Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1203, Cerro Castillo – The Roadworkers House: Finally Tailwind!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jan - 12 - 2014

Distance: 122.52 km
Ride time: 6:42:34
Average: 18.28 km/h
Total: 21689 km

I thought it had been a rather cold night but I was surprised when I woke up to find ice on the outside of my tent. This hadn’t happened even in Ushuaia. I went to the same cafeteria where I had spent the somewhat random New Year for a cup of coffee. Here it was business as usual at 7:30 even though the calendar now showed 2014.

I was then ready to cross the border into Argentina. After leaving Chile a tiny dirt road was leading me up over a hill. Down on the other side I reached the Argentina check point. A guy asked me where I was from. Then he took my passport, opened it on a random page and put a stamp. He didn’t even check my name or photo. Border crossings are quick and easy around here!

The wind was now picking up, but today it was tailwind! I was flying into the pampa with 35 km/h and I almost didn’t have to turn the pedals. I was now on the famous Ruta 40, the Route 66 of Argentina – a road that stretches 5000 km from the north to the south of the country. Ruta 40 gave me a nice welcome with such a tail wind.

After a very quick 50 km the road turned into a dirt and the speed slowed a bit. At some point I looked back over my shoulder and saw some very dark clouds. There was no cover of any kind on the flat pampa, so I thought I had no options but to continue riding. I thought I could perhaps outrun the rain with my nice tailwind. Not really, but luckily the rain hit just to my right and I only got a few drops.

The temperature was now dropping fast, so at the second house I would meet all day I decided to stop and ask if there was a place to camp. The friendly guy who I think was a road worker pointed towards a room and explained that was where cyclists usually stayed. The room was nice enough but without light or water. The real problem was that the walls and floor were full of holes making it very cold inside.

As I was making myself comfortable I saw two other cyclists arriving. Mikael and Anna from the Czech Republic has been cycling since Buenos Aires, and today they had had a worse day than me facing a strong head wind and hail storms. Actually they said it had been the worst day on their whole trip. For me it had been one of the nicer in Patagonia. Amazing what the wind can mean. We were soon moving into our sleeping bags trying to stay warm while sharing cycling stories from the road.

Categories: Argentina
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