5 kms north of Media Agua to 1 km north of Talacasto: Kind of like the Mojave

Statistics for today
Distance 109.90 kms 68.35 miles
Climbed 668 meters 2,192 feet
Ride time (hours) 6.55 -
Avg speed 16.7 kph -
Avg climb 2% -
Max grade 7% -
Statistics for trip to date
Distance 4,011.89 kms 2,492.94 miles
Climbed 40,089 meters 131,526 feet
Ride time (hours) 303.44 -
On this page

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Last night the wind went from 0 to 60 at exactly 11:40pm. I thought for sure a squall was coming but it never did rain. The tent rattled all night and it was the same in the morning. The wind was good news all around in the morning though: there were no mosquitoes to greet me in the morning, it had cooled down considerably, and it was coming from the southwest so I would have it mostly at my back when riding.

I cruised into San Juan around 12. The back tire was going soft, I didn't feel like dealing with it right away so I found a restaurant and ate a huge pizza. The service took its time; afterwards I went to the park to patch the flat. While I was working on it a family from Río Negro came over and talked for a while. They were on a family driving vacation around Argentina. Very friendly people. By the time the tire was all set and I was ready to go it was already 3pm. It had gotten quite hot again.

Outside of the city the road climbs up into the foothills past a few mines. I was lethargic from the heat and the pizza. Lots of truck traffic on this road, they must be building something big somewhere along the way because there were many convoys of over-sized loads with pilot cars driving up and back. This ride reminded me a lot of the stretch of the desert between Parker, AZ and 29 Palms, CA. Endless fields of scrub bushes and sand with barren mountains in the distance. I was burning through my supply of water from the heat and the dry air. At Talacasto I stopped at a kiosko to replenish my supplies. I bought some Pomelo and they filled up my water bottles. This is the last supply of water before San José de Jachal, a stretch of 100 kilometers. Since I had to camp then do that 100k tomorrow I left Talacasto with 6 liters of water plus 2 liters of Pomelo. I don't want to run out of water out here like I did going from Parker to 29 Palms... As I was leaving a carload of Argentine guys peppered me with questions about the trip.

It was already 8pm, a kilometer up the road I saw some cover and decided to call it a day. Looks like your everyday pampa except for the cacti, this area is bona fide desert. I set up and made dinner, man it was good.

Click for a larger version of the picture
San Juan
Click for a larger version of the picture
My old friend Ruta 40. The numbers on the markers have gone way up but the landscape still looks the same.
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
Puncture grenades
Click for a larger version of the picture
All watered up. I've got a night of camping plus 100kms of desert tomorrow with no water source. Carrying 6 liters of water and 2 liters of Pomelo.
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
More pamping. The beauty of it is there is zero worry of being found.
Click for a larger version of the picture
Trucks driving up Ruta 40 at night.