“We are meant to struggle!”
Britten reports from a wet South American Epic cycling expedition:
It started with a crack in the sky and ended with floating tent islands.
We’re cycling all the way down South America, along one of the biggest mountain chains in the world. We expect to get firm, often harsh reminders that almighty nature rules from time to time. What we don’t expect, however, is how and when those reminders crop up. So the only thing to do when the skies open up and poor violently from above is to get a shovel and start digging. A small trench around your tent should be enough to stay dry, right? I’ll let the photos answer that question.
Within minutes the channels between the rows of trees that lined our campsite filled. And then they overfilled. And then the entire area was under anywhere from 4-8 inches of water, rendering our pathetic little trenches completely useless.
As the rain stopped, riders emerged from their soaking shelters to assess the damage and most found themselves on their own private island in the middle of a small lake. Welcome to paradise, everyone! As the water drained out to the main road, most people relocated to higher ground. Marius, on the other hand, stayed put.
“Aren’t you soaked in there?”
“Nope. Hard to get soaked when you’re on a floating sleeping pad.”
Touché, Marius. As for everyone else, we hunkered down for a rainy night in preparation for a tough day of riding the next morning: 120 kilometers on rough, semi-washed out roads up and over a mountain pass. Once there, well, let’s just say we got yet another reminder from nature in the form of an electrical storm that forced us to pack up camp and head to Uspallata a day early. To borrow the preferred parlance of Tour Leader Sharita, “We are meant to struggle!”