Turning Stones vol 1
The official ride video...Make sure to watch in HD
The day started by waking up in a lavish hotel room at the Aranwa Resort in Urubamba, Peru. I had a couple of hours to eat breakfast, gear up, and drive across the valley to another fine hotel to meet up with Imad.
A month prior, I received an email inquiry about running a one day hard enduro tour. I was available for the dates, so I began discussing the options for the tour. What I found out was that Imad, who lives in Dubai, was vacationing with his wife. He had come up with a brilliant plan to offer a full day at the spa for his wife which in turn allowed him to take advantage of another type of "SPA." Brilliant!
Normally, I begin the tours from our headquarters in Cusco, but in this case, I was able to accommodate by starting at Imad's hotel in Urubamba. This gave me an excuse to bring my entire family to the valley, put them up at a nice hotel complete with all the fixings, and combine it with a one day enduro ride that has kept a smile on my face for days. I hung out with my family when I was at the hotel, then snuck out for a ride with Imad, then returned to spend more time with the family. Perfect! A couple of happy fellas
I arrived at the Tambo del Inca, one of the finest hotels in Urubamba. I unloaded the bikes, prepped the lunches, warmed everything up, then headed into the lobby to find Imad.
There he was with his happy wife who was about to be pampered for an entire day at the spa. She couldn't have been more happy. Imad was stoked to be able to enjoy Peru on a dirt bike. A win-win in my book!
His wife made sure that I was legitimate. She was a bit concerned about me bringing him back in one piece. She mentioned the fact that there are two young kids who have a special relationship with their dad. I also fit that scenario, so I piped in my story to appease his wife that it was indeed my plan to bring Imad back alive and in good condition.
Within minutes, Imad and I found ourselves mounting up on the two Husqvarna TE 300's. The trail head, just a minute away from the hotel was screaming for us to come try her out.
The trail started out with a daunting strip of tight rock walled single track that resembles a jungle tunnel. It wasn't raining at the time, but it was extremely wet from the rain the night before. Imad pounded out the section with a bit of wonder about whether or not the rest of the day would be similar. I think it scared him a bit. To his pleasant surprise, I explained that it's not all as difficult, but that we would face countless obstacles in the days ride...But not to worry, it would all be worth it. Just a little rocky section to play around on
We continued to work our way up the canyon with a goal of reaching the lower lake. I figured it would be a worthy goal to reach the lake, have lunch, then work our way back down the valley.
Along the way up, we encountered numerous switchbacks, rock gardens, open meadows, creeks, and many a wet alpaca poop pile. The ride was just what Imad had hoped for.
As a guide, I never know how people will do with the altitude. It can be a butt-kicker for some, and for others, it hardly makes a difference. With Imad, he struggled with it at first, but somehow caught a second wind as we reached the bottom of the last big obstacle before the lake. It was a rocky staircase climb that typically wreaks havoc when its dry, but this time it was soaking wet. We had our work cut out for us.
Like two mules, we worked up a good lather climbing up each of the rock steps. I made sure to tell Imad that the view would be worth it. Within a few minutes, he had the opportunity to agree with me. The view was just what Imad needed. In fact, he was so stoked about the view that he told me he wanted to try to reach the upper lake. We had plenty of time, so why not?
Taking a break!
The stakes go up on the route between the lakes. The terrain we saw below the first lake was only a warm up. Imad confirmed that he was indeed ready to give it a shot. Atta boy!
The coolest part of the section is a waterfall that cascades down the mountain as the trail goes right through it. Check out the video if you want to see what I mean! We worked our way through the water, up a number of tight rocky switchbacks, and finally through a stand of scary red-barked trees where one would expect to find a creepy murderer with an axe. The ride is so fun that you forget the altitude. Just past the forest was the final climb before the upper lake. Imad was feeling his oats at this point. We crested the top to discover a sight to behold; The upper lake.
It's absolute beauty. It was a perfect place to eat our lunch, take a million pictures and get ready to ride around the side of the lake to an untouched area where a dirt bike has never been. That is always a special treat that I can do for my customers. There are hundreds of places like that which can be explored on my tours. The upper lake never disappoints...well worth the effort!
A bit of food and drink, then we mounted up and began a fun trials type of terrain complete with granite rock slabs, bright green grass, tons of mud, and views that continued to blow us away. We played around for a good hour until it was time to begin our descent to the bottom of the valley.
Although it is the same trail, it seems like a different valley and route altogether. The downhill is sketchy. It's fast and rhythmic, but there are so many places to find yourself on your face. We experienced a couple of crashes, but coming down provides such a thrill...in fact, it's that type of thrill that keeps me riding. Pure smiles all the way down. A little ride through a waterfall
We made it back to the hotel with nothing left in our tanks. No gas, nor energy. Completely smoked, but so satisfied! Another typical ride in the Andes of Peru! Make sure to check out the ride video to see what I am talking about. I can't wait to share another one next time around. Stay tuned and make sure to follow the blog so you can see the next post when it comes out.
Until the next one,
Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.
scottiedawg on Feb 19, 2017