Even more sand

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Lambayeque,
Sunday, December 30, 2012

After a restful night sleep, we awoke in the middle of the desert, in a tent that was flapping in the wind. Kory immediately set about getting some breakfast prepared for us and I began to pack up our things and to take the tent down. It is difficult to explain how sticky and dirty we felt; we were covered in suncream and sweat from the previous day. We also had a good layer of sand covering every inch of our bodies, and our feet were particularly caked in sand. We tried to get the worst off with wet wipes but it was a futile attempt. So we put on more suncream, which felt more like an exfoliation with the sand. Kory had found oatmeal the previous day, so we had that to eat in the morning, with a cup of coffee. It was like eating at the beach, when everything has a coating of sand, and even after you wash the dishes you know they aren't really clean still.

We packed up and set off for the day by 8.30am. After an hour of cycling we arrived at a restaurant and ordered breakfast. As we ate our rice with chicken, we charged our Ipods for the day ahead. We also refilled all our water bottles and bladders again, so that we would have enough water to camp again tonight.

In the morning the wind wasn't too bad but by the afternoon it was blasting us like crazy from all directions. The scenery was sand in all directions, with occasional sand dunes and perhaps a tree every hour or so. The traffic wasn't too bad and they gave us plenty of room as they overtook us, which was good and allowed us to take it in turns to use the other person as a bit of a windshield. One person would be working like crazy to be moving forward at all and the other would still be pedaling but not battling so much to just stay upright. All in all, it was a tough day, as the wind increased it threw sand at us, which stung my legs and coated me from head to toe. The sand got everywhere, even underneath my clothes, which lead to it rubbing on my skin as I moved my legs.

By the end of the day we were both exhausted and most of all fed up with looking at the same view. It felt like the TV channel was stuck on static and you couldn't change it to a program. We could've called it a day sooner and tried to find a place to set up the tent in the wind, but we were hoping that if we made it to the village on our map we might be able to get a shower. We have noticed that petrol station toilets here, usually have showers in them and although we haven't used them yet, we were willing to give them a go. As we continued on we saw that there was a few houses here and there and then a little bit of farmed land with some irrigation systems in place. Slowly we were entering a civilised world again. It was some of the poorest housing that we have seen, with one room, mud walls, with galvanised steel rooves.

We cycled almost 110km during the day and were exhausted but happy to see a town finally arriving in the distance. As we arrived into the town we saw that there was a hotel, which we were really surprised about as most of the smallest dots on the map have nothing in them. As we rang the bell we were excited about the prospect of potentially having a shower. As the girl showed me around the room, I couldn't help but wonder what she was thinking, as we appeared out of the desert with three days worth of sand and sweat covering us from head to toe. She definitely didn't have to ask us which direction we were travelling in.

We checked in and were relieved to have a great shower, even though it was freezing cold. It felt great to slowly remove the layers of filth and transform into a normal person again. The town seemed quiet and closed up, as we arrived so we decided to cook dinner in the hotel room on the camp stove. We were exhausted but had an overwhelming sense of satisfaction to have made it across such a desolate landscape and were excited to see what lay ahead on the other side of the desert.
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Paddy on

It seems like you're always cycling 'into' the wind going from north to south... at any time have you thought it may have been easier to cycle from the south northward? Is there any travel literature you've read recommending one direction in favour of the other?

Karen on

HOPE by the next blog you will have had a day of rest and relaxation....god only knows YOU both NEED it! Thankful you found showers and are set up for your own cooking! I was tired reading the exhaustion lol!

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