Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Desaguadero to Cusco - March 14

We left Desaguadero just after 7am, with hopes of reaching Cusco today.  Outside of town, and over several sections of road until Puno, we rode along the shores of Lago Titicaca.

In Ileve, we stopped for a snack and to repair Petra's throttle control. Her bike had fallen over at a Policia checkpoint in Zepita, and the throttle had been stiff since that point.  Petra went away to buy some bread and juice while I made the repair.  The place was bustling, as we were parked across from a mini-cab terminal.
We were making good time and into Puno by 10:30am, where we went in search of a bank machine. Puno is an attractive city, and very clean compared to anything we saw in Bolivia.

After La Paz, we're feeling a bit battle hardened for traffic, and were able to apply our experience well in Juliaca.  We use the radio to stay in communication and move as one through traffic, often running picks and blocks for each other to change lanes or position for ramps or intersections.

Lunch was in Pucara, where we had more traditional soup and grilled chicken.
The ride to Sicuani was beautiful, as we crossed the last of the Altiplano and entered the Cordillera Vilanota.
It started to rain at Sicuani, and we rode the next 140km's to Cusco on twisting mountain roads in a fairly constant downpour.

Damage after January's storms and floods is very evident, as we passed a couple of villages still under a foot of water with residents in nearby tent cities.

We rode straight into Cusco's Centro Historico, determined to stay in a relatively luxurious Hotel after our Bolivian trials.

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