Welcome to the most exciting bicycling expedition in the world! This trip is everything you've
ever wanted in an adventure bike tour: exhilarating climbs and descents; spectacular colors and mountain/volcano scenery; welcoming people and towns; biking at 4600 meters (15,091 feet) above sea level; paved roads; crossing the High Andes plateau; a side trip for 2 nights into Bolivia to visit colorful geysers, lagoons and get deeper into the famous Andean Plateau; long mileage through the Pampas at the end of the tour. ExperiencePlus! has been planning this trip for more than a year and we have found the perfect route to pedal the High Andes.
Scenery on this tour will vary from desert and rock formations to sepctacular mountains to great salt flats to colorful canyons to cactus-covered hills and pre-Colombian ruins to the great Pampas expanses. Sights will include Chilean mines, colorful Andean villages, Bolivian geysers and volcanoes, Incan ruins, Jesuit estancias, famous colonial cities, Uruguayan beaches and everything in between. We'll travel through three countries--Chile, Argentina and Uruguay--before finishing in one of the most famous cities of the world, Buenos Aires. Join us on this first-of-its-kind expedition across one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world!
Interview with Bill Weidenfeller
The following interview appeared in the "ExpeditionPLUS" newsletter.
Name: Bill Weidenfeller
Age: 64...and holding!
Bill, when and more importantly, how did this madness for crossing continents begin? Early in 2004, I made a decision that changed my life. As an inexperienced cyclist I committed to a bicycle ride across America. My wife, Betty, had recently died after a long battle with cancer, and I was searching for a way in which to memorialize her life, find inner peace, and to help others in some way. I was off!
I cycled from California to Maine, 3796 miles in 52 days, and raised approximately $50,000 for the American Cancer Society. I found a way to "start over, but cherish the past", and had experienced the challenge and adventure of a lifetime. I became an impassioned cyclist. I then rode the length of the Mississippi River the next year, and in 2006 completed the second ride across America. The 2007 the ExpeditionPlus! continental ride from St. Petersburg to Istanbul was magnificent in every respect. I was hooked on the joys of long distance cycling!
Do friends, family join you for these rides or do you travel alone? I went by myself on the first ride, but I never felt alone. I had such overwhelming support from family and friends, and made such lasting friendships along the way that I always felt a part of a team. On every bicycle trip since, I have joined with friends, met mainly on previous rides, or family.
You have ridden across the US twice; did you use the same route. No, the Cross Country Challenge in 2004 was across the center of the country, over the Sierras, the Rockies and through the "heartland" of America. The Across America-North ride in 2006 began on the Oregon coast, rolled through the Cascades, the northern plains states, the upper Midwest and onto the New Hampshire coast. Both routes were challenging, eventful, and brought a lifetime of wonderful memories.
You also maintain a blog of your rides, http://www.bikingwithbill.org/. What inspires you to blog at the end of a long ride? I began blogging to keep family, friends and supporters to my ACS fund raising ride apprized of my progress. (Believe it or not, I had some "doubters" of my ability to finish!). I have continued to post my daily website journal entries and photos on every ride since. I enjoy the "responsibility to report", and I am continually thankful that I have a "record" of the journey that I am able to relive at leisure. Some days it IS a challenge to take the time to publish, but I view it as a responsibility I took on. "Just do it" becomes my mantra.
In your application you said, "you must do it" (the High Andes Expedition) is it possible to explain why? Easy! This is a cross Continent journey! This is BIG! Sometimes I can become a bit “single focused” when there is something I want to do. This is one of those things—I MUST DO. Imagine crossing the ANDES on a bike, experiencing the cities, countryside and cultures of Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Argentina (and dancing the tango in Buenos Aires!) Can’t wait!
There seems to be a gap between cyclists who consider themselves cycle tourists and those who race—how do you categorize yourself? It is clear, I am a touring cyclist. I began too late to consider racing. However, I do feel competitive juices when I bike. I want to do “personal bests” in terms of distance and times. I want to climb higher, go faster, maintain speeds longer etc. But nothing beats the joy of just riding a bike with friends through new and interesting landscapes. I am a proud and happy touring cyclist!
How do you train for these long rides? There is no substitute for long hours on the bike—day after day. I also think a cross-training sport such as tennis is helpful in keeping fit and active—and it’s fun! In the gym, I take spin classes and some weight training, which I’m sure pay dividends on the road.
