|Distance||38.33 kms||23.61 miles|
|Climbed||738 meters||2,421 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.17||-|
|Avg speed||9.1 kph||-|
|Distance||5,118.20 kms||3,180.18 miles|
|Climbed||52,382 meters||171,857 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||387.33||-|
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
What I thought would be a really long day riding turned out to be a short one. The road is a gentle climb on ripio alongside a stream, with the occasional herd of goats or horses along the way. It was hot until about 1 when thunderstorms started rolling down the mountains. I was incredibly lucky with the rain all day, sometimes it passed within a couple of hundred meters of me but I never got wet.
I reached the Chilean customs/immigration complex at around 3pm. The weather was really starting to get wild and I could see fresh snow up on the mountains. The PDI officer came out and said the weather was too rough, with snow up on the pass, and that I would have to wait for tomorrow but I could sleep here. Fine with me. He offered me a cup of coffee in their common room where I met two other cyclists, both Argentine, who had come down the pass from Argentina. The PDI officer wasn't letting them through either. We spent the afternoon talking cycling and looking at maps. Darien has been living in Holland for 15 years and Guillermo is a newspaper photographer from Buenos Aires. They are doing a 15 day round trip of two passes, Pircas Negras into Chile then a bus from Copiapó to La Serena where they will return to Argentina via paso Agua Negra.
The people working at the complex were all really cool, they went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. The PDI officer cooked pasta, I cooked the sauce, and at 7pm we had an early dinner. There was a carabinero, a customs guy, and a civilian whose job I wasn't sure of. We saw a movie on satellite tv then watched the PDI officer try to shoot geese from 250 meters with his 9mm... not happening.
Later on the carabinero started a bonfire and cooked chicken and steak so we got to have a second dinner. I spent the evening arguing with Darien about whether or not the Kirchner government's economic policies will cause another crisis and when. I learned a lot about what is going on with people avoiding the foreign currency restrictions.
We three cyclists slept in a shipping container. They only had two mattresses, I let the Argentines have them because I was the only one carrying an inflatable bedroll.