Monday, 11.01.2010: dry…

11 Jan
The day started as usual with breakfast and packing all the stuff on the bike. 1 km later, I finally found the road, that would have bring me to the mine, where I may be have get some water. The map from Know-How is really not up to date, even it is from 2009! I will feel it later.

For the frist time, an infromation was fully correct: as the day had started like it ended the day before – with 10% up – the Sprite guy from yesterday told me, it would be flatter later on. And it was!

And it got dryer as well… Very dry: 29°C and the minimum humidity I had: 13%! It was one of the first ride where my shirt did not become wet!

Later on and with strong front wind, I started to feel the day before: bottom, knees and muscles were shouting more often for break. Both maps told me, Paranal would be a pueblo… Now I know, it is NOT!! It has a landing piste for plane, but nothing else. Therefore I decided to drive up to the observatory, even there was something written in Spanish that could mean it would not be permitted. And the longer I was driving up, the more cars I saw. Even a dri nk water truck! If so 5-6 cars did not stop me, it couldn’t be so bad. Well, the last 5 km were terrible: steep, much contra wind and dry…..

Arrived at the guardians, I learnt that the james bond hotel is only for working people…I think they saw in my face my disappointment…and I get some Christmas present: two liters of fruit juce and a coke! :-))))

Unfortunately and for me for uncomprehensive reason, the area is full restricted. I will be alllowed to stay at night, but what I understood, I should leave tomorrow. For now, I am waiting for a shower 🙂 and can then sleep in one of the room of of the cabane.

Feliz navidad!!!!!!!

About the site: there are about 220 people working here. Each day, 2-4 trucks with about 18000 liters of water come from Antofogasta. The water is used as well for shower and “bath” as for the pool and for the observatory (I understood to cool the apparatus). The site is full equiped: sport facilities (incl. Volley-/basketball), sauna, swimming pool (with window to see the sky), movie/theater; they even have an orchester.

All the needed energy is provided by a fuel generator that works day and night. I was expecting they would use batteries for the night as it could interfer with the observations, but it isn’t. When I think how much sun they have (nearly 365 days a year, and when not, the obervatory is not used anyway) and the wind “always” blows from the coast, even at night.

If only the phone/the digicam could show how nice the sky is…so much stars, that the standard pictures are nearly not seen!

Well, the shower was not possible… ;-((

The guardians were VERY friendly and did help me very much. Those are really good guys, while their bosses…