We are now part way down the infamous Patagonia section of Ruta 40. It's been a good but tough day.
Breakfast was pretty low key in the pub but we ate it anyway because it was included. Hopefully Argentinian food will improve. First job was to get the girls out of their construction site park. Through here.
Kiwi checked out the O in Perito Moreno. Seemed well attached.
Then we were off down the road for a glorious 100kms or so of fantastic sealed road. Woohoo! Off to the side, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep with wild vicuña roaming the road sides. And birds. Ostriches? Rhea?
Then all too soon we were diverted onto a gravel section. Which was crap! The annoying thing was we could see the new road right there. And we weren't on it! Kiwi wasn't impressed. He's writing to their president. And ours! John Key, you'd better watch it fulla!
It was hard work with patches of thick gravel and occasional sections of sand. You had to ride inside the track made by previous vehicles. At one point I decided that the track to my right was better than the one I was on and moved over. It was better but unfortunately had a ridge of loose gravel that I hit. I almost almost held it but Ebony and I drifted right into the huge ridge of loose gravel lining the road. We tried hard. The inevitable happened. Bugger!
It was quite a slow slide really and I slid too. Off. No harm done to bike or person so we were soon back upright and away again. It took us a while to clear the gravel out between the motor and the bash plate and between the motor and the side protection plates. The crash bars did a great job. So did my protective gear. More photos to come I hope. Or look on Diana's blog.
A bit further along the road we meet three Argentinian riders doing the circuit down the coast to Ushuaia and then back up along the border with Chile.
We parted company with their good advice and soon we got back on the pavement. I was moved to emotion!
Along the road were these kilometre markers - presumably counting down the kms to Ushuaia. I had planned to stop at the 1000km mark for photos but some lowlife had stolen it. :-) So the 999kms marker had to do.
Dick. Dick suggested we unbolt the sign and turn it over so it read 666. We were tempted but good sense prevailed. :-)
Meanwhile Kiwi found this humongous beetle. He wasn't too sure about the taste though.
Back on the road again we came across these spots all over the road. At first I thought it was sheepshit and got ready to see a flock of sheep being driven down the road. When I realised that they moved I stopped for a closer look and realised they were locusts (playing crickets?). Some were either mating or giving each other piggy back rides and others appeared to be eating their recent cousins squashed by previous vehicles. No photos, sorry.
Now - for those of you who think we're crazy, met Richard from South Africa. He is pushing his pram from Ushuaia to Mendoza.
At last we got to the tarmac. There was a gnarly road to get onto the tarseal so we were a bit po when just down the road we found this fence across the road. Bother!
Back we went, along the divisio just a little further and then back onto the tarmac. 15kms later. That took us into Gobernador Gregores where we found a hotel with an apartment. It's good. I'm tired but I'm sure a beer or two or three or ...... will be fine will be fine.
My phone still doesn't work. I sent Telecom NZ a Facebook message to ask them why and incredibly they told me to ring a certain number. What? My phone won't roam, won't work and they want me to ring them? Tits on a bull!
Tough day again tomorrow. 200kms of gravel. 340kms total so I'll be needing my extra petrol.
Today's ride: 365kms
Tipovers: 5 (only mine now)
Location:Gobernador Gregores, Argentina