A tough day.
We decided on a early start.
We climbed out of the thermal baths and noticed some fellow travelers with pack packs waiting at the side of the (main) un-named road.
You know you are traveling in rural areas when people say,
- Oh good you speak English
- Is there about 1 car per hour out here?
You see, they were hitchhiking and wanted to know how long they would have to wait before a car came by. They had been told there maybe a bus today or tomorrow. They weren't sure. So they waited for a bus, or a car, cart, or anything.
They told us they had been hiking in the nearby park and had run out of provisions and needed to get to the next town to get food!
We chatted and went on our way, up, up, up ...
We were just around the first switch back when we heard footsteps walking up behind us. They decided to hike it to the next town to get the bus. Or stop a bus, or car and hitch a ride.
We struggled to push our bikes up the hill as they walked right past us.
It took us 3 hours of up hill pushing to finally reach them again and pass them on a down hill section.
We didn't see much traffic that day. We saw 1 person walking (with a dog) a motorcycle, and a camionette. We wonder how they faired.
The final Push
To me the last 10 km into town always seems to be the hardest and this run was no different. The road was rough, washboard and loose gravel. It's tough because going down any hills you can't develop any speed to coast up any inclines.
And pedaling up hills is difficult because of the ripio and loose stone.
Also we are arriving at a town and it seems like there is nothing around for miles! No indication that there is a town. The roads are horrid, there is no sign of civilization. Then a town kind of appears from no where.