Magical things seem to happen to cyclists on the road—can you share a couple of stories with us? I have seen a lot of things happen on the road. I have heard many stories. Some are amazing, some amusing, and all too personal or long to tell here. Many are heart- warming and inspirational…and private. Long distance cyclists are "themselves" on the road. You get to know them—you are with them for long hours and sometimes days and weeks on end. The comeraderie is strong and lasting. Any stories I could tell would be of outstanding people doing incredible things with their lives.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t riding your bike? I am an avid, competitive tennis player. I love to read, am a serious French student, and continue to work on behalf of the American Cancer Society. I particularly enjoy and receive great satisfaction in my volunteer work with Special Olympics, coaching "my special athletes" in tennis and cycling.
What questions do you wish we would have asked, and how would you have answered? What has cycling meant to me? Recently, on a rest day during a group ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had time to reflect on the many ways CYCLING has made a positive impact on my life. I wrote on my website that day the following: • Having biked in 36 states and 14 countries, cycling is responsible for my visiting and experiencing incredible sights, places and cultures, otherwise unknown to me. • It has allowed me to have close friendships with interesting, active and wonderful people. • Cycling has made me healthier and fit, more conscious of how I treat my body to promote good health. • It has provided challenge after challenge—on and off the bike. • By dedicating certain long distance rides in support of a charity or cause, such as the American Cancer Society and Rails- to- Trails Conservancy, I feel I have benefited others in a meaningful way.
I have enjoyed life immensely through these cycling adventures, and plan to continue on this path for as long as I am able.
YEAH!I MADE IT!The “Celebratory
Salute” with the bike overhead was the best way I could think of to commemorate
the crossing of the finish line in Buenos
Forty days after arriving
we have now completed the journey in Buenos
statistics show 2000 miles (3300 km) of cycling, 75,000 feet of climbing
(WOW!), and well over 120 hours in the saddle.
I feel a proud
sense of accomplishment for having successfully “gone the distance” on this
difficult expedition.Few have tried,
and few have completed a journey such as this.The challenges of cycling at 16,000 feet above sea level, climbing over
and then across the Atacama Desert, the Pampas, and the farmlands of Uruguay was an
adventure of a lifetime!
Buenos Aires is known as “a city of
immigrants”.There were 2 Italians, 1
Argentine, 1 Mexican, 1 Scotsman, and 7 Americans who were very happy to arrive
here today by boat…our cycling crew, who entered by ferry from Uruguay to mark
the culmination ofour “Amazing
Adventure” across South America.Certainly, we are not here to stay, in fact we are anxious to return
home after a most successful bicycling expedition, but we intend to celebrate
our accomplishments in this great cosmopolitan city of 10 million people for a
At 8:30 this
morning, following a group photo in Colonia, we boarded the Silvia Ana ferry
for the crossing of the Rio de la Plata to Buenos Aires.Stacking our bikes in the belly of the boat, as demonstrated by Polo and
Mary, we proceeded to our comfortable lounge seating for the 1 hour “sailing”.
On arrival in B.A.
we did what all cyclists SHOULD DO!We
took a 4 hour guided tour of some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods and
famous sites on BICYCLES!Trying to stay
together as best we could to ride in a group, we navigated some of the toughest
terrain one can find…..busy, bustling, big city streets.
With our tour guide
at the lead we cycled along the waterfront in Puerto Madera, the “hip”, new and
most expensive neighborhood in which to live in B.A.It was once the major port in the city, but
now displays high rise apartments, converted warehouses and chic hotels and
We stopped for
lunch in the colorful La Boca area, home to the Boca Juniors soccer team: “the
best soccer team in the world”, as Javier reminded us.It was then on to the hotel with stops at the
Plaza de Mayo, the Pink House (Argentina’s
White House) and the LegislatureBuilding.
dinner” at Siga de Vaca(Follow the Cow)
was a steak lover’s feast of all you can eat and drink.We received our Certificate of Acheivement
from ExpeditionPLUS and recounted the stories and happenings of our weeks of
It was a great
group of riders, a terrific and interesting “course” across South
America, and, for me, one of life’s great experiences!
Posted: Sun, 5 April 2009
CARMELO to COLONIA del SACREMENTO
Monica, Fritz, and I got a late start on
the last day of serious cycling before we enter Buenos Aires tomorrow.We were the “sweep team” that followed the
others by at least 2 hours.We had good
reason to be delayed.
It is Palm Sunday
today, so Fritz and I joined the parishioners of Carmelo, Uruguay
in the manner that the day is observed in Catholic South America.We were informed by a nun that the mass is
preceded by a procession that begins at Santuario del Carmen, located 6 blocks
from the main church on the town square.
