Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capital cities in the world, conveniently located on the Danube making the ride very easy. Coming from Vienna, the first thing you see of it is a huge suburb, full of communist era tower blocks. The next iconic thing is Bratislava Castle, which several locals told me isn’t that pretty and looks like an upside down table. Slovakia is apparently full of castles, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to go and explore the other ones. There
The route from Huánuco to Huaraz was paved not that long back, and there are no direct buses. I said my farewells, strapped my foot up, and rode over to where the cars left to La Union, the half way point to Huaraz. As it was just a regular car, we just strapped the bike on top, although took a pedal off first to stop it digging into the roof. It was a tight fit in the car, and a 4 hour drive, but the road was beautiful. It was just wider than a lane with constant blind corners, and so even though
I was only going to spend a few days, but ended up in Huánuco at Midori’s place – where she lives with her parents Arturo and Fanny – for 10 nights! The amount of amazing kindness they showed me was phenomenal. I got treated with a variety of Peruvian remedies, from a poultice of avocado seed mixed with arnica and salt, to a massage in chicken fat. There was talk of using a dead frog, but that turned out to be only for those who had broken bones so my Xray saved me. I was healing,
True to her word, the owner was back at 4am, but I managed to sleep until just before 5am, when we had to pack up as the group of workers from the night before came back for breakfast. I was on the road by 5:30, with the sun already up, and made my way to the next town for breakfast. There’s an old colonial bridge in the town, and I guess that makes people think it’s touristic, so the restaurants all charged silly prices for food. Thankfully, the ladies selling from their little stands
Having made it more than half way up the hill the day before, there was a mere 20km to go to the top of the climb through countless switchbacks. Just before I got to the top, I met Daniel, a German cycle-tourist who, not being crazy, was of course heading south. We sat on the side of the road and chatted for over 2 hours. Considering the lack of traffic, we could have almost sat in the middle of the road without a problem! We shared stories from the road, and advice for what lay ahead.