Friday, February 26, 2010

Gobernador Gregores to Estancia Telken - February 24

We had a long-distance run between fuel stops today of almost 360km.  We would normally run about 420km on a full tank (21 litres), but experience has shown that strong winds can limit us to 330km or less.  We won't be in an area today where we can reasonably expect assistance if we run out of fuel, and for this reason we each carry a 5 litre jerry can.  With all tanks full we left town early but suffered another "detour" due to map scale and ended up travelling 50km in the wrong direction!  Topping up the tanks again in Gobernador Gregores an hour later, we headed off for Perito Moreno - the next known fuel stop north on Ruta 40.

The climate has changed dramatically as we've travelled north.  The nights are still cold or at least cool, but daytime temperatures can exceed 40 degrees C in the sun, and it's often above 30 degrees C even at speed. Most of the days ride was on ripio and hard-pack, with an occasional section of pavement.

Along one section of ripio, we were flagged down by a cyclist looking for water.  He had misjudged the heat and distance and was running out of drinking water.  We were carrying two litres for ourselves - more than enough if we didn't experience any problems - and so following a cross-examination of the cyclist regarding the road ahead, and a careful consultation of our maps, I gave him most of my water in anticipation of refilling at Bajo Caracoles some 75km (1 to 2 hours away).

We reached Bajo Caracoles without incident, ate lunch and refilled water. 
Discussing the water shortage.

I also met Juergen in Baja Caracoles - driving his customized Mercedes Unimog truck - not your average SUV!

We carried on for a few more hours in the dirt and ripio, and eventually set-up camp on a hilltop beneath a unique rock formation somewhere on the Estancia Telken.


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