Saturday, June 29, 2013

No Ambulance Mule for Us...Ride Report for Pete and Brian Gass

Guy shows up at the café ( a few months ago and orders a pile of food. Tops it all off with a grasshopper milkshake and hangs out to ask about the MotoMission poster on the bulletin board. I gave him a good pitch and the glands in his mouth started producing. We talked bikes. We talked routes. We talked types of terrain. Then we talked possibilities.
In the beginning...Clean bikes and no sore muscles.
It was a short while after that I received an email from Brian saying that he and his father were interested in embarking on one of our crazy adventures. We figured out prices and dates, then the prep began.
I prepared them as good as anyone can for a ride of the caliber that we were to do. However, because of the nature of the pure adventure of it all, there is no amount of planning that can prepare you for what these guys were signing up to do.
We agreed to attempt the Salkantay route. It is a popular route for trekkers that want to try their new boots on and get to the top without having to break down and jump on the back of the “ambulance mule.”
Brian had trekked it before and knew it would be a tough challenge, but doable. He was sure his pops would be able to handle the trail as well.  As we communicated the options amongst ourselves, we chose to make the Salkantay as the core of the route. Everything else was a trail to get to or from it. 
The guys arrived in Cusco. I hooked up with them to go over the details of the journey. We talked about what to bring and not to bring. I also focused on making sure these guys were pumped up about the craziness that was rapidly coming our way.

Day One - Strap Your Boots on Man!

Dropping into a pristine lake near Chinchero
The following morning, I picked up Pete and Brian. They were full of smiles. If they only knew what the rest of the day would look like…
We headed back to the MotoMission headquarters to gear up. It was quite a process as we were going to be on the trail for 5 days. There would be no support vehicles as the trail we were taking was off the grid with regards to access by car. We had to make sure we were totally ready for anything.
My family cooked up an amazing breakfast for us. We distributed weight. We reviewed the tool and extra parts list. We grinned from ear to ear knowing that this was going to be a blast.
Within about an hour, we were ready to depart.  We mounted up on the bikes, and hit the trail. However, before we left, we had a bit of a conversation to set the ride rules. Keep the wheels down and head up. If you are spent, stop and rest. If you are not sure you can make it, stop and rest. If you need to pass somebody, there are no rules…just do it!

Don’t Die on the First Day

We began with a difficult test; A climb out of the Cusco valley via a rocky single track uphill that goes from 11000ft to about 13000 in about a mile of riding. Technical enough to whip you and high enough to cause cardiac arrest. Combine the two and it was a great way to start our adventure.
We made it to the top. From there, it was a fun ride to Chinchero and then to Iscuchaca where we devoured a piece of chicken or two while the local kids passed by in amazement at the crazy gringos that happened to be out of place and in their town.
From Iscuchaca, we made our way down into the valley of Limatambo. The road down to the bottom of the valley was loaded with cuts that were essentially single track walking paths for the locals that do not like to do switchbacks. It was there that the first sketchy get off took place. Brian had a bout with low siding down a steep embankment that left his helmet visorless and his body a bit shaken. He was a trooper and quickly shook it off. We quickly arrived in Limatambo looking for some superglue to fix the visor. Along with the visor, a front fork leak was scaring us a bit as we had a lot of riding left to go. So we searched Limatambo for a roll of 35 mm film with which Pete was going to dazzle us young pups with an old trick of the trade.  He was going to use it to remove the debris that was causing the leak in the fork seal. To no avail, all we got was a good Peruvian run around. Our final stop for the day was Mollepata. It was a short ride up the side of a mountain. The views were amazing as the sun seemed to spotlight the highest hillsides and terrain as we traversed back and forth on the switchbacks.
Plenty of great single track on this route
We arrived at Mollepata to be welcomed by another large batch of folks fascinated by the fact that we were at the begining of “the trail.” I think they were all thinking that we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up there. Nobody just goes to Mollepata unless they were going to trek the Salkantay. If that was what they thought, they were wrong… We were there to pass through…but on our motos of course.
Our digs in Mollepata...All to ourselves
Julio, the guy that was getting us our hotel and food for the night actually pulled through(in Peru, we keep our expectations low so we are not always getting disappointed). He was there on time. The amenities weren't 5 star, but steps above the second best place in town( I stayed there last time). The views from our hotel were impressive. Out our door we could overlook the valley we had just come from. Beautiful to say the least…
After a hot shower, a good dinner, and a bit of fixing bikes in the dark, we called it a night. We all slept like babies knowing that the following day would be our big test. The Salkantay was in our dreams that night. At that point we were not sure if it would be a nightmare or not, but the next day would be arriving soon. Into a deep sleep with a smile on our faces from a great first day.

