No likelihood of shops or similar today so we were already set up to camp and had decided to do approximately 110 km before looking for a place to camp. For the first time ever we were stopped by the police on the way out of Chos Malal and documents , direction ,nationality etc were checked. We had the distinct impression that they were just bored and wanted someone different to check over. Very polite and they did at least say that they had half an hour previously seen two Columbian cyclists go through who oddly enough we met half an hour later trying to repair a puncture with a broken pump. We helped them out and left them behind but saw them three times again during the course of the day as either they or we rested and the others caught up. The scenery was arid desert and vast with no buildings, no nothing. ( note from Marjet It is hard to imagine such nothingness. Between one 'town' and another there can easily be a hundred odd kilometers of it. Just a road. No other signs off human intervention. Cars are often very few and far between so you are on your own pretty much and you have to make sure you have all supplies with you)
Progress was quick with only one climb of 400 mts and we ended the day with a strong tail wind which made pitching the tent difficult. Once the tent was secure with the bikes and several boulders we settled down to cook a pasta meal and then saw the Columbian boys whiz by. We had decided to stop at the 105 km point. Was that the right decision? Seeing the Colombians disappear in the distance we began to wonder.