Cusco on a motorbike (Chiquitita)

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23/5 Early start, eight that is, to make the most of the day before the unsteady skies will empty themselves out upon us. Cold and beautiful mountain roads. The fog and slight drizzle makes the landscape look even more dramatic, but is unfortunately harder to enjoy with wet feet.

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We reach Lares when the rain stops. The streets are being cleared from banderolls and bunting after a  carneval (kristi himmelsfärd) and it defenitely feels like we missed the party. Looking around for somewhere to stay, something to eat and the hot springs we’ve heard will be here. So much time that goes into looking for these fundamental things you always have in place and take for granted back at home.

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Check in to a simple hospedaje, 7 euros/night, in someones back yard, by some cakes and bananas and drive to the springs.

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The location is spectacular and we’re almost alone. When the dark falls we decide to go back, discover there are no showers to rinse the brown slightly smelly spring water off so we just put our old clothes on and go back to town.

Unfortunately there is no hot water where we’re staying, so we accept that we’ve just swapped one skankiness for another and I go straight to bed whilst nigel go out to find internet and something to eat. In my tired state of being I manage to zip up the sleeping bag inside out and break the zip. I’m so tired it doesn’t even upset me, within minutes I’m asleep.

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24/5 When we wake up we don’t yet know this will be one of the most spectacular days we’ve ever done on a motorbike. It’s just a slow coffee (completely fresh from a nereby town!) and reading morning, since arriving in Peru we’ve been going to bed sometimes as early as 19.30, only to wake up with the sun, have a long morning and still manage to set off around eight. But this morning we’re lingering around in town, trying to book tickets to Machu Piccu without sucsess and get a quite late start. We’re almost at the top of a mountain chain, and now begin the decent. The landscape change minute by minute until we’re suddenly in the beginning of the rain forrest.

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Potato, corn and coca are swapped for bananas, avocado and citrus fruits. Neither of us have ever seen anything like it.

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We peel off layers of down and wool and our clothes and shoes slowly dries on our bodies in the warm wind. We just giggle. It’s so wonderful after the cold rainy days in the mountains.

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We stop for lunch and share a massive avocado we bought for a few cents with some freshly baked bread. It’s now raining, a warm tropical rain. The day continues through jungle and over mountains, we just laugh and smile and take pictures of everything we see with a childlike fascination. “Look! Sugarcane! Mangos! Can you see the bananas!?”

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After trying again to buy tickets for M.P without success we know we’re late, we need to ascend 2000 meters to be able to camp without all the tropical insects, and the sun goes down in less than two hours.

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Something that feels like a car chase begin, n revving the bike up small mud tracks through the jungle and up the mountain. He’s squealing of happiness, the time pressure justifies the speed and we tail on to a pick up that is just flying around the sharp narrow corners, letting it taking the risk of meeting cars.

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In the last little glimmer of day light before the sun gives up on us completely we reach the top and find a million dollar camping place with a view over the world. We high five and put up the tent, cook a simple meal, look at the pictures from today and n chuckles a bit more before we turn off our head torches. Within minutes we’re both fast asleep.

/J

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