Feed the machine

At the end of our last blog we were in a motel which offered no breakfast so we left at seven after a few biscuits. Our route immediately turned off down a stony track which later became a path. We descended to a river and were faced with stripping off and fording it but then we noticed a bamboo bridge which we balanced across. Later we found an even more exciting bridge with two bamboo sticks to stand on and a very bendy handrail. But we negotiated it successfully.

Bridge with alibi hand rail

We were in the middle of nowhere and hungry so when we finally rode in to a town, we stopped at the first shop to buy fluids and bread. Then it was back in to the stunningly green countryside and extremely stony trails. By midday I was “only firing on three cylinders” and needed food. Luckily after crossing the Rio Blanco, we found a beautiful hotel facing a huge waterfall. The rest of Sunday was declared an afternoon off. Pinacolada, swimming, lieing in the sun and lazing around was ordered.

Outdoor shower

By the evening we were seriously hungry and each ate two main courses and almost took a second dessert. The body is quite happy to cycle to the Andes but it demands fuel.

On Day 5 we did it all correctly. Started the day with a big breakfast and then began the long uphill slog in to the mountains. By eleven we were soaking so hid in a coffee shop with warm mugs of milk coffee until the worst passed. At three we were at 1100 meters and had cycled 50 kilometers. The tank was once again empty but we found a restaurant to refill. More food; more drinks; and then we quickly polished off the final 20 kilometer climbing through the rain forest to spend the night in a lodge above 1700 meters.

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