San Martin de los Andes, Argentina

Wow! January is over. I must say, I wasn’t looking forward to it too much. After 5 weeks off the bike, the last 2 of which I was recovering from being pretty sick, I knew getting back on the saddle wouldn’t be easy. I did get back into the swing of things eventually, and feel pretty good now.

I’m glad to have finished the 2,000 miles of northwestern Argentina. It wasn’t horrible, it was more of a mental hurdle than anything. When I took off from Salta at the beginning of January, I knew I had over 3,000 miles left, which was a little overwhelming. I was in the upper corner of the map, and Argentina just looked so big. I had many days of long stretches of mostly flat roads that seemed pretty monotonous. I encountered some pretty bad wind (though I know it gets much worse further south!) that made for some pretty miserable days.

Just in the past few days the scenery has changed significantly. No longer are there wide open plains of scrubby plants and sand, but I’m now in Patagonia, in a region known for mountains and forests. I’ve been camping by crystal clear rivers a lot lately which has been very enjoyable. It is the summer vacation season in Argentina so that means this area is really jam packed and roads pretty busy, but I’m not letting it get to me.

From here I head to Bariloche and El Bolson, where I’ll meet up with Greg. We biked big chunks of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru together, and after several months without a regular cycling companion, it will be good to share some more miles on the road. We’ll cross over to Chile and bike a good portion of the Careterra Austral, supposedly a rugged and remote road, which attracts many cyclists.

I’ve done a quick count, and it looks like I have around 1,700 miles left. I’ve traveled about 110 degrees of latitude and have 14 left. For the first time during the last week, I finally caught a taste of the finish line. No longer does it feel that I’m in the middle of a trip, but rather, that the finish line will come around closer than I know it.

If I didn’t update much in January, it was probably because I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired by the trip. I think the next month will be different, but I’ll be on the road a lot and in remote areas, and may be so caught up with enjoying the last few weeks. But I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop, after all, you deserve to experience this portion as much as I do, for having stuck with me along the ride so far.

3 comments to San Martin de los Andes, Argentina

  • Linder

    hard to believe you are so close to the end Matto. something tells me when you finally wrap this blog up it will feel akin to when i finished the harry potter series; there will be a significant void in my reading life, i don’t know what i’ll do! best wishes for you on the home stretch and i really wish i could be around to welcome you back to chicago after you reach your goal, but you will be in my thoughts as always!

  • Jay

    I will have to second Linder’s comment, our Saturday morning’s will be different without the PamAm experiance to kick off our weekends. Good luck, safe travels Matt, God’s speed. Jay

  • marcos pablo goncebat

    Hola Amigo Matt, te felicito por tu gran espirito aventurero, estuvimos en el mismo Hostel en Rio Gallegos, lastima que por mi trabajo no me pude despedir, pero si volves a la patagonia te invito a Trelew- Chubut que esta mi casa y te presento a mi familia.
    un abrazo grande y arriba la aventura y la naturaleza..
    Mucha suerte

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>