Saturday 5th Sunday 6th
Finally started to travel Route 40 (Ruta Cuarenta) the infamous road that travels the length of Argentina to Bolivia. It begins rather gently on tarmac heading East - the first time I´ve got to travel with the wind, and it´s just a joy to "be Lance Armstrong" and cycle like you´ve got an engine. It only lasts 30kms (less than an hour) but such an easy 30kms. I am a wind driven smile machine.
Then it all goes horribly wrong. The map has red lines - good tarmac. Thick green lines - good ripio, thin green - bad ripio, and orange. Ruta Cuarenta turns North - meaning cross winds, and orange - meaning I knew not what.
This is orange...
... and we got a man down - my first crash. This is more pebble beach than road.
To be fair it´s not all like this. There are some bits where the stones are embedded in mud and my delicate derriere gets minced like burger meat with the vibrations.
There are other bits where the stones are exactly like ball bearings and you slide and roll about and then the wind simply blows the bike from under you.
Other bits are just crap ripio and you try and follow narrow tracks made by cars - impossible in the cross wind. I go from a 30km per hour smile machine to 3 fall offs per hour and about 6km progress. I find that elbows are not the best tool for flattening stones each time I fall off.
If it sounds like I´m complaining - it´s because I am - I hate orange....