Monday, February 22, 2010

San Antonio Oeste to Punta Tombo - February 13

As I packed my for the days ride, the hotel night manager struck up a "spanglish" conversation with me about bikes and our trip - explaining that he was also a long time rider. In fact, he's still riding his first bike, bought new in 1961! The bike has all original parts, and has only required regular maintenence despite being his daily ride for 50 years (Argentine frame - GERMAN motor).
The run south to Punta Tombo was dominated by WIND! - the worst we've experienced - and we were held to about 70kmh with a 30 degree lean angle.

The road to Punta Tombo off of Ruta 3 begins with 22km of beautiful twisty pavement, but ends with 44km of loose gravel and sand.
Punta Tombo is a Magellan Penguin colony, home to some 750,000 birds during the breeding season. The adult birds dig burrows in the loose sand and gravel to lay their eggs. When the chicks are old enough to be left alone, the mothers leave the colony during the day to fish, returning in the evening to feed the young.
Penguins and burrows.
 Skipper, Kowalski, and Private.
 Adults returning from the sea.
 A young Magellan with downy coat.

Happy Feet!
 The views are great, but the beaches are crowded.
 This guy liked to peck at shoes.
The wind had slowed our progress enough that we wouldn't make it to the next Town by nightfall, so we rode south through an estancia keeping an eye for a good campsite and eventually pitching tents for our first night of camping on the pampas.

Despite some nighttime visitors of the four-legged kind we had a good night sleep following a dinner of jerky and hard cheese.

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