Puerto Valle - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

September 12, 2022

Puerto Valle

Posadas is neatly laid out in a grid pattern so navigation is quite easy. Directions are easily understood because they are given in so many blocks in that direction followed by so many more left or right. So after we checked out it didn't take too long before I had sorted out a sim card for the spare cellphone, loaded it with data, drawn money from an ATM, changed our remaining Paraguayan Guarani into Argentinian Pesos and, to top it all, found a camping store where I bought a gas cylinder for our second stove. However, it took more than an hour after that to get out of the city. The reason? Traffic lights at almost every intersection where we waited for up to two minutes at a time for the lights to change. In between we squeezed in a second breakfast of media lunas and some custard tarts from a panaderia along the way. Just as well because, after leaving the city, it would be more than fifty kilometers before we found another shop along the way. 

You can just see me pointing out which pastries we wanted.
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A Budhist temple that I was aware of but that I had completely forgotten about was a nice sprise just outside the city.
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 The first thirty kilometers were through some rolling hills, the last of which we will see for a while, followed by a straight, flat run into strong headwind. Without any shops or service stations along the way we were forced to rely on peanuts and oatmeal biscuits to get us through the ride. 

 Traffic was lighter than in Paraguay but heavier than we had hoped for, particularly since the good shoulder disappeared after twenty or so kilometers. The drivers exhibited typical Argentinian driving habits, that is to hoot and wave in encouragement but drive you off the road at the same time, but we knew that is how it would be from our previous tours in the country. 

We managed to take a few breaks to look at the birds in the drainage canals next to the road. This is a Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus).
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Puerto Valle is an untidy strip of campsites and a handful of ramshackle dwellings. We sought out some food, first some bread and drinks for a small shop followed by some empenades at a comedor. Then we rode up and down in an unsuccessful attempt to find an open campsite. All four of which we knew had locked gates and wild camping further down the road seemed our only option. Then we noticed that one of the stores had a sign for accommodation. It was pretty crappy and the only advantage this would give us over wild camping would be shower but that was enough to tip the scales in its favour.

Today's ride: 70 km (43 miles)
Total: 434 km (270 miles)

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