Day Two -  No Other Dirtbikes on This Trail…

Getting through the valley before the Salkantay Pass
We woke early in order to get a jump on the tourists that would be hiking the same trail. Our goal was to get out in front so as not to bother anyone. With nothing but snacks for breakfast, we hit the trail. We flew through the double track to reach the single track trail head. We crossed a rocky creek with a couple of flabbergasted guides wondering what in the world we were planning on doing. As we passed by, a few nods and greetings were exchanged, and then to the trail to conquer the daunting pass that lay in our path.
The trail consisted of an epic single track ripping along side of a waterfall ridden canyonside. The trail, at places, dropped into the low point of the valley to cross the stream of glacier runoff. The stream looked like a limp spaghetti noodle twisting to and fro through the marshy valley below. The difficulty level of this part of the trail was high. However, nothing that we had already encountered compared to the obstacles that lay ahead. We continued on through the valley with our breath being taken away by the views as well as the altitude. We reached the first climb of the ascent to the Salkantay pass. It was filled with rock and gravel. In essence, it was a creek bed that we fought to climb to the top. At the end of the section lay a flat grassy area full of mud and other types of obstacles that would certainly test our fortitude. It was a fight to reach the top of each of these sections. However, with 3 more days following, we pushed through like a herd of mules. Our goal was to get to the top, take some pictures, then get the heck off that crazy mountain so we could get to a lower altitude to get some oxygen into our systems.

Almost to the top...Salkantay Mountain in the background
With our final push to the top of the pass, we ran into the most difficult obstacle; 15000+ foot altitude. It puts a heavy psychological burden on your mind. It is tough to deal with. The lack of oxygen, the fatigue from the difficult terrain, and the mental obstacles make it a viable option to give up. With these guys, it was not an option. We struggled to the top knowing that downhill was just over the hilltop.
While at the top, pictures are a must. Most people never take the opportunity to be at that high of a place in their lifetimes, except for a flight. Better take a picture!
Cold and tired, but on top of the world-15,300 feet
With our pictures taken, we mounted up, and started our descent down the rocky trail towards the jungle that it enters in just a few miles down the way. Our skills were tested throughout the section as the ledges were steep, the trail was nearly impassable at points, and our bodies were spent from the previous battle between man and machine.
Brian posing with an incredible back drop
We took many breaks during this section just in order to keep our sanity. The concentration it takes to stay on the trail is exhausting. As we continued our descent, the weather started changing and we quickly found ourselves sweating under our enduro jackets. It was time to re-evaluate the clothing situation. In the course of a couple of miles or so, the climate had gone from frozen tundra to a tropical island.
Couple of handsome fellas taking a selfie shot
We finally arrived at the end of the trail section which was a big relief. It was a long day and seeing some dirt road to ride was a treat. We bombed down the dirt road towards a popular spot for the trekkers called, La Playa. We passed through to find ourselves getting slapped in the helmets by the jungle shrubbery as we cut corners on our race through the plethora of coffee plantations to arrive in Santa Teresa.

There was an invitation by some hot springs that we did not want to pass up. We quickly arrived in Santa Teresa and went straight to the hot springs. Dinner was devoured, and the hot springs welcomed us with open arms.
We soaked until our skin was wrinkled up like a 100 year grandpa.  The hotel situation was great too. We stayed at the best place we could find. They had parking for the bikes and enough beds for the three of us. Nothing else mattered at that point. Day two was a huge success. Tired and smiling; both of which are an indication of a good day!

Day Three - That Ain’t no Motorcycle Trail!

The scenery is surreal...
We had no reason to get up early. Day three was scheduled as our "easy" day. There are not a lot of ways out of the valley except by way of the main highway. We had a fun section of high speed dirt road that led us to the highway. From there, we worked our way up the Malaga Pass. This is a high mountain pass that makes you wish you had more clothes on. We froze ourselves getting to the top, but what awaited us was another incredible trail.
On top of Malaga, there begins a downhill mountain bike trail that was just recently used for a big downhill competition. The trail is well marked, contained no traffic, and goes downhill like a bad investment. Needless to say it was an adrenaline filled drop to the bottom. It was a perfect amount of trail after the previous day. It also led us to a little town at the end of The Sacred Valley of the Incas named Ollantaytambo. There, we were able to fill up on a couple of great pizzas, clean up at our hostel, and then head out for some exploring(on dirtbikes of course!).
We ran across a couple of trails that really got us excited. It was a great day to finish up with some free riding. We discovered a few trailheads that would lead us into the area that we would be riding the next day, even though we had a different start point. It was exciting to see the options. Back to town for a brownie smothered in chocolate to get us through the night and then it was bed time. We had another good day to look forward to.

