1,604 meters climbing, and 1,494 down
Nice weather as we set off today. Not the cloud free blue sky like yesterday, but no mist or rain, and not windy so we can see the mountains for a nice change.
Two more of the full tour riders are taking a break: Jos from South Africa is going off to do a cruise of the Antarctic, and will re join us two days before the end, and John from USA has gone to join up with another rider (Pa who left us in Uspallata), they are going tramping and not sure when, or if, he plans to rejoin. On his Facebook page he posted he “had to leave the tour before he lost his mind”. Not sure if he appreciated my comment “How do you know you haven’t already?”.
On the morning ride there were a few climbs and mostly farm land, then riding through a gorge following a river. Stunning snow topped mountains on both sides.
After lunch a gradual climb until 88 kilometres, then down a switch back and then down hill to camp.
Camp is 13 kilometres earlier than planned because the road was shut to traffic until 6pm from 100 kilometres onwards due to roadworks. The road is being widened and they were blasting a way through rock. Thankfully Cristiano talked a restaurant owner, in the town just before the road was shut, into having us camp out behind his restaurant and use the toilet and shower. This does mean another 13 kilometres being added tomorrow.
The people who own the restaurant have a 3 month puppy called Simba who is already the size of a small Labrador, who delighted with all the attention. When we got there he was tied up, but later on he was let off and he had a lot of fun going around tents and collecting interesting objects such as shoes and towels (this resulted in not such delightful attention and being tied up again).