23.01.17. Sarmiento, Argentina to Puerto San Julian, Argentina
Wind! That’s what we found today, the famous Patagonian winds. In southern Argentina, hills and flatlands form the plateau of Patagonia. The Andes to the west cause Patagonia to be dry, barren, and windy. This made our day rather challenging!
We’d decided to make today a long one, because there were either hotels at 100 miles from where we stayed last night, or 350 miles, so we went for 350. This meant this would be the longest distance we had ridden on this trip. Apart from the wind, the day went very smoothly. The driving time estimated was 6 hours 20 minutes, and it really didn’t take us much longer than that. Paul’s shoulders are aching from counteracting the bikes handlebars against the wind though. I don’t think we’ve ever experienced wind like it, it would occasionally die down, and then come up so high that it whipped my head and arms up, if I wasn’t ready. At one time we were riding into a head wind that was so strong Paul was riding at 50mph with the accelerator wide open. That’s as fast as the bike would go. This means we use petrol a lot more quickly, but it was fine, we used our spare cans to fill up, and made it all the way.
Along the way we saw more of the ostrich/emu type birds called rhea. These are just along the roadside. Also, the guanaco, cousins of the vicuna deer-like animals we saw in Bolivia.
Other than that the way was quite barren, another huge expanse with no human presence other than the oil fields, and the many whirring mines.
Last night we really enjoyed spending a bit of time with Patrick Sherma, as I mentioned he is a French guy, who has lived in the USA (Washington DC) for 40 years. Patrick is making the same journey as us, with the destination of Ushuaia. You can read more about him here: http://www.ridewithpatrick.com/
So, tonight we are in Puerto San Julian, our hotel faces the sea, and we’re here for a few days, hoping to spot some penguins…….