It was a cold and blustery day, as Winnie the Pooh would say. It was also a mixed bag, but I don’t think Winnie would say that.
The road surface improved tremendously for that last 15K of dirt road, but it was still dismal – mostly because I had made it so in my head. We plodded along, praying for the Argentinian border post to show up – quickly. Never have we been so happy to reach pavement before!
Just as we pulled away from the border post, it started to rain. And we headed directly into the wind. It looked like it would be long, slow slog.
It happened so gradually I wasn’t even fully aware that my speed had increased and I was barreling down the road at nearly 20kph. WHEE HAW!!! Tailwinds, baby!
The winds had pushed us fifteen kilometers before we stopped for a break in a tiny little bus shelter outside an estancia. “If the winds keep up like this,” I said, “we can make it into Rio Grande today. We would have to ride long and hard, but it’s doable if we want to do it.” We had figured there was no way we would be able to do 100 kilometers today – especially with 15K of dirt and a border crossing to waste time.
“Let’s do it!” Davy said. “I’d much rather be inside than out here camping in the wind and rain.”
“I agree,” Daryl added. “I want to get to town.”
The four of us climbed back on our bikes and zipped down the road. The rain stopped and a glorious tailwind pushed us forward. Our speed didn’t drop below 20kph for nearly 30 kilometers! Whoa! Hold on to your hat!
But then – with 25K still to go, we came around a wide sweeping curve directly into the wind. And we started to climb. And the rain started. Ugh.
We ground up the hill, fighting against Mother Nature’s wind warriors, keeping our heads down so the rain wouldn’t pelt our faces like BBs. Slowly, oh-so-slowly, we inched forward, fighting for each inch. So close, yet so far away…
The rain never let up, but we crested the hill and the wind turned in to a crosswind. Our speed sped up just a tad – just enough to give us hope that maybe we could get there after all.
All four of us looked like exhausted drowned rats when we finally pulled up to the Club Nautica in Rio Grande and parked our bikes for the day. We had done it – never thought we would have warm showers tonight!
Kilometers today: 99
Kilometers to date: 27604
Distance remaining: 220
Just as we approached the Chilean border post, this herd of 5000 sheep blocked the road.
We were so happy to be back in Argentina again – we would have pavement! Unfortunately, it wouldn’t start until we reached the actual building where we could check in to the country.
WHEEHAW!!! Less than 300 km to Ushuaia!
Today must have been “Sheep Day” – we saw lots of sheepherders on the road.
Fortunately, we didn’t have many hills today. If we had, there is no way we could have made it 100 km.
We were drenched by the time we pulled in to Rio Grande – but we made it!
Is there any more luxury than hanging out by a warm wood stove on a cold, blustery evening?