Today was another day to enjoy riding the Altiplano, the 12-13K ft high plateau between the Andes. With rain possible and the temps not to exceed 60 degrees, I wore my rain suit and rubber boots. When I arrived in Juliaca, it was not raining. Apparently, it had rained heavily during the night. The road recommended to bypass the down town was relatively pothole free – but – the road was flooded big time. For 6 city blocks, I watched the path taken by various Tuk Tuks, 3 wheeled covered vehicles with motorcycle fronts, and followed where they had gone through the expanse of water. I was so grateful to have donned my rain gear since the water frequently lapped at the underside of my thighs.
David and I paired up en route. While I was leading, a bird flew toward me. I thought it had flown between my left ankle and my bike. I planned to ask David if the bird had made it when we next stopped. A few miles down the road, David pulled up, motioned me to stop and said, “Do you know you have a dead animal hanging from your bike?” It turns out that a feather explosion ensued upon the bird’s impact. David rode through the feather cloud then noticed something hanging toward the ground on the left side of my bike. The bird’s neck was wrapped around my shift lever. With it’s yellow feet hanging toward the ground, it looked kind of like a dead, half-plucked chicken. Is this what is supposed to be on today’s menu after last night’s Guinea Pig?
The closer we got to Cusco, we started seeing more of the terraced mountain sides I had remembered from our trip to this area 3 years ago.
Fortunately, my road kill did not become my dinner. Several of us went to Norton Rat’s Tavern, a biker bar just off the square in Cusco. The originally American proprietor served us great hamburgers, fries, and beer. One of their T-shirts has joined my collection.
16- Feb Puno to Cusco 250 miles
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