Before leaving town we went to a local auto lavado to get the layer of mud cleaned off the bikes. They have never been so clean. They did an amazing job.
The next order of business after crappy Bolivian gas was to find some better octane fuel. We did have to settle for 90, but the bikes are happier.
The views crossing the pass to Cuzco in 388 km are stunning with the peak at 4338 m.
There are lots of herds of Llamas on the roadside, but they are quite smart unlike Vicunas and rarely run out in front of you.
We came across 6 Brazilians at a rest stop and had to take a break for photo ops.
We stopped for lunch Sicuani about 140 km from Cuzco. After eating we were just about to leave when Daniel noted a pool of oil under my bike! Taking off the bash plate we found that we had not cleaned out all the rocks from the border blockade and that one of the very high Tope or speed bumps in La Paz or Puno along with the rock had caused a crack in the oil pan. While we were taking the bash plate off a man came buy to ask if we really came from Canada. What are the chances a Peruvian Guy who lives part time in Richmond BC walks buy and that he owns a moto shop 2 blocks away where we could but some Motul oil and borrow a funnel. He also found a shop for us where we could wash out the oil and dirt from the bash plate so we could check for further leakage. Dan assessed the situation and got out his quick steel (yeah!). It is so lucky we had this. It only takes 60 min for full set and then we were on our way again. No leaking so far.
This put us a bit late in the day and we had to press to get to Cuzco before dark and again we had to drive directly into the setting sun while trying not to get run over by hundreds of busses, mini vans, and taxis driving 3 wide on a two lane road and jockeying for position.
Luckily we had the direction to the Hostal Estrellas where many over landers stay. Dan drove the bikes down the steep ramp they put on the stairs and into the courtyard.
Americo from Brazil gave us the lowdown on the place and then offered to take us to a great wood oven pizza place. Despite our poor Spanish and His no English, we managed to have a great time and communicate. His friends Flavio and Edison arrived back from Machu Picchu in the morning and they were headed back to Brazil.
We set out first thing to the main square and the Peru rail station. Here you can buy your train tickets to pueblo Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) AND tickets to the site itself. We managed to get the train booked for 2 days time and tickets for the ruins and mountain access for the next day. For the return we could only get the train as far as Ollantaytambo, which means a 2 hours bus ride back to the city. We are leaving the bikes here at the hostal for safekeeping and for free.
The other biker here was Marius who is a German who has been travelling for several years, but only recently bought his first bike in BA and is headed north. We had heard our buddy Stephen the Tiger was here in the city and we did finally connect up and he moved into the hostal too. The gang then set out to tour the city and get some lunch at the local market. Then we did a bit of walking around the city to take in the sights.
We decided to take a tour around the area on the 800. We rode up to the Jesus Blanco at the top of the hill and this also gave us a good view of the Saqsaywaman or Sacsayhuaman archeological sight and well as several smaller sights just off the 3S.
There are smaller sites scattered along the side of the 3S.
Saqsaywaman was a fortress that because of its position on the steep slope it only needed defensive walls on one side. This wall is amazing with huge stones that are more than 300 tonnes and are fitted without mortar.