Day Four – We Had No Idea

We encountered some juicy mud
We had a lazy morning. There were not a lot of miles on the docket for the day, so we ate a hearty breakfast and sipped our coffee in peace. After we geared up and checked out of our hotel, it was a short dirt road to the trailhead that led us to the Lares Valley. This route is one of many options for the popular Lares Trek. However, because of the popularity of the main Inca Trail, the Lares Trek is not very utilized. Perfect for us!
The trail started with a batch of singletrack rising up behind a small community of Patacancha. As we passed through, the local young boys observed the team of motorcycles powering up the path. They often would stick out their hands for a high five or give us the windmill motion for us to turn the throttle and rip on by. Gotta love the thrill of boys and motorcycles…
The trail for the day held many an obstacle for us. The first part was full of rocky outcroppings that we had to maneuver over and through. At altitude, these were difficult. The terrain went from super perfect smooth dirt to slick mud, to grass trail in matters of seconds. This kept Pete, Brian, and I on our guards. In fact, when we failed to be ready, we often found ourselves picking up our bikes and brushing off our knees.
So many great spots...
The Lares trail is incredible. I have been to many places in my lifetime and this is one of the highlights. It just keeps going. It is like a bottomless bag of peanut M&M’s; so good, and it never stops! The scenery is full of high peaks, pristine lakes, tiny grass thatched casas dotting the landscape. The colorful Andean dress of the locals are seen in contrast to the marshy green grass that fills the valleys. This is a blessed place. The lifestyle that one must lead to live in a place like that has got to be one of simple awe each day of how it was all put together. Fascinating to say the least.
We managed to get through a lot of difficult sections while maintaining our awe of the scenery. It seemed like every time we would stop, the conversation would start with a, “can you believe this? “ or, “this is incredible. Can it get any better?”
Arriving at the final climb before the pass to the Lares Valley, we encountered an obstacle that was quite difficult; A long muddy hill, full of ruts, slick grass, and lots of feet above sea level. With many attempts by Brian, he finally made it. Trying all the different options, he worked his way up and down a number of times before he finally found the route. Then it was time for Pete to give it a shot. Pete was whipped from the past 20 miles. However, he managed to take the route that Brian pointed out with hand motions from the top. Pete, gave it a couple of go’s and arrived at the top, winded and grinning from ear to ear. High five with his boy on top of the world!
Next was my turn. I was able to get up the slimy hillside to congratulate the boys on a good climb. It was not easy, but the reward was three fold. First, the view was dualiscious( made that word up). On one side, we looked back at the valley we had just come from. There are not enough memory cards in the world that could capture the beauty of it. Then as we looked at the trail that slithered down in front of us and into the next valley, we realized that it just kept going. Second, the feeling of accomplishment of reaching the top of the pass was invigorating. We were spent…our energy level was waning, but as we reached the top, there was some sort of energy that filled us up. It was needed as we had another tough stretch in our route. Third, as a team of three, we were doing this together. We all had our share of difficulties along the trail. Helping each other to get through is part of the thrill. We felt like we had accomplished the task of getting to the pass.  What a refreshing moment it was. We took a lot of pictures, celebrated a bit, and talked about if only so and so could be here.
The downhill in front of us was daunting. The trail went down, and down fast. As we fired up the bikes and bombed down the tight rocky single track, it was obvious that we were not in an easy place to ride. The angle of the hill, the looseness of the rock, and the slickness of the mud all created a double black diamond type of run; Fun, but a bit sketchy.
We meandered down through the valley to find ourselves at the most difficult part of the trail. It was a rock outcropping with no other way around. Over the top, to the edge, and down the rocky switchbacks to reach the moist meadow at the bottom. It was a scene out of a Chronicles of Narnia movie. Curious but scared alpacas scurried on the rock ledges above. The others critters took breaks from grazing on the greens,  lifted their long necks, and caught a view of the action as we dropped down the rocks.
Pristine mountain lake nestled in a high valley above Lares
This valley is home to a couple of little friends of mine that I met on a previous scouting trip. Ronald and Dena. They helped me find a bag of camera batteries and cards that I somehow dropped when I was replacing a battery on one of my Go Pro helmet cameras. They helped search the trail and Dena happened to find it. I was so excited that she found it that I told them I would bring back a “thank you” gift for them on the next pass through their valley. Certainly enough, Dena was out there on the day we came through. I got a chance to meet her mother. Nice family! I gave Dena and Ronald a survival bracelet to use in an emergency. It put a smile on her face. Ronald was not there, but I was able to leave his bracelet with Dena. It was good to see my little friends on our way through.
With the last leg of our route in our sights, we continued through the end of the valley where the town of Huacahuasi lays nestled in the valley floor with the culmination of all the water from the upper part forming a river that feeds the town with life. The trail however, ran along the upper valley wall and descended down to the town in a perfect riding trail. Just pure fun. Pete and Brian had the biggest cheese eatin’ grins on their faces when we got to the bottom. I could tell it was a good day for those fellas.
Once we got across the little bridge, we had a a short jaunt to the Lares Hot Springs where we found a place to stay, and a great place to soak off some soreness from the day’s adventure. Dinner was ordered for 6. Brian still had a bit of energy left, so we went on an exploratory ride and found some super technical trail that thrilled us to no end. It was not only a great trail, but ended up at a couple of high lakes that were fed with cascading waterfalls and glaciers. There was no shortage of beauty.
another crossing point over water...
The locals were fishing for trout. As they saw us coming by, they motioned with their arms so as to direct us where the trail went. So we took them up on the offer and gave it a shot. Around the lake that reflected the mountains behind, Brian and I ripped up the rock, the tight ledges, and the climbs that seemed to eternally keep going up.  We got to the point where we needed to head back as dinner would be ready. After a good talk with the local fisherman who invited us to come back and fish with them, we took off to get back down the hill to reach our resting point; Lares Hot springs. There we had a plate of fresh fried trout, potatoes, and rice waiting for us. In addition, the soaking pools were music to our ears. The water was hot, no crowds, and just a perfect finish for the day. It just doesn’t get any better…

