17 Feb – Alto Rio Senguer, Argentina
Two words, ripio and viento (gravel and wind). Words of horror to some of our party. It's not as if the gravel was overly bad but combined with very high winds from the side made the journey perilous. Two of our party bit the dust and one turned back. Ruta 40 is living up to its reputation again. Anyway a local farmer was kind enough to load one of the bikes on the back of her pickup and carry the hapless rider to our nights accommodation.
Which incidentally is an old hotel (Hotel La Tradicion) on a dusty road in a back blocks town. Ranchero's in traditional dress ride their horses past the front door. The rooms are lovely and right now the proprietor is firing up the asado for a traditional Argentinian BBQ which is largely just heaps of beef and bugger all else.
We are riding down a huge valley at the foot of the Andes. The Andes, which is now much lower than up north, to our right and a set of high rolling hills to the left. The horizon at one point was so vast you could almost see the curvature of the earth. We seem to be in open range country – no fences but with the odd cattle stop across the road. Not much sign of cattle though.
The cold of yesterday has gone and the temperature is rather pleasant. We have ridden just on 3,000 km so far.