Friday, 12.03.2010: to the north…

12 Mar

As usal now for me in Chile, I woke up at about 8h: who can have a “party” can cycle…;-)
Sergio and another guy had already left, Prudencio was finishing is night shift. He told me to take breakfast. After packing everything (and geting some water of course) I left that place I won’t forget.
The road (Asphalt I didn’t ride since very long) followed the salar in direction..yes of the north. What I did not realize when watching the maps was that it would rise from 3750 to over 4300m…I had time and needed to burn the alcohol from the day before. And after every coline, I looked back, thinking it would be the last time I would see the white of the Aucanquilcha..
In the afternoon the wind started to blow quite hard, mainly fromt the side. At several places I thought: ok, there is the top of the hill.. to see some moments later that another top was appearing. Finally I was at the “pass”. The downhill part was unfortunately not so funny, as the wind was blowing not continously, which was destabilising me.
Then, I left the “beloved” asphalt for the earth road towards the salar of Huasco. I had heard that it was possible to eat or even to sleep nearby a family. Unfortunately, the road to the salar was not only earth but sand… and I felt while driving, which throwed the cellphone quite far: It is very robust, just some scratch on the display…which give some malfunction with the touchscreen. Arriving at the salar, there is a bifurcation: left or right? From the direction I came, they was no signs… So I took left to see after some meters that I would have to turn back to go to the refugio: The place where I could eat something! After 1.2km of sandy, bad road, I arrived over there to see that it was closed… So I had to go back! My dream of a fine Lama steak had gone. The wind was getting stronger and cooler, I had to built the tent before night. So 3 km after the bifurcation and about 30m from the salar I found a place to stay. Building up the tent took this time much more time as the wind was very strong.
Well, instead of Lama meat, I’m eating risotto al funghi! ;-(

Good night,

Georges