The GPS was wrong. The top of the mountain pass was an additional four miles up. That’s an hour of additional riding we hadn’t accounted for. As we climb it gets foggy, rainy and really windy. It will be miserable to camp up here.
The sun is setting in minutes. We’re getting a little nervous because we really don’t like riding in the dark and it’s infinitely harder to find a camp spot when we can’t see anything.
There’s no light pollution up here so when the sun went down it was total darkness. The sky cleared, revealing the Milky Way and a million stars.
We found a good enough spot in the last remnants of light. We camped in a sharp bend in the road. We’re kind of hidden being that we’re a little lower than the road and there’s a big pile of rocks to hide behind. We’re not that worried about it because A) there’s not a whole lot of other options B) there’s barely any traffic C) the road is so steep in this section we thought it impossible for anyone to stop to mess with us.
A bus passed going down the mountain and then we watched as it came back around the corner in slow motion, the engine roaring as it was forced to climb the mountain in reverse. They stop in the bend about 30 meters from us and point dim flashlights down in our direction. Then it occurs to us that we might look like a crashed vehicle to people driving by who only catch a glimpse of our tent.
I get out of the tent, wave and yell “Todo esta bien!” (Everything is OK), hopefully indicating that we don’t need rescuing. I’m not sure they can hear me over the noise of the river. If they’re saying anything, I can’t hear them.
Eventually they tire of our circus show and carry on down the mountain. But as the bus goes by, someone yells out the window, “GRINGOS!”. Yes, just some gringos camping out in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Photos from the day:
Dry landscapes gave way to lush mountain scenery.
The long and winding road up the mountain.