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Cape Town, South Africa
September 17, 2021, 4:25 pm
Sunny
Sunny
70°F
humidity: 49%
wind speed: 18 mph SE
sunrise: 6:42 am
sunset: 6:38 pm
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Botswana
September 17, 2021, 4:25 pm
Cloudy
Cloudy
18°C
humidity: 60%
wind speed: 16 mph SSW
sunrise: 5:53 am
sunset: 5:52 pm
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September 17, 2021, 5:25 pm
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
82°F
humidity: 41%
wind speed: 9 mph S
sunrise: 6:24 am
sunset: 6:31 pm
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Day34-Oh Dear! Water Crossings, Sun, Jan 30

Huashuccasa Pass 4470m (14,665′) elevation, a beautiful high mountain plateau with snow all around us

Start & Stop: Puquio, Peru to Cuzco, Peru

Mileage: 320 miles

Hotel: Hotel Jose Antonio, $100 USD, including Desayuno and parking

Fuel: 95: $11-13 Sol/gal or $5 USD/gal

Currency Exchange: $1 USD = 2.74 Peruvian Nuevo Sol


PE28A starts from Nazca and ends at Cuzco. Amazing mountain passes!

The rain we ran through yesterday afternoon brought neat waterfalls along the road.

We had to cross a dozen water crossings. Some were pretty gnarly! One was gawd awful for me.

Dean: At 7AM Puquio was still drizzling and in a morning mist.  Putting on wet riding gear is painful but we have 300+ miles to Cuzco. We heard that this is one of the most beautiful roads but Saturday’s first 100 miles were grueling.

30 minutes out of Puquio we rode above the morning mist to a beautiful cloudy day.

There are 4 major passes on this road.  Yesterday’s Abra Condercerca 4140m (13,583’), Abra Huashuccasa 4470m (14,665’), Albancay 4000m (13,123’), and Abra Huillique 3700m (12,139’).  If you check this road on Google Earth you will see each has an amazing series of switchbacks on each side of the pass.

Each pass had cloud buildup on the windward side with some condensation.  Nothing like Saturday rain and fog!  Not much traffic on a Sunday.  No lines of trucks and slow minicars.

Water Crossings

Since a storm pass through Saturday, there was waterfalls, mud and rock slides and water crossings.  These water crossings are cement and paved like a shallow ditch.  The biggest was 50′ wide, 6″ at the deepest and large rocks rolling, skidding with the waterflow.  A large front-end loader was moving the rock that were pilling up at of the edge of the wash into the river.

I tried first, standing on the pegs, trying to pick a line through the flowing water and rocks. I was 20′ from the other side when the front wheel hit a large rock and skidded to the left, bike goes down on the left side, I step off onto my left foot standing.  Rats!  I lift the bike off the left Jesse saddlebag and the bag floats free!  Lisa ran across the up to help me lift the bike and stopped the Jesse Saddlebag from going over the falls downstream with her foot.  I yell at her, “My computer’s in that bag!”  she picks it up and carries it 25′ to the road.  A construction worker comes over and we lift the VStrom up and side-stand down.  It cranks right up and I ride out of the 6″ flowing water.

A quick check showed the Jesse mount was tweaked but the bag hooked up and catch locked.

I walked out into the center of the stream and tried to clear rock for Lisa.  She was smarter and learned a lesson from my attempt.  She hit the gas and cleanly rode through the rocks and water.  Speed seems to be the answer.  We were back on the road in 15 minutes.

Lisa: I’m usually of the persuasion that if a little throttle is good, a metric ton is just that much better. This time it worked better than others. Actually what happened was that Dean and I determined what we thought was the best route, arcing down nearer the edge of the wash, where it dropped off into the ugly, angry river and then curve back up to the other side. So I slowly started that way and pretty quick it dawned on me that I was being swept off the edge by the fast moving water and I had a very short time in which to correct that. I turned my head left and applied as much throttle as I could, hoping that the bike would do the rest.

Dean, bless his heart, had waded back out into the stream and was trying to clear a path for me as newer boulders washed down from the ravine. Well, it also happened that he was directly in my new path but I wasn’t stopping or letting off on the throttle. “Get. Out. of. My. Way.” I screamed at him to move and his years as a wrestler came in handy as he had to do some bizare contortions to get clear of the wee’s path. Riding over larger, submerged rocks is not an exact science but the speed seemed to help and I just hung on til the tires were on dry ground. All’s well, etc…and we got Dean put back together and moved forward.

Dean: The Jesse bag, which sat in the water on its side for at least 1 minute, held its seal!  No water got into the aluminum saddlebag.

Another recommendation:  Sidi Adventure Rain Boot with the Gortex logo on the boot.  These are semi Adventure Rider/Off-Road boots.  Sold only in Europe.  I was standing in moving 6-10″ water for 15 minutes.  Both feet remained dry!  I love these boots.

Cuzco

We round a mountain road corner and a huge city covers the valley.  It’s 4:30PM and we’re in Cozco.  After going to 2 hotels that Lisa found in her Footprint SA Handbook 2010 we learn most hotels in Cuzco do not have parking.  Several recommended different hotels to us and they have parking nearby but that costs $10 per bike per day and is a hike back to the hotel.

Lisa: We are going to be here in Cuzco for 2-3 days.  Internet is important to us for work/blog/personal reasons so we ended up at a Hotel Jose Antonio, a nice hotel used by tour groups of senior citizens. Ok, so I know that we fit into that category, but it’s pretty funny watching their routine. This morning at breakfast, they served no less than 8 types of fresh squeezed juice -watermelon, guava, mango, honeydew, etc – but the guy from somewhere USA would have nothing other than ORANGE JUICE (you know, if you say it louder, then they might understand you). The gals next to us were discussing their stomach ailments. We were very quiet, just listening in on the strange sounding conversations. We haven’t heard this much english since returning to Nicaragua 3 weeks ago and it’s very odd.

Walk across the road to the train station and no joy today – all the trains to Machu Pichu were booked today so we opted to take today to get our sock sorted out and bought tickets for tomorrow. Thanks to all of you making recommendations to help me get over this sickness. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy when you are in a hotel but I appreciate the thought!

This is the Abra Huashuccasa Pass 4470m (14,665') and yes that's snow on the hill tops and all around us.

This road has everything. Twisties, long straight stretches, sweepers of all sizes, etc.

2 comments to Day34-Oh Dear! Water Crossings, Sun, Jan 30

  • That fair weather crossing sounded like a challenge!! Amazing! Good thing the bag didn’t go floating off the road and into the river…
    Looks like an awesome road to ride – great shot of the twisty’s

  • Jerry W

    Up until today’s installment I was all, “I could do that. All I need is Lisa to do all the border paperwork.” But today, with the water crossings, it was Game Over. You guys rock.

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