Junin de los Andes - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

November 10, 2022 to November 13, 2022

Junin de los Andes

Thursday 10th November 2022

After a good night's sleep we were on the road just after seven o'clock.  It was pretty cold and we both wore three layers on our upper bodies and full fingered gloves.  The wind was blowing already but not half as badly as the day before.  

The valley through which Rio Collón Curá run is very pretty but knows how to dish up a mean wind.
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We reached the junction with RN40, the famed Ruta Cuarenta, after about fourteen kilometers.  Just before the bridge we came across a food truck where we had some tortas fritos as a second breakfast.  The current bridge is single vehicle width and a new bridge is being built alongside it.  None the less, the traffic was light so we didn't have to wait beforte we got to ride across.   Here the road swung west and started a long climb up to over a thousand meters.

Ruta Cuarenta and the bridge ahead of us.
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Just before the junction.
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Cuatro tortas fritas por favor.
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A nice warm second breakfast on a chilly morning.
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Ruta Cuarenta sticker.
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Crossing the bridge.
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Moving up the valley and up the climb.
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Over the summit. Junin de los Andes to the left but hidden from view.
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A great downhill took us to a few kilometers outside of Junin de los Andes.  As we rode over the bridge across the Rio Chimihuin Leigh shouted out that her saddle had just shifted under her followed by a shout that it had done it again.  We stopped and we could see it had tilted sharply backwards.   It took only a second to see the cause - the rails had snapped just behind the seat clamp.

We were only three kilometers out of town so I left Leigh behind to walk her bicycle while I cycled in to look for accommodation.  The first few places could only offer a room for one night but a kind lady at one of them directed me to Hostal El Reencentro where I booked a matrimonial for the next three nights.  This should buy us ssome time to sort out Leigh's saddle.

I cycled back to Leigh to direct her to our digs and we spent some of the afternoon trying to source a new B67 but it doesn't look promising.

One ex-B67 Special.
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Friday 11th November 2022

More bad news this morning.  Leigh woke up this morning with an unhappy tummy.  We suspect the culprit was a very flavoursome piece of chorizo we enjoyed for lunch aand supper after we arrived in Junin yesterday.

I have spent the day cycling around trying to find a solution to the saddle problem.  I managed to get a cheap MTB saddle that will work but it a poor substitute.  I also tried getting the rails welded.  The person recommended by a number of people accepted the job and told me to come back in an hour.  When I returned to collect the saddle it was to find that he had welded the rails with the tightening mechanism back to front rendering the saddle useless even if the welds did hold.  So it will have to be the cheap and nasty saddle for Leigh until we get back to South Africa.

At least we were lucky with respect to where these mishaps occurred.  Two days earlier and a hundred kilometers away from a decent town would have made them a lot more diffficult to deal with.

Saturday 12th November 2022

Today was a complete wipeout.  I had foolishly had more of the toxic sausage and ended up joining Leigh in praying to the toilet bowl.  Leigh started feeling better as the day wore on and even cooked herself some supper.  I spent most of the day trying to sleep.

Sunday 13th November 2022

We are both feeling a lot better this morning and should be back on the road again tomorrow.  

I have managed to tension the leather on Leigh's saddle with some cable ties.  Hopefully this will work and we will carry the cheap and nasty saddle as a spare should anything go wrong.

Monday 14th November 2022

Well, we didn't get back on the road today.  The wind is gusting about seventy kilometers an hour from the west and this would make cycling difficult and dangerous on Ruta Cuarenta.  So we have had another day to recover.  The other fok staying at the hostel are all hikers and they have also been waiting for the weather to improve before heading up Volcan Lanin.  Tomorrow's forecast looks looks a lot better.

Today's ride: 58 km (36 miles)
Total: 3,484 km (2,164 miles)

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