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

September 2, 2022

Santa Lucia

Our first real day on the road and it turned out to be a mini baptism of fire as well.  The traffic out of Cuidad del Este is something to behold, not as in something pleasurable but as in something terrifying.  The first thirty kilometers were wall to wall traffic. It also seems that every vehicle, from small motorcycles through passenger cars to heavy goods vehicles, have been modified to be as loud as possible.

I had mentioned before that we hadn't done much cycling during the two months between returning from Spain and the start of this trip.  The hills around Iguazú as and Cuidad del Este aren't that long but many of them are wickedly steep for unfit older folks.  So combined with the traffic noise the first half of the ride was something we were pleased to get over and done.

Thirty kays out of CdE we turned southwards into the strong southerly wind.  Mercifully the traffic was lighter (but still heavy compared to what we are used to) and the the terrain became a series of rolling hills through an agricultural rather than an industrial landscape.

Drinks break at the Rio Monday heading south. No photos of the horror stretch heading west from CdE.
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We headed for a campsite we had learnt of from iOverlander, the closest place to CdE that we knew where we could find a place for the night.  The other option would have been to carry on another twelve kilometers to Santa Rita, a large town with many hotels.  Santa Lucia is two kilometers from the main road down a very rough clay road that has been "gravelled" with large chunks of basalt.  On arriving at the campsite we found the gates locked.  After asking around the small community we learnt that la dueña (the owner) was away but some helpful youngsters showed us a gap in the fence and helped us get the bicycles into the campground.  The ablution blocks are locked so we made use of the river running through the campground to get ourselves clean.  We managed to get supper cooked an eaten just before the sun set but I suspect the music blaring from the village, in true South American style, will keep us from getting an early night.

Our digs for the night.
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Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 117 km (73 miles)

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