1000 meters climbing, 1010 down. Only 5 k of dirt today.
Today it is one month until we get to the end of this ride. I am looking forward to going home and seeing my family, friends, and pets.
It poured during the night, and it was raining when we took down the tents and set off. I was hoping it would be dry by the time we got to camp so we could dry out the tents before we put them up again. So far I have not had to deal with putting up a soaking wet tent in the pouring rain, and hopefully I won’t have to.
My legs were really sore and stiff in the morning, from yesterday’s slipping and sliding trying to ride up steep gravel. I thought my bike seat must have slipped down as the first 40 kilometres my legs just didn’t feel right. Not helped by a couple of long and reasonably steep climbs early in the ride.
At the top of one short sharp climb, Grant and Asher were stopped at the side of the road, they had had a collision a few kilometres back which must have cracked the derailer on Grant’s bike. When Grant stood to go up the hill it broke completely. They were in the process of trying to make the bike single speed so Grant could finish the day. Grant is one of the riders who is still EFI (does every bit of the whole ride). When the dinner truck went past they stopped and put Grant’s bike on the truck to be fixed at camp. and Grant finished the day on a TDA bike.
Lunch was by Lago (lake) Villa Rica where a school rowing competition was taking place. On the lunch table was a large container of sausages from last night’s dinner, most of which were thrown away as most riders won’t touch left over meat the next day, as the fridge facilities are a chilli bin with a bag of ice! There was enough that every rider could have had at least one more the night before.
After lunch we went south from Lago Villa Rica, over a mountain range then dropped down to Lago Calafquen. Unfortunately as it was raining and misty, so once again we could not see the scenery.
The countryside is really green. Unlike other areas where the cows are eating all day, here by mid morning here the cows are all full and dozing.
The weather cleared up in the early afternoon and by the time we got to camp it was warm and sunny. The camp owner said it was the first fine weather they had had in two weeks! The camp site looked like the day after a disaster, with all the riders drying tents, clothes, and shoes, all over the grass and fences.
There was a fence running along the edge of the camp ground, when I went to have a look over it I could see why there was a fence, as there was a sheer drop of a couple of hundred meters to the river below.
The camp owner had stocked up his fridge with Coke, beer and water. For the first time I had a beer with a plastic screw cap.
When I got to camp there was an option of a cabin which I took, as we have a really long day tomorrow and at least if it rains tonight my tent will be dry when I get to camp tomorrow.
Tomorrow we have 170 kilometres to ride: 1,060 climbing and 45 kilometres on dirt! My legs are already tired and stiff.
The camp had two Dachshunds that looked well fed and a number of cats. I had a raggy, hungry looking, German Shepherd hanging around my cabin, who I doubt very much belonged to the camp owners. I shared my dinner with him, which was burnt grilled chicken and partly raw mashed potatoes – he was much more appreciative of the cooking than me.