Climbing 770 meters, down 960.
Today is 4 months since we started on this ride. In some ways the ride in Colombia and Ecuador seems a different trip, a long way off in the distant past.
We have eight new riders joining us today, replacing the eight who have left which will change the group dynamics. A couple have done TDA trips before, but the others are new
- Nellie and Dick from the Netherlands ( Dick has done some of the African trip )
- Tom from Hong Kong and Canadian Tom, new to TDA
- Linda from Canada, has done half of the Trans Oceana (wife of Chris, full tour rider)
- Dennis from USA, done part of Silk Route
- Deb from USA, done part of Silk Route
- Laurie from USA, has done 5 previous TDA rides including the inaugural TDA African ride.
Last night at the hotel I bumped into Eric in the lift. Eric is the rider who left in Cafayte. I thought he had returned home but he has decided to ride the rest of the ride self supported. Eric left following a dispute between himself and TDA, but he has sponsorship from a charitable organization for this trip and its fundraising so I guess this is a way of keeping up this commitment.
We had a convoy for the first 15 kilometres out of the city. Normal morning traffic, but thankfully we were heading out of town, not into town. For the first 7 kilometres we were escorted by two dogs that raced along beside us – when they were not busy biting car tyres! How they were not killed I do not know! I was relieved when we got clear off them, as I was expecting to see one run over any moment.
Once out of the city we went past a number of vineyards, nice straight roads with not much climbing. As we came down a hill just before lunch there was a tarantula spider walking across the road. I thought it was pretty big, but Nick and Jo said it was just a baby. One of the riders took a photo of it by their shoe.
We are staying at a camp site: Los Arlos de lol Miranda. It is quite a nice camp site, trees and grass and it was warm. After I put up my tent I went up to the local shops and had a beer with Sue who has finally got her tooth problems sorted, apart from a sore jaw from all the injections, and can drink alcohol again.
I have put the new guide wires on my tent with 4 additional stakes, which hopefully will stop the inner and outer tent from touching. Plus this will keep the tent more firmly attached to the ground when we get to the windy stretch in Patagonia.
It is great to be riding in the warm, without altitude, with nice scenery to look at.
Dinner was sausages, pasta, and salad.