Thursday, 18.03.2010: from slightly to very warm water

18 Mar
Fortunatley, the rain stopped quite rapidly yesterday night. Despite it, the tent was wet and I needed to wait until packing it. During all yesterday, one thing disturbed me especially in that beautifull part of the national parc: all the cans, bottle and other stuff that didn’t belong here. So as I had “nothing” to do as waiting for the tent to dry, I collected all I could, put it into a fireplace and lit it on. Yes, I know, plastic shouldn’t be burnt like that on the other hand it is the better alternative if there is no bin around.
I left the site around 11h as I knew where I wanted to be in the evening: the very aguas caliente of the salar of Surire, which are above 60°C. The first 25km were quite easy, bypassing old villages with – I guess – no permanent habitant. At least one village had hold a big party as very much bottles of beers where distributed between church and houses.
At the kilometer 25 came a bifurcation that made me headache: to left in direction of the mountains, at least one pass and 20km extra or to the right/staight to what was said the border. The rough map on the GPS said I would have to cross Bolivian territory. That meant: I would loose all my food when coming back to Chile and meeting Carabiñeros, which would be fatale for me! As I couldn’t decide myself, a thrown stone decided for me to take the pass. A little bit training after the flat part.
The road was quite good, starting with 5% and going up to 13% at some parts. Thes clouds became with the time darker and the wind stronger. And then it started to rain with few drops, which soon changed to a kind of snow. I reached the pass at 4700m and the snow/rain stopped. My fingers were nearly frozen, so I took the gloves I had not wear before as I didn’t want to have them wet for the downhill. Of course, I as well wear the helmet. It was just great: the road wasn’t to steep so I could get some speed with a maximum around 50km/h on a dirt road. The scene was very nice, especially when arriving above the salar de Surire.
I turnt to the right in direction of Poloquere, where if the everything went well, I would met again Annabelle, Lise, Leïa and Yan for supper. The last part of the road was much longer as I had expected and took my last energy But what a nice surprise: they were waiting for me. After building up my tent, I joined them for popcorn before it started to wind and rain and there were lightning and thunder over the surrounding mountains: what a beautifull view we had. After some photos, we went all into their jeep, talking and waiting for a better weather to cook Pasta Carbonara especial, with a nice Chilean Merlot.. 🙂
Later, the girls went to bed and we continued to talk about many interesting subject until it was time to go to bed!


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