Sunday morning we packed up and set off on the trip into the jungle. Alex had to go to Urubamba to pick up the bike he rented, so Gabe and I headed to Urcos to meet him. Once again, I got pulled over going into town, but the officer was nice and wished me luck on the trip. Sunday means market day for most villages, so the plaza was packed. Alex showed up on his borrowed bike and we took off. It was nice to travel with other motorcycles for once, the last 2,000 miles I’ve ridden alone.
Puerto Moldonado here we come
The first part of the ride was a climb up to a 13,500 pass with stunning views of the valley the whole way up. As we crossed over the top, we were able to see Ausangate. It is the 20,000 foot peak that can be partially seen from Cusco. We were headed right for it. I was able to put the bike in neutral and just coast down the steep descent. We rode on more roads that twisted and turned down the mountain and along the river. It was an absolute blast on the bike and the scenery continued to be amazing.
We eventually reached the town of Tinke. We had trouble turning down the little side road in town because there were two weddings going on!! It was a massive party, but we couldn’t stay. Finally, the first time for me in Peru, we left pavement and starting traveling on a killer dirt road. One part had a very steep, rocky climb that was so fun to get up. The road continued directly toward Ausangate. Wow. Along the road we spotted a two-track, it was time to go exploring. We left the dirt road and took off on a barely visible track up the hill. It was pretty technical, but worth it for another view of the valley.
Alex battling up the steep incline
Headed to Pacchanta
Road that needed to be explored
Almost to town
Eventually the road ended in a tiny little village of about 10 buildings. Pacchanta is very remote, known for its hot springs and is a usual ending spot for hikers circling Ausangate. We parked our bikes on a hill opposite the town and piled in a small room ($1.50) with four beds. We immediately went into the hot springs. Now they had mentioned it to me before the town, but I didn’t pay attention because every hot spring I have ever been to has been a total disappointment. Well, these were awesome!! The outdoor pool area had a direct view of the mountain, the water was clean, and the temperature was just hot enough so that you had to get out every 15 minutes to cool off. We stayed in for several hours. I don’t even get a chance to go in hot tubs at home and here I was in Peru enjoying the most scenic and comfortable hot tub I had been in for a long time.
View from above
Awesome hot springs
Alpaca photo bomb
We found a woman in town willing to make us dinner for $2. Gabe and Alex had a business meeting with a gentleman and then it was time for bed. I was so exhausted after three days of intense motorcycle riding.