Climbing 900 meters, down 1,100 meters.
Just by the camp site was a disco that banged out the music till about 5 am. Thankfully I still managed to sleep most of the night.
There was no convoy into Santiago as there are bike lanes in the city and it is Sunday.
The start of the ride was through some towns and past some vineyards. We went through a town called St Felipe that had lots of vineyards around it. Riding through the town, there were a couple of homeless men in a park asleep, surrounded by 9 dogs also asleep.
I was not impressed to find our route took us onto a motorway with signs forbidding cyclists. This happened 3 times today, in total about 20 kilometres, I kept waiting for the police to pull up. There were also a couple of bits where there was not a good shoulder to ride on, and cars and trucks whizzing past with a speed limit of up to 120 kilometres, I did not feel safe. I did bring it up at lunch that we should be told if we were going to be on a motorway beforehand so we could make the choice whether to ride or not.
We then had a 6 kilometres climb that was steep in places and then some great views coming down.
We went through some back roads and then on the motor way a couple more times, the longest for about 8 kilometres! Before thankfully turning onto Route 5 and following this to Santiago.
About 10 kilometres from the hotel the bike lanes started, and we were able to follow this all the way in. Heaps and heaps of cyclists going both ways on the lanes.
So 4 months and about 9,000 kilometres later, and a few centimeters smaller, I am back in Santiago.
We are staying at the Ibis Hotel in Santiago. We got to the hotel about 3 pm. I managed to skype with two of my children Shellbe and Dan. It is great to have good Wi-Fi that you can actually skype.
I went to a farewell dinner with Dan and Shirley. We went to a German restaurant where we had huge steaks. Prior to dinner we went to a pub just down the road, they had a range of cocktails: as well as a Tom Collins they also had a John Collins.
In Uspallata one of the younger riders Marios was at the hairdresser at the same time as me. Marios asked for his hair to be cut at the length of 1cm at the sides and longer on top. The hairdresser must have heard “Give me a number one” because next thing she is shaving his head with a number 1 blade. A number of other riders decided to get a “Marios cut” to show solidarity, the hair cuts are supposed to happen tomorrow. So far 8 riders are signed up, will be interesting to see who goes through with it!
On the way back to the hotel we went past a man fundraising for homeless dogs, and he had about 7 dogs, all stretched out on size appropriate cushions. There was one old dog who was a dead ringer for my old dog Pat, with a collection bowl in front of him which of course I gave to.
Back to the hotel, yay no alarm in the morning.