Heading across the pampa, I was finally in the sunshine…
I arrived at the Laguna at about 8:30am, excited to have it all to myself, and was therefore somewhat miffed to find a French/Italian couple had camped up there and thereby beaten me to it! All ‘miffed-ness’ disappeared promptly, however, when they offered me a cup of tea, which went down very well after the 3 hour hike!
By 10am the first other person arrived and I decided it was time to head down before the tranquility was completely shattered! My early start was fully justified though as I encountered hordes of people on the descent making their way up in the heat of the morning sun.
Arriving back down at the campsite at midday, I got my tent and sleeping bag out to dry, had a bite to eat and then decided to push on up the climb. The only alternative was to sit around at the campsite until the next morning and I figured that my slightly tired hiking legs still had plenty of cycling left in them! Needless to say, I wasn’t hugely full of energy and the climb up from the campsite at 3850m to the pass at 4710m (with no fewer than 34 switchbacks) became a real test of mental as much as physical fortitude!
The views on the way up were fairly spectacular though…
And, after a fantastic morning as well, I was utterly elated when I made it to the pass (also my highest point of the trip thus far)…
Looks epic mate, good work! Trim the beard, the donkeys don’t like hairy men.
Haha, so that’s the trick – I ought to have got tips from you before I left! 😉
Great pix and story line!
Am I jealous? Would I survive? Would I get lost? Answer definitely “yes” to at least two questions…..
What temp extremes have you been through?
Keep going and look forward to next report
All best wishes
Thanks Chris – it’s been perfect riding weather so far. 20C or so during the day – hot sun but cool in the shade. Can get down to below zero at night but the sleeping bag has performed well so far! Bolivia could be a different matter…
Campbell. this is superb. love reading your blog and the pictures are awesome.
A shame you don’t have a picture of you holding your bike aloft at the top of the highest peak! but i guess you probably didn’t have the energy to lift 50Kgs or whatever the crazy weight of your bike is?
The climb over the tunnel looks like great tarmac for road biking?
Thanks Ed! Yep, a little too heavy to lift the bike! After my culling of superfluous gear, I think I’m down to about 43kg now!!
Yep, it would be a fantastic climb on a road bike too if you went through the tunnel (there is a Strava segment for it!). There are plenty like it too – just quite geographically separated! If you knew the routes/terrain, you could do a great lightweight bikepacking-style tour, staying in hostels every night. Might need a gravel/adventure bike though! Euro 20?!!
Another truly inspiring blog, with even more sensational pics of stunning clarity.
The scale and steepness of those switchbacks are breathtaking – far surpassing the TdF equivalents.
After all that effort, I hope you bought an ice cream for Sally too!
Thanks! I just cooled her tyres off in the snow…
What a gentleman!
Epic Campbell! You look like your having a great time! Those mountains look amazing!
I defo need to get a theta as well! All about the 360s!
Yep, thanks Lee – I think the 360s work pretty well for these truly epic vistas!
Yikes you are starting to look proper Neanderthal !! Omg to wet tent and dodgy tum, gosh what a story you have every week compared to the 9-5 Groundhog Day slog – amazing and so brave, love your work!
Stunning pics and hope you found beer on your birthday and had one or five for Ben X