All well here in the beautiful Chilean desert.
Two stages done and both incredible – although I thought my feet had parted company with my body as we crossed the river countless times in the Slot Canyons this morning… It was so cold! Climbing the path up to the top to then overlook the Valley of Death (yes – that really is its name!) was utterly magnificent. I yo-yoed a Canadian couple today… and finally beat them to the finish line in the last 2 km.
Yesterday was a baptism by fire with the altitude… The first slog to CP1 was tough. But, I gradually found my rhythm out of the checkpoint and had a blast to CP2… I was clearly over-confident though, because 2 miles out from CP2, I took a quite magnificent tumble and now have massive gash on my right knee and right arm – but, no other damage. Toes are just about OK – trying not to kick too many rocks!
We had to decamp to the museum of the Valle de la Luna last night as the wind was so ridiculous that they couldn’t put up the tents (not the skills of the MDS berbers!). It was quite bizarre. Luxuriously, we had flushing toilets!
It is cold at night. I am quite snug in my sleeping bag though (thank you Aiden) and on my inflated mat (thank you Kevin).
The Japs in my tent don’t speak a great deal of English. But, there is lots of laughter between us. Yuta and I bumped into each other a bit today. He suffered a lot yesterday with the altitude. Fortunately, he’s much better today – in fact I thought he had beaten me today. Surprisingly though, I beat him in to camp (although I don’t know where I passed him).
The scenery is like something out of film and in some of the canyons we run through, I keep expecting Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to come galloping past!
Well folks – big love to you all – and thank you for the messages that are filtering through. They are not printed out – we look at them on dusty iPads in the cyber-tent! I have just about got through them all!
Will update again tomorrow… if it’s not too windy for the cyber-tent!