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My package, after a mere 10 days stuck at customs, arrived in Cusco on the Monday, but DHL still managed to throw in another proof of their lack of communication. I got a message from Jon on Facebook when I was having my breakfast that it had arrived and was ready to pick up. I hadn’t been expecting it until the afternoon, as that’s when the guy in the DHL office told me that they usually got deliveries, but great, I’d be able to leave a bit earlier. Of course it wasn’t true. I got to the DHL office that was thankfully only a 5-minute walk away, and was told that of course my package wasn’t there. He’d told me it’d be in the afternoon. It gave me a bit more time to study French, and then at 2:30pm, the package finally arrived and I was on my way.

There was a 7.5km climb out of town, but considering what laid ahead, that was just an easy warm up. I crested the climb, and enjoyed the light downhill with diminishing traffic. It took me along the same road I’d been on to go to Machu Picchu at first, but after a bit more than an hour I went past the turn off and was on new, quiet roads. I made it to the first possible goal, a town called Anta, after two hours, and while there was only an hour of light left, I had no problem riding into the night. I had plenty energy so onwards it was. Just before 7pm, I was at the top of a 12km climb and ready for a 25km downhill into the dark, but saw a truck. I asked him if he could take me down, and he helped without hesitation. I wasn’t going to see anything on the descent, and it would have been a little chilly – at least at first as we dropped from 3700m down to 2650m – the lowest I’d been on the bike for a good while. In the town of Limatambo, I made my way to the small main square and was met by a group of boys who took an interest in my bike. When I explained my plan to sleep, they mentioned the parochial house and grabbed my bike to push it there for me. They even knocked on the door and spoke with the father to arrange it all. So easy! I was welcomed in, shown to a room where I could put my mat on the floor, and given a plate of dinner as well as a thermos flask and some tea bags to finish the night.

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