The plan was we would ride the rest of yesterday’s ride and today’s planned ride. 171 kilometres, up 2,600 and down 2,250.
I set off at 6:30am not sure if I would make the day, but to get as far as I can. There are not big hills, just endless rolling hills and it is not to hot, so pretty good riding conditions for me.
At about 35 kilometres I saw the lunch truck heading back the way we had come from. I thought maybe we forgot something or maybe a rider is having problems, and I kept riding.
I got to the town Maccas that we were meant to stay at the night before, and climbed up quite a steep hill. At the top I see one of the TDA staff waiting for me. The route through town has changed as protestors have blocked off the road through town. Lunch is where we were going to camp the night before, and then plan is to go there and wait for an update.
As I rode through town I saw the army trucks all parked along the side of the road. The lunch truck had gone back to pick up one of the riders who was a long way behind the others (Kathy who joined us in Quito). TDA wanted to make sure all the riders and staff were on the same side of the road blocks. The only problem was the lunch truck had gone back without offloading all the food. I was the last rider to lunch and there was nothing to eat as the other riders had eaten the lot, and the lunch truck was not yet back. We were not able to go back into town either. We are in no danger, so long as we don’t try to cross blocked roads. Thankfully our way is going away from the road blocks.
The plan has changed due to the time delay at lunch. We are staying at 130 kilometres instead of 171, at Mendze at a fairground. This will reduce the climbing by 750 meters 🙂 for today!
I decided not to wait for the lunch truck to come back and that I would get something to eat on the way.
I was a bit nervous about the protester action, even though it was against the government (and we all have sympathy with the protesters) so I rode with another rider to camp. The ride was ok, up and down hills. I managed ok until the last hill where my legs turned to jelly. I had been riding faster than usual. I walked and rode up the last hill.
We stopped at a shop and had a cold beer, in case there was nothing at camp. The camp was a fairground. After sleeping in tent city the night before and being woken up by other riders, I looked for other options. Four of us camped up on a stage, which was way more peaceful.
I tried to ring Lizzy to wish her happy birthday but did not get hold of her, I did manage to leave her a message.
Tomorrow we are not sure how far we are going, but we are not going to try and do the rest of today and tomorrow. Tomorrow is already 2,410 climb, without trying to add on the 750 we did not climb today. Most likely we will catch up on day four which was going to be an easy day 850 up and 70 kilometre ride.
Dinner was rice, coleslaw and beef stew. Cristiano manages to find some pretty good camp sites at the drop of a hat. We have shelter, toilets (one shower) plus a shop selling chippies and beer. Pretty good considering we were staying somewhere else a few hours ago.