I’m inching along, barely able to maintain 5mph. We’re drafting and it’s my turn up front. We’re on a flat stretch of road, but I’m in the same gear I used to climb Punta Olimpica. The headwinds are that bad.
The road stretches in a straight line, disappearing over the horizon. The sand being carried in the wind stings our skin. I can feel the sand seeping into my shoes and through my socks. It’s like my toes are at the beach. My teeth are gritty. I think I’ve eaten a handful of sand in the past week. I wonder about the effects of inhaling all this sand into our lungs. That can’t be good.
By afternoon, it only becomes worse. There’s a building off the road and we decide to take shelter. We’re not the first cyclists to get stranded here. There is another set of tracks and a burn ring from a fire.
Sunset is in two hours. There’s nothing out here and no indication that there will be any other shelters within reach today. Camping out in the open, unprotected, will be miserable.
We decide to stay put. The building’s door is locked so we can’t get inside, but we can camp beside it, using it as a windbreak. The downside is we’re exposed to traffic in one direction. At night, no one is likely to see us, but we’re still taking a chance and putting a whole lot of faith in the people driving on the Pan-American Highway.