Before we crossed into Patagonia on our way south I looked it up on Wikipedia, to try and get an idea of exactly where it is, which in general is the lower 1/3 of both Argentina and Chile. It’s an enormous area, and we have covered so much of it, having crossed into it sometime in December. Now it feels strange to me to be leaving Patagonia after 3 months here.
After leaving Peninsula Valdes and that area we ride along the coast, stopping to stay in Las Grutas, El Condor and Bahia Blanca, and then turn north and inland toward Azul before riding on to Buenos Aires. Somewhere along the way we cross over the Rio Colorado which was what I was told was the boundary for Patagonia, leaving it behind us.
These days are longer pushes for us to try and cover miles. The land is flat and arid, but gets greener as we ride north and somewhere around Bahia Blanca becomes farmland. I see miles and miles of grassland, dotted with grazing cattle and windmills.
A week dissolves easily into a series of gas station stops, tent setup and packing sessions, and mindless highway miles.
My sheepskin is at least keeping my butt from numbing too quickly allowing us to cover a thousand miles in 3 days or so, even with not-so-early starts to the mornings.
I notice the details in the clouds, the terrain, flora and fauna.
This part of Patagonia doesn’t look as much like the rest, but it’s still lovely in a very subdued way. We are seeing more insects as the weather has quickly warmed the further north we go, creating a new daily chore of visor cleaning for me. I hadn’t really thought of it before, but in the colder, more southern parts of the continent, there were fewer bugs, so all that needed cleaned from my visor was the ever present dust. I’m quickly reminded to keep the visor closed when my helmet rings out when smacked big hard by a bug.
And then it’s back to sky watching.
We stop in Bahia Blanca to try and exchange some of our leftover Chileno pesos for Argentinian pesos, but we don’t like the rates. Another budget night of dining and accommodation it is. But the view is incredible. Our campsite is near the water and the mozzies swarm us when we arrive, so we set up the tent in full gear and dive inside to have our epmañada dinner.
More sky watching….and I must say I am becoming quite a fan.
We stop for fuel on the way and watch a YPF driver (YPF is the local gas station company) play his flute in the cab of his truck before carrying on to the next delivery. I love this country, and its people.