Day Five – The Grand Finale

We had little on the morning agenda but to get up when we wanted, eat breakfast when we wanted, and leave when we wanted. The days ride was going to be loaded toward the end of the day. We had some dirt road riding to get back to the Sacred Valley. There we ate a great big lunch at the Blue Llama on the main plaza in the quaint little town of Pisac. Pot roast and mashed potatoes…Just like Grandma’s!
From there, it was a short ride up the canyon to reach the trail. We had talked about a tough challenge for the finale, and both Pete and Brian were up to the task; Make it to the cross on Picol Mountain. To get there, we put our tires on a ridge trail that has a tendency to make dirt bikers smile. It is an amazing tight trail that has the Cusco valley on the right and the small community of CCorrau on the left. We were literally riding on the ridge! Once we got to the end of that trail, we found ourselves at the starting point for the climb up Picol.
We took a good break and discussed the possibilities. I really wanted the guys to give it a go. I also realized that we had just spent 4 and a half days pushing ourselves to the limits of our strengths and abilities. It was their call. I am here to get them to the top if they chose.
I knew Brian was in. As for Pete, I was not sure. With a big sigh, and a confident shoulder drop, Pete let out a good word. “Let’s give it a shot!”
With a bit of instruction to just keep going until you cannot go any further, I fired up my bike to help give them an idea of the line. I quickly petered out, pulled my bike off the trail to let them pass and gave them a good windmill motion for them to keep on going. We leapfrogged up the hill like a couple of mountaineers conquering a summit.
Shortly after our commencement, we found ourselves bushed. Our lungs were craving more oxygen while our minds were screaming obscenities at us for doing this. That is how it typically goes with a challenging hillclimb. There were a couple spots where it would have been really easy to call it quits and head back down. However, Pete and Brian kept the goal in mind and pushed through the difficulty. Between the three of us, we managed to get past the most difficult part. From there, it was a long but not technical climb to the cross at the top. With Brain making it first, standing on top with his hands in the air out of celebration, Dad was right behind. I got to see these two gents arrive at the top with another celebration. What a finish! It was a finish, because just at the bottom of Picol is the headquarters for MotoMission.
We captured a lot of moments on video, took a good share of pics, once again talked about so and so and how they would love this, and then found out that our water supply had been depleted with the previous hours of struggle. We were all super thirsty and decided to bail down the hill. A few minutes later, we found ourselves dropping into the valley of Cusco. We arrived at the MotoMission office with worn out bodies, busted up motorcycles, and the sense of complete satisfaction and accomplishment.
Pete and Brian were the first group of guys that I have taken on this route. It was a physical struggle. It was full of victories and defeats. However, as goes with motos, the glory is in the journey; And glorious it was.
I must say that this was as exciting for me as for anyone. This was an ideal tour. The planning and prep paid off. We were flexible enough to stay on somewhat of a schedule.  Pete and Brian were not only great riders, but awesome fellas as well. I had a great time getting to know them and hearing about their lives. I have never met their family, but feel like I know them all. 5 days of that type of adventure and you get to know one another. I have to say it was a highlight!
The tour was technically over on Saturday, but we ended up with over a hundred gigs of video and pics that we needed to share. So the next day, we connected to transfer the memories to their hard drive. That way they could go home and not just talk about it, but show some of their soon to be jealous friends about the adventure in Peru.
Father and Son on top of Picol...Great ride fellas!
In addition, I was able to take them to the Altivas Canas Children’s project on the outskirts of Cusco. The model of the business is that all of the profits from these tours go to fund that project. These guys got to see the project first hand. It may not have been a driving factor in doing the tour, but it sure is a huge benefit for the mission. The Altivas Canas Children’s project is a project that supports single mothers and their children by giving the kids a place to go after school. When the kids go home each night, their homework is done, bellies are filled with a nutritious meal, and the kids have gotten some energy out of their systems. The kids can just go home and spend time with Mom. It's a beautiful project!
Having the time of your life while supporting an awesome project is a great combination.  Thank you Pete and Brian for taking this adventure with us. Enjoy the memories. Share the videos. Come back and do it again!
MotoMission Peru

