Why suffer a little, when you can suffer a lot”
Jeff Dusenberry

Awoke in apartments to a very light drizzle and much to everyone’s consternation there was definitely more snow on mountains to the south. I was excited to see snow, apparently I am weird. Those peaks are over 6000 meters and we definitely were not going that high. The climbs for the day would take us just over 2000 meters.

The instructions for the day were unclear as there was construction and unsure if trucks could pass or if we might have to wait for some blasting. Bring extra water. Then there was an option for two different routes to begin. The regular route which was shown and listed on directions but the elevation profile was not included. The directions said the summit was at 17.5 but the elevation profile showed that as low point of day.

And told when we arrive at Villa Union wait at gas station on corner which was probably closed as not sure which ways the trucks would come.

Of course I chose the extra course up the climb which was 10 k longer and unknown climb, which turned out to be a 750 meter climb. Whew. A nice descent although worried about a rattling on bike. Worried about a catastrophic failure and stopped several times to find it, without success. Finally on next climb it was the air pump not completely tightened. Safe!

Next climb over the construction. Very nice climb, riding with Brigit, topping out about 1:30 with 65 kilometer to go. As we descended we could feel it getting hotter. From 2050 meters down to 1000. Very much looking forward to finish. Arrived Villa Union intersection and no one there. Garmin said go right but it has steered me wrong too many times. Paper instructions said go straight. Asked some folks standing around if red truck came through. Yes it went straight ahead. Did bicycles go by? Yes. Keep in mind my Spanish is almost non existent. The conversation lasted 5-10 minutes and I have no idea what was said.

As Brigit and I had a bit of water left we followed the paper directions which were go straight for 23 k to bush camp. 15 k later we questioned it and stopped a recreational cyclist but other than a lot of Spanish and there was a police station in another 35 kilometer we got no where, but thanked him. I tried stopping a couple cars but no one stopped, finally Brigit stood in middle of road and car with 4 guys stopped. They said they had seen no one camping ahead but there were two heavily loaded bicycles ahead but that was all. We turned around, met Lucho coming up trail and Walter and Annalot in truck all looking for us. We figured they would be as it was almost 6 and we had been on road for 10 hours. Most arrived at 2.

And riding back Brigit and I reviewed the wonderful things of day: no rain, beautiful scenery, nice company, good climbs,(1967 meters of climbing). Nice descents, and a beautiful snow covered peak which turns out is 18th highest in South America. 6200 meters.

So as Brigit and I returned to camp in town folks said oh sorry you got lost. I had to correct them and say it was them that were lost as we knew where we were. We had followed directions but well that did not work out.

And it is hot most enjoying it, but sweating like crazy. Have not used sleeping bag in a week just the sheet. And new sun screen today but burned arms.

And sorry but no pictures. Have to transfer from camera to iPad and that takes time, then choose for here. It is time for bed. We are in a gas station campground and as usual wifi is very iffy. And another apology as I am going to try and post without editing. Not good, but exhausted and 6 am comes soon and 50 degrees expected tomorrow with a 50 degree day.

3 thoughts on “Lost

  1. WOW JR–will you ever ride a bike again when this is over? What a feat. I am a bit behind on reading as I was expectantly out of state for a week due to a family emergency. I will catch up since it is so fascinating to read. The pics are beautiful and sounds like some familiar flowers and tree types. Keep up the good work. jeannie is still working if you are wondering about the bank account–haha–it is a joke. I don’t see her often enough. Take care-be safe! Peace Lorayne

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