1,356km down: 12,285km to go
Three new riders have joined the group:
Franzwar (not how you spell his name but that’s how it sounds, he’s from France) he has done sections of other rides and is doing a couple of sections of this one (Editor’s note: I’m assuming Mum means “François”)
Mario – a young German guym this is his first TDA ride doing the whole ride
Rosa – from the Netherlands here for 3 weeks has done the South African ride before.
We are staying at El Molino camp in Anapoima tonight.
We left in a convoy of course, as we were coming out of a large city. It was threatening to rain, and would you believe there is a public transport strike happening.
We had a police escort. I decided to ride in the the lunch truck until lunch, which was meant to be at 29 kilometres, and then ride the rest of the way – about another 90k. The convoy took over 2 hours through the crazy traffic.
The police escort then dropped us off at the Terpel petrol station as planned and the instructions for riders, regarding distance and turning etc started from there. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! The problem was it was the wrong Terpel station and the person who had mapped out the route was not with the convoy. So chaos ensued as the directions and the road were not matching!
Luckily the riders realized pretty quickly and re grouped and contacted Christiano, and they were redirected and it only added another 10k to their ride. The truck however went really wrong, and by the time the TDA staff realized and back tracked, the riders had already passed the 29k mark.
The lunch truck was following the riders, and trying to overtake riders going down a narrow steep dirt road. It was not till we got to 52 kilometres that we had passed enough riders to make it worthwhile stopping for lunch.
I decided to still ride as there was approximately another 40 kilometres so I hopped on my bike. The first 15 kilometres was down and up the same terrain as before lunch – windy, narrow, dirt and occasionally rocky. This certainly was part of the 15% of the time I knew I would wish I had bought a mountain bike.
After this was about 10 kilometres of uphill, reasonably steep gradient. It was boiling hot and I was huffing and puffing. I am still not coping with altitude, and generally not being fit enough. I finally got to the open road with a reasonable down, and then some rolling hills.
Just before camp I came across Paul, one of the other riders, walking his bike down the hill. Paul’s brakes had failed quite a while before but luckily he was not harmed. Paul commented that it was a peculiar brand of torture having a bike you could only ride up the hills.
I got to camp and set up my tent, but did not realize I had put it on too steep a slope. I didn’t realise until I went to bed, and then I did not want to try and move it in the dark, which as it turns out would have been a better option. I kept waking up uncomfortably hunched at the bottom on the tent. Between the roosters that started at 2 am, the heat, and the trucks, I did not get a lot of sleep.
We had Spaghetti Bolognese for tea.