Thursday, 5 May 2011

How far can you go on a bicycle??

While in Cachi, having breakfast with the French, a guy was sitting at the next table and next to him there was a bike. Not any bike.....

....THIS bike !!!
a heavy duty, no suspension, all-steel two-wheeler, weighting over 20kg on its own, ready to withstand the most harsh weather and road conditions. Jason, the guy in the red t-shirt in the first picture, is a Brit. He took a year off his work to travel alone in South America with his bike !!!
Believe it or not, this beast when fully loaded, was weighting over 70kg. Jason had started 4 months ago from Patagonia, and had managed 4.500km so far; aiming to reach about 15.000km by the time his journey would end, in 8 months from now. "The first 3-4 weeks were the toughest ones" he said. "For every 2 days I was cycling, I needed 1 full day to rest. But now, I can cycle for 6-7 days, 6-8h per day without needing any days off"
He stayed with us for about an hour. He had to head on to Salta and try to get there in 2 days. It would take me by bus 3-4h. He shared with us quite a few stories of other bikers he had met so far, one of which involved a couple of bikers, cycling around South America for over a year, during which time the girl became pregnant, she delivered the baby in Argentina and they continued their trip together with the newborn. Now, if that is not commitment and love for life, I don't know what is.
Jason's way to Salta is not gonna be an easy one. He has to get from Cachi (1700m altitude), over the mountains (at 3.300m) and then downhill on a difficult and in some points dangerous half-paved road to Salta.

I was planning to stay in Salta for a few days but didn't manage to find any decent hostels. It was Easter week and everything was fully booked for some reason. So, I skipped Salta altogether, took the bus to Jujuy, and from there straight to Tilcara & the amazing Quebrada de Humahuaca....the freedom of traveling alone. Change your mind as often as you like....:)

...and one last small detail.

Rallye Paris-Dakar passes from that same part of Ruta 40, including Cachi.
Anyone interested for 2012??