Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 26 - Mendoza - San Jose de Jachel

Distance travelled (by bike): 3680 miles

What do they say about plans, they never work according to the plan. We hit the bottom, hard, easily the lowest day to date. It was decided that all the drama so far is a test for some greater calling. 
Setting off from the hostel was delayed due to the owner parking his truck against the gates, after removing all the luggage it was squeezed through the pedestrian gate. Setting off the sun was pounding down, realising it was sunday we stopped at San Juan to pick up food and water. Shortly after setting off the bike started to play up, same old problem that had apparently been fixed in both Buenos Aires and Mendoza, fuming and determined not to turn back we stalled on. Overheating, tired and irritated the day took a turn for the worse after following the wrong road from San Jose de Jackel for 40 miles. After 40 miles in the wrong direction in the heat, stalling bike and mud/gravel roads i was ready to push the bike down the ravine and hitch hike the rest of the journey. I didn't. We stalled back, nothing said. Approaching San Jose de Jackel the bike died.
We phoned BMW Mendoza  - fixed! - i think not, after spending probably double the wage of the average Argentinean at BMW Argentina, we wanted help and answers. We were eventually told that if we could limp to Chilecito then they might be able to send a truck. 
After waiting a while, cooling down and getting directions to a campsite the bike eventually started. Stalling all the way to the campsite through a cycle race was not fun, though the spectators seemed to think so. Arriving at the campsite at last, to be greeted by a local sunday celebration. Tension gone we both relaxed and enjoyed. What will be will be!

before the drama started

valley of the moon

one of the roads marked on the gps, at this point the gps was turned off!

one of the lakes in the valley of the moon

flat landscape for about 150km on the right

mountains on the left

one of the trails at valley of the moon

looking into the valley from the road

turning off the gps

campsite at dawn

campsite at dawn

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