Mai Perso - Travel adventures

Cusco and the Sacred Valley – Day 2 | January 31, 2012

The group was a team by now. For Safta and myself it was great since another couple was riding two up and some of the people we enjoy riding with most, where with us on this biking adventure through the Andean mountain range.
The trip to Cusco took us around the Sacred Valley, an agricultural testing ground of the Incas and the salt pools of Moray. It felt good being on the bike again. I like hiking but having a hundred HP taking you around this magical landscape, is un comparable experience. The scenery, weather, temperature and company were all perfect.ancient cultures mixing with people who are moving. slowly to the 21st century. Still working the
And with animals and wooden plows, eating ancient verticals of potatoes and drinking Chicha, a fermented corn potion.
We did about 300km that day, had a fun dirt road with a few water crossings, some gravel, long packed dirt and windy paved roads. We passed through villages with bulls blocking our way, cut slowly through herds of sheep and goats and were greeted by small chubby local matriarchs with white top hats and colorful robes made of Lama or Alpaca wool. It was the perfect way to get warmed up. A bit of everything, and once again accompanied with stunning views and dramatic sky’s. It actually looked like those cheesy posters of the Peruvian ministry of tourism.
We stopped for lunch in a local restaurant. A mother with a 9 month old baby on her back, served us a pork stew with steamed corn on the cob and sweet purple onion and fresh mint leaves (Naana) salad. The meat was a bit dry but the whole meal tasted fantastic. We were hungry and it all fit well together. nacho introduced us to Inca Cola, a local favorite that looks toxic with a fluorescent color and tons of sugar. Three 6-8 year olds were playing naked in a little stream at the back of the restaurant, chasing a miserable family pet duck, spraying it with water from empty Coke bottles. The smell of the mint, the water, the stew and the wood fire it was cooking on was the memory of the lunch. The blaring soap opera playing on an old TV in the corner, completed the scenery. Life is good! Actually, life is great. Like rolled into Cusco late afternoon and found our way to the hotel, am old colonial house turned modern charming hotel. Greeted by a friendly staff we went to our rooms and changed. Everybody was planning on going to check out the center of Cusco but by the time I was out of the room, a drizzle was washing the streets of town and the warm bed and an afternoon nap was very attractive. The ride, the impressions, fresh thin air and the events leading to the trip all brought us all to the same conclusion.
Later afternoon, I made my way to the city center. I wasn’t in love with Cusco. It is restored and in a beautiful condition.
Packed with tourists, Israeli advertisements for Showarma grills and trips on ATVs, and Thai Girls promoting massageS with happy endings…
A well trained 10 year old girl named Sara was harassing me and managed to sell me a local straw doll that was probably imported from China. I took the mandatory panoramic photos, checked the box on Cusco and strolled through the small ally’s back to the hotel.

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