18. Jan, 2017

17.01.17 Chos Malal, Argentina to Junin de los Andes, Argentina

So we had checked again, was today’s route really going to be free of the dreaded Ripio? Hmm…. the websites said so, the two or three people we had asked said so.  This was to be our sixth day riding in a row, it looked ok, 250 miles with an estimated travel time of 5 hours, let’s just bite the bullet and see.


It always seems that when we don’t need to be ready, we are up early and champing at the bit to go.  The laid back guy at the apartments had asked us what time we wanted breakfast, and we had told him 8, as we’d like to be away by 8.30 am.  Perhaps we should have realised that might be a South American 8? We were all packed and ready for the off when he arrived with breakfast about 8.20.  


Oh yes, breakfast here consists of bread rolls, maybe croissants, jam, butter and tea or coffee.  Sometimes with the added bonus of mystery meat, sometimes a slice of cheese.  As the Argentinians don’t begin eating their dinner until 10pm, I guess that they might not be that hungry first thing?


I can’t actually eat bread, or anything with flour, but luckily in one of the first places we stayed in Argentina, the lovely hostess was also a Coeliac, and showed me the symbol to look out for on products to show they are gluten free.  I’ve had no problem in finding these products, and am rather enjoying the sweet ‘bizcochos’ for breakfast.


Anyway, back to today, we were ready to leave by 9 am, not so bad.  We rode away, and were soon into the rhythm of the day, weeping up and down the rise and fall of the roads taking across more pampas and through mountain lined roads.  The going was very enjoyable, the temperature perfect, ok, so there was quite a strong wind still, but nothing uncomfortable.


On our way to Junin we passed through a few towns on Ruta 40, Las Lajas and Zapala, but mainly there was nothing again, just vast expanses of space, a few horses, goats sheep and cows, blue skies and scenery.  At one point when we turned a corner, there was a single solitary pointed mountain with its peak covered in snow rising up majestically like a toblerone bar.

We rolled into Junin around 3.30 pm, and received a warm greeting at the apartment which will be home for 3 nights, from our host and his massive dog ‘El Capitan’.  This’ll do nicely, thank you.