I am currently shitting myself, laying in my tent… but I will get to that part.

Today started well. I got up and slowly gathered my things and enjoyed my warm shower as I wasn’t sure where the next one would be coming from. According to the map and a blog I had read of a couple doing this same section by bike I planned to get to the top of the mountain and find a camp site up there. I picked up some fruit and supplies and I was off. All up hill again but I’m getting used to that now.

Green Farm land at the bottom

Green Farm land at the bottom

The landscape was beautiful and the road amazing. There seems to be less and less traffic the further I come which is also a relief. As I switched back and forth with the road I watched the little town of Puquio drift further and further away and as I counted the Kilometres pass by I knew I was getting closer to the summit of around 4300m. It was a beautiful day and there was a fresh breeze which would frequently change from assisting me to being a pain in the arse as I hit each switch back. 

Pucuio getting further away with every pedal

Pucuio getting further away with every pedal

I was passing a lot more farmland with loads of cattle wandering the roads eyeing me off as I slowly peddled past. There were wooly Lamas and Sheep around each bend as well.

Stare off with a Bull - didn't win

Stare off with a Bull – didn’t win

I reached about the 40km mark and came across a little restaurant so I stopped and had some amazing fried fish.

Met this little guy at the restaurant

Met this little guy at the restaurant

After that I pushed the final 10kms to the summit which was amazingly open and clear. At the top I started to hear thunder and saw dark clouds to the distance.

What do the Lamas do in a thunder storm?

What do the Lamas do in a thunder storm?

I peddled another 8km looking for a campsite that had been described in the blog I read.

At the summit - looking desperately for a spot to set up camp

At the summit – looking desperately for a spot to set up camp

I couldn’t  find it and the icy wind was beginning to hit. The dark clouds in the distance appeared to be getting closer so I hastily looked for a protected spot hidden from the road… this was not an easy task. I returned up the road a Km or so and saw what I guess could best be described as a drain passing under the road. It appeared relatively dry and It was the only spot flat enough that actually had a bit of protection from the winds which were getting stronger and stronger.

My not so amazing camp spot

My amazing camp spot

I began pulling out rocks from the ground so I could lay my tent down. Just as I had cleared a good area it started raining very lightly and everything went a bit dark. I did my best at speed to put up the tent struggling to get the pegs into the rocky ground. Just as I had the tent up as best as I could the rain passed. I quickly got my gear into the tent as I know that as soon as the sun goes down It gets more than a bit cold really quickly!

Stove works

Stove works

It was around 4:30 and the sky cleared a fair bit. I thought to myself maybe I should have just kept riding but it was too late now. I pulled out my stove and surprise, It worked brilliantly. I had a good feed of 2 minute noodles and as I turned around I saw the most beautiful and scary site I’ve ever seen. In the not to distant distance where the clouds had cleared I could see snow capped mountains. I first was in owe but that quickly turned to the realisation that I was camping In a tent at 4300m and there was an icy wind already hitting me and I was standing in the sun. 

Too close for comfort

Too close for comfort

So here I am, a Queensland boy, never seen snow, preparing for maybe the coldest night I have ever had. Got all my cold weather gear on laying here as then sun goes down in my sleeping bag getting beeped at by the trucks as the go past cause I’m not that hidden, hoping that I don’t need to go to the toilet in the middle of the night!

Awww shit!

Awww shit!

Very nervous!!!