Andesmar Express finally got sick of my bike cluttering up the office in Rio Gallegos, and got it shipped to Trelew. Their website wasn’t offering anything new, but I thought I’d go to the office, and see if anything was happening. Not only did they have a bike, they had two. Small pink ones. Hmmm, might as well join the line, see if anything new has happened. As per usual, the line was not moving. I’m not really sure what some people do when sending/receiving a package, but for some reason it can be an incredibly complicated procedure to send a small box.
Anyway, I was in luck – someone coming back on duty recognised me, and pulled me out of line. “Is this your bike?” They already knew me, so didn’t even need to check ID, just got me out of there, very happy to have the bike back in my possession. I still have two weeks to kill in Argentina, and I only wanted to get up to Puerto Madryn, 65km away, but the main thing is that I am now in control of my destiny, I’m not waiting on anyone else.
Straight out of town the next morning, on a road that was far busier than I expected. Unpaved shoulder for the first half, with a very high number of trucks and buses. Not the most fun, but the wind was strong behind me, so the dullness of the scenery didn’t get me down. God knows what the Welsh thought when they first came here. From a low hill, you could see the cities of Trelew and Rawson, with a whole lot of nothing around them. I’m happy to ride this leg, but I couldn’t keep on going north. Think I’d go mad.
Puerto Madryn is a bit nicer than Trelew, situated next to a wide bay, with a fairly decent beach. Not super hot, but pleasantly warm, getting a little hot if you stay too long in the sunshine. There’s wildlife in the area, and diving possibilities. The town is more of a touristy place, with restaurants/shops aimed more at tourists. So I think I’ll stop here for a few days, before heading up to Buenos Aires.
Of course, extra tourists brings less welcome things – e.g. the West Africans coming around restaurants, with briefcases of crap to sell. Luckily not the full-on fake handbag scene, but eventually it will get that way. It’s an organised industry selling that in Europe, didn’t expect to see them here. And of course more tourists means tourists doing stupid things – like the mother I saw putting food on top of her 4 year old’s head, and encouraging the pigeons to eat directly from her, so she can take a photo. Would you let your child be covered in rats? No, I didn’t think so.
Check out this photo, taken from my lunch table. This dog is almost the size of Samson. Maybe that’s what we should do next time he’s filthy and we don’t want to put him in the car. Clearly the dog/owner have a fairly trusting relationship. This was only around town, presumably they don’t go too fast, or stop too suddenly.