Monday, November 09, 2015

091115 BLOK

091115 BLOK
Cycling Sundays…
Today again I cycled up into the National Parque, Tunari, that I live next door to, at least the Entrance.  The road I live one, Av. Los Robles, connects with the road up into the Park.  Part of the reason I rented the house, so convenient to the Park.
I had delayed departing, wanting to sense what the clima (weather) would be like, as this is the rainy season in Boldivia.  This turned out to be a mistake.  Just up 1KM I passed a group of cyclists coming down.  I thought their early up might be to arrive home for family lunch (custom on Sundays in Bo.).  I learned the real reason later.
The up was arduous, as the road seemed even more difficult, more loose rock caused by the rain.  I got stopped three times, and restarting uphill on this kind of surface, almost impossible.  On all I had to push to a more level spot, before I could get cranking again.
My goal was 9KM where Sunny had said there was a nice picnic ground.  Prior, I'd only made it to 6KM, the first picnic ground.  My long term goal is the top, where there's a lake at 24KM.  This before moving to Spain in March.
It took 2.5 hours to climb to 9KM, and the campground.  But, by 1230, the wind was bringing showers.  I noticed a pick-up truck, and a backpacking tent, a family with two kids enjoying getting away from the madness below in the city.  Almost immediately, the father-husband, was coming toward me offering food and water.  How nice I thought, unusual for Boldivia!  I declined, as had, but thanked him.  Earlier coming up, I'd done the same, as I'd met a man walking his bicycle down with a flat tire.  This is a 'rule, out there,' to offer help to anyone who seems to need.  One never knows when you're going to be in the same predicament!
I'm mostly prepared when 'out there,' thus when it started to come down, the rain drops  penetrating my cycling attire, I put on my rain jacket.  When it increased I thought better to retreat under the canopy of fir trees, and a picnic table.
I ate in the rain, two boiled eggs, my humus on bread, tomatoes, onions, and garlic (ajo in Spanish).  But, eating in the rain, and without a fire, not all that inviting.  I noticed two brick structures up on the hill across the road, but I decided it better to get going back down.  The afternoon wind seemed to be building.
I took some fotographs before packing up and pushing up the embankment to the road. 
The way down even more challenging than cranking up, as slippery and jarring on my 'hard-tail' bicycle.  I had to go slowly or fall.  Down, and with the wind in my face (when I turned west on the switchbacks) took 1.5 hours.  But, warmer as I got lower.
The total trip only 4 hours in length which surprised me -- up and down 18KM, plus lunch, in 4 hours.  Back in my patio the wind increased, and I thought, next time, next Sunday,I must depart earlier.  The reason cyclists go up early is to avoid the wind and the rain.
They say the strongest 'El Nino,' in years is causing this unusally strong wind.  Note, Cochabamba, only some 400KM east of the Pacific Ocean.
This Sunday's trip I also learned I need to take more agua, and maybe cycling pantalones.  Ah, even with much cycling experience one seems never to stop learning!
I guess when you've learned everything possible, it's time to 'check out!'  Not my time yet!


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