The border from Ecuador to Peru was considered a few years ago as unsafe and dangerous, but apparently someone had cleared up lately. Modern, clean and nothing going on. The border officials of Ecuador and Peru sat in the same building at the same desk, punching out and punching in one train. I do not know if this is unique worldwide, but at least extremely rare. A woman from Peru's Tourism Association told me that it was not possible to go to Lima. Because of the devastating rainfall, the road was impassable, but there were free flights of the Peruvian Air Force, but there could be problems with the bike.
I drove along the very beautiful beaches in the north of Peru, every day the sun was shining, apparently the rains had just passed. The mud on the road and the military, which brought relief supplies, gave however a small impression which must have been loosened here just a few days ago.
Without a problem, I drove up to Piura, perhaps the ugliest city in the world, and I went straight to the airport's military entrance at noon. From here, there were the free flights to Lima. About 100 - 150 people were there, I expected a much bigger chaos. I asked a soldier whether it would be clear by bike, and he said yes. So I put my name on the list and already 1 ½ hours later I was called, equal I am in LIMA!
I stepped forward, a soldier looked at me, saw the bike, shook his head and said, no can not. I told him that I can not swim and there is no other way to Lima, but he remained obstinate. First, say something rash and then insist on the opinion. Unfortunately he was the boss. So I tried to talk with all the other soldiers to get somehow to Lima, after all, it is no magic to stuff a bike into an airplane.
In the end, a local helped me and drove with me to the market, which was as filthy as the rest of the city. We got some cardboard and tape, returned to the airport and packed the bike , The package was just as big as the bike without packaging, but it was much more unwieldy, but they were now satisfied, since it was now no longer a bicycle but a package. Unfortunately, my name was already read at noon, I was not on any list.
In my explanatory experiments I encountered 100% ignorance. This was probably the gringo bonus, because even people who wanted to transport a dog in a cardboard box were let go after discussion, as I was told in my discussion about the bike that these are humanitarian flights.
The next plane was full, but there was one last one. Now all of them should be in a line, which are not on any list and still want to, women and children first. I saw my chances soften, but in fact there were more places than people, so they had to take me with them. Once again I saw the boss's rebellion in his eyes, but there were no excuses, and after a good hour I was in Lima. This had jumped 1000km, so about 2 weeks, the landscape probably would have given little and before which I had horror. Thus a catastrophe that had cost huge damage and cost some human life had brought me great happiness. Quite strange.
After a weekend party in modern Lima, I had caught a light cold, for the first time during the trip, which even turned into a sinus infection. No time for excuses, it went on and in the middle of the desert. For this 400km it was really nice, with the beach of Paracas and the final farewell of the Pacific, the oasis Huacachina, the strange lines of Nazca and the accompanying drawings. Sleeping in the middle of the desert without a tent was a magical moment and the warmth of pure pleasure, because I knew what was next on the list: The Andes. Again, but this time higher and colder than before.
In the meantime, I know what height meters mean and did not want to be struggling from 600 to 4200 in one piece. I'm doing this for fun, please do not forget. The woman of the bus company refused me the bus ride, because of the bike ... what do the Peruvians have against bicycles? Actually nothing, it was only twice in a row bad luck. So I drove to the foot of the mountain, hung a slow truck and pulled me up. He stopped and said I should recharge the things is more relaxed.
For 5 hours the truck tormented the mountain and I tormented. The sinuses, which I had in the heat of the desert quite well under control, caused now because of the cold in combination with the lower air pressure unimaginable headaches and I reflected on what I do when I pass out. Probably nothing. Somehow I overruled the ride, I let myself out at the top and it went somewhat downhill. The next day again over 4000m and again cruel headaches, plus one night in a village at 5 degrees in the storeroom, way too cold! The following day, I grabbed a food poisoning on top of it, which ended in a miserable fever. Knockout.
At this point I would like to ask a question (especially from anxious mothers): "And what is the best thing when de ma get sick?" "Wait and go again as soon as possible." I threw the fuffis through the farmacia and screamed "Bo Bo "and after two days it went on.
The air on + - 4000m was damn thin and you had to breathe rhythmically, partly also cleverly hyperventilate to supply the lungs with sufficient oxygen. With every rise of more than 150m, I looked for a steep place and waited for big trucks to speed up once and hang on to the back of the truck. Even if I had to wait an hour, it was worth it, since the ascents were often more than 1000m. The maximum was 39km, which I took the mountain up without a break. So I had at least a very relaxing time, because I did not have to go uphill or downhill much.
With fresh legs I reached for Abancay to Octavio. When once heard of a family who did not have a house to live, he released his room, let the family move in, and built a tree house in the middle of the city. Since then, he has been living there and welcoming travelers from all over the world to Couchsurfing and Warmshowers. He told me a few tricks about Machu Picchu and I put the mission Zero in the head, so for 0 soles to get there.
