Sunchales - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

September 29, 2022


Last night's choice of camping was as good as it could get and we had a great night's rest undisturbed by the fishermen a hundred meters or so away.  We slept so well that didn't even hear them leave.  Leigh says anyone who suffers from insomnia isn't getting enough vigorous excercise.

Today's ride was similar to yesterday's.  Mostly flat with a gentle wind on our left shoulders.  

One of the things that have caught our attention on this route over the past two days have been thousands of mounds in some of the grassland areas.  I have always believed that it is only termites that construct visible mounds above the soil surface and that ant nests are entirely subterranean.  But after what we have seen over the past few days and what I have read up on tonight I might want to revisit that idea.  Apparantly here in Argentina (see here) the ant species Camponotus punctulatus builds mounds that are round or subconical-shaped up to one hundred and sixty cm high and covered by herbaceous vegetation.  We have seen areas covered by thousands of such mounds and I now think they might be those of this species of ant and not of some termite species. 

Thousands of mounds.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We sped through the first town on the way, Providencia, but stopped at a little village about twenty kilometers further on that had no visible name. On Google all that is marked is the name of the little chapel there - La Capilla de San Miguel de Arcangel.  We saw there was a small kiosco so we queued there to buy some freshly baked bread and chatted to some of the locals.  They made it clear that we should avoid the RN14 on our way to Sunchalles and rather take the more direct but unpaved route once we reached Humberto Primo.  The RN14 was "muy peligrosa con muchas camiones".

We ate the bread bought at the village-with-no-name at a snall roadside shrine.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Our eldest grandchild's name is Raphaela. We had thought of making a detour through that town but instead ended up spending tonight at an apartment in Sunchalles in Calle Raphaela.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Just after the sign above and before we turned onto the ripio section we came upon a roadside foodstall selling rolls with a charcoal grilled chorizo and fillings of your choice.  We stopped to enjoy one and got quized by far too many truckers as to what we were up to.  The standard story quickly rolls off our tongues in Spanish but we really struggle with some of the questions that follow.

Taking a break from the sun on the last section to Sunchales. About twenty kilometers of ripio, the first real section of unsealed road on this trip.
Heart 0 Comment 0
We saw dairy cows for the first time on this trip. Lots and lots of Friesland-Holsteins as well as many bulk milk transport vehicles.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We had phoned to book an apartment in Sunchales before we left our wildcamp this morning.  Payment needed to be made in cash, which consumed the last of the pesos that we had.  The apartment is someway away from the center of the town so I still had a few kilometers of cycling to find a friendly ATM to stocck up on cash again.  Because of the high inflation rate (projected to be about a hundred percent by the end of the year) local banks charge extortionist fees for drawing money with a foreign bank card but we need to carry cash because in many of the smaller centers card transactions attract an additional fee for the same reason.

We're not quite sure as to where we will be tomorrow night.  We are a bit knackered and are hpoing for a shorter day but the options are limited.

Today's ride: 76 km (47 miles)
Total: 1,426 km (886 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 0