Thursday, 28 November 2013

2013-11-25 click for more phot'os
25/11/13 Stage 70 Hotel La Leona to El Calafate
25/11/2013 Stage 70 Hotel Leona to El Calafate by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
This was a day we had been worrying about as there was going to be a lot of headwind potentially. The day didn't start to well as all the hotel staff were still in bed when we were ready to have breakfast and go. Eventually the landlady turned up and to compensate the breakfast was better than expected. 
The riding to start off with was sinuous and gently undulating which makes it more interesting than the dead straight dead flat roads of the pampas. The feared headwind was in fact crosswind and didn't slow us down too much at this stage. On the map there were several place names which we vainly hoped would be villages but whenever we reached one of the names it was either a bridge or a single building Estancia set back from the road. There was going to be nothing until we got to Calafate. The first 60kms were really nice and not too hard but having reached the SE tip of Lago Argentino we had to join a different road heading West. Kerrbam!!  At this point there was no protection from the wind which was now directly against us. Our speed dropped to 3mph at times on the flat and there are few things more demoralising than having to pedal hard to go downhill. The cuttings which have been created for the road through the hills are often the worst as they create a funnel effect increasing the strength of the wind. We were both blown off our bikes at times but we were learning to be prepared and always got blown off the road and not into it fortunately. The thought of shops and a hotel in Calafate helped motivate us to continue but it was very slow and besides there was no protection from the wind which made camping impossible. The tourist information office helped us find a nice place and we made plans to visit the glacier the next day.

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