Morning, I leave the “good” part out of it as there is frankly not much good in the morning. The afternoon is better but still it is a tough day, with both wind and strong sun.
Anyway, lat’s take it in an orderly fashion. I wake up to a splendid morning of full sunshine but I linger a bit and, despite the fact that the sun rises at six I only get going around eight or so. This might be a mistake. I quickly discover that the unfinished bridge was also heralding the fact no tarmac was on offer on the route forward. This while not being a life ending problem, while mixed with intense heat from above and strong wind made it into a rather deadly combination forcing almost constant pauses for recuperation
I cycle for more than two hours in this caldron and in the process manage a really close shave with a snake crossing the road between my wheels. It turns out that, while being rather large the snake is harmless.
The only thing to look at is the relentless procession of cows field after field, but then again I was told that’s what the Uruguay interior has to offer.
Mind you in the end I get to the tarmac and it feels good. It is funny how big a mismatch there is between the romantic idea of off-roading and the reality of it. I wonder if I feel it more with the small Brompton tyres, or if it is just that I’m not half as fit as I was last time I was off road cycling.
Never mind, time for a siesta, and the folding chair was a great balm for the scorching heat of the middle of the day. One good thing about Uruguay is that the bus stop are very comfortable as a shelter from the sun and the rain, as I would find the following day.
The second day is always like this, the mild enthusiasm of the first day of cycling is gone and the body is nowhere near up to speed with the needs of the schedule. By direct consequence the thoughts of giving up are always there in your brain and I have never been the one in the family with the strongest of wills. I am however getting used to the fact that it is like this and I know that tomorrow will be better and the day after even better, if only life was like cycling.
After a good hour of snoozing I pic up the bike and roll on to Rocha where I make a nearly life saving pit stop at the filling station at the border of the town for water which I have stupidly finished. In the process I also buy the most calorific sweet that has ever been produced on earth, I swear, just looking at it was enough to feel full. I have one quarter of it and it feels like a five course meal, it keeps me going all the way to la Paloma even if I still have to contend with headwinds.
The bad news when I get there though is that the camping I had planned to stay at is closed, it will open on the 26 and they are in the middle of some renewal work.
Marcello, the boss is however very accommodating and for the princely sum of 100 pesos (£2.30) lets me camp and use the services, cold shower and electricity. All I need really.
Two down two to go.