Sunday morning at the hostel we were woken before 6 with an out of control drunk football team singing and banging pots. There are some aspects of Latin America we will never warm to and they usually happen between the hours of 11pm and 6am – when we are trying to get some sleep!
Timing was on our side with leaving Mendoza on a Sunday – this meant Route 40 (which we would be mostly following all the way north in Argentina) would be quiet and hopefully free of the big trucks. We had a sweet ride with a sweet tail wind and for most were flying along at 25km/hr so the intended 50 km turned into 125km as we realised we could make it thru the 57km of hot nothingness quite fast.
A stop for bread and pastries at the small town on one side of the nothingness had us wondering as 2 local women pulled us aside and were trying to tell us something we had to be worried about – we think instead they were trying to distract us from our bicycles as after we left Alan noticed his fuel bottle had been moved and one panier had come unstuck on one side – hmmm – need to keep the guard up.
The small town of Media Agua was a welcome site, the small hotel we found a small room in quite budget and the owner initially a bit grumpy with being woken from his siesta. We thought we were doing quite well on the Spanish side of things but he was pretty undecipherable but the universal smile is worth a thousand words in any country.
The next day to San Juan was via the back roads and mostly following alongside vineyard plots and mudbrick houses, again with a subtle tail wind. Just a short 70km so nice to get