Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crossing the finish line !!!

From Juliaca we had a few days ride towards Cusco. Keeping with the style of the trip so far, we didn`t head straight there.
Our first stop was a small town called Pucara. This place is locally famous for it`s ceramic work. The whole town is littered with clay bulls. Small, big and gi-hyoooooj!
We left as soon as Ian started attracting the local crazies.

Gi-hyoooooj bull with tongue stuck up it`s nose.

Our next stop was another pokey hole named Santa Rosa. Here we found the locals didn`t sleep. They are in fact nocturnal and like to congregrate in the street just outside where our hotel was.

From there, the road went uphill to a pass which took us into Cusco province. We saw our first road sign for Cusco city and became very excited about being so close.

Top of Abra del Raya - our last major mountain pass!

First sign for Cusco - 100kms to go!!!

Raqchi - an ancient Inca temple built with mud.

Down the other side the road heads straight into Cusco city but we couldn`t finish just yet. Instead, we took an alternative route which followed the Urubamba river into the Sacred Valley of the Inca`s. The road took us through spectacular scenery and eventually into the town of Pisac. Here we spent nearly a week relaxing and eating. The carrot cake was especially good.

The bikes in Pisac

It`s difficult haggling at the market - especially when you`re laughing.

Ollantaytambo - a massive fortress with giant steps.

After visiting loads of Inca ruins and markets we got back on the bikes. Our final day of cycling was a short one (just over 20 miles) but involved an 800m climb. We saw our first views of Cusco and could make out the plaza and the finish line below.

Gem at the top of the last hill with Cusco behind.

Battling through traffic and tiny streets for the final minutes wasn`t much of a problem. We were delighted to pedal up to the plaza and be greeted by Lynn and David who sprinted over to us with banners and waving arms.

Plaza de Armas in Cusco - We`ve finished!!!

After 10 months we had cycled 7,250kms (mostly uphill) and eaten at least 300 cakes each.
Not content with what we had already achieved, we only have a couple of days rest before starting the grand finale. A four day hike (mostly uphill) to Machu Picchu to see another wonder of the world.

We will make our final blog entry once we return, and no doubt there will be more pictures than words.


1 comment:

Lucky mum said...

Well done.
3 more sleeps............
Looking forward to having my fix..
Loads of love to both of you x-x-x
P.S. have you started planning another trip yet?