We went there, were
given olive branches to hold, and joined a nearly 2 block long crowd of people
on a reverent march to the main church for the Palm Sunday mass.It was an interesting and impressive
experience in the culture of our neighbors to the South.
It was nearly noon
when the 3 of us left Carmelo for the 78 km (49 mile) bike ride to Colonia del
Sacremento.We immediately met 2 fit local
cyclists who were training for their next Ironman competition.We stayed with them for awhile and talked,
before they moved up the pace and we separated.We also passed a peloton of cyclists headed back to Carmelo who were
probably on a club training ride.Their
support car followed them.
We were surrounded
by rolling hills, beautiful farm land (now mostly harvested), and the greenest
of fields you can imagine.That unique
BLUE SKY was also on full display.It
was a great bike ride.
Ruta 21 was our
country highway for this quiet Sunday ride to Colonia.We stopped at the 30 and 60 km marks to eat
our empanada lunch.
We made very good
time maintaining a quick pace all the way.At the edge of Colonia we came to the brown and massive Rio de la Plata.Way off at the point where the river meets the horizon, we could make
out the tall buildings of Buenos Aires.Tomorrow morning we cyclists board a ferry
for transport across the Rio de la Plata and
into B.A. We then have a short bike ride
through the city to our hotel---and the completion of our High Andes Adventure
and cross continental trek.
Monica Price, the
chief guide on our trip and President of Experience PLUS tour company, stood
with me for a photo upon reaching the river near the end of our ride
today.We had fun---and some great
Sacremento is a popular tourist city and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage
Site.The city was founded by the
Portuguese in 1680.A fortress
overlooking the river is well preserved, as are many structures demonstrating
the architecture of the Portuguese colonial style.
Posted: Sat, 4 April 2009
MERCEDES to CARMELO
REACHING the RIO de la PLATA
It was raining hard
at breakfast this morning, and a check of several internet websites for the
weather forecasts stated unequivocally that rain and wind would continue all
day.We were given the option to not
bike in the rain the 110 km (65 miles) to Carmelo, but take a bus at noon
instead.Dan and I opted for that
choice, as we had enough riding in the rain yesterday.
Those that biked
got LUCKY, and I clearly made my decision not to ride on bad information.The rain ceased shortly after the cyclists
left Mercedes.It did start again en
route, but not for long before clearing entirely. A photo of Polo on the road.
On early arrival in
Carmelo, where the Rio Uruguay flows into the Rio de la
Plata, we took the opportunity to take a long walk exploring the
town and river.
Rio de la Plata (River of Silver)
gets its name from the route that was used to transport silver from the mines
in Peru to the ports in Buenos Aires.
The river and
beaches are just a short walk from our hotel.Dan and I stopped at a beach front “resto-bar” for a quick lunch.The beach was deserted --- it is off season,
and the river looked too brown to be inviting to swimmers.
We saw some
interesting local sights in Carmelo.
The tennis players
on red clay courts perked my interest in some “cross training”.I can’t wait to get back to tennis when I get
back to Florida.
Posted: Fri, 3 April 2009
COLON, ARGENTINA to MERCEDES, URUGUAY
Today marked the entry into our 4th
country in South America on our cross
continent cycling trek.
On a major bridge
spanning the Rio Uruguay, we crossed from Argentina
to Uruguay.Our group was cleared through
customs/immigration and we were off on a 150 km (93 mile) ride to the city of Mercedes, directly to the
A dark sky and
thunder in the distance signaled our misfortune.As we waited for the rain to fall, it was
clear that there was little difference in the landscape in Uruguay from
our previous days rides.Cattle and
horses grazing, even a gaucho was spotted from time to time, farm land and a
continuum of rolling hills under dark skies was what we focused on all
The rain fell hard with lightning and crashing
thunder.We absorbed it for a time, and
then saw a gas station where we took shelter until it stopped.It remained cloudy and windy for the balance
of the day, but we missed anymore major rainfall.
The weather, a flat
tire, poor road surface at times, and the wind held us back during the first
half of the ride. Then conditions improved for Dan and me during the final 75
km.The hills seemed to flatten out, we
had a tailwind, and the road surface was excellent.We cranked!
It was interesting
for me, an old paper industry guy, to see miles of beautifully pruned and
spaced eucalyptus plantations on both sides of the road. Many logging trucks
passed fully loaded with wood for the pulp and paper mills in Uruguay.
