Second day of 200km – exhaustion to Amparo

Posted: December 29, 2012 by Ben Weber in Cycling, English, Training
Tags: , , , , , ,

IMG_0010Aside from not being the easiest place to get to by biking, Pousado Paiol was great. The price was very reasonable, there is a swimming pool, and the food at dinner and at breakfast was superb. There was even a sauna room as well, but we were just there for the night with no plans on staying too long in the morning… The only problem is that here in Brazil there are three or four different types of power sockets, and the place had only the newest ones… which were not compatible with the charger I was using for my phone and GPS… Note to diary: remember adapter next time.

IMG_0004We did, however, stay longer than we should have, as we needed to work out how to mend the baggage rack on my bike so it didn’t keep falling on top of the wheel. We managed it, by taking off the front bag from the handlebar bag on Natalia’s bike, which wasn’t being used to carry much, and use the screws to secure the bottom of the rack to the wheel. We were able to use one of the screws on one side, but the second didn’t fit on the other, so we transferred a few of things from my panniers into Nathalia’s so as not to have too much weight in a fragile setup. It worked, though.

The problem  was that this all took a bit of time and we ended up leaving the place at around 10am. We thought we would be alright as we didn’t have so far to go on this day – around 65km. However, when the sun was as hot as it got on that day, even the shortest of distances become exhausting. Especially when there are long… endless stretches going uphill. The GPS ran out of battery after 27km, though looking at the readout afterwards, it started off at 30C and ended up 40C, with a peak of 44C – this was before midday and before the hottest part of the afternoon. Which, when we saw one of those signs indicating that there was a steep uphill over the next four kilometres, was soul destroying! The climbs were not the hardest in the world – definitely not as steep as going up Santa Ines into the Cantareira mountains that we did on the previous day – but they were exposed to the sun, with few trees and little shade for long stretches. So everywhere we did find a big tree, we would stop and pause, and drink water to make sure we didn’t dehydrate.

The town of Morungaba was a welcome pit stop after a nice descent – we stopped at a biker’s bar (not cyclists; motorcyclists) and we just parked our bikes alongside some ultra-powerful, fast and modern racing bikes that were about a gazillion CC or something like that. Not at all out of place, but ah well. The people were nice and the extra litres of water and Gatorade, along with some cake  for a bit of a change from our  energy blocks, was extremely welcome. After the town, however, it was still painful with more uphill in the afternoon heat, even though only 20km between the town and Amparo. It just all seemed endless, and there was no decent hard shoulder to go on. We thought it was over when we knew we were getting closer to the city and there was a sign saying 4km of steep descent… which there was, and it was great… just we got down it all too quickly and… then more uphill.

Finally we got there – after this final climb, there was a fantastic descent into Amparo. So much easier! Shame there were no buses back to São Paulo, but it gave us chance to catch up with some of Natalia’s family in the town (with a fantastic bbq!), and we were able to get back home via a  bus to Campinas.

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