Sunday 14.03.2010: up again…no thermal sources

14 Mar
The day started as the last one ended: children crying, freezing, drink tea, eat Llama for breakfast (with egg and bread) and then I prepared myself to leave. During the breakfast the house tennant which is as well working in a nearby mine, had to slaughter three sheap. Quite interesting to see how they remove the fell, which can’t nearly be solf (less than onne dollar). He told me that because of the poor amount of rain, he only can hold 40 pieces….only regarding to other time they had more than 500. Llamas survive better, but the meat can’t be sold to a good price as Chilean prefer beef to llama meat, which I do not understand. It taste so fine and is much healthy (nearly zero cholesterol).
After saying goodbye (and paying for the hostal) I left towards Lirima where I should get everýthing: internet, wifi and cellphone. The road followed for a few hundred meters the river in a green canyon – a big contrast to the rest and the last days. Which I had to leave for some small hills and canyon. The only I knew is that I had started at 3900m and should arrive at Lirima around at 4000m. Yes of course, nobody could told me what as in between. Just before Lirima a mine pumps water out of a salar…within the last 10 years, the level of the ground water has sunk by 10m. Nobody knows how long it takes until they will be affected. So arriving in Lirima after 25km, I cycled through the pueblo to find somebody with information. No cellphone, no international calls. The internet need the generator to be started as the battery of the solar cells are bad. The guy asked around about the possibility of lunch and starting the internet as I hoped 1)to send an sms and 2) to send all the emails I have prepared.
The good news: they have wifi.
The bad news: they don’t know the password.
So in the end I went for lunch…and was very surprised about the price: 7 dollars vs 4 and 2 the days before. I did not want to argue and left.
I had learnt while eating that the hot source is not really a source, that it was not on the way to Colchane and that the Copec map had here big errors.
I started in direction the people had mentionned with a strange feeling: first because I felt cheated for the lunch and second because I was cycling in the direction of Cancosa and Bolivia, which I didn’t wanted.
A car passed and I asked again: yes, I was on the correct way. Later, I saw my first tree since long time and continued to cycle up. From what Gérard told me and if I am on the correct road I would have to pass the 5000m…
When the wind started not only to bes trong but cold as well and that I was not sure to reach the pass, I stopped at 4800m and set up the tent with precaution due to the strong wind.
After pasta and sauce, I am now ready for sleeping.

Gud n8, Georges