Today was a lot tougher than I was expecting! The day started off flat as I headed West towards the coast.

Some quick directions before comiting to a long road with no people

Some quick directions before comiting to a long road with no people

After about 15km the hills began and the didn’t stop. Fortunately I got to roll down a few hills but I was definitely expecting today to be relatively flat. I passed the first town on the map Umala at the 20km mark and decided to push on to the next town of Callapa to stop at a restaurant. Calliope never came, nor did any road signs or indications I was headed in the right direction.

Chasing this volcano all day

Chasing this volcano all day

Throughout the day I munched on bananas, oranges and nuts I had with me with no towns whatsoever, just the occasional mud brick house, generally missing a roof. The ones with roofs are usually covered in large stones I assume to hold them down.

These were everywhere

These were everywhere

As I approached the 100km mark I came across a turn off to a small town called Curahuara… my planned destination!! I rode 5km down a road to a very baron little town with only a few kids riding bikes in the main street.

The main street of Curahuara

The main street of Curahuara

I found a Hostel for B$20 (Au$4) and quickly made my way to the only restaurant I could find. I had no idea what was on the menu and didn’t recognise any words the woman was using. I ended up with a rice curry type of thing. I couldn’t work out what the meat was and after some animal impersonations on my part, eventually worked out It was Lama. It didn’t smell too good but I was ridiculously hungry I picked out some of the meat. 

Still hungry and a little scared of getting sick from the food I headed to a local shop and bought the healthiest most filling looking chocolates and sugary crap I could find. It is so hard to find anything to eat in small towns in South America that is not 98% sugar!!

As I made my way back the my hostel with my bag of crap, I felt an icy cold wind, and heard the crack of thunder close by. It immediately started snowing so a ran back to my hostel where I am now trying to plan tomorrows ride.

Pigs crossing the road just before it started snowing

Pigs crossing the road just before it started snowing

Initially I had planned to camp over the Chilean border but after experiencing the extreme cold at 5pm at 3800m Im a little concerned that I might get similar if not worse weather at my planned camp being at 4600m. As I don’t have internet here its really hard to plan the next section as I don’t think there are really any more towns between here and Putre. I don’t really have any option but to play it as I go. At least if I get wet and cold It won’t be long before I’m back at sea level again in the hopefully warm Arica!

Stats:

Distance – 100.77m

Av. speed – 15.51km/h

Total time – 8.13h

Max elevation – 4030m

Max HR – 135