The "normal way" is probably by bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo to drive; There the perhaps most expensive train in the world to Aguas Calientes to take the village at Machu Picchu, which costs at least 70U $ for the easy route of 45km; In an overpriced hotel to sleep; Because one is a lazy pig, to take the bus for 12U $ high to the gate; The entry of currently about 35 € to pay; To take a tour guide; Because you're an even lazy pig, take the bus for 12U $ again down; To sleep in the hotel again; With the rip-off train again to Ollantaytambo and again by bus back to Cusco. With the overpriced food in Aguas Calientes one is times loosely at 300 € thereby. If you have it is of course no matter, but still one remains a lazy pig, if one takes the bus to the entrance gate. No Hatin 'at this point. Only facts.
The normal way is relatively expensive, but also relatively unspectacular and somehow everyone wants to have his individual Machu Picchu experience. So I had worked out the perfect plan, and he failed relatively fatal. First I bought food for two days, so as not to have to dine in the overpriced Aguas Calientes. Then I went to the last village by the rails, to which there is a road, Piscacucho. From there you can walk 32km along the tracks to Machu Picchu village. There are forbidden signs, but not more. Unfortunately, it was already 9pm and I could not find a place to get rid of my bike and luggage.
So I drove back to Ollantaytambo the next morning, found a hostel for bicycles and luggage and took a bus that runs 160km outside and ends on the other side of Machu Picchu, near Hidroelectronics. So the first 10 euros were gone. From there 10km idyllic walk to Aguas Calientes. Theoretically, you could even reach this by bicycle and after I have seen the approach and hike, I must say it must be a real nightmare, because then one is with his heavy touring bike in Aguas Calientes ... and must also get out again. I had been thinking about this option and was relieved that I had not chosen it.
Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu is separated by a river, over which a bridge leads. The plan was to sneak over the bridge at night, hoping that the Seguridad would sleep. So I slept for a few hours like a homeless person on a park bench and set off at 2.30am at night. Unfortunately the Seguridad did not sleep and asked me what I was doing here. "Äääähhh, camping, donde?" Over there, aha, so I went back and back to my park bench.
So a normal ticket the next morning, with my expired, but slightly modified student certificate still received the discounted price. The next 22 € away. Since I did not want to let the title of the lazy pig in any case, I ran up the mountain. I had developed some welding drops. As a solo traveler, of course you do not take a tour guide, you can listen free of charge for larger groups.
Machu Picchu, which is already the cracker, what a view. How can you build a settlement so isolated on this hill? In the morning until noon was quite a hustle and bustle of tourists, but as many walked their tourguides and were probably somewhat tied in time or just tired, especially the afternoon, when the weather was even better, was very relaxed and it was really fun , Just to sit there and enjoy the view, while the alpacas mowed the lawn, and I later also a little under the arms. In addition, I managed a welfare: I was the first visitor who did not put a wrong grin on his self, but a real one. Now seriously, there are so many wrong grins in one place there probably is nowhere else in this world. Are you doing picture ... Machu Picchu.
And since I leave in so many forums, as people complain about the many Touris, I must probably leave a comment on this: Whether Pauschaltouri or wannabe Indiana Jones, ultimately one is probably nevertheless also part of the mass and contributes to it In that there are so many tourists, whether you want or not. For loneliness one would have had to come 40 years earlier. Nevertheless, one should be lucky that Machu Picchu can still be afforded as a poor traveler or backpacker, because my forecast is that in a few years only the millionaire club will meet.
However, I ran down the mountain again and made my way along the tracks for six hours. Right at the beginning I met a few backpackers from Lima, who wanted to run 4km to a hydroelectric power station, to take the local train, but for me as a foreigner was forbidden. The guys and girls, however, were motivated to smuggle me into the local train and one gave me the Peruvian ID to his father Eduardo. I pulled my hood over, it was very inconspicuous, especially because I was 1 ½ heads bigger than all the others in the crowded train. This overcrowding caused the conductor, however, not to look in the face, but only to take my ID and to quickly issue the ticket. Conversely, I paid 2.86 €, which is about 1/25 of the price of the Ripoff train and I was back in Ollantaytambo on my bike. Mission Zero had failed, 35 € for Machu Picchu with all the trimmings is still pretty good.
For me, Peru was mentally closed. Once again, it went uphill to reach the Altiplano, a high plateau at about 3600 - 4000m. "Hight" obviously hides "just", i.e. There were no more beautiful panoramas, but it was now quite relaxed. It was along the legendary Lake Titicaca, which is not so mystical, if you know how damn cold it is up there, and practically in the lake, I passed the border with Bolivia.
After over 22 months on the road and over 37.000km in the bottom bracket, I have a goal in mind: Gelnhausen-Haitz aka. The Place To Be. If the one time or another could start a little confetti, I would be happy. At the end of July I will be back. Stay fresh and stay tuned. See you.