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Day 413– 25th January 2010

Posted by TravellingStrom on January 25, 2010

Monday – Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Another long windy day, why is this so?

I had my second instance of an arsehole Argie this morning which was not a pleasant way to start the day. Well, actually it was on top of a pretty much sleepless night with a stomach complaint, so he was on a losing wicket right there! Basically the idiot had parked his car in front of the garage door and it was about 1ft from it and parked on the footpath to do so which meant no way of getting the bikes out. When I went down for brekky at 7am and asked about the car, she said she would call and get it moved, but while eating brekky this dude came over and started to give me a gobfull! Well, I will say here that Argie is not my strong suit, it is a totally different language to the Latin American Spanish I have been working with for the past 5 months or so, so I understood bugger all. But, I can pick up about 1 word in 5 and the gist of it was he was unhappy that he could not park his car in the lock up garage last night. When I tried to tell him it was after 11.30pm and we wanted to lock our bikes up and get some sleep he insisted it was only 10.30. He had no idea what I was saying and was not prepared to listen, the idiot, then when he spoke to the ladies at the desk who confirmed it was after 11.30pm, he had the grace to look embarrassed but in no way did he ever offer an apology, freaking wanker! But, he did move his car and we left for the north just on 8am, on schedule, well for me it was 🙂 Tony had decided to ride north as well, my goal was Comodoro Rivadavia where I had stayed on the way down, it was a fair hike north, but I was planning on a hard ride today and tomorrow as a rest day. The map looks small, but it is a 150km scale, just so I can fit it in 🙂

I did not have to ride the Atacama Desert to see Flamingos, they were on the side of this road 🙂

One of the common warning signs down here is be aware of Triffids, another for my collection 😉

Now, just like yesterday the wind was a bugger. In fact I am amazed it can do what it did, for four days running south it hit me and now today it is doing it again for the 2nd day in a row, I know I mentioned it yesterday, but it was hard to ride in this crap! Then there seemed to be more Guacamoles on the road than normal as well and quite frisky into the bargain!

First fuel stop was at Piedre Bueno as I looked to be burning more juice than normal into the wind, I was actually glad for the 5 minute break , because my wrists and shoulders were aching something fierce.

But tunnel vision set in, head north and get it over with, I would be glad to get out of Patagonia and I figured by getting to CR I would be nearly out of the wind. I could do it differently by taking more time, but the wind would never stop, so more pain now for more gain later is the goal here. The next stop was San Julian where I had my chain repaired last week and here I fueled up again and had a bite to eat. I met up with John again here, he rides a different pace and it was interesting to note he was having no wind issues at all. So, maybe a low bike is good in these conditions as I was acting like a big sail!

More fun with the Guacamoles after lunch and there were plenty of Rheas as well, once again I tried to stop and take photos, but the Rheas are way too fast and will stand still until you slow down, then they are gone, vooom!

Some areas of this road hurt more than others, the long 20 and 30km stretches were the worst because there was no let up and no shelter to stop out of the wind either, the side of the road was no good to park, the bike would blow over!

After the next fuel stop I spotted that pesky km marker again, and trying to take a photo was a nightmare, but as I was now quite a bit up north, I also need to shed some layers, the sun was out and it had started to warm up nicely 🙂 The good thing I now knew about this marker was that while I stayed on Highway 3 heading north, it was counting down to BA 🙂 You can see by the flag which way the wind is blowing, right into the left side of my chest!

I passed the same bent over trees, poor things, before I had to ride through the oil storage town of Galeta Olivia on the coast, I had heaps of fuel at this point so I had no need to stop, in fact I should make CR.

No sooner had I passed through this town though when the motor started to misfire. This was a bit of a concern and as I had three bars of fuel I started to think dire thoughts. The funny thing is it did seem like low fuel, but there was heaps in the tank, so I thought maybe spark plugs, or even worse a computer stuff up? Well, I guess tunnel vision works because I kept on powering into the wind, coming up with all sorts of weird solutions to the problem(one of them was that the wind was coming in at such an angle that it was creating a vacuum across the air intake and the engine was starving of air, that sounded plausible to me except it is fuel injected and the computer should compensate). Going up one hill though it really started to buck and sputter, so I stopped and took some very nice photos from the lookout at the top which I managed to get to with plenty of clutch and swear words:)

The main reason to stop though was to add the extra 4lts of fuel in my can, because now I was thinking more on the lines of a bad batch of fuel rather than any technical problem. And, as I had it here, I could eliminate that source, so after the fill up I headed on for the last 25kms of winding bits and it worked, whatever that fuel was I had bought last was a shocker and must have had water or something in it, because with this super duper premium the bike was back to normal, whew! That was a load off my mind as the last thing I needed was a silly weird fault at this stage of my travels. So, I rolled into the same hotel, Su Estrella and grabbed a room. I was planning on a day off tomorrow, it is Australia Day anyway so I can rest and catch up on the blog. But, I also needed to work out my route north to BA. A chap up there seemed very interested in the bike, so I did not want to do any chancy stuff anymore as the bike is worth more whole and vertical 🙂

I had a quiet night, a few beers, but I was super tired and even though John ended up staying here as well, I was not very good company, sorry m8, I needed shuteye! Oh, well I can at least sleep in 🙂

Day – 493 miles and 793 km
Trip – 52,970 miles and 85,247 km



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3 Responses to “Day 413– 25th January 2010”

  1. pirate63 said

    happy australia day ts,and congrats on making it down to the bottom,don’t push yourself to hard riding back up,keep safe.

  2. Bob Sullivan said

    Just to save you a little embarrassment, the animals you saw were guanaco. Guacamole is a salad like food made with avocado.

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