We continue to learn something new everyday. Today for instance, we learned that a white flag hanging over a door means that house or shop sells bread — maybe.
Our mid-morning snack of crackers, tomatoes and tuna left us still hungry and we were craving carbohydrates. While watching a man load his horse with at least a weeks worth of supplies (cases of tuna, a few kilos of sugar, dried beans, etc.) another man walked by with a bag of bread.
We inquired where he obtained the yeasty treats and he indicated the street behind the plaza. We rolled off in that direction and stopped to ask another person about the bread shop. She indicated that it was the house with the small white flag.
We knocked at the indicated door but no one answered. We asked another person who pointed to a white flag above a door further down the street. This version of capture the flag went on for several more attempts before we raised our own white flag and moved on.
Keeping our Powder Dry
Cactus have reappeared. This morning they reminded us of their spiny presence with an early morning puncture. While annoying, it is not nearly as bad as a new type of road condition we’ve encountered.
For the past week, especially around sharp corners of road, we’ve discovered dirt ground so fine by the cars and heavy mining vehicles it has the consistency of talc. At some points, the powder was so deep that it covered our tires and rims as we rolled through it. It was slippery and created a constant haze in the air which left a fine layer of grit on ourselves and gear. It even made our teeth crunchy.
The Big V
We had a crazy descent into a river valley. The road wound back and forth upon itself, stacked like layers of a wedding cake. While not paved, it was hard packed and relatively smooth, being prepared for asphalt. As we descended, groups of workers were busy sweeping debris and rocks from the road in anticipation of the future surfacing.
The disheartening part of the descent is that we could see an equal number of switchbacks up the other side of the mountain valley. On the bright side, at least there are switchbacks and the road did not go straight up the side of the mountain. We’ve been told that the pavement begins at the valley floor. After the “roads” we’ve been on for the past several days I cannot wait to hear the wonderful pitch of our tires on asphalt.