We upped and packed with the first day of school nerves. This would be the first time we had cycled with anyone else. Not sure of the etiquette both ourselves and the Brazilians seemed apprehensive. For us the worry was that we would slow them down, they would race out of the gates and leave us eating their dust. This was not the case, we chatted about distances and how fast we each ride and although they average slightly more km than us a day they also ride for longer. Our paces were surprisingly similar and as the day wore on we relaxed into each other’s company.
The road was paved for the start section however we soon found ourselves onto the trusty ripio with the views materialising all around. It was nice to have others to chat to on the road and share our experiences from the last 2500km. The boys came over the ‘paso roballo’ the one we were going to take until we found the ‘paso mayer’.
Our mutual aim for the day was a Casa De Ciclista that we had heard about in Villa Maniguales; and if all else failed there was a CONAF free campsite. Both these places no longer existed. Up step our travelling companions/translators. They asked some locals and got told the cheapest place to camp, add this with some Brazilian charm that Joseph unleashed and we had camping with dinner and full use of the facilities. Sometimes it helps to be able to speak the language!
Both Jess and I have found our morning routine to be getting later and later, this is even more prevalent with the inclusion of the Brazilians. If we leave camp before 10.30am we are doing well, this is not a bad thing, it’s nice having a leisurely start and my stomach is now accustomed to having a later dinner and no longer growls at me once we pass 5pm! This did promote some jokes about English tea from the Brazilians. Our second day with the Brazilians and we and managed a mighty 10km before a crowd of cyclists came by in the opposite direction, 8 of us in total took over the road as we chatted and exchanged stories, within the pack were two English men in their 60’s, one all the way from Stockport! It was now our time to shine, we haven’t spoken to so may native English speakers since arriving in South America and it was obvious it was a little too much for the Brazilians who were struggling to keep up, it was nice to be able to translate for them for once!
We continued in much the same way until we found a campsite next to a lake. A night of luxury was in order as we were able to get in to a shelter that had a working door and glass windows, ideal with the inevitable rain finally catching up with us. I blame Jess for the change in the weather, she bought new sun-cream while it was still sunny, and since that day the weather has been deteriorating! We also tried our hand at fishing for the first time this trip, Joseph carries a rod on his bike so we tried our luck to no avail, I somehow managed to end up with the real in the lake while I stood holding the rod, fortunately Joseph was too busy crying with laughter to be concerned over the condition of his fishing equipment.
The days have passed much the same way, leisurely starts, long lunches and wine filled evenings in accommodation of varying quality. So far riding as a four seems to be working out for all of us, we will see at which point our routes differ and we have to separate, until then we will keep riding and laughing at the multiple humorous situations a slight language gap provides!
Danny and Jessica living the nomadic dream.