24 January 2011

San Antonio Oeste 2

I had a lot to do on my rest day in San Antonio Oeste. I needed to mend two flat tires, clean the drive train, and make adjustments to the front derailleur, brakes, and headset, as well as buy another tube so that if the tire fixes did not hold I would have a fresh tube in case of a flat. I wanted a second fuel cell for the camp stove as well as a metal bowl that I could eat from and use as a lid for the pot. I also needed sunscreen and to recharge the Movistar balance on my cell phone and purchase enough food supplies to last me at least three days. After the uncertainty over food and water on the way to San Antonio Oeste I did not want to go to sleep again worried about how I would survive the next day if the wind was wrong.

I stopped at the café on Belgrano and had a desayuno; a café con leche and three media lunas. I began walking through the town and bought the things I needed and asked where I could find others. It was always a good way to see a town when you were walking through it with purpose.

San Antonio Oeste was a narrow, bright town built around two one-way streets with a plaza and a couple of statues. The town was full of young couples on holiday and there were many young children and teenagers walking with their parents.

At 1pm most of the shops shuttered because of the heat. It was well over 40 degrees with the sun beating down and all the townspeople went to the small beach on the bay. I fixed both of my flat tires and joined the town for a swim. The beach was a few blocks from my hotel and the water was cold and refreshing. I saw the hotel owner there and the girls who had served me at the café and the man from farmacia. There was nothing else to do in the heat but go swimming. The shops would begin to reopen at 5pm.

For dinner I ate a pizza at the café and watched the storm clouds begin to roll in from the west. The wind picked up and it was chilly and blew the dust down the streets and then the rains came and pounded the town. I hurried back to my hotel room and went to sleep. I had 268 km to Puerto Madryn with a pueblo called Sierra Grande about 120 km into the ride.


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