Monday, June 3, 2013

You into bikes, Man?

Ride report - Mike Rowley
The young man walked into the cafe.   “I’m looking for Scott!” he exclaimed.

I was sitting down at a table getting some paperwork done. This gentleman with a stout accent of the northern British Isles continued after I made myself known,” You into bikes, man?”
With a quick confirmation that I was indeed "into" bikes, we started a conversation that went on for quite a while. The conversation consisted of everything from Dakar to Baja and from Honda to Husky; Exciting to say the least.
Then it was onto business. Mike wanted to go on a ride. I wanted to guide him. It was a great piece of chemistry.  We agreed that Monday was the day and the details were hammered out about the meetup time. Meet at The Meeting Place Café at 8:30 and we started with a motohead breakfast, well it was the Scott’s Special…A great concoction to get anyone ready for an unforgettable moto ride.
Off to MotoMission headquarters to gear up and hit the trail. A little prep which consisted of a few finger points to the tops of ridges and peaks while explaining that we are heading to those places. With excitement in Mike’s eyes, we continued. Fitted and ready to go, we looked like a couple of pro racers. Maybe even better…
A couple of minutes later we found ourselves at the bottom of Picol mountain. This is a little hill that tops out at 14385 feet. It is all uphill. No place to catch your breath as if it would even be possible at that altitude. The trail consists of a killer single track laden with views of the valley with Cusco lying on the floor below. Incredible!
As we hammered through the tight switchbacks, the rocky step ups, and the tight blind corners that if missed would toss you a few hundred feet below. It was all good. Once out of breath and unable to go one more revolution of our motors, we stopped to take a break. We were only a third of the way to the top. We decided to take our time going up as we had a lot of riding in our future and did not want to use our energy so early in the morning.
So there we were chipping away at this monster of a mountain. Little by little, each terrace was an obstacle to overcome. Piece by piece we made it to the ridge which then provided at least a trail that was trackable; Should be no problem.
On the ascent, there were numerous obstacles such as the tight switchbacks of the trail, the rain slickened grass, and then of course the decreasing oxygen levels in our blood streams. As we approached the top, we were greeted by an enormous cross at the peak. What a treat to have such a view at the final spot in the trail.
On top of Picol Mountain with Cusco in the valley behind
That may have been the final spot of that trail, but our day was only beginning. I was able to show Mike the basic ridges and route that we would soon take. With our breath caught, we mounted up and bombed down the sketchy mountain that was steep and riddled with obstacles. Once back to the road at the bottom, Mike and I rode a minute or two to the base of another amazing part of the day. I call it the Enaco ridge. I am not sure if there is a real name, but that is what I call it. With an incredible hill climb full of rock, terraces, and rutted out washes, we made it to the top which is where we found an inviting single track that ran us along a ridge with Cusco city on the left, way down and on the left, and Corrau on the right, even further down and to the right. Mike was all smiles as he rode the ridge on top of the world.
Once at the end of the Enaco trail, we dropped into Corrau, then up another mountain full of switchbacks, mudpits, single track hill climbs, and just plain fun two track with no shortage of views. At the top of the route, we crested the hill to find a pristine lake nestled in a high grassy valley. It was a great place to take a breather as we were at a pretty high pass and a bit winded.
From the lake, we headed down a single track route to the town of K’enko. To get to this tiny little pueblo, one has to travel down a section of rock that challenges the best of riders. With stair step after stair step of off kilter rocks, we arrived at the tiny town. We passed through and found ourselves cresting the top of the Sacred Valley of the Inkas.  With a little bit more trail behind us, we came to another small community where we were greeted by a handful of kids that wanted to check out our cool bikes. As we stopped for a spell, the kids made it perfectly clear that there was no passage on the route that we would soon be taking to reach the Sacred Valley floor.
