A day at the seaside isn't always fun. - Northbound from Argentina through Brazil - CycleBlaze

January 10, 2011

A day at the seaside isn't always fun.

This morning I sit tired from yesterday, collecting my thoughts. It's another 450km to Puerto Madryn which I hope to cover in three days. Meanwhile, I remain here today, reader, to update this journal.

The city of Carmen de Patagones is interesting as it is the first permanent white settlement in Patagonia, established in 1782 by the then Spanish viceroy. The early years were a terrible exsistants for the Spanish settlers that lived in caves in the hillside.

I am afraid I won't be seeing anything of Carmen de Patagones nor it's twin city Viedma on the opposite riverbank, other than riding through them, as neither city has camping-site or hostel. I ask myself why? the two places don't have budget accommodation, as, It would've been nice to have broken the monotony of what is an over 700km long tedious stretch from Bahia Blanca to Puerto Madryn.

I spend alot of time in a cafe, the intention being to get this journal fully up to date, but it's not working. The wifi is so slow and keeps cutting out. Eventually I'm fed-up seeing, INTERNET EXPLORER CANNOT DISPLAY.... and diagnose the problem. So I give-up, resigned to waiting till I get to Puerto Madryn. I then went to pay for the two coffees I had which came to 19 pesos, or the same price as a coffee in Europe.

Looking for an alternative place, I ask in tourist info only to be send back to whence I come. The lady then directed me to one other place but when I got there it was a really upmarket restaurant. She also, before I could get away, talked for a long time, telling me about all the events on in town during the week, singing lessons for example tomorrow night. Great, but I won't be here.

While cycling back from the restaurant with wifi which was out off my budget, I passby another restaurant which had a nice food aroma from it. Perhaps, I thought, it may have wifi. Yes I did get connected. No, then a window appears requiring username and code. I ask the waitress and she confirms I most buy a card with username etc in town.

I order dinner of fried chicken and chips. The chips are the nice type, freshly cut potatoes, and the chicken breast in crispy batter. The only thing which didn't agree with me was the size of the beer bottles on the menu, a litre bottle or a 330ml bottle, nothing in between. The former is too big for one person as the beer is warm and flat by the second glass. The later is too small as beer is a long drink. I just wanted a 500-660ml measure in a beer glass, instead the beer was served in a wine glass.

The beach at El Condor.
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The restaurant was on the beach front so I took a walk there next. It was just holidaymakers doing Summer holiday things, sat under umbrellas, walking into and swimming in the tide while lifeguards looked on. But this is not getting the journal updated.

I unlock the bike which was outside the restaurant and cycle around. I thought there maybe a service-station on the edge of town with wifi. There is a petrol station with a cafeteria but no wifi.

I see the road at the entry to town continue on along the coast to a place on a sign 129km away, but on checking back at the info centre am told that it soon reverts to unpaved and with it being by the beach it maybe beautiful but the road would no doubt be sand and thereby entail mush pushing.

The road coming back from the coast looking inland.
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Just buy a few days food in a box and get on with it.
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So how the time passes and I've done next to nothing on the journal. This evening I've bough enough food to last a few days and will be cycling the 30km back to Viedma in the morning where I'll continue South on Route 3, hoping to reach Puerto Madryn within three days.

And yes, just to say the camping-site here at El Condor is fine. I've a nice picnic table, good shelter for the tent and nobody has come to ask for money.

As if to mock faith, just after I wrote the last line along came the man collecting the money but I only had to pay for one night as no-one saw me arrive at 1am last-night.

Today's ride: 18 km (11 miles)
Total: 8,458 km (5,252 miles)

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