06 February 2011

On Ruta 3 (50 km to Tres Cerros)

I woke up late. The wind was already blowing hard and there was no rush to get on the road. I heated some water and made a coffee. I packed up and rode back into town to the YPF service station and purchased cookies and water for the trip to the next service station at Tres Cerros. It would take at least a day and a half to get there.


It was flat but slow going into the wind. The country was more brown than golden now. You would be riding, thinking it totally flat, and then the steppe would be broken by deep basins where the earth had eroded, probably from a lake that no longer existed, and you would drop down into these basins with the cliffs and exposed layers of rock. You then slowly climbed out of them back to the flat of the plain, the headwind punishing you all the way.

I had hoped to go 100km on the day but a late afternoon climb into a range of burnt red mountains took much from me. It was rugged but beautiful riding and I stopped to have an apple and some water. Across the road was a large rocky ridge and set further back beyond the ridge was the fenceline for an estancia. I pushed the bike over and took a look and saw a marvelous, protected spot between the ridge and fence, totally hidden from the road. It was the place to camp and I pushed the bike through the sand and laid it down and pitched the tent.

The ridge provided complete protection from the wind and from my tent window I looked out at a great red and yellow mountain rising from the plain. I felt very good here and cooked a large plate of pasta, pouring the boiling water from the pasta into my cup to make a coffee. I was cooking the pasta with a new mixture of spice packets and it was a successful improvisation and it tasted wonderful and I was very happy. I finished the pasta and ate some cookies with my coffee and looked out from my room with a view. I watched the shadows and colors of the mountain change as the sun went down. I fell asleep thinking about the Green Bay Packers. Far away they were playing in the biggest game and I hoped they were playing well.


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