Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1299: El Peñon – Portezuelo de Laguna Brava

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on May - 06 - 2014

Distance: 25.12 km
Ride time: 4:20:14
Average: 5.80 km/h
Altitude: 4404 m
Total: 25713 km

After hitting the wall yesterday, having to push the bike for the last two kilometers, I was not sure what to expect today. Petter and I were talking about what we wanted to do. It was clear that we would need to spend another night at Refugio Peñon at 3600 m to acclimatize better, but during the day we decided to try to cycle up towards the pass at 4400 m. We could then bring some of the water we would need to carry over the pass and leave it at the top.

Even though I had not slept very well during the night, my body must have produced some more red blood cells; in the beginning of the day the cycling felt much easier than yesterday. The landscape was absolutely spectacular. The night had felt relatively warm inside the stone building we were staying in, so we were surprised to see that the small streams crossing the road were frozen.

After 7 kilometers of very slow cycling with speeds around 4 km/h we took a short break at 4000 m. This altitude was a new record for both of us. At this point we were in celebration mode! We decided to continue and try to make it to the top of the pass at 4400.

Much like yesterday we were both hitting a wall soon thereafter. The road got considerable steeper on the last kilometers towards the pass, and we had to push the bikes on the steepest sections.

The road was by now one of the most spactacular I have ever cycled. Being on the limit it was at times difficult to remember to appreciate the views – I was mostly focused on reaching the summit which I could now see up there in front of me.

A few hundred meters from the top of the pass we noticed a small shelter somewhat hidden from the road – a perfect place to leave our combined 15 liters of water. Even walking a few meters here at 4400 m made the heart race. After dumping the water we quickly turned around and rolled down the same way the mountain that we just came from.

On the way down we could appreciate the amazing views better than on the way up. This place is magic.

Categories: Argentina
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5 Responses so far.

  1. parinay says:

    amazing ! Thanks for sharing!

  2. That looks ABSOLUTELY stunning and thrilling, Thomas. Wow! Happy pedaling.

  3. Petter says:

    Man! What a place we have cycled!

  4. Yes indeed! I’m writing this from my nice room with a huge bed, fast internet, and a fridge full of good food… the days out there at Laguna Brava seem very far away!

  5. This is amazing, Petter and Thomas! I’m not sure I could handle this, myself!