After crossing the Rio Negro we were in Mercedes, our destination city.It was a long day in the saddle—8 hours from
start to finish—6 hours riding the highways and byways of Uruguay.
Here is a photo of our entertainment during dinner last night in Colon.
Posted: Thu, 2 April 2009
ROSARIO del TALA to COLON
A change in plans was made today to
allow us to enter Uruguay
as a group in the morning, and in favor of a better hotel.It had us cycling to the town of Colon, Argentina.
sits on the banks of the Uruguay River, which forms the border between Argentina and Uruguay.We begin our 3 days of cycling in Uruguay tomorrow…Then it is on to Buenos Airesand
a celebratory glass of Champagne!
Our 120 km (75 mile) ride was, for me, “unremarkable”
in all respects.I was certainly not in
top form today.In fact, I fell off the
back of the fast pace line at about 60 km into this morning’s ride.That meant I would ride alone for the second
half of the ride---and into the wind.So
be it!Some days you just don’t have it!
It was not at all
scenic, including the substitution of those beautiful BLUE SKIES of yesterday
with solid gray. I was afraid it might rain at times as I could hear thunder
coming from the black sky to the south, It did not.
The road was in bad
shape again for 25 km at the start. but truck traffic was less threatening
today.The “fly boys” in cars do
occasionally back us off the road, as they pass a line of trucks at once and
take over our side of the road. The only
thing you can do is get off the road…and we did.
The one stop today
on our 75 mile route was at the Posta del Palacio, a roadside gift
shop---complete with a hammock for Dan.
The final 20-30 km
were on a busy highway.However, we had
a wide shoulder.
Unfortunately, Argentina is essentially a poor
country.There is no way to hide
that.We see many primitive homes, buildings
in disrepair, and many old cars on the road.There are also many signs of prosperity in the big cities, but the
countryside still struggles economically.
The hotel is
entered by way of a long dirt road.One
wonders on the approach at what is in store for us.It is a very pleasing hacienda style motel
with pool and spa.
Michele enjoyed the amenities.He tuned
the bikes.They are always in top shape.
Posted: Wed, 1 April 2009
ROSARIO/VICTORIA to ROSARIO del TALA
Entre Rios means “between rivers”.It is the name of the fertile province of Argentina
that lies between the Parana River and the Uruguay River, which forms the border
with Uruguay.We will be in Uruguay in 2 days.Yea!
We left Rosario early this
morning by TAXI, a rather unusual start to a 112 km (70 mile) cycling day.But it was necessary to transport the bikes
by van and the cyclists by taxis because a 60 km bridge and causeway over the Parana River and its delta was at the beginning of our
route today.Bicycles are not permitted
on the bridge, so we had a pleasant and scenic ride to Victoria, Argentina
on the other side of the marshy, green and expansive delta wetlands. Most of this marshland is government land, but
we did see herds of cattle grazing from time to time.The roadway past the bridge was on an
In Victoria we got on the
bikes and began our 70 mile ride to Rosario del Tala.It began with rolling hills through lush,
green farmland.The farms were smaller
and privately owned, rather than the hugh commercial plots on the pampas.
The blue sky and
cloud formations topped off the scenery.We remarked that it looked a lot like Wisconsin, a pleasant change to the soybean
fields of the pampas.Fritz spoke of the
“cooling breeze” in our faces in the morning.Dan and I countered in the afternoon with some choice words after the
“breeze” had intensified to a rather strong and steady headwind.
Some fancy ranch
gates were interesting to see as we passed by.Two cowboys on horses stopped to talk with us about our cross continent
journey (en espanol with Fritz).
We again had
trouble with trucks on these narrow roads! I had 4 “bailouts” today!Some truckers just drive us off the road! It is unbelievable!
We got a “whiff” of
the cattle every now and then.I must
say they were very good looking beef cattle.I guess that is what you expect with Argentine cattle.
A new sight to me
–at least while cycling—was the parade of large, hairy teranchilla spiders
crossing the road.We are told the
search for females inspires these ugly males to take great risks with on-coming
trucks, cars, and bike traffic to pursue their quest. Are the females also this
Bad road conditions
plagued us today for a stretch.A
construction crew had taken down the old highway to the bumpiest dirt road
imaginable.Fritz and I checked for
chipped teeth at the conclusion of the road work.
The welcoming sign
in Rosario del Tala came no too soon.We
have a nice, clean hotel run by Ukrainians in this small farm town.
