14 March, 2018

PAH18 week 5 – 5000 miles

End of day 38 and today I have completed over 5000 miles (8000km) cycling and now am on my second day in Ecuador, the fourth country.

Peru for cycling was probably the better of the 3 countries at the time as each afternoon the winds would pick up and assist with a cross tail wind. I took advantage of this and managed to push some big distances enabling me to catch up the day lost at the Peru/Chile border. Unlike Argentina and Chile, there was limited decent food shops and ATMs making it difficult to cook our own meals. We had to resort on a number of occasions to the local cuisine, however this then resulted in myself getting food poisoning on 2 occasions.

I was told prior to my challenge that you can cycle with food poisoning and so this was the case achieving 130miles on one day and 150miles the second. Although proven you can still cycle with food poisoning, without a doubt an experience I do not wish to repeat. The winds really favoured me on one of the days, and so I took advantage of the situation and managed to get a personal best on distance covering 300km (187.5miles).

I now have entered into Ecuador, and automatically the scenery and wildlife have changed significantly, with huge mountains and jungles. The air has gone from a very dry arid heat to humid and close at sea level, but clear, fresh and a lot cooler at height. I’d mentioned on my earlier blog about the 3 main areas of concern I had when planning this challenge, one being the winds of Patagonia, the second was the heat and remoteness in the Atacama desert, the third one was the size of the climbs both here in Ecuador and Colombia.

Tomorrow I climb 3600m, with a 45km climb, as a comparison the largest climb on Tour de France is 20km. When I started the challenge I was weighing 88Kg, now already at 81kg my physique and weight may be more suited for the hills… soon will know.