QuickPeek: Headwinds. Gravel Road.
Yesterday my back was killing me. I had been riding in a stiff position to keep the bike upright in the wind and it made my lower back real sore. We decided to sleep in and generally take the ride the way it calls for best given the conditions. I was up at 8ish and made some coffee and b’fast and by the time we got on the road it was 9+. We didn’t see the Gauchos and so couldn’t thank them for their help.
The day was a bit overcast and the wind seemed milder than yesterday. It was a slog yet again in the rolling hills and it was hard work all day long. At times the wind would show up and would slow us down tremendously and at times the hills were 15% or so and we struggled thro the ride at nearly 5-6k’s an hour. I figured given the rate, we might get to the border, about 60 km away, in 9-10 hrs. Ouch. That was going to be a long day indeed.
After about 18 km, we spotted the shed by the side of the road and decided to take a coffee break. It was super nice with a shelter as even the smallest bit of shelter would kill the wind completely! Amazing. We got back on the road and worked our way up to the next Estancia. At this point the wind has suddenly quietened down and we decided to head up a bit further before the next break. The next 10 km was pretty quick and we did it in under an hour. The estancia that we spotted next seemed pretty abandoned. We were pretty tired already and looked in to see if there was any place to stay. There were a couple of open cabins that might have been a great place to sleep. One of the cabins seemed lived in, but we couldn’t spot anyone. We waited a little while and when no one showed up, we decided the break was good enough and headed towards the border.
We had to climb a tough hill and the roads turned pretty rotten around these parts. The road was deeply ribbed due to trucks and it was tough for us to find a decent line to ride the bikes in. We would end up in loose gravel or bounce around on the burrs. Dang, the work was tough today.
The views all day today and yesterday were expansive. Right by the roads, we had fences marking private Estancia land as far as the eye could see. We would run into herds of Guanaco and we spotted some sheep in the distance too. The Guanaco’s were fun animals. They were curious and at times would run along the sides. The adults would easily jump the fences and run across the roads to the other side. Pretty fun to watch. And a good way to take a few minutes of breather to relax. Otherwise the scenery was monotonous. The vast prairie was pretty and would be fun to watch it pass by on a faster conveyance. On a bike it was just hours after hours of rolling meadows.
After a bit of a ride, we descended to a flat and managed to get some stride in. However the lack of wind was compensated by the bad condition of the roads and we had a bumpy ride all the way to the border post. We were glad to have made it this far and at the border the fellers were friendly. We asked for a place to sleep for the night and they offered us an unused building where we could sleep away from the elements. It was nice because as I finished my dinner it started to rain heavily. Also right outside there were a bunch of foxes and I figured exposed food might be stolen by the packs in an instant. Real glad to have a roof and walls for another night!
Route: Estancia Canchicot to Dest Radman
Distance: 58 Km
Road: Hardpacked mud / Gravel. Loose gravel with ruts near the border.
Traffic: Low - None
Services: None. Estancias (every 15 kms) for Shelter, rivers for water.
Expenses: SG$ 0
Comments: A small lull in the wind makes the day look amazingly easier.