Posts Tagged With: Short riding day

Day 47/164: Hulucanas to Pasbar – 102km

Up 750 meters, and down 750 meters

Unless things change again, tonight we really are staying on a soccer field. I slept really well, probably the best since I started this ride. Regardless of the time I go to bed on a riding day – usually around 7 – I still never want to get up at 5am. Last night there were no roosters, no dogs, and it was not too hot or cold.

At the rider’s meeting last night Cristiano told us that Phil has now been evacuated from Loja and is in Lima finally. Hopefully he will make good progress and soon be able to return home. As expected with head trauma he is a bit confused, and whilst he can hold a conversation about having been injured he then will finish off his reply with “Now I have short day riding today, and I need to find my helmet and shoes”. A number of the riders are wearing orange (Phil wore lots of orange), and those that don’t have any orange have orange flagging tape on their bike or helmet, as a way of keeping Phil with us as we make our way to Ushuaia.

Today and yesterday it was overcast when we headed off and almost looked like rain but this clears midday and then the sun blazes down. Where we are staying tonight it has not rained since 2008!

One benefit of the short riding with no climbing is we have been getting to camp by midday. Mind you, it’s a bit disconcerting getting to the lunch truck at 9:30am. It also makes it a long time until dinner at 6pm. Most of the riders have a meal in between, plus the cook has been making soup every riding day since we left Quito and this helps bridge the gap as well.

Top of today's main climb at lunch time (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Top of today’s main climb at lunch time (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Peru is hot and very, very, dry where we are. There are numerous dry river beds and the towns are all buildings on dirt. There is a lot of rubbish around also, not in the towns so much but in between, dumped in bags on the side of the road.

On the road in rural Northern Peru (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

On the road in rural Northern Peru (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Today I rode about 30 kilometres with Mark and Nelson in a pacing line. Sort of like a peloton. We took turns being at the front pulling, and the riders behind get the benefit of some wind shield and drafting. I have not had much experience at this and find it hard to get close enough to the rider in front to benefit. Apparently I need to cut the distance I stay behind the rider in front by about two-thirds. All practice and experience. Given the shorter days I am pushing myself harder.

On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

On the road today (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Where we are staying is a soccer field but thankfully not dirt. We are on concrete, but it there is no shade and it is only midday when I get to camp. The cloud has lifted and it is hot! Thankfully three of the locals have shops in their houses so we followed the shade from shop to shop. When I say ‘shop’ I mean they have a freezer with drinks and a few things you can buy, and generally will cook chips and eggs (fried or scrambled).

Often though it takes about 45 minutes from the time of order to arrival, and there can be some tension over whose order is whose. Also at times more arrives than what was ordered, but there is always someone willing to eat more.

It is one of the rider’s birthday today – Jos from South Africa – and he has organized beer, cheese, crackers and olives. There was a big container of crackers and cheese, and two of olives, but they were gone in no time.

As a couple of days ago, we have a number of the locals watching us with great interest. At the rider’s meeting we sat on the tiered seating at the soccer field, and we had a back row of local people who sat through the meeting, and watched us eating. They are probably going to have to restock their shops tomorrow as 45 hungry riders can eat and drink a lot between midday and 6pm.

The soccer pitch where tent city is tonight (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

The soccer pitch where tent city is tonight (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

First good sunset of the trip tonight (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

First good sunset of the trip tonight (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

The sun continues sinking very fast (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

The sun continues sinking very fast (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 38: Prebold to Ljubljana – 60k

3,137km down: 3,088km to go (just over half way!!)

The ride was only 60k again today and not very many hills. We had a slight up gradient for first 15k than a bit of a climb, but at 21k there was a big downhill for about 15k. Overall we only climbed 500 meters today.

At Trojane (at about 21k) we stopped for donuts as we had been told they were really great. They were really big – and otherwise average – but we all got one.

In line for the World Famous in Slovenia donuts

In Slovenia the donuts are as big as your head

After this we rode for another 15k and then it was the lunch stop – and it was only 9:30am! Seeing as I had eaten breakfast at 7am then had a donut 30 minutes before lunch, I was not really able to muster up an appetite, but I ate a couple of nectarines.

I rode with John again today, it’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes when coming into a city. We got here by 11:30am, check in was not until 2pm, but I used the time to go to the laundry, the post office and chemist. Tomorrow is a national holiday so no shops will be open, so it was great to get all this stuff done today. The hotel assures us all the tourist stuff is still open tomorrow, so we will have the usual to see – a castle, churches, the Old town, a river etc. There is not so much need to rest, as after we leave here we only have three riding days until we get to Venice, where we have another two rest days.

We are staying at the City Hotel in Ljubljana. It is a nice hotel, I have a huge room, with a queen sized bed, chair, desk, and plenty of floor space – enough for about 10 tents. It has a nice ensuite plus Wifi.

I went out for dinner with Gen, Louise, Gareth and Walli to a place in the old town called “Marley and Me”. Gen found it in Trip Advisor, it was very nice. I ordered the lamb, and Walli ordered the gnocchi which I had thought about. My lamb was great but her gnocchi was amazing, it had truffle and beef shavings. We all had dessert, I had a chocolate and pear tart which was totally delicious.

Delicious chocolate and pear tart

Afterwards Walli and I walked around the old town, watched the street performers, had another red wine, listened to some music, and then headed home at 10pm. This was a late night, usually I am in bed by 8pm on a riding day but I am trying to change it around so that the first rest night I stay up late and then the second night (before riding again) I go to bed early. We have planned a sleep-in in the morning, so hopefully I will not be wide awake at 5am.

Categories: Cycling trip | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment