|Distance||70.44 kms||43.50 miles|
|Climbed||886 meters||2,907 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||8.05||-|
|Avg speed||8.7 kph||-|
|Distance||6,488.48 kms||4,031.46 miles|
|Climbed||64,129 meters||210,397 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||486.77||-|
Monday, February 25th, 2013
I was up at 7, that's about dawn now, and packed up all my gear. I had to wait around until 9 when the best-looking market opened up (which isn't saying much). There was already a line for the meat counter but nary a vegetable to be found. I asked the cops which way to Paso Sico and they directed me out of town. It was slow going right from the get-go: sand, wind, and washboard ripio. The road climbs straight out of San Antonio, gentle at first, then steeper as it gets closer to Alto Chorrillos. This pass is at 4,560 meters. I took it really slow because I was feeling the altitude; I've learned that it's best to keep my head down, focus on my breathing, and push the pedals one at a time. Sudden bursts of energy are probably the worst thing you can do, at first on these passes I would just try to muscle through it but in the end that costs a lot more energy and time. Lots of Alpacas grazing by the side of the road. They have great facial expressions. The closer I got to the top the stronger the headwinds. When trucks went by I was completely bathed in dust.
The rest of the day consisted of fighting the headwinds and playing the "the rut is always smoother on the other side of the ripio" game. I made it into Olacapato around 6:30 pm. Not much here but I was able to get water from an official-looking building and bought Fanta, cookies, and some fresh eggs at a kiosko. Fresh eggs!
I only made it another 3 kilometers out of town before deciding to call it a day. I dragged the bike across a couple of hundred meters of sand to be next to a stream. I'm pretty exposed here but there is hardly a soul around. I took off my clothes and jumped straight into the stream. I badly needed a bath... but man was it cold. I think of all the things I've dealt with while bicycle touring the one that takes the most courage is bathing in a cold mountain stream. It was still sunny so I dried off quick and made dinner inside the tent again because of the wind. The eggs were delicious.
It's a full moon tonight and some thunderstorms are putting on a show off to the north.