2/11/2013 Stage 55 Alumine – Junin de los Andes
Another beautiful day on the bike [I know I'm repeating myself but it's true ]. Cycling doesn't get much better then this. We followed the river for about 50 km. First on the road and then on ripio which was on the whole quite good. It does keep you on your toes though when you know that at any given time you might suddenly end up in an extremely sandy patch which makes your bike skid from underneath you. Once again there was barely any traffic or sign of any human existence for miles and miles. Just gorgeous scenery. We had managed to buy some more salami, cheese bread and cereal in Alumine so we were all sorted. This holiday we ( or rather Malc because I don't touch milk )have discovered the joy of powdered milk. Since we always carry water that's breakfast sorted. We like to cycle for about an hour and then stop for coffee, cereal bread and jam. After lunch we left the river and climbed up over the pass. Nothing too challenging but after 108 km and 11 days of solid cycling I was glad to stop. We managed to loose another wallet with £50 and a debit card but luckily had another card left to withdraw money but this is the last card and we have to be especially careful. Buy this stage even the supermarkets in Argentina were closed but we found a little take away place that sold a fantastic lomito. (Huge steak sandwich with all the trimmings.) Delicious.
Overall Argentina feels a lot like Europe ( housing, standard of living)just on a much much bigger scale. Very different from Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia where the people were equally friendly but quite difficult to have conversations with because our worlds were just so far apart there was little common ground. We often felt as if we were from different planets. In Argentina there are lots of people on bikes and many people are keen to chat about where you are from and tell you about their corrupt government. We have yet to meet someone who is positive about the government here