Starting Location: Bariloche, Argentina
Ending Location: Esquel, Argentina
Mileage Today: 180.9 Miles 291.1 Kilometers
Mileage Total: 450 miles
Kilometers Total: 929
EoD Odometer Reading: 13,834
We left Bariloche, and headed towards Esquel. The day was scheduled to be about 200 miles, but when all was said and done, it was just shy of that. The first 75 miles were epic, and we stopped in a little town called El Bolson. As it turns out, the best coffee in town is at a petrol station, and since we were having coffee, we decided to have lunch.
With another 200 Kilometers to go, we left the gas station, and continued towards Esquel. Somewhere along the way, we pulled over to take some pictures of the mountains, and I’m afraid that our playful side came out, or was it the devilish side. You be the judge.
We arrived in Esquel at about 2:00 PM, and by 3:00 PM Eduardo had informed me that I had left some important papers at the hotel in Bariloche, which was almost 200 miles back. Originally, I had thought that these papers included my passport and other passage papers, but we discovered that they were simply copies of the important paperwork, which I had intended to give to our tour operator. I had made three copies of all of the important stuff, so losing one copy was a minor inconvenience, but during the 10 minutes where we were unsure, we quickly began organizing for Alain and I to jump in the truck, and travel back to Bariloche. If we had to make this trip, we imagined that we would have arrived back in Esqual at about 1:00 AM or so.
Considering that we’re expected to have to ride 340 miles (550 Km) tomorrow, we were really dreading this. The good news is that it was not necessary, or as they say in Argentina, no necessito.
Befriend a bidet
Some of you may remember that the other day I did a bit research on how to use a Bidet, and in the end, I gave up, frightened by the beast known as the Bidet. I’m not the type of guy that gives up, so today, I decided that I would, once again, see if I could see what all the fuss is about.
So, without going into too much detail, let’s say that I was able to “successfully” use the bidet. One again, please excuse the expression, but there I was, sitting there thinking, what on earth is the point of this thing. How could societies that are considered to be evolved ever think that such a thing makes sense. Once again, I walk away from the Bidet, confused, but this time, I am no longer frightened. I’ve slayed the beast of the bidet, and am now ready to move on.
It’s 4 PM in Esquel
We’re staying at a very nice little hotel called the Tierra Mapuche, which is literally at the end of the road. The bikes are parked in the rear, in a closed compound, just as they always are. This little hotel was built in 2006, and is an upscale place to stay in Esqual.
It is very common for Adventure travelers and other budget conscious travelers to stay in low-budget places, which can cost from about $6 – $20 USD per night. In fact, many of these travelers simply put up a tent, and go about their business. This place costs about 110$ USD / which is way beyond the budget of most adventure travelers, but since we’re doing this as part of a 4 star tour, we’re staying in the best places.
It is still important to remember that what is rated as a 4 star hotel in Patagonia, will not be anything like a comparable hotel in the US, but this of place is located in the remote region of Patagonia, with amazing views, and I was able to buy a bottle of some pretty good Malbec for about $4.5 this evening.
We’re expecting to put in 550 Km tomorrow. That’s about 384 miles, through wind-swept, winding stretches of highway, with the occasional pot holes, and sections of gravel. Just when you think you’re in that Zen state, the freekin’ gravel sneaks up on you and the road snakes begin their attack. So far, I’ve been able to beat them back, but I’ll need to remain hyper-vigilant if I’m to survive.
One more thing before I go
While we were stopped dealing with the Tire demons, Alain saw an extraordinary cloud formation, and he has shared the picture with me, and I’m going to share it with you. Enjoy – Addios