Cusco to Tacna

The ride from Cusco to Puno was beautiful but uneventful, and I was thankful for that. I was still pretty sick and I needed an easy day of riding. After a good night’s rest in Puno I crossed the Andes, reaching an elevation of just over 15,000 feet. Along the way I discovered that my planned route was a dirt road that clung to the side of the mountains with a precipitous along one side. Fortunately I was able to follow the road signs and find a much better route.

The Music

The song at the beginning and ending of the video was recorded live in Cusco. It was written and performed by my niece’s fiancĂ©, Fabricio CF. You can read about him in my previous post about Cusco.

About That Dirt Road

A few people on YouTube have asked why I didn’t just take the dirt road, I’m riding a GS, why not? The answer is simple, I didn’t want to take the risk. I was sick, riding alone, and at very high altitude. The road was thick sand, gravel, and dirt. I didn’t include the footage in the video, but there were times where I could clearly see the road across the valley. It clung to the side of the mountain and had many twists and turns, and a healthy cliff that could snatch the life of a tired traveler.

I love adventure, and if I had a riding partner along this portion of the trip I would have taken on the challenge. If the bike fell over I’d have some help picking it up. If we encountered some tough terrain or other obstacle that required walking the bikes, again, I’d have help. But going solo it’s not wise to take large risks when then penalty of failure is very high.

Bike, taking a rest.

The AdoramaTV Video

Because I was so sick in Cusco I’d fallen behind on my work with Adorama. I’d had an idea for shooting a video about long lenses for scenic photography and was thinking about it as I rode along. Suddenly I spotted the perfect example for the video. It was serendipitous and I couldn’t miss the chance for a good video. In case you missed it, here’s the photography lesson.


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