New road to Cusco

PeruPosted by Espen Thu, August 18, 2011 04:19:19

It was not in any of our maps, but the idea of a road cutting right through the jungle and to the roads north of Cusco was so appealing (would save us hundreds of kilometers) that we kept asking in every town as we drove further south. In Ayacucho we got the answer we wanted from a guy at iPeru, and he even printed us a map (we later discovered that the road now is in Google Maps). The first and the last part of this route were in the GPS maps, it was only about a hundred kms missing between them. With the new information we set out early one morning towards San Francisco in the Peruvian jungle. To get there we drove from Ayacucho at 2761 meters up to a pass at 3814and from there decended more than 3400 meters to San Francisco at about 400 meters. Phew...

San Francisco. We spent the night at a guesthouse here. The road in our maps stopped just across this river...

And there was a new road. In the beginning it was just a narrow, rough, dirt road, and we were for a while worried that we were on the wrong way. After a few kilometers the brush along the road opened up, and so did the road. It was no doubt that this was the new road.

But even if this road supposedly was only a year or two old, the jungle had already started to try to take it back. Massive landslides had taken out the road in several places. Some scarier than others...

We met maybe 5-6 cars during the whole day of driving. Not a very crowded road, but at least it looked like all the vehicles we saw that day made it through...

Eventually we came through a few villages, and we realized that we were back on more established roads. More traffic, people and houses. We were getting closer to Santa Teresa and Machu Picchu. Malin noticed that several of the houses along the road had decorations on the roofs. Never got around to aks what they actually means, though.

We didn't make it all the way to Santa Teresa this day, so we spent the night in a town called Quillabamba. We couldn't find a good place to camp so Malin persuaded the local Chief of Police to let us park in their parking lot, and we went and booked a room at a hostel.

Enjoying a well deserved refreshing Inca Kola! And the next morning: To Machu Picchu!!


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