Climbing up and down 950 meters.
It was not as cold as yesterday morning, but still not warm. The first two kilometres out of the camp I walked as it was up steep streets on cobblestones and the air temperature was cold. No point making the asthma worse.
After this was a climb of about 15 kilometres then gradual up, with some down for a further twenty kilometres. At 40 kilometres we had to catch a ferry.
After the ferry we stopped at the town to get a drink. There was a dog there like my dog Benji (a Wheaten terrier). I called to him and he came over for a pat, next thing he was on the seat next to me, then on my knee. I had a very nice hug for a few minutes. There are a surprising number of Wheaten terrier descents in South America.
Then up another climb but only about 5 kilometres to the lunch stop. Amazing views. Lake Titicaca is huge,
it is so big you can see all the other side. It changes color all the time from grey to blue to turquoise. The views are breath taking.
Although it is cold at night it is warm during the day, although there can be a cold wind. We are in Bolivia for 16 days, and most of it will get bush camping, at altitude, and very cold as soon as the sun goes down. There is snow all around on the mountains here already.
After lunch it was downhill and rolling hills. I got to camp about 2pm as I took my time enjoying the views on the way. We are staying at a hotel under reconstruction. There are no rooms available but there is a bar / restaurant. We have the choice of camping outside, on the first floor with the bikes, or in the enclosed pool area. I chose the pool area as it was nice and warm, and had a toilet.
After having a shower (warm water :)) and putting up the tent, once again I dozed quite a bit of the afternoon. I am using these shorter days to rest and recuperate as there are many long hard days to come. Tomorrow we reach La Paz and the half way point in kilometres for the tour: 6,700. There is talk of a halfway point party in La Paz the second night we are there. We have two rest days in La Paz. The first rest day about 17 of the riders are going off to do a ride called the Death Road. Approximately two riders a year die doing this ride. I’m not one of the 17 going:
1. I am going to rest on the rest days, not ride a bike
2. I am not good on steep down hills, especially on a bike I will never had riden before.
At the rider’s meeting tonight we were told that the route may change tomorrow from 85 kilometres to add an extra 30 kilometres, but not additional climbing. This us to take us to the south of La Paz which will be easier to enter the city with the traffic . The traffic is apparently crazy and either way there will be a convoy. Cristiano, the Tour Leader, is leaving us in La Paz to take a holiday, and is not returning until Santiago about the 8 November. We have another tour leader coming – Sharrita – who has lead a few other tours.
Tonight for dinner we had Chicken chow mein with rice and noodle salad, plus fresh fruit salad.