|Distance||100.15 kms||62.14 miles|
|Climbed||1,075 meters||3,527 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||7.01||-|
|Avg speed||14.2 kph||-|
|Distance||5,819.86 kms||3,616.38 miles|
|Climbed||58,192 meters||190,919 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||434.96||-|
Friday, February 15th, 2013
It rained this morning, with thunder, so I slept in. By the time I got out of the tent it was sunny. I found the back tire flat again... ugh. I fixed it and got on the road headed for Londres. I stopped there for some pastries and a bottle of Pomelo. From there it was a short 15 kilometers to Belén, a good sized town. I passed a supermarket and headed straight for YPF to get on the internet, which turned out to be a mistake because when I was done with the internet the supermarket closed for siesta. I managed to scrape together enough food visiting a vegetable stand and a few smaller shops. I went by a bicycle shop but it was closed for siesta as well.
On the town square I met a family who is driving around Argentina in a van promoting a sun block lotion. They gave me two bottles for free! I go through that stuff like crazy so it was a welcome gift. We talked about the different places we have been, they went to the coast in Chile as well, and they recommended that I visit Córdoba where they are from. I'd love to but it's too far out of my way at this point.
There were no water faucets on the square so I went to the police station and they hooked me up. I told them it was my gasoline. Another cop a few blocks away stopped me to talk. He had seen me earlier this morning while I was riding to Londres. I saw him again later in the afternoon about 30 kilometers north of Belén.
My chores all done, I headed out. It was really hot. As I passed by the municipal campground I saw a young couple hitchiking and said hello. They came by in a pickup truck about 2 hours later and beeped and waved. The 40 goes into a river canyon after Belén so it was nice to get a change of scenery, although it came with some climbing. After the canyon it was back to flat plain until I got closer to Hualfin where the road changed to ripio and the mountains reappeared. My front tire went flat when the climbing started. I took it apart and found two punctures, after I fixed them and pumped it up I heard hissing... took it apart again and patched another puncture. Something is hiding in the tire somewhere but I can't find it. At least it stayed full for the rest of the day. I hadn't had a flat on the front in a while.
I had to ford a river that was running right across the road and got pretty wet in the process. The area around the river looked like prime camping material but I kept running into people at every turn. I walked the bike a good ways up a wash thinking no one would be up there but then a guy dressed all in white walked down the embankment. Wtf? I went even farther, this time for sure I would be out of the way, and here comes a van driving across the wash. I gave up at that point and continued on to Hualfin. I saw a sign saying Salta 350 kilometers! I'm a lot closer than I thought, a shop owner in San Blas told me it was 800 from there.
I asked a guy in the town if there was a campground, he said no, so I kept heading north. It's Friday night so people are everywhere. It was getting dark; as soon as I got beyond the town limits I walked up a wash until a found a place and camped. I was so tired I could have cared less if someone saw me at that stage. I made dinner and set up in the dark. Another stars, moon, and firefly show tonight. I could really get used to this. I got in a double-double today, feels good... it's been tough to get in some decent mileage lately with all the mechanical troubles.
Great news from France today, félicitations les deux!