Stage 52 Buta Ranquil – Chos Malal
All tarmac and a reasonable distance of 100 kms, a good day ahead. The weather was slightly overcast but cool, good for cycling but poor light for taking photo's. As usual we had the road to ourselves most of the time and the contour undulated up and down. A nice Goldilocks day not too easy and not too hard. The only unknown was the extent of the straight climb which ended up being 500m with 1100m total climb , again, Goldilocks cycling.
Once we'd completed the climb there was a 15 kms downhill cruise into Chos Malal, regarded as the local big city but still with most of its roads made of mud and dust. We'd already had one woman stop us in the middle of nowhere to offer us help and then give us a bottle of water followed by a handful of sweets , then the typical Argentinian generosity continued as we entered Chos and firstly a youngster approached us to give directions , then a man led the way in his car for two kms and advised us to go to the campsite, after this another car driver stopped again offered help and was in fact the manager of the campsite. Finally when we got to the centre yet another man stopped to ask what he could do to help, when we said we were looking for a hotel he insisted that we could stay in his house , led us there and then left us alone in his house whilst he went back to work. Cynically my mind was telling me that he wasn't going to work at all but quickly popping to the hardware shop to get the plastic sheets and axe to finish us off. The reality is that they are really friendly helpful people and it's sad I suppose that I find it so unusual .
155 kms of nothingness tomorrow with substantial climbing so at this stage we're undecided but leaning towards camping tomorrow night. Argentina is very different than the other countries we've visited , the distances between villages is much bigger and there is usually absolutely nothing in between . We've been told that it gets even more sparsely populated as you head South.