Rio Grande to Cerro Sombrero, Friday, 8 February 2013, Day 220

Bye Bye dirt roads and next to go the bloody wind but will be with me for a while me thinks!

Plan to day was a big mileage day 2 borders crossings and a ferry crossing and head to the free campsite at Puerto Santa Cruz so that is the plan.

Here is the reality did not really get away as early as I liked a leisurely as we know Phillys likes his leisurely breakfast I packed the bike I was a bit concerned about the chain as is making some horrible noises when pulling away there is a tight spot and then it goes slack so I am not sure how to adjust it so I am hoping today will stretch it out a bit more evenly and then I might go for the over tightening it if necessary for a short while to see if I get the tightness out if not slack running and try and to find a new chain ASAP.

Bye Willy of Ruta 40 B & B

Bye Doris she is heading South I am heading North

I got lost leaving town no idea how I do it but this is a reoccurring theme this time I cannot blame the GPS as I ignored it thinking I knew the way out and I ended up in some dead end housing estate being chased by all the local dogs not a nice way to start the day. I followed the GPS this time even though it took me round the houses in my view I finally got me on the right road 70km of tarmac and then back on the dirt for 130km oh my heart fills with joy or is that fear. Wind is not to bad but it’s a bit damp. I am thinking about taking a different route back more dirt but different dirt but in the end stick with the road I had done as I knew it was manageable except for the soft sand bits in the middle.

Never ending dirt roads!

I hit the Argentinian border at the same time as two large busses so queues at immigration take a while and then its on to the dirt 14km no mans land to the Chilean side of the border and its decided to rain. I am not sure if this is an advantage as I can see the cars tracks or the smoother part of the road clearer but as its wet it’s a bit muddier so slippery. Chilean formalities done the name on my temporary import papers is Phillip and Dean as my surname I have told them every time to change this to Beckwith in the system but falling on deaf ears and they say it not important try telling that to some jobs worth copper looking for some extra spending money next time I get stopped.

Cold wet bikers not a pretty sight 🙂

So it is wet so I settle in for 130km of dirt roads doing between 40km and 50km an hour so progress steady as she goes. Just before I hit the tricky bit I see a couple bikers at the side of the road so pull over for a chat in fact this is just a delaying tactic, as I really have no appetite for the sandy bit. I finally hit the road again and the tricky bit is not that tricky at all they must have flattened it or worked on the soft sand bit and before I knew it save for an accident where a car had a puncture and rolled over nobody hurt just shocked I was 15km away from Cerro Sombrero on hard road again and it was about 3.30pm.

I did some calculations and I was still a ferry and a border crossing short and 420km away from my original plan but who cares I am staying here at that nice hostel I stayed in last time and having the same dinner at the same place as last time. So via the fuel station I was checked in said hello to Jose and the friendly dog who lived outside and decided to have an afternoon nap as I cannot remember the last time I had one of these and I certainly needed it after todays off road excursions.

Cute dog and friendly as well!

Later I went for dinner a good feed again and back to the Hostel which was a bit fuller this time as its during the week so full of oil workers so not on my own some this time so first day of heading up north worked out well and it is time for bed again.

Nice Evening for a stroll

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