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Old 07-01-16, 06:09 PM   #26
Perdido
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I am getting confused. How are you planning to get from Urubamba to Maras? If you take the asphalt road to Chincheros, then cut over to Maras to see the salt pans, that is doable. But going off road and taking the gravel road (and later single track) from Urubamba up to the salt pans, that will be punishing and you will be walking sections of it.
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Old 07-01-16, 06:57 PM   #27
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I copied this from the other thread...moved it here.

Here is my list, unedited. Some of it won't make sense to you, a lot of it will. Some of it is non-touring stuff. Wife and I own two items from Revelate, it seems to work well. It's a complete list...one of many I have for different activities. I don't take everything on this list every trip.

I don't do any long tours, I am not retired. Mostly weekends and week or so vacations in the Midwest & South. You only have 3 days?

Bandana
Bear Spray
Bear String
Bike Computer
Blanket
Bug Dope
Cable Ties
Cash
Clear Sunglasses
Clothes/Shorts/Underwear/Socks/Insulation
Da Brim
Dinotte Tailight and Cord
Emergency Nalgene/Ties/Strap
Gloves/Large/Small
Headlight and Fenix Cord
Helmet
Knife
Lip Stuff
Lock Keys
Lube/Rags
Ortliebs+Straps
Phone
Pills
Rain Jacket and Pants
Sharpie
Shower Shoes
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Socks
Spare Tire
Stuff Sack Yellow+Straps
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Sunscreen
Sunshirts
Tent/Stake/Straps
Thermarest
Tie-downs
Toothpaste/Toothbrush/Soap/Shampoo
U-Lock/Cable/Keys/Alarm
Wallet
Water Bottles
Water/Gallon
White Bag
Yellow High Viz Shirts
Yakima/Wrench/Screwdriver/Zip Ties/Pipe Foam

Last edited by jonc123; 07-01-16 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-02-16, 08:39 AM   #28
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I am getting confused. How are you planning to get from Urubamba to Maras? If you take the asphalt road to Chincheros, then cut over to Maras to see the salt pans, that is doable. But going off road and taking the gravel road (and later single track) from Urubamba up to the salt pans, that will be punishing and you will be walking sections of it.
When was the last time you were in this part of Peru? The reason I ask is because when I use google earth and turn on the STREET VIEW it shows a paved road all the way from Urubamba up to Maras and I'm wondering if it was recently paved...?

I'm not sure if I attached the route image property but I'll give this a go...

MarasRoute.jpg
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Old 07-02-16, 08:47 AM   #29
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I copied this from the other thread...moved it here.

Here is my list, unedited. Some of it won't make sense to you, a lot of it will. Some of it is non-touring stuff. Wife and I own two items from Revelate, it seems to work well. It's a complete list...one of many I have for different activities. I don't take everything on this list every trip.

I don't do any long tours, I am not retired. Mostly weekends and week or so vacations in the Midwest & South. You only have 3 days?

Bandana
Bear Spray
Bear String
Bike Computer
Blanket
Bug Dope
Cable Ties
Cash
Clear Sunglasses
Clothes/Shorts/Underwear/Socks/Insulation
Da Brim
Dinotte Tailight and Cord
Emergency Nalgene/Ties/Strap
Gloves/Large/Small
Headlight and Fenix Cord
Helmet
Knife
Lip Stuff
Lock Keys
Lube/Rags
Ortliebs+Straps
Phone
Pills
Rain Jacket and Pants
Sharpie
Shower Shoes
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Socks
Spare Tire
Stuff Sack Yellow+Straps
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Sunscreen
Sunshirts
Tent/Stake/Straps
Thermarest
Tie-downs
Toothpaste/Toothbrush/Soap/Shampoo
U-Lock/Cable/Keys/Alarm
Wallet
Water Bottles
Water/Gallon
White Bag
Yellow High Viz Shirts
Yakima/Wrench/Screwdriver/Zip Ties/Pipe Foam
Thanks man, solid list. Why no cooking supplies?
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Old 07-02-16, 10:00 AM   #30
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Okay, so here's the confusion. If you look closely at that image, running from bottom to top thru the center, there is a ravine. At the top of the ravine, you can see the white blob of the salt pans and if you look closely to the right, you can see a vague white line parrallelling the ravine. That line is the single track. It is a lot of fun on and unloaded bike, steep, technical, but fun and it continues on down to the valley floor. That single track becomes a gravel road further down as you approach the Urubamba river and you ride thru a lovely eucalyptus grove, cross the Urubamba and pick up the pavement. I was confused b/c I thought you were attempting to ride that single track in reverse. That would be brutal, you would be walking most of it up to Moray/Moras-very steep climb. So if you decide to spend the night in Chincheros, you could explore the area, lots of nice STs and you could do a smaller loop within your bigger loop. That smaller loop would be Chincheros, pick up the ST to the salt pans and down back towards Urubamba were you would pick up the pavement back to Chincheros. Of course, that would mean cranking up the pavement twice from Urubamba to Chincheros and for most people, once is enough. You had me worried, I thought they might have paved that single track! Unlikely since that whole area is an INC archeological zone and they restrict development in those areas. The only road changes that I can see from your image since I've done that route is that they paved the small bit from the main road to Maras-that used to be gravel-and now it's paved to Maras. If you don't want to do the smaller loop within your bigger loop, when you ride up to Chincheros just take the turnoff to Maras and explore the area. It's really interesting to see how the Incas made salt and there is a cool circular terrace that they made to experiment with different crops. Also very nice scenery in general and nice riding.
I lived there from '85 til '97 but have only visited since. I'm doing the Salar this fall and since I have the frequent flyer miles for a free trip to Lima, I'll probably go to Bolivia via Cuzco. My carrier does not fly to LaPaz and besides, I really need to see some old friends in Cuzco. Hit me up w/ more q's if you want.

