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

November 15, 2022

San Martín de los Andes

We weren't feeling fully recovered yet this morning but it was time to move on.  San Martin was just over forty kilometers away and so we could start off with a short and easy ride.  The question was, would Leigh's hacked B67 hold up ?

Within a few kilometers it became clear that the saddle was sufficiently out of shape due to the abuse inflicted during its "repair" that it was never going to work.  What's more, the one weld looked as if it was splitting.  If it were to break on a difficult section of road that could prove disastrous.  So I fitted the cheap-and-nasty and we carried on.

By now the strong headwind that had been predicted had come up and it was a hard slog on an incredibly busy road.  Even though the drivers were mostly very accommodating it was still an unpleasant ride.  The only saving grace were some lovely views.

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San Martin is a tourist town of the type with which I struggle.  Even though it is out of season  and in the middle of the week, it is jam packed with vissitors.  The accommodation is double the price of anything comparable so far on this trip and with the apparent demand it is easy to see why they can charge like they do.  For example,  two dorm beds at the Bike Hostel were on offer at seventy US dollars a night!  We ended up getting a matrimonial at Sherpa Hostal for eleven thousand pesos, still twice what we would have paid in most other towns.

After an expensive but pleasant lunch at a very popular restaurant we set off to find an alternative saddle for Leigh.  We visited three bike shops.  One no longer exists, the other never opened (there were three or four other potential customers hanging around in vain for about an hour and a half) and the other had a poor selection.  However, the cheap-and-nasty did the job for forty kilometers.  The doubt is how it will handle hundreds of kilometers of ripio.  We will have another try in the morning.

Today's ride: 44 km (27 miles)
Total: 3,528 km (2,191 miles)

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