Well we expected today to be one of the toughest of the trip and it sure was. The combination of strong winds and 200kms of thick gravel give this section of Ruta 40 a bad reputation. To avoid the worst of the wind we were up early and on the road by 7.30am. The tree opposite our apartment gave a clue of what to expect.
We had a section of tarseal to begin with and then were back to heavy gravel riding alongside the new sealed road. It was funny in a way because at times when we went up onto the sealed road, it had road signs and speed limits so obviously what we were doing wasn't unusual. The only problem was you came across barriers in the road and had to go back into the gravel and look for an opportunity to get back on. It was great having Mark to help with this. With his lighter 800GS (and probably more experience) he was able to check out the possibilities for us.
D&D had a go at riding up this rocky sandy trail up onto the tarmac when Mella got hooked up on a rock and went over.
They both had a sprawl and roll down the road but were ok. Dick then had a go without Diana as pillion and got up onto the road.
It then be got to be pretty much of a slog. The wind made its presence felt but wasn't too bad. Not that much fun in gravel because if you get blown sideways you can wind up (no pun intended) in the loose and slippery stuff!
We liked this sign for accommodation. I didn't think anyone spoke Esperanto these days.
More gravel road with the new sealed road right next door.
We came to this section of water across the road. It was ok.
And stopped for some vistas.
Pretty amazing I thought.
Finally up on the sealed road and these fantastic signs.
We then came across this English woman mending her puncture at the side of the road. Kiwi checked her out. Seems ok.
She was part of a large group of cyclists heading to Ushuaia. They had Andy on a F650 as support rider. Kiwi checked out his super large fuel tank. Seems ok?
Just up the road we stopped at the hotel at La Leona for lunch. This is apparently the hotel where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out after robbing some bank in Rio Gallegos. The wind was beginning to pick up but we didn't care. We were on a sealed road.
It was pretty much a straight blast after that all the way to El Calafate.
We'll be tourists tomorrow and go and look at the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Today's run: 340kms (200kms of gravel)
Location:El Calafate, Argentina