|Distance||123.97 kms||77.05 miles|
|Climbed||493 meters||1,617 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||7.19||-|
|Avg speed||17.2 kph||-|
|Distance||3,735.63 kms||2,321.44 miles|
|Climbed||39,202 meters||128,615 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||287.82||-|
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
When I woke up and looked out of the tent there was snow on the mountains. I'm guessing the snow line is at 2,500 meters; I don't know if it snowed where I was yesterday but I was feeling lucky I didn't get caught in it. Down in the valley it was hot and sunny. I went into town to get a coffee, get on the internet, get food for the day, and have breakfast.
I was on Ruta 7 almost all day long. I was glad to have the new mirror; I spent most of the day glued to it watching for trucks as Ruta 7 has no shoulder. I had gotten spoiled in Chile, most roads there have a shoulder. The road follows the same river canyon I was in all day yesterday. It veers to the south after Uspallata before ending in the Potrerillos reservoir about 50 kilometers away. It's mostly a descent the whole way to Mendoza, I only climbed 493 meters over 124 kilometers and lost 1,000 meters of altitude.
I headed straight into Mendoza, asked a cabbie where the hotel zone was, and grabbed a private room in a hostel when I got there. I'm going to crash here for a few days to rest.
I was somewhat concerned about how tired I got while climbing at over 3,000 meters, so I looked at some journals of other cyclists who have done high altitude passes and I guess what I experienced is not unusual. I probably did it too quickly. The fact that I had to ride the Caracoles at night threw me out of balance by adding lack of sleep and not eating enough to the equation. My original plan was to get to 3,000 meters, then camp for a good 12 hours to acclimate. I will try to stick to this on the next pass, where hopefully there will be no time restrictions on riding or getting immigration stamps.