02 April 2011

Villa Mazan

What was yesterday a tough downhill fight into the zonda was this morning an easy, windless descent towards Aimogasta. Ruta 60 headed southeast with the Sierra de Velasco to my right, the sun to my left and it was 10:30 am when I arrived into Aimogasta. I rode into the center of town and inquired about a restaurant. There was nothing open until noon a man said, but he recommended a a place with a yellow awning set in off the main square.

Sierra Velasco

Like all towns large and small in the Provincia de Rioja there is free wifi offered in the main plaza. For most of the small towns I had passed through this made little sense since probably nobody in the town could afford a device to equip to the free wifi. Here in Aimogasta I was the only one sitting in main plaza doing some computing. Maybe the first.

At noon I pushed the bike over to the restaurant. There were two long hot buffet tables and a woman who weighed the amount of food you put on your plate and kept track in a small booklet. A man inside opened your drink and informed the woman in front what you were drinking. I ate three plates of food and two bottles of water for 50 pesos and I was very full when I left.

The road out of Aimogasta started higher. The Zonda was blowing as a headwind from the east and it was a long and slow climb towards the pueblo of Villa Mazan. I entered into a canyon and followed the road between the rock walls and then out of the canyon was a long, straight climb through the desert and into the zonda. It was very hot and dusty and I could see a pueblo far ahead and a new range of mountains, the Sierra de Manchao.

Villa Mazan

Villa Mazan was an old stop on the railroad and now with a the railroad gone the town had been rebuilt further from the tracks. It was small mud-brick homes in the newer part of town and old mud-brick homes in the older and I road through and still ascending I rode towards the Manchao range, the wind blowing down hard against me from the mountains.

At the base of the mountains the road split with Ruta 46 going north and Ruta 60 heading south and passing over the range. I did not have the legs to begin this pass into the wind and pulled off soon after the fork in the road. I put the tent up behind a hill, carefully pushing the bike back through the field of cactus and thorn bushes. It was blowing to hard too heat water for very long and I made a coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. I was tired, my legs sore and heavy, and I fell asleep to the wind battering the rain fly.


Post a Comment

Copyright © S O U T H