08 January 2011


The dogs chased me out of Luján. Whenever one of the many dogs that lived on the city's streets saw me he gave chase and I had a good sweat going and my heart rate was racing just a few kilometers outside the city. I was still tired from the previous day's ride and headed for Mercedes on Ruta 5. Mercedes was 37 km away from Luján and I would see how I felt when I got there. I could go further or stay the night. I still was not totally recovered from my illness and wanted another day's rest before the hard, long distances began in the Pampas.

Ruta 5 was a flat good road with a narrow shoulder that widened further ahead and it was a leisurely ride to Mercedes. Outside the city I stopped at a fruit stand to buy some peaches. I only wanted 2 peaches and the woman insisted I not pay for them and wished me luck. Near the center of town I stopped at a parilla and had a churrasco, the best meat they had the owner promised me. It was delicious and flavorful meat that you hardly needed a knife to cut through.

I took a room at the Hotel Torino which was the cheapest accomodation in town. I had believed there were hostels in Mercedes but in fact there were none. I did some laundry in the bathroom sink and prepared my gear for the camping I expected to be doing the following night and nights thereafter. It was Saturday night in Mercedes and the main square of the city was busy and I had a dinner of ravioli there near the cathedral and then I went to bed. I wanted to make Lobos the next day, which was at least 100 kms.


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