590 meters climbing, and 145 down
The first 10 kilometres out of San Juan there was a bit of traffic and heaps of red lights. Thankfully no mini vans or taxis weaving in and out through the cyclists, but a few buses.
Once we got out of the city the next 30 kilometres was like bring in Blenheim/Marlborough – lots of vineyards, flat roads and hills in the distance. Pleasant riding.
After lunch it was back into the desert, then past a dusty quarry area, then a bit of uphill.
Tonight we were camping at Bienvendiosal Camping Municipal. The camp was about 2 kilometres up a dirt road. The camp had quite a lot of trees but it was on dirt, no grass. We have had no rain for weeks, and we passed comment that in the rainy season this place would be a mud quagmire.
Along the back of the camp was a large netting fence, with barb wire along the top, and there was a house that I assume was the caretakers house, with a fenced area with of number of horses and a young foal.
There were six camp dogs tonight watching the cooking with great interest, one was a very hungry looking very thin greyhound. No need to guess which one I fed, however he was very submissive and a few times the others got the food I was throwing to him. In the end I hand fed him.
Unfortunately the dental treatment has not sorted the problem for Sue and she is not able to ride, and in quite a lot of pain. The painkillers she is on she can only take every 12 hours, but they are only effective for about 6.
Dinner was pasta and ratatouille, salad and sausages.
Just after dinner it started to rain a little bit so everyone went off to their tents. There was a big stop bank and flood ditch/drain along the back of the camp behind my tent so I wasn’t worried.
Then it started to pour, with lots of thunder and lightning, then hail. The stop bank and drain flooded and water came into the camp site which got totally flooded. I was sitting in my tent on my thermal rest watching water rushing past tent on by sides and under thermal rest it was like a river. Luckily I had put my sleeping bag and everything apart from the thermal rest into my waterproof bag by then, so everything apart from the thermal rest stayed dry.
As soon as the rain let up, which thankfully was after about half an hour, I and a number of other riders took the chance to move our tents up to higher ground. A couple of tents had been swamped completely by the water, and a couple of people slept in the trucks.
My thermal rest and tent were wet, but once I put my alpaca blanket on top of the thermal rest before my sleeping bag I was warm, if damp. The thunder and lightning went on for a while and more rain but the surface where I had moved to drained well, so no more problems during the night.
The foal got out of the enclosure and was totally spooked by the thunder and lightning, and was running around in panic. At one point he slipped over but thankfully did not seem to hurt himself. The caretaker eventually managed to catch him and put him back with his mum, and he seemed fine in the morning. No sign of any of the dogs, they will be tucked up somewhere well out of this.
Hopefully this rain will stop by the morning and not lead to another mud day! As tomorrow it is all off road. Dirt, sand, gravel, and rock!