Climbing 500 meters, down 1,960
More bad news! When we woke up this morning the first thing we saw when we got up was a bike boxed up. Sadly one of the riders Mark is leaving as his mother had a bad fall and is not expected to live. Mark got the phone call last night and is heading home as quickly as he can. Unfortunately we heard later that she had died but Mark got there before they turned the life support off. Everyone is subdued, those who have elderly parents thinking about their parents, and those of us who have lost their parents thinking about that.
We are relieved to hear that April and Jodi will not have any serious long term effect from their injuries. The TDA staff have had such a bad week they must be exhausted! This is the same week that the yellow truck got stuck by the river and had to be pulled out, all the gear had to be transferred to the borrowed bus and back to the yellow truck when it was fixed. Plus the delay at the border with the insurance and now most of them have been up most the night!
There is lots of traffic and not a lot of shoulder to ride on. A number of the towns have a traffic road separator system going into and coming out of the town, with raised traffic barrier arms on each side of the lane. This means the cars have to stay in the lane and can’t pass, but also they can’t pass cyclists so a few of them of course get annoyed and try to intimidate you from behind.
As always it is really windy from 10am, and we are riding into a headwind. After lunch we have 19 kilometres of climbing and wind. Thankfully with the drop in altitude my asthma has improved heaps.
The last 5 kilometres of the 19 climbing was pretty tough, and I was looking forward to the downhill at 91 kilometres. The hill had about 3 false summits, each time you thought “Yay”, no there was yet more. It was also quite cold.
Once we started the downhill about a third of the way down the scenery changed. Instead of dry rocky farmland and mountains, there were trees – lots of them and birds. It also got a lot warmer.
We rode past some enormous river flats. In the rainy season the rivers must be impressive.
We are staying at El Refugio campsite. This camp also has trees and grass, toilets and showers. Got to camp about 3pm, shared some nice red wine and peanuts with Shirley and Dan.
Dinner was chicken, salad, and corn on the cob with real butter.