Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 125 (36km): Unstoppable?

At least the sun was out this morning. We packed up the tent and put on our still muddy and wet riding gear. Yuck! We found out that we were on a side road and that the main road was in better condition, but we were already more than half way to meeting back up with the main road so forward we go. Only a few meters down the road the dreaded mud started again. We saw small dirt bikes with passengers make their passengers walk this section. That was the telltale sign. It was muddy, and the mud was like ice.
Alberto trying to decide the best way to come down
Tackling the start of the mud (bad boy without a helmet)

It took us 2 hrs to ride the 3km back to the real road. The only people we saw using this road were livestock and pedestrians. That should have been our first clue. Throughout this trip whenever we've ended up on the alternative route it's been an adventure to say the least.
We dropped the bikes
And dropped them again
But there was a pretty cool bridge!

Once we reached the real road it was like night and day. The real road was pretty much dry and made with a more sandy material (more porous and doesn't hold onto water). We started to pick up a head of steam and were doing pretty well. Then we came upon a traffic jam. Alberto went to go check it out while I watched the bikes. It turns out that a truck had flipped over and was blocking the road. What is an adventure without a bit of adversity? 
The truck blocking the road (note the muddy side road on the left)

We got the trucks that were lined up on the road to move a little bit so we could get by. Alberto drove his bike up a very muddy hill thinking he could by-pass the flipped truck and get back on the road. His little side road led to nowhere. The bystanders came up with a plan though.
Alberto and his road to nowhere

They made enough room for us to walk the bikes around the truck. One of the guys even cut down the dirt to make it even; now that is commitment! We took our cases off (one more reason to be happy to have caribou quickly removable cases) and Alberto and a bunch of guys muscled the bikes past. They pretty much picked up the front and back tires to pivot the bikes around the small gap. Yay, we were free on the other side. 
Getting the bikes through
Almost there

We had a clear path all the way to Mollepata where we stopped for lunch. The scenery was amazing. We encountered sections of mud but it wasn't slippery so it gave us no problems. We get the impression that not a lot of gringos come through these parts. One guy was talking to us at the plaza in Mollepata and he said that last time he saw gringos was 4 years ago (and they weren't on bikes). 
Taking a moment to enjoy the view
Stopped for lunch in Mollepata

We started our descent to the foot of the mountain we had been admiring all day. That's the things about riding up and down and around. You end up seeing the same mountain range for days. It was a crazy switchbacking ride down to the bottom. It was quite fun really. 
The mountain we had been chasing all day
The road down
Was still early when we got to the bottom but we were tired from the all the work we had done in the morning. We decided to camp by the river, thinking we could use the water. The water was far too turbid to use, but it was a nice place to camp. 
A wind gust caught me while I was on the bridge; I fell
I found this little guy right after I started the search for a place to put the tent
Didn't see any spiders over here


1 comment:

  1. ahhhhhhhhh that hairy spider is scary!! hopefully you didn't wake up to find one in your tent!

    also - that view of the mountains is spectacular!