All tourists go through Machu Picchu, but to find the right way to go is not so simple. After long discussions with many people, it now has a good idea of the different options that I will describe to you quickly so that it may be useful to other travelers.
Option 1: Classic: Take the train from Cuzco up Agua Caliente. This city is accessible only by train.
Then take the bus, or climb over an hour a steep hill in the dusty bus to the site entrance.
This is the most classic, proposed in Cuzco, and complete loop can be done in a day starting early and returning late. The proposed rates are 150 USD. One can also spend the night in Agua Caliente, which offers full accommodation not necessarily very expensive in low season.
Option 2: Sporty: follow the path of the Incas. It is a multi-day hiking trip through the mountains, passing near Inca sites to visit, with people for carrying food. The very limited number of visitors per day, need to book well in advance and have a large budget. Probably a nice option.
Yes, but we are willing to go as close as possible with the bike.
The village accessible by road nearest to Agua Caliente is Santa Teresa, has more than 200km from Cusco. So we'll do it step to show the locals how to enter the magical site.
So here we are on a super highway that winds through the Andes and rising, and rising ....
At 4130m the temperature is very low ... and especially the rain starts an hour earlier we were in the furnace bottom.
The last 50 kilometers are dirt but passable even when wet.
The road is in perpetual reconstruction because of rockfalls from the night following the storms of the season ....
Even with bad weather condition I'm having like crazy on this track. I realize how nice it is to ride with two friends, and how alone, due to endeavor to prevent the fall that would end the trip, it is forbidden to ride "fun." At one point, I realizesuddenly that off the road COULD mean one-way to the precipice, and I calm my passions ...
At nightfall, we arrive in Santa Teresa, and we will put in a small hostel which proposes to put the bikes ... in the dining room. Here is a commercial gesture that is appreciated. Especially since that one is in Peru, people always insist to not let the bikes outside for the night...
From Santa Teresa we now try to find a way to reach the Machu Picchu. In any case we have to reach Agua Caliente, and for this go first to a power plant "Energia". The problem is that to reach Energia, we must pass through a road that is cut from a landslide that took place some years ago, and reconstruction work endless. We must take a taxi or motorcycle to the landslide and continue on foot. The taxi is inexpensive and as there is nothing to secure the bikes on site, it is therefore lead early in the morning as close to "Energia". And it's raining.
The river is a strength and incredible violence. The taxi was far ahead or the road collapsed. Indeed, even more, we would not have to put the bikes in the rubble. On the next photo, we walk past the rubble, then, and we see the road cut on the other side:
45 minute walk later, we reach the powerplant. There is also a small station for the train, but the line is being repaired today. Anyway, we decided to walk up, so just follow the railroad track for 2 ½ hours walking at a brisk pace to rally Agua Caliente.
Almost there! For the last few miles, we are invited to fill up a bus of Japanese
and finally we come to discover one of the 7 wonders of the world (according to a recent trade classification)
The site is magnificent and it is instantly clear to spend time to get there. Even with lots of tourists walking around, it does not feel cramped, and it is not embarrassed at all.
Yet it gives me the impression that most walls are rebuilt. I may be wrong, and I want to believe that all stones have been found the well, but the real Inca walls are ultimately limited.
Whatever, it gives good dimension of the site, in default of the athmosphere.
Descent by bus, then walk three hours to get a new al scree blocking the road after dark. Suffice to say we slept well that night! To do it again, , we would plan to spend a night at Agua Caliente.
The next day we resumed the beautiful track in the opposite direction. And we enjoy.
But the rains of the night and disturb the river level rose. We must find the right place to go ...
Francis passes without problem
Stephane, who felt here 2 days before is carefull, but reach the other side this time with both feet (almost) dry.
I take the option to ride (maybe a bit too) quickly, saying that less time is remaining in the water, the less likely it is to pay ... and I passe.
The road is muddy sometimes to the point that trucks have to pull each other to pass
Us, we enjoy on the runway, and then the road starts winding up in the Andes, with a mixture of fog and rain. It's a little bit as if it was raining, but the drops of water remains the suspended in the air, right on our path, seeking a place to jump. If possible, a zipper, the entrance to a handle, a helmet opening, a hole in the boot ... because the Peruvian water dropis disingenuous. It choses these places to enter until the skin withered the brave biker, the freezing to the bone until the evening.
A collar is over 4300m of altutude in the cold and Rainy. Just a dirty little church open to the wind and a cabin with the surviving family. The misery does not shock me specially in Bolivia, but more in Peru.
A polaroid for the girl, I share my biscuit with ithem, and I go further, especially below, to find a milder temperatures. I am not convinced that the faith will save anything.
Apart from this episode, wonderful day, so, especially since everyone has put his two cents mechanics:
On leaving, my wheel was punctured by a nail. Small repair time to make breakfast and we are on our way.
During the day, just after crossing a small river, "teuf teuf", the 600TT Francis stops.
A force to disassemble, check, test, etc ... the bike dry and finally off again as if nothing had happened.
Stephane will not onlyrun out of fuel at 4000m of altitude in the fog ...
but will also change in emergency his rear wheel bearings at night (whew, this is a standard size that is easy)
In short, this trip to Machu Picchu will be memorable for me, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that it is more the trip with friends I will remember that Machu Picchu itself.
PD : maybe you wonder how the first pic of this article has been made as we haven't reach the Machu Picchu on the bike. Here is the answer :
And now, the adventure continues ...