Under the Stars
Trip Start Jan 26, 2010
141Trip End May 19, 2011
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Where I stayed
Lay under the stars. No need for a tent around here
at 2775m altitude
What I did
slept out under the stars
wow, the night sky is incredible out here
found a hypermarket. Was amazed at being able to buy juice and fruit and peanut butter
1131km cycled so far
After dinner we went to bed and I was out like a light. We had a bit of a lie-in next morning. After breakfast we asked the staff whether we could buy a packed lunch. He asked of what. Heck, how should I know. I knew I didn't want egg so asked for the ubiquitous 'jamon y queso'. So that's what we got in a bun each.
On the way out of town, glory of glories, we saw a hypermarket - the Tesco type thing we're used to in the UK. It was huge and they had all manner of marvels including peanut butter, bread, juice. I was excited just to be in there. All those people back home (well, people like us, actually) who curse the likes of Tesco should do this: go without for months and then have a 'Tesco-type hypermarket placed in front of them. They'll fall on their knees and kiss the floor in gratitude, too.
We set off loaded with raspberry juice and peanut butter and bananas and found the head winds had already started
It was hot and on the other side we had side and headwinds again. It was nothing compared to what we got later on, though, when we turned west towards Maria Elena, plus now we had those headwinds on our uphill, too.We stopped to eat our jamon y queso lunch and later stopped again to drink our juice for a sugar boost.
We had a bit of a downhill and began to look for a place to sleep. There aren't many hidden areas here where someone hasn't been flytipping or had a poo. In fact, most hidden areas have hundreds of poo piles, and since this is the desert, they're probably as old as the road and will continue to be here for the next 1000 years.
Eventually we found a spot not visible from the road but too far for pooing and built a small stone wall to act as a windbreak. It was 20cm high but did its job.We didn't need to put the tent up (This is the Atacama. Rain or critters just don't happen here), We watched the stars come out in their billions, looking out for more shooting stars. We lay there and saw the nightsky move over as the earth turned. Dinner was peanut butter and banana sandwiches.