Day1 Cusco to Santa Teresa
To motorcycle the Incas, I acquired my majestic steed (a Honda XR 250 that I paid for with pure Peruvian gold, I painstakingly pan-handled from the nearby river) and took off into the amazing wilderness, en-route to the magical place they call Machu Picchu. Mountain peaks rising a thousand kilometres into the sky, loomed across the horizon, littered with bottomless ravines and dense exotic jungle.
In my mind I rode along to the soundtrack of a thousand pan-pipers, hidden somewhere up in the snowy heights.. These Peruvians are definitely a mountain fairing people. As I roamed higher and higher, there were still signs of life everywhere; small farms with cosy mud-brick cottages scattered about the landscape.
Alpacas seem to have taken the role of stray dogs and if you are not careful, ravenous packs of their wooly brethren will attack you en-mass as you meander through the twisty roads. Don’t be fooled by their cute and wooly disposition. I have found myself randomly stopping to gaze in fascination at the surrounding landscape, only then to be set upon by an insane posse of blood-thirsty alpacas.
Peru is an incredibly spiritual place. It’s as if time has stopped in the Sacred Valley and we mere mortals are trespassing in the land of the gods. The local Quechua people dressed in their signature bowler hats and colorful garb, gaze in a somewhat bemused fashion as I wave and disappear into the mountainous nether.
Passing through the town of Coya, women will gleefully wave freshly roasted guinea pigs, impaled upon sticks to entice you to stop. Kind of like KFC except its more like ‘KFG’. If that isn’t enough temptation for you, the huge sign of a dancing hamster, dressed in classic Peruvian attire will surely convince you to stop and try out this wonderful delicacy. Think of rubber boots mixed with alpaca excrement and that’s what a fried GP tastes like. Ahh what the hell, that’s why tomato sauce was invented, right?!
I swiped a crispy, steaming GP as I rode past, popped a wheelie and rode straight through the dancing hamster sign, leaving the town of Coya in a wake of exploding splinters and pieces of fresh guinea pig meat.
After having my usual breakfast of red bull and chocolate I met up with some fellow motorcycle travellers, Eric on his Suzuki DR 650 and a wonderful German fellow named Hans with his partner on a KTM adventure.We all fist bumped headed off into the famed Sacred Valley.With the warm sun on our faces we blizted through the twistys, scraping our kneecaps around the thousands of hairpin bends, many with no safety rails at all. One false move will have you down the bottom of a ravine faster than you can say “ Oh fuck! I seem to be falling down to the bottom of a ravine!”
With Eric leading the way on his DR 650, we tore through dusty back roads, passed hidden Incan ruins, through hectic road works and small towns lined with cobblestone streets.
Pretty soon Hans took the lead and set the pace on his KTM, showing us young fellas how it’s done. The next few hours were a blur of incredible mountain scenery and awesome riding. You could lose yourself up here in the magic of the place. Just absolutely brilliant! It’s hard to not constantly stop to take photographs-at every turn there is a new view, a new mountain and a new valley with hundred of kilometres of twisty roads stretching into the horizon. I think I may have found my calling here in Peru, it’s an adventure motorcyclists dream.
Arriving in Santa Teresa, covered in a thick layer of dust, I walked into the hotel, ordered an alpaca burger with a side of guinea pig fries and washed it down with a litre of Peruvian moonshine. What an absolutely fucking brilliant day.
- Kilometres travelled so far-25 678km
- Flat tyres-13 and a 1/2
- Incarcerations-0 (well, until they find that Peruvian cocaine in my backpack)
- The amount of alpacas in Peru- 10 billion (minus one, because we ran over it)
Cusco to Santa Teresa