The reservoir should be enormous, but we mainly find a largely dry basin. We cycle for miles along the cracked clay bottom of the lake. We are happy to discover a small stream that can still provide us with water today and tomorrow. After all, that’s what we were counting on.

About a kilometer before the top, the terrain becomes more level. Paul encourages me to get back on the bike and cycle the last part. Puffing and whining, I pedal alongside Paul and together we ride to the ‘finish line’. PASO DE AGUA NEGRA! We did it!

They appear to be two Italians who don’t seem to have much idea of what awaits them on this climb. Their tires are (too) narrow for the bad gravel on the Argentinian side. We had the wind at our backs the entire climb. They are now climbing against the wind and have a descent with a strong headwind ahead of them. There’s nothing more we can do than not hold them off for too long and wish them the best of luck. Paul and I watch them continue, shaking our heads. How glad we are not to be them!

Descending on the Argentinian ripio (it is as bad as ever) is not without effort. Still, with my new (wider) tires with big mountainbike studs, I’m having fun and thunder downhill at a steady pace. I beam when Paul compliments me on my ‘descending skills’.

2 thoughts on “PASO DE AGUA NEGRA”

  1. There is a blog you should read .it is called Leave without pay..

    this man and wife pedaled from Alaska to the tip of South America.

  2. Patricia Perry

    We have purchased property in the front range outside of Denver Colorado with my son as a retirement house for us. We will be living part-time at sea level and part-time in Colorado at 8500 ft (2600 Meters), it’s going to be a huge adjustment each time we travel from Alaska house to Colorado house. We have hiked a little at that elevation and cross country skied too. It takes so much energy to do so little at the elevation. I can’t imagine how much your heart was beating at 4800 meters pushing your bike! Love the blog! I have really enjoyed when you have taken the extra time to type in the name of the location where you are at on the photos. I’m sure that takes you extra time when trying to write and post as quickly as you can during a break with limited WiFi – know it’s appreciated! So adore your blogs and going on your journey with you! Pat

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