Wild camp 41km west of Santa Isabel - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

October 24, 2022

Wild camp 41km west of Santa Isabel

With yesterday being a Sunday we had to wait for the shops to open so we could stock up on bread for yesterday's and this morning's meals before we could head westwards on the RP10.  This meant it was almost half past eight before we had finished cycling around Victorica looking for an open panaderia.  We have worked out that boiled eggs, mayonaise and bread is the easiest way to get a filling and vaguely nutritious meal that requires little washing up.  Water is practically unavailable between towns out here on the pampas and the water that we carry is all for drinking.  The other go to foods for the road are media lunas, also from the panaderia,  and Marie biscuits with dulce leche.  Tomatoes, red peppers and various citrus, the only available fruits and vegetables robust enough to be worth carrying, help make the meals seem a bit healthier.

Getting away late meant we bore the full brunt of the forecast thirty degree temperature.  It started off cool but by late morning the mercury was already in the high twenties and it didn't cool down until after eight o'clock in the evening.  We have been lucky enough to have had very few hot days so far but with summer approaching it was inevitable they would increase in number even as we headed further south.  Summer also means more thunderstorms and the forecast for tonight and tomorrow was for them to be widespread across our route.

Today's plan was to ride as far as possible, then wild camp for the night and make it to Santa Isabel tomorrow.  As the day wore on we took more and more breaks in the shade of whatever trees we could find.  Our water was running a bit low and Leigh was feeling a bit dehydrated but we also needed to reserve some water for tomorrow. Then Disfunta Correa came to the rescue.  I am afraid to admit that at about ninety kilometers we raided the votive offerings at a Disfunta Correa shrine.  We aren't the first cycle tourists who have done this and I am sure we won't be the last. 

It is easy to find South Africans in London on a summer's day. They are the ones sitting in the shade. The English, if these words borrowed from a Sunday Times journalist are true, head for the parks and "tan the bits between their tattoos as soon as the sun throws a discernable shadow". We made full use of the shade today.
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Rod WiddowsonMy first thought on looking at this picture was that I was not surprised that Leigh got dehydrated if you had her carrying that tree around in her paniers!
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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Rod WiddowsonIf you look at which bicycle it is you will note that I am the one carrying the tree.
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1 month ago
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How we felt as the day wore on is shown in the looks on our faces.
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Mike AylingYou definitely look knackered!
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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Mike AylingHi Mike. It was the heat that got us. We got a few hotter days coming up so we had better get used to it.
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1 month ago

After our longest rest we set off at about five thirty with the plan to start looking for a place to camp after we had covered a hundred kilometers.  We found a  pleasant spot at the entrance to a farm and next to a small shrine  that was set back from the road.  Even though we were fully visible from the road, this was as good as it was going to get.  It was only about six thirty so there was more than an hour of daylight left but we swopped our cycling shorts for something more comfortable, replaced our shoes with slip slops and enjoyed our simple supper washed down with a less than cold beer.  A large tarantula tried to join us on our mats while we ate supper and got a bit aggressively defensive as I persuaded it to leave us alone.  Stepping out of the tent to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night suddenly got more complicated.

While busy with supper a gaucho came riding up to the gate followed by his collection of dogs.  "¿Podemos acampar aquí?".  "Si, no hay problema.".  With approval given we didn't wait for it to get dark before setting up the tent and we were in bed before the sun had set.

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Today's ride: 109 km (68 miles)
Total: 2,649 km (1,645 miles)

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