|Distance||70.38 kms||43.50 miles|
|Climbed||443 meters||1,453 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.74||-|
|Avg speed||14.8 kph||-|
|Distance||5,450.44 kms||3,386.47 miles|
|Climbed||55,079 meters||180,705 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||411.16||-|
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Something was lurking around my tent last night. That will get my blood going anywhere but down here it especially freaks me out because it hardly ever happens. Whatever it was didn't eat me...
It was cool and overcast in the morning but no rain or wind. I quickly rode the last 30 kilometers into Villa Union, by then the sun was out and it was getting hot. I went to a café to get on the internet, have a coffee and some croissants, and generally enjoy some civilization (such as it is). I saw two motorcycles with Alberta, Canada plates so I went over to talk. They have ridden all the way down from Canada on street bikes... I didn't know that was doable. They said they only had to ride on ripio a couple of times. Wow! We spent some time going over the map and showing each other where we had been and what was good. They did the Panama-Colombia crossing on the same boat as that guy from Idaho I met in Vallenar, Chile; they had a similar negative opinion of the boat and the trip (the boat is called the Independencia).
Afterwards I went looking for a bike rack. 4 stores that carried bicycles and parts but not a single rack that would work. Next I went to a couple of hardware stores to see if I could get another bracket like the one I put on the rack yesterday. No luck there either. Villa Union did, however, have a supermarket where I stocked up on food and snacks. The main plaza didn't have water, sometimes in Argentine towns it is difficult to find free water. The gendarmeria had a faucet on their front lawn where I filled up. Then it was off to the YPF gas station for more internet and charging of devices... I was there for a good hour and a half because all of my devices were out of charge. There is a campground next to the gas station where some people were having an asado (barbecue). As I walked by I heard talk on their car radio about closed highways. I went over and asked them if the 40 was cut, they said yes, a bridge was out. I was in Villa Union for a total of 4 hours, not too productive but I got a few things done at least.
I headed out that way anyways to see what the deal was and the policeman at the entrance to 40 heading east said that the bridge was out on the other side of the Cuesta de Miranda. I told him I wasn't going to get there until tomorrow anyways so he let me go. I had Ruta 40 all to myself for about two hours! It was a strange feeling. Then traffic started coming in the other direction, they must have fixed the bridge. I climbed until about 6:30 before deciding to call it a day. The start of the mountains is all red rock formations, great scenery and great spot for camping. I headed down a wash until I saw a place that I liked and set up.