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Sunset Crater and Wupatki
Next day we found a bike repair shop in some town, and had the faulty thread fixed.
We also decided to cover additional 58 km to visit a nearby national park. Sunset Crater National Park is a volcanic field with around 400 volcanoes (some of them still active), and Hopi tribe's place of worship.

Afterwards we headed for Wupatki National Monument, where we admired American Indian ruins.

As it was getting late, we could not stay long in that place. Besides, our physical condition – put to a serious test on the previous day – began to fail. Finally, it turned out that the trip totalled around 100 km rather than just 58.

We still had to face a 20 km climb when the sun sank behind the horizon. In addition to being on our last legs, we cycled in complete darkness, as we hadn't taken any lamps or torches with us. It required a lot of attention and effort to stay on the paved road. Eventually, some 10 km before the "finish line" we gave up. Sitting on the roadside we took a rest, also trying to thumb a ride, but in vain. With our bottoms aching, we got back on the bikes. Each press of the pedal was becoming more difficult than the previous one. Another attempt to hitch a lift. A sports car pulled over. After a short conversation we decided that Irek would go and fetch our car. I stayed in a roadside ditch with the bicycles. It began to drizzle. Even though I put on a rainproof jacket, it felt colder and colder. My teeth started to play some simple tune, and the time was dragging on unbelievably slowly. Irek came back at last. In no time we found a nearby restaurant and ate our fill. That "feast" at McDonald's truly helped to lift my spirits.