I got off the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki and the reasonably mild weather I’d been lucky to have seemed to have been over. Cold drizzle met me and I happily put my waterproofs on. I hadn’t got all the cold weather gear that I’d need, but had a pile of gear ready at home to be forwarded to me thanks to my mum. On the way to meet Anton, my host, there was a quick visit to a bike shop and the Russian & Estonian sternness had been replaced by joyful people who spoke wonderful English.
Switzerland certainly loves organised paths, and so there was no surprise when on the network map there were trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, skating and even canoeing. I only saw a couple of skaters as I headed east along the lake, but that?s still a couple more than I?d seen up to that point. What I did see were incredibly clean and full-featured parks, that and really high prices. A trip to my staple of Aldi revealed prices that were two to three times as high as in
After a fine weekend relaxing, it was the final stage on the way to Quito. I had the climb back up to Baños, a 5 hour climb up a beautiful route, called La Ruta de Las Cascadas. One of the most famous things to do in Baños involves renting a bike, riding 30km downhill past all the waterfalls, and then jumping in a pick up truck to get back. I of course had the opposite. Climbing up and up to get back there. While it had been beautifully sunny there on the weekend, it definitely wasn?t
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
Having arrived in Cusco feeling awful, I spent the first few days doing little more than lying in bed, eating porridge and drinking tea to clear my stomach up. That wasn?t having much of an effect, but then I took some antibiotics and things cleared up pretty well. After feeling better, and visiting Machu Picchu, the time was mainly spent waiting for my package to arrive. It had taken 24 hours to get from Scotland to Lima, but then it got stuck in customs. Jon had given DHL all the important