Yes, FINALLY I met
a real GAUCHO!
Posted: Tue, 31 March 2009
ROSARIO REST DAY
largest city, is “rarely visited by travelers” according to my guide
books.Well, we are here, we like it,
and were ready to explore it on a rest day.Our original plans to take a BICYCLE TOUR of the city this morning were
cancelled due to heavy rain.So,
ExpeditionPLUS hired a bus and guide to take us on the city tour.
One time hometown
to Che Guevara, Rosario (population 1.5 million) is now the base for many rock
musicians and modern artists.It is located
on the Rio Parana, which flows east to join the Rio Uruguay, forming the Rio de
la Plata and ultimately flows to the Atlantic Ocean.It is therefore one of the most important
export centers in the country.
We began our tour
on “Bulvar Ironio” with its wide grassy median and classic old French style
homes.These are now mainly converted to
medical buildings, museums and law offices. Before moving on to Ave.
Pelligrini, a main shopping area, we stopped at the grand IndependencePark.It is a park not unlike Central Park in New York, as it covers
72 city blocks and contains a museum, sports facilities, lakes and green spaces
for the citizens of the city.It also
has a day/date flower bed that is changed daily. The soccer stadium for
Newell’s Old Boys professional team is part of the sports complex here. The
“other” team in town is Rosario-Central, bitter rivals for the loyalty of local
We visited the
Monument to the History and Independence of Argentina. It is a memorial to
General Belgrano who designed the nation’s flag in blue and white with the
symbol of the Inca sun in the middle.It
is said that the color blue is reminiscent of the BLUE sky in Rosario.
The Cathedral of Rosario honors the “Virgen de Rosario
(Virgin of the Rosary), for whom the city is named.
On the banks of the
Parana River we saw the 60 km bridge that
passes over the river and then above miles of marsh and wetlands.We will be transported by van over this
bridge tomorrow (no bicycles allowed) before we begin our daily bike ride.
A highlight of the day was our lunch together at a
restaurant in the La Florida section of the city where we enjoyed a grand feast
of river fish.In my case it was the
Pacufish—different but delicious!
Resting in Rosario,
Posted: Mon, 30 March 2009
CRUZ ALTA to ROSARIO
Cyclingour last day on the pampas of Argentina was summed up in the
understated words of our friend Walter, “It was not one of my TOP 3 biking
days”.It may not even have been in the
TOP 20---on this trip!
It was not the
fault of the pampas itself.It was again
the TRUCKS…and the unsafe condition produced by the combination of a narrow
road and fast moving cars and especially heavy trucks with cyclists trying to
SHARE THE ROAD! We had to “bail out”, that is pull quickly off the road from
time to time, to avoid a potential accident.There is just not enough room to accommodate 2 passing trucks and a
cyclist on the same road.
In the many towns
we passed through today the heavy trucks have made deep grooves or furrows in
the roads.With the absence of real
gauchos for us to see, it may be that they have now all become truck drivers.
I must admit now
that there is much to appreciate in the pampas after all. There is a certain
beauty in its vastness, its history, and the culture of the gauchos that arose
from it.And I respect the importance
the regionholds to Argentina and the world.
We were riding east
from downtown Cruz Alta to Rosario
a distance of 130 km (80 miles).Rosario is the big city on the banks of a hugh wetland
that forms the Parana River.A slight “pampero wind” gave us no trouble as
we left CordobaProvince
and entered Santa Fe
(Holy Faith) Province.
Fritz, Dan and I got
a kick out of a sign along the way.As
if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the TRUCKS…the sign tells us, “On
days of heavy rain, this area FLOODS”.
guide company, told us to stop at a gas station in Perez, Argentina
at the 110 km mark.We were to enter the
city of Rosario
as a GROUP, for safety reasons.We had a
ride leader, a sweep, and the van with a window sign, “PRECAUCION ! Cyclistas
en el Camino “ (Cyclists on the road).The last 15 km was through 50 city blocks in Rosario traffic.We managed to stay together and arrive safely
at the Estacion CallaoHotel.
I rode in with my
friends, and neighbors most nights in the hotels, the Martins from Centerville, Utah.They have truly traveled the world on their
bikes.They have previously crossed
South America through Patagonia, biked Europe from St
to Istanbul, Turkey,
and completed numerous other biking adventures in Europe and North
3rd largest city, is “rarely visited by travelers” according to my
guide books.Well, we are here…and we
like it…we are happy to be here and look forward to dinner out tonight and a
rest day tomorrow.