PS There is a thorn bush in Peru that seems to shed it's thorns. You will find these thorns in your tire so when you fix your flats, always make sure you examine the tire in the area of the wound and pull the thorn out. Otherwise, you'll fix your flat, get on and ride 50 yards and have another flat as the thorn re-punctures your tube. Better yet, get a tire with puncture protection. You'll probably still get the thorns thru your sidewall but they will definately help.
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Old 07-02-16, 10:34 AM   #31
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Okay, so here's the confusion. If you look closely at that image, running from bottom to top thru the center, there is a ravine. At the top of the ravine, you can see the white blob of the salt pans and if you look closely to the right, you can see a vague white line parrallelling the ravine. That line is the single track. It is a lot of fun on and unloaded bike, steep, technical, but fun and it continues on down to the valley floor. That single track becomes a gravel road further down as you approach the Urubamba river and you ride thru a lovely eucalyptus grove, cross the Urubamba and pick up the pavement. I was confused b/c I thought you were attempting to ride that single track in reverse. That would be brutal, you would be walking most of it up to Moray/Moras-very steep climb. So if you decide to spend the night in Chincheros, you could explore the area, lots of nice STs and you could do a smaller loop within your bigger loop. That smaller loop would be Chincheros, pick up the ST to the salt pans and down back towards Urubamba were you would pick up the pavement back to Chincheros. Of course, that would mean cranking up the pavement twice from Urubamba to Chincheros and for most people, once is enough. You had me worried, I thought they might have paved that single track! Unlikely since that whole area is an INC archeological zone and they restrict development in those areas. The only road changes that I can see from your image since I've done that route is that they paved the small bit from the main road to Maras-that used to be gravel-and now it's paved to Maras. If you don't want to do the smaller loop within your bigger loop, when you ride up to Chincheros just take the turnoff to Maras and explore the area. It's really interesting to see how the Incas made salt and there is a cool circular terrace that they made to experiment with different crops. Also very nice scenery in general and nice riding.
I lived there from '85 til '97 but have only visited since. I'm doing the Salar this fall and since I have the frequent flyer miles for a free trip to Lima, I'll probably go to Bolivia via Cuzco. My carrier does not fly to LaPaz and besides, I really need to see some old friends in Cuzco. Hit me up w/ more q's if you want.

PS There is a thorn bush in Peru that seems to shed it's thorns. You will find these thorns in your tire so when you fix your flats, always make sure you examine the tire in the area of the wound and pull the thorn out. Otherwise, you'll fix your flat, get on and ride 50 yards and have another flat as the thorn re-punctures your tube. Better yet, get a tire with puncture protection. You'll probably still get the thorns thru your sidewall but they will definately help.
I'm slightly confused now myself but I'll spend some time over the next few days taking screen shots of my planned route to see what you think.

Good idea on the loop within the loop.

And thanks for the heads up on the thorn bush.
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Old 07-02-16, 10:43 AM   #32
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We are over-thinking this. The Sacred Valley loop is very obvious and it's just about impossible to get lost. Just follow the road signs, you will figure it out. Cuzco, Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, double back to the Chincheros cut off and crank up out of the Valley floor up to Chincheros and maybe take the side road to Moray/Maras and do some exploring, then back to the main road to Chincheros and Cuzco. I'm making this sound more complicated than it really is so sorry about that.
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Old 07-02-16, 11:14 AM   #33
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We are over-thinking this. The Sacred Valley loop is very obvious and it's just about impossible to get lost. Just follow the road signs, you will figure it out. Cuzco, Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, double back to the Chincheros cut off and crank up out of the Valley floor up to Chincheros and maybe take the side road to Moray/Maras and do some exploring, then back to the main road to Chincheros and Cuzco. I'm making this sound more complicated than it really is so sorry about that.