It sounded like more of a challenge to Mike and I. Who says there is no passage? They must not be talking about us. Off we went with a bunch of kids and townspeople expecting to see us again in pretty short order.
As we headed down the trail, we came to a few simple obstacles wondering if they were the ones the townsfolk were talking about. After a short little bit of riding, there was no question.
We came to a number of landslides that were certainly challenging obstacles. Much of our time was spent navigating five of these nerve wracking challenges. With the first four of them behind us, we were sure there could not be any more in our schedule. While we were grossly incorrect, we came upon the biggest and most challenging of them all. We arrived, hopped off the bikes to take a look, and quickly found that we had a tough job ahead of us. We scoped out the options of going high, low, and even hopped back on the bikes and rode to the top of the slide to see if there was another route around the obstacle. We decided that hitting it head on would be the best bet.
We both agreed on the strategy. We would build a steep hill climb on the edge of the slide to get the bikes as high as possible. With the height advantage, we would have a bit more contingency space if we ended up sliding down the sandy crevice.  Mike agreed to have me drive the bikes, while he found good footing to help catch the bike in the event of problem.
With our little path as good as it could get, I jumped on the first bike and made a circle as I bounced motivational messages around the inside of my helmet.  I was ready for Mike to catch me. Blipping the throttle with a good chunk of power, I reared down on the back of the seat as the suspension smashed down with a heavy batch of traction. Up the route I went to the bailout point. A good high side and I came to rest with the bike between my legs, Mike with a relieved type of smile, and a really difficult finish to this predicament we had just entered.
Mike attached the tow strap to the front of the bike while I agreed to help push the bike. With just a thought of beginning, the bike began to slide down the loose dirt and rock only to get hung up on the handlebar and Mike’s pressure on the strap. We got it under control, but found ourselves quite low on the slide with very little room for another one of those events. Somehow, we were able to shimmy across the remaining 15 feet of the slide with bike in hand and good health. Then we were onto the next bike.
With a bit of experience under our belts, we thought that it would be better to go even higher. That took a bit more power, but it seemed to work out fine. While we began to traverse the second bike across the slide, it also began to slide. Just like the first. This one was just a bit higher on the hill. No problem!
We were able to get things under control and get the bike to safety. With a short break to catch up on our breath, a quick drink of water, and a short going over our bikes for damage,  we mounted up.
We were only about 4 hours late for lunch and the joke became that we could not wait for lunch and that we needed to get dinner instead.
Down to the valley below, only to pass by a group of people that happened to be watching us try to kill ourselves on the slide above their farm. It was an interesting conversation, but they seemed to be smiling…My guess is that they thought we might be idiots. No worries…we were hungry. To the bottom of the valley we came. A mile or two on the highway to arrive in Pisac and to The Blue Llama for a great pot roast dinner with mashed potatoes and a cold Powerade; just what we needed.
It was getting dark and we were absolutely exhausted. We still had a few more miles to go to get to the ridge trail that dropped us into our neighborhood. We chose to ride the pavement up the road for about 10 miles back to the town of Corrau. From there, we jumped back on the trail for a night ride single track down the first trail we had traveled just 8 hours previously. With the beauty of the lights of Cusco glaring below, we arrived back to MotoMission headquarters with everything intact, a little gas in the tank, and a cheese eating grin that only could mean one thing…That was a great ride!