Guess what we plan
to do here on our rest day?Check in
tomorrow for details and photos!
Posted: Sun, 29 March 2009
JUSTINIANO POSSE to CRUZ ALTA
We had a short and (mostly) sweet
“cruise” to Cruz Alta, only 85 km (53 miles) due east of Justiniano Posse.It took just a little over 3 hours on a
bright Sunday morning to complete the ride on ruta 6; or perhaps that should be
TRUCK ROUTE 6!There were just too many
big double trailer trucks zooming by in both directions for my liking.
I biked alone for
an hour after Javier, Fritz and Dan rode off behind a giant farm tractor and
were pulled along effortlessly in its wake.Now that is drafting!
Bob and Walter
cruised past me at the 25 km mark, as they usually do.They can surely make cycling look easy!
Large fields of
agriultural land were again in view all morning long, some had already been
harvested. Grain storage silos in the town of Monte Buey, and the ruts in the road in
Inriville caused by heavy trucks demonstrated the agricultural base to the
commerce in this pampas region.
“A river runs
through it”—the pampas, that is—near the town of Los Sergentes.We also noticed a statue of a gaucho in the
town park there.I should have stopped
for a photo.It was the only gaucho we
saw all day.
At 11:30 am we
entered the town of Cruz Alta,
which means “High Cross”, as the town sits atop the high ground in the region. I
took a photo of the statue as you enter this city of 7000 wondering what story
the engraved depictions told.I found
out the correct answer “straight from the horse’s mouth”---the Mayor of Cruz
Alta, who met us at our hotel as we arrived.The statue, Mayor Diego Passerini said, shows the 4 ethnic cultures
involved in the history of the city: the Indians, the Conquistadors, the
subsequent descendents of these groups, and the finally the immigrants from Europe.The Mayor
enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the town’s history with us, and is coming back
later today to take us on a local tour. I’ll be there.
Have you ever
wondered why we never get lost while cycling these long distance days?How do we get to our hotel in the middle of a
large city without a missed turn? Do we constantly check maps or written
instructions?NO!We simply follow the ARROWS painted in crushed
chalk on the roadways.Our guides go out
before we do and squirt powered chalk from a bicycle water bottle in the form
of an arrow onto the road.It is
foolproof ..at least so far!
Posted: Sat, 28 March 2009
RIO TERCERO to JUSTINIANO POSSE
105 MILES OF ARGENTINE PAMPAS
It was not at all what I had expected. I began today’s 170 km (105 mile) ride with a
“Hollywood” mindset of what the Pampas of
Argentina would be like.I pictured
large estancias with beautiful horses grazing, Angus beef cattle being herded
by gauchos on horseback, grassy fields and lazy country roads.Where in the world did I get those images and
The REALITY is
closer to Kansas!For 7 hours of biking we saw agricultural
fields “as far as the eye can see” in all directions.Soybeans were the principal crop on HUGH
commercial farms, but there was plenty of corn, sorghum, and alfalfa as well.We saw only a few herds of cattle grazing.And instead of the lazy country roads, we
found a busy major highway (ruta 6) with too many double trailer trucks and too
many “low flying automobiles”.Let’s
just say, “It was not the prettiest bike ride we have ever been on” (but it was
one of the longest!)It was my 50th
Century ride since 2004 (yes, I count them.)
The travel books
define the pampas as a land of small towns and large farms.These fertile plains covering almost 300,000
square miles are the economic heart of Argentina
producing agricultural products and much of the beef for which Argentina is
We passed through
many small towns populated with grain silos and processing plants—and
TRUCKS!The roads we traveled were as
flat as Alligator Alley in Florida,
complete with the wind all day.One long
section of the highway was all chopped up and pot-holed.I’m just saying….not every day is ride in the
park.I guess bad roads are just part of
By noon today we
could feel the 90 degree heat. We often doused our heads with water to stay
cool.We had lunch in a eucalyptus grove
in a community park in the town of Ticino—where
we saw in the distance our ONLY GAUCHO of the day!
At the 120 km mark we stopped at a road side café where
Javier was holding court (and buying ice cream) with his grandmother and her
friends from the area.
Tired, hot, and
ready for a shower we entered the town of Justiniano
Posse (I have no explanation for such an unusually
name) and our hotel located on a 4 corners outside of town.Oh well, tonight we have the Argentina vs. Venezuela soccer game on TV.
We will spend a few
more days on the pampas.Maybe my “Hollywood” version is still out there!