April 21, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Up and Over
April 21, 2010
Forgive me for my lack of blogging lately. I have had terrible luck getting quality internet access, plus have not had a lot of time to write. In the meantime, here is a quick update:
I now find myself in northern Chile in San Pedro de Atacama. I crossed over from Argentina at Paso de Jama two days ago and sent a new altitude record for the trip at 15,810-ft. I also set a new "descent record" on the other side, losing over 5,000-ft in less than 15-minutes- on a long straight road coming out of the sky. I thought I was landing a plane! It was a windy chilly up-and-down day, but the transition has introduced spectacular new landscapes. I did okay with the altitude, having taken the advice of a local before leaving and keeping a cheek full of coca leaves during the trip.
Since being in San Pedro, I have taken day trips on the bike to visit salt beds, lunar landscapes, and flamingo filled lakes. The air is dry and crisp and it is hard to stay hydrated, but nothing is unbearable, and the stars that pop out at night make it even that more special and worth it.
Today, I accomplished another proud first. I changed my front tire all by myself! (something Ewan never had to do.) The 100 degree heat probably helped soften the rubber, but it didn't do me any favors.
If the wheel stays on, I will be traveling north tomorrow continuing up on through the Atacama Desert, the driest desert on Earth, entering Bolivia in two days and apartment shopping in a week's time in Sucre. I am excited to stop for a while, and catch up on things. Life is good, not always easy, but good.
I hope you all are well.