|2013-10-08 click for more photo's|
It was lovely riding on the flat paved road out of town. It was lovely and sunny but we needed gloves and jackets to keep warm. The road was very quiet and all we saw was nosey alpacas some vicuna (much shyer creatures) and some flamingo's. They supposedly herald the rainy season so we were glad not to see too many. We tried to pick up some supplies in Quillacas but the pickings were very poor. Two very stale bread rolls,pasta and some eggs was all we could get in the food line. No tomatoes no fruit not even an onion to be had. Luckily we did manage to buy some beers though.
We were presently surprised to find some paved road. There were very few workman around but there were loads of roadblocks (big heaps of soil and gravel right across the road) to keep the cars off the new road and on the old unpaved one. We could push our bikes over or around the roadblocks and then had the next newly tarmacked road to ourselves. There were dozens of sections like this going on for about 40 kms It was strange to eat our lunch sat in the middle of the road. On these dead flat roads with a landscape that doesn't change at all for hours it is difficult to pick a spot to stop. Normally you would look for a feature in the landscape to stop but that is not possible at present. The final 30 kms however was completely different. At times the soft sand or wash board surface combined with some steep climbs made me glad to stop when we did just past the crater. The crater is about 1km in diameter with a small lake at the bottom , the edges are very distinct and the whole thing is perfectly circular. We found a beautiful spot hidden from the road with a perfect natural wind break and we enjoyed the evening sun. One of the pleasures of camping in an isolated place is the night sky. With no light pollution at this altitude it is beautiful. The only problem is that you don't like to linger too long because it is well below freezing.
|You can just see the dust devil. At any one time you can see at least three|