Where's my hat?
Trip Start Jul 30, 2010
55Trip End Dec 22, 2010
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Where I stayed
Dist 150 Km's
Time in Saddle 4:43
After stuffing myself with treats from the chocolate supermarket on the plaza last night I continued to stuff myself with the hotel’s buffet breakfast this moning. I justified all this by the fact that it was a 150 Km day today and as ever it wasn’t likely to be too warm, meaning calories is what we needed.
Had we been camping last night we’d have realised just how cold it was but it wasn’t until we went out for the bikes that we realised. If the cold wind and drops of rain didn;t give it away the temperature reading of 5 degrees in front of the hotel did. Worse than that there were low clouds signalling rain to come and definitely not the sunshine that has made the altiplano pleasant for the last week. An even more alarming point was that my bag with gloves/leg warmers etc was buried deep in the truck as it hadn’t been moved the night before, meaning that I’d be setting off on a long day with no gloves and in cycling shorts.
After 10 or so Km’s the group started splitting up and before long I was at the front with around 5 others. Dutch Rob, who is part of Bike Dreams and must be one of the strongest cyclists, started lifting the already fast pace up to around 45Kmph. I kept with him up an incline and at one point looked back to see no one had kept up. I was almost at heart failure level by this point but he started easing off and when I saw his face sweat was on it. There’s no way I’m as strong a cyclist but it was good to know that even he was putting in some effort!
Eventually others caught up and eventually I started dropping back, paying for my efforts. A lot of the rest of the journey to lunch was on my own. The boring flatness of the altiplano only being relieved when 7 dogs attacked me. It was hairy stuff and I’m really surprised they didn’t get me. I used up a full water bottle in my attempts to fend them off. Rach arrived at lunch around 20 minutes later, which was a fair effort as she had cycled most of the 80 Km’s herself. We set off together for the final 70Km of more flat and thankfully wind assisted cycling. The sun even came out towards the end and in the distance we could see a hugely bright and white horizon which I assume is the salt flats.
So our biggish day of 150 Km’s went by so quickly we had most of the afternoon to re-organise lots of stuff, and I changed my tyres in preparation for a few days of off road. We sat at dinner as the wind started picking up and watched the sand storms close in before heading back to the tent and checking all guy ropes were properly tied down.