I can't seem to achieve the momentum I had in mind. After having the rack on my bike fixed by the infamous moto mechanic, Pablo Segovia, of Coyhaique, Chile, I headed north toward a rural pass into Argentina. I felt my northward trip had finally begun. I was going to make a bold first day of it, up to El Bolson, the Argentinian hippie mecca.
After obtaining the summit of the pass, the road wound down through a wide sweeping plane of glacial debris the size of houses. Didn't make it far before I encountered my first flat rear tire (un pincho) . But after an hour of unloading the luggage, taking off the rear wheel, exchanging the tube, and re-assembling it all, I was on my way to the actual crossing on rough gravel roads with rocks the size of a baby's head.
Waited at the border for another hour and a half, meanwhile not a single other vehicle passed. with the sun dipping behind the hills on the western horizon, I found a small hill to camp behind merely twenty minutes from the border. Hadn't made it so far, but it had been a lovely slow day riding past farms, asking gouchos for directions.
Woke up with the sun the next morning with sights set on El bolson. Frigid driving. Stopped at the first town to warm up with some coffee, and bread and jam.
After two more hours of gravel road, straight as can be, I found myself on pavement, and felt the momentum was finally arriving when I came across a group of Israelis who had run out of gas. As it turned out I had previously met two of the group in southern Chile. Nice guys. Since meeting them, they had purchased a tiny little Russian 4x4 car, outfitted it with a top rack, and had set out north along my path with two other friends from Israel. I filled their tank with my spare gas, and followed them to the next town for more. They filled my spare tank back up, and topped off my bikes tank. I got my wallet out, paid them for the fuel that had gone in my bikes tank. But what happened next I'm not sure. My wallet never made it back into my pocket.
At the next town I found myself at the register of another gas station, ready to buy some chocolates for a group lunch with the Russian car crowd, but lacked the wallet.
I said goodbye to my new friends, headed back to the last town. No Luck. started back north, thinking el bolson would be the best town in the area to do all the canceling of cards, and waiting for a new one. After one more night spent on the side of the road, I made it to El Bolson, where I still am, waiting in the rain. It's a nice town, reminiscent of the small ski towns of Colorado.
My card was scheduled to arrive today. We'll see.
I almost left the post at that, but re-read it, and found it depressing. So, Things have been great here. hanging out with people from all over the world. drinking beers brewed with chocolate, or aji peppers in the local brewery, and reading good books. Met a strange, young, Evangelical christian on a mission down here from Iowa yesterday, and as uncomfortable as that was, restraining myself from enlightening her, it was very interesting as well.
The rain drums on the metal roof, and I'm going to make another cup of tea.