Santa Isabel - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

October 25, 2022

Santa Isabel

I woke up just after midnight to the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning.  I was now far more nervous than Leigh was when the Tarantula tried to join us for supper.  I lay in my sleeping bag hoping that a giant cow would walk past in case the storm got too close and a cloud-to-ground strike happened to occur.  Eventually the my tiredness overtook my nerves and I slept peacefully until just before sunrise. 

We were on the road soon after seven thirty and with Santa Isabel only forty one kilometers away we were hoping for a short day.  But nature wasn't done with us yet.  A big storm was brewing just left of the direction we were heading and the downdraft from the storm shifted the wind from an easterly to a south-westerly meaning that instead of the tailwind that was forecast we had a fierce wind coming from ten o'clock.  

Another storm brewing.
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We arrived in Santa Isabel around eleven o'clock and soon checked into a nice cabaña.  By the time we had brewed some coffee and mate the wind was too strong to cycle the five hundred  meters to the local supermarket and I had to resort to shank's pony.   

Santa Isabel is a rather bleak and dusty place and the today's wind doesn't help show it in a good light.  The shelves of the three shops I scoured hoping to find something interesting to cook were half empty and I get the impression money is tight here.  I walked almost every street but was unable to find any fresh meat so we had to resort to tuna pasta for supper. 

There are a number of cabañas and hotels here, far more than one would expect in a town of two and a half thousand people and mostly rather rough looking (we seem to have stumbled upon the best place in town).  The RN143 runs through the town and it might depend heavily on passing traffic.

Tomorrow we head for Algarrobo del Águila, even smaller at about six hundred citizens but it's numbers have grown in recent years so hopefully it will seem less depressing. 

Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 2,690 km (1,670 miles)

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