It’s raining sand in our tent. We only made it 20 miles today. It took us 3 hours to drag our bikes the 7.5 miles to the top of Paso Salar Capina (15,280 feet).
The condition of this road is in many places impassable on bike; up, down, or on flat ground. Both Scott and I took a spill in the descent off the pass. My wheels slipped out from under me and my head landed in a pile of rocks (I’m thankful for my new helmet which is not held together with a zip tie!). The rest of my body was uphill from my head, which was somewhat lodged in the rocks. The grade was so steep it took me a few minutes to right myself and assess the damages. Surprisingly, I’m just a little scuffed up. Scott rolled away with a scraped arm and elbow. We need to be careful, because there is not much in the way of medical clinics out here in the event we seriously injure ourselves.
The blasting wind is what did us in though, making any attempts to ride futile. We pushed through sand until we encountered a half-built structure with a low wall to put the tent behind.
It’s difficult to enjoy it on days like today. I spent more time pushing my bike than I did riding. Scott talked about getting a ride. The problem, there were none. Almost all the traffic was in the opposite direction. The few trucks that passed going our way were full. We got ourselves into this mess, looks like we’ll have to get ourselves out.
We have heard from cyclists who rode this in years past that the road was in better shape. It is certainly beautiful, but in its current condition, we would hesitate to recommend the Lagunas Route to other cyclists.
Sand collecting in our tent tonight: