We had a late start today. I stayed up late on the internet and drinking a bottle of wine to celebrate the hockey gold...and then we had left a window open in the hotel room resulting in a 4am mosquito hunt...finally getting away from Chos Malal at noon, only to be stopped at a Policia checkpoint.
The cops were friendly and efficient and were very impressed by our accomplishments to date and what lays ahead - wishing me a heartfelt "suerte" together with a firm handshake!
Ruta 40 was a treat for the first 100km's north today - paved and twisting with awesome vistas. I got a bit carried away in the curves and ended up a long way ahead of Petra. That was a little stressful for her as she got uncomfortable about our route etc., so from now on she'll take a more active role in the days planning to make sure we're on the same page. 95% of the time we are riding together, but sometimes the road and traffic will separate us.
Just to make things more interesting - we were playing cat and mouse with a major thunderstorm all afternoon, lot's of black clouds, and a lightning show etc. This was a bigger than normal concern as there were frequent dry washouts and mudslides across the road that suggested things could get a lot worse in a hurry of we got caught in a heavy rain.
We kept at it, and eventually the road turned back to pavement just as the storm caught us - allowing us to turn up the throttle and get away again.
We're in Malargue for the night at a skier/backpacker hostel. Bunkbeds never looked so good! Tomorrow we've planned a long haul to Mendoza and maybe beyond - we'll see!