Here we go...I basically took your route you recommended in a very early post on this thread and added a larger radius to it. It seems doable. Hopefully you agree. Also, I am the most directionally challenged human on the planet so I really need to put extra care and consideration into my route planning than most.

1st Leg: Cusco to Huarcapay
1stLeg.jpg

2nd Leg: Huarcapay to Pisac
2ndLeg.jpg

3rd Leg: Pisac to Urubamba. I'll likely camp somewhere around Urubamba before the big climb on day 2.
3rdLeg.jpg

4th Leg: Urubamba to Maras (Image Above From My Previous Post)

5th Leg: Maras to Pachar...see the pin that says "SaltPonds?" Is that where they are located?
4thLeg.jpg

6th Leg: No route available but here's the street view of the gravel road that runs along next to the stream. That road runs all the way from Pachar to Huarocondo, which then becomes paved and leads me back to Cusco.
5thLeg.jpg

Thoughts?
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Old 07-03-16, 10:40 AM   #34
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I've done most of this but not all of it:

First leg. Easy pavement to Huarcapay. No worries (except for road traffic)

Second leg. Gravel when I did it but easy pedaling. You are following the Urubamba river into Pisac.

Third leg. Easy cranking on pavement, still following the river on the valley floor.

Fouth leg. Asphalt switchbacks and a long uphill.

Fifth leg. I've only been about halfway to Pachar when I was piddling around exploring so I never did the loop to Rapchi and back to Cuzco. If I'm reading these images correctly, you have misidentified the salt pans. Look directly above your thumb tack. See that white skinny oval nearer the top of the image? It's just under the green line which is the Urubamba river-that's the salt pans. They are located in a narrow slot canyon on the descent back down into the Sacred Valley and you come out near Urubamba. So to see them as a side trip on this route, you will lose some altitude and it's downhill getting to them and then an uphill as you double back to return to the road to Pachar. I like this route b/c your first day will be easy cranking and will give you a chance to adjust to the altitude. Never play chicken with car or truck drivers in SA. You have no right-of-way as a cyclist so ride very defensively. If you are interested in Inca ruins, the only upgrade to this route would be to go on to Ollanta and check out the ruins before doubling back to the bridge across the Urubamba that will take you to Maras.
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Old 07-03-16, 03:10 PM   #35
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Thanks I see salt ponds now. I didn't understand your comment earlier on the backtracking but I know what you're saying.

I think the ruins will be a pretty cool site to see so I'll probably add Ollanta to the route. Plus I'm trying to figure out how to add more miles anyway

How would the camping be in these areas? Specifically near Urubamba and Huarocondo?
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Old 07-03-16, 03:41 PM   #36
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Camping will be OK, just stay out of town. Petty theft can be a problem, and it's usually kids swiping your stuff. You are better off if you are in the middle of nowhere with no one to bother you. You always have the option of getting a cheap room in a hostel. There are plenty of places to stay in Urubamba. Huarocondo is much smaller so not as many options there but you can find a camp site next to the river on the way to Pisac. And another option to consider is doing this loop clockwise. Cuzco, Rapchi, Pachar, Maras, single track past the salt pans and down to Urubamba, etc,etc. That ST is technical and steep and will be difficult to do on a loaded bike. I did it for the first time on a loaded unsuspended Cannondale because I was continuing on over the Abra de Malaga and down to Quillabamba. If you have to shoot it loaded, you have to do it but I don't recommend it, much more fun if you are unburdened. Of course, if you do the loop clockwise, you lose your nice easy beginning that allows you more time to adjust. It really just depends on how your body is going to react to the altitude.
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Old 07-04-16, 11:26 AM   #37
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Thanks man, solid list. Why no cooking supplies?
I don't cook. Pre-packaged food or eat out. I only can go touring on weekends and about 4 weeks of vacation per year, which I can only take one week at a time. Don't drink coffee also, which helps!
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Old 07-05-16, 07:53 AM   #38
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BTW, you know May/June is late fall/early winter, right? It will be cold at night so bring a sleeping bag rated for freezing temps. This July is unusually cold;

https://www.yahoo.com/news/video/col...021310433.html

Not like winter up here since you are closer to the equator. Usually, it's sunny and I would cycle in shorts and a long sleeve tee shirt. You may have to switch into long pants and a jacket if the pass is really high or you cycle into the clouds so dress in layers. This cold snap is unusual but seems like the weather is getting crazy everywhere.
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Old 07-05-16, 06:09 PM   #39
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BTW, you know May/June is late fall/early winter, right? It will be cold at night so bring a sleeping bag rated for freezing temps. This July is unusually cold;

https://www.yahoo.com/news/video/col...021310433.html

Not like winter up here since you are closer to the equator. Usually, it's sunny and I would cycle in shorts and a long sleeve tee shirt. You may have to switch into long pants and a jacket if the pass is really high or you cycle into the clouds so dress in layers. This cold snap is unusual but seems like the weather is getting crazy everywhere.

