Jan. 21, 2011: Rufino, SF, Argentina

One hundred and seventy-four kilometres!

Even with the stupid roads, and the stupid trucks, and the stupid mountain bike and the stupid heat.

Admittedly, it was somewhat borne of necessity. There just aren't really any towns between Junín and Rufino that are big enough to have a hotel. Even when I was planning on biking the whole way, this stretch was going to be the longest single day, for precisely that reason. I remember warily eying this stretch on Google Earth before leaving Calgary, checking out all the towns on Wikipedia in an attempt to discern just how big they were. And... no. So I really had no choice but to buckle down, slather on sunscreen like nobody's business, eschew the midday siesta (I now have an armful of blisters to show for my trouble), and just go like mad.

It was also v. much a case of fortune favouring the foolish. One of my concerns about going from East to West had been that the prevailing winds might, as would be the case in Canada, be against me. Sure enough, they have been. But today, for whatever reason, on the one day that I needed to make good time, they died down and allowed me to do my best.

Even with all of the above, I didn't make it to Rufino until about midnight. Biking after dark through the Buenos Aires suburbs was one thing. But on the Ruta Nacional, with all the damn trucks, it was near suicidal. Also, by the time I got there, I didn't have much of a choice of hotels. Where I ended up was a step above the first night in Moreno, but not a very big step. At least the bathroom down the hall had plumbing, and there was electricity in the room. But my concern about catching bedbugs, or having to fend off a midnight robber, was greater.

I do (as I write this the following day) seem to have survived without incident. But yeah: not doing that again.

The one upside to biking through the dark was the nighttime scenery I would not have otherwise seen. I stopped for a quick break at one point, saw the southern cross (I've been in the southern hemisphere before, but too long ago and/or in areas that were too urban to remember seeing it) and a harvest moon rising above the lake. Along with hundreds and hundreds of fireflies in the reeds and marshes along the highway. I never realized before how bright those suckers were! Of course, the number of photos of any of this that came out at all: zero.

Tonight's wine: xxx. Too worried about making time. Dinner was empanadas and a bottle of Ser from a highway-side gas station.

Posted on: Monday Jan. 24, 2011 @ 04:08 MST
Re: Rufino, SF, Argentina
174 kilometres!  Plus flamingoes!  Daaaaamn.

It sounds like an imp of the perverse who likes happy endings is watching over you, so I'm sure you'll find a suitable bus in time but probably not without adventure, but anyway: good luck!
Posted on: Sunday Jan. 23, 2011 @ 04:02 MST
Re: Rufino, SF, Argentina
Do not despair - Photoshop might be able to find something in those very dark photos if the resolution is high enough.

I hope "tomorrow" brings happiness and another tasting.

Posted on: Saturday Jan. 22, 2011 @ 21:42 MST
Re: Rufino, SF, Argentina
Glad you made in one piece. Epic day is epic.

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