had the bike into our hostal by riding it up a 1"/4" Plank up a set of steep steps. I had to approach the steps at about 20kmhr and luckily I made it up the plank straight and square with no bobbles.

I noticed an oil leak and discovered that the oil was coming from the fork seal. This will be a very easy repair but a pain in the butt nonetheless. Depending on the weather conditions I`ll fix it here in Puno or another place down the road.

In the morning we hope to book a tour of the floating islands where indeginous people keep adding reeds to a floating mass and live out in the middle of the lake.


  1. Hi Julie and Greg

    After reading your lastest post I had to look up Puno because my knowledge of the geography of Peru isn't good. I learned that Lake Titicaca is the highest elevation commercially navigable lake in the world. So you're way up there!
    I also learned that people in Puno don't like to have their picture taken (unless you offer them money perhaps) because most locals believe that your camera sort of "sucks out their soul" when you capture their image. They are quite adamant about avoiding looking into your lens. I hope you are successful with this because I am very much enjoying your pictures. Keep safe. I envy your adventurous spirits. Debby Peck

  2. hey Guys.... How are you??? How is the weather. I saw on the newspaper the big stormm in Cuzco.
    Are you ok guys?
    I hope everything is doing well.
    big hug!


  3. Glad you got your money back from the tourist rip-off artist. Hoping all is OK there with the weather in that area. You'll probably have some pictures of some rushing rivers. Take care, M&D