I'm very flexible on when I can make this trip next year but I was thinking it would be better to go in May/June since those are the 2 of the driest months of the year down there. Plus I think flights are a bit cheaper then too.

How bad exactly is their wet season? Which seems like it last from Jan-Apr and then picks up again in Oct-Dec.
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Old 07-05-16, 06:41 PM   #40
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It's usually not that bad, mostly afternoon showers but every several years, there's a bad one with some flooding. The dry season (our summer, their winter) is the best time to go. So your May/June timeline is good, I just wanted to remind you that it will be cold at night. It usually doesn't get much below freezing, this year is not normal. Besides, if it's raining, you have to worry about hypothermia and better to be cooler but dry than a little warmer and wet.
Other random thoughts. Travel as simply and as lightly as possible. Fancy bikes are great in the States and in touristy areas like Cuzco but if/when you get in the back country, you'll be doing your own repairs. Bikes are popular everywhere so even in small towns, you will be able to find 26 inch tires and tubes (if you shred one) but you won't find 29s. And they will be Schrader valves, not presta so know the difference. You can pedal clipped in if you want but I prefer toe clips and straps and comfortable light walking or hiking boots. I usually don't carry a spare tire and twice I shredded my rear tire over the years. The first time, I only had to walk 4 miles to the nearest town, the second time about 20 miles so after that I got into the habit of cycling in comfortable walking shoes. Plus, if you stash your bike in a hotel room for a day or two, you can go on a hike.
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Old 07-09-16, 06:49 PM   #41
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Perdido: Any other routes in Peru that you would recommend? I'm looking at this one wishing it was a bit longer (maybe another 60-80 miles) and I've having a tough time figuring out how to add more distance to it.

Macchi Picchu is a big part of me going to Peru, but I can always bus it or fly to Cusco at the beginning or end of my trip.
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Old 07-09-16, 07:00 PM   #42
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Peru has some of the best biking in the world so lots of options. Have you considered making your trip a little longer? If you had more time you could go over the Abra de Malaga. It's a loop that goes up behind Urubamba, down into Quillabamba and then back into Ollanta. Great ride but you would need more time, or ride part of it, then grab a truck/bus to get back to Ollanta. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
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Old 07-09-16, 07:27 PM   #43
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I would suggest that you try to stay down there longer. I mean the ratio of how much time to fly there and back versus how long your planning to actually be there is way off. What if i told you that I wanted to fly to France and see the Eiffel tower and few sights and fly back, it's silly. Also if you see what happens to your cost per day is when you factor in the flight expense. Just my 2cents/ opinion
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Old 07-10-16, 11:58 AM   #44
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Peru has some of the best biking in the world so lots of options. Have you considered making your trip a little longer? If you had more time you could go over the Abra de Malaga. It's a loop that goes up behind Urubamba, down into Quillabamba and then back into Ollanta. Great ride but you would need more time, or ride part of it, then grab a truck/bus to get back to Ollanta. 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

I would prefer to make the trip longer and I'm trying to do 2-3 days acclimating to the altitude + 3-4 days riding/camping.

Is this the extra loop you are talking about...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Loop.jpg (100.3 KB, 23 views)
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Old 07-10-16, 01:20 PM   #45
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That's part of it and you could do that as a loop. I used to go up behind Urubamba, then to Quebrada Honda, on down to Kiteni, and then back up to Quillabamba and back to Ollanta. So I think the loop I'm suggesting is the road to the right of your shaded area, the next valley over. The road leaves Urubamaba from the east and I can't remember the name of the pass right now but it does connect with your shaded loop. So you can see that you'll need more time if you do the entire loop. But you don't have to; you can hitch a ride to the Abra in the back of a truck, do the downhill to Quillabamba, then maybe catch a ride back depending on how much time you have. They grow pineapples in Quillabamba so you are going from a high mountain pass down to the topics or at least subtropics.
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Old 03-17-17, 09:50 PM   #46
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Update: The trip has been postponed for now unfortunately. I had knee surgery (meniscus and cartilage repair) in Oct-2016 and I'm still not at 100%. I'm planning to do RAGBRAI again this year so hopefully I'll be ready to roll by then.

Honestly my recovery has been a lot slower than I was expecting and slower than what my doc indicated. I've made some very big improvements over the last month or so but I still have a ways to go.
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