Nov 6, 2012
Distance today = 49.86 km; Total distance = 14,130.27 km; Location = Portillo – 32 50.183′ S, 70 07.732′ W; Start time = 0850, Finish time = 1656
Fantastic day. And so far, so good. I’m now at over 2,800 metres in elevation, and feeling fine. I have more than 1,000 metres still to climb, so I shouldn’t speak too soon. Fingers crossed!!!
The day started quite gently, as I made my way up through the valleys that wound between towering mountains. Eventually I reached the hairpins, where the road got much steeper. There is a stretch which snakes its way up through more than twenty switchbacks. Lots of cars, trucks, and buses were honking and waving to me, surprised to see someone running on a road that must have been giving many of them vertigo.
I thought I’d be out of breath, but wasn’t. I thought I’d have to do a lot of walking, but didn’t – at least no more than my usual 2% or so. I ticked off various milestones as I ascended – l’Alpe d’Huez at 1871 metres, Mont Ventoux at 1911 metres, the Col du Lauteret at 2048 metres, the highest point in Australia, Mt Kosziusko, at 2228 metres, the Col du Galibier at 2645 metres, and the Col de la Bonette (the highest pass in Europe) at 2802 metres. It was a day for records. And I still have to go much higher yet.
Make sure you have a look at tonight’s photos. You’ll be amazed at the view. I certainly was amazed at what I saw as I got higher. It’s stunning. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s run, as I head into uncharted territory, where I’ll be higher than I’ve previously been on Earth.
And to top off a great day, we were given a generous discount at the Hotel Portillo, which is Chile’s top ski resort. What great people they are here. We have a huge chalet overlooking a beautiful lake. Way to go!!!!