Tuesday, 23.03.2010: Back to sealevel

23 Mar

For today, I had in mind to leave as early as possible: I ha the feeling that the wind could get an issue on the way to Arica. The guy from the hostal said, the wind would only rise in the late afternoon-he just did not want to get up early!
So after breakfast I made me on the way…starting with above 10% steep road to go back to the main road: Putre is a dead end…
And yes, as guessed, even you go 3500m down to Arica you have several up parts…not just a piece of cake as once would expect. That would male the 146km by far to easy! So you switch from 73km/h downhill to 5km/h uphill…
Just before noon, I took the opportunity to have lunch, as the wind had already raised and would ask for energy. You passes different gorges and arrives finally at a very nice part: entering the valley that brings you to the sea. At this point, a truck full of Borax had to go very slowly down wich was not very compatibel with my brakes. So I by-passed it. Then it got a little flat and he passed my again. We renewed that procedure once again later. Even you looses quite shortly several hundred meters (my guess: you could avoid it!), it is just another world: the green valley with a lot of culture is surrounded by tow gigantest sandy hills (I am not sure if they are dunes). Tobias: I have found the part you mentionned!! 🙂
The only disadvantage is that the valley canalizes the relatively warm wind from the sea….so I needed again a rest and some energy. I had two solutions for the next part: continuing against the wind or taking the little pass as akind of shortcut. A bus driver told me that all the part were asphalted, so I preferd the mountain, hoping that by the moment I would reach the other side, the wind would be easier.
After a few kilometers, a cyclist with a bike about one ninth of the weight of mine pass. First we had a gentle talk and he asked if we should drive together up and later just accelarated without saying goodbye and I thought to meet him on the top, but didn’t saw him again…
I arrived in the valley east of Arica with lots of vegetation and culture, beautiful flowers and expensive houses. Yan from the French Family had sent me the coordinates where they would rest, but I looked it in a wrong way (minutes vs 100) and thought there was a mistake. So my next goal was to find a place where I could clean the bike after all the sandy part in the mountains and saw one beside a supermarket; afterwards I would oil everything and check were the little noise comes from. With a clean bike I headed towards the information center. On the way, French people shouted: “hey the Swiss guy!”. The people who recognized the flags of Geneva and Berne. I stopped and they did told me to have seen me before in the mountains and were surprise to see me already here (after 146km).
The information was already closed, but the nice lady still working there came to the windows and gave me informtation: I went to the hostal Jardin del Sol…
In the evening, I cooked some rice and went to bed….but I can’t sleep…

Gud n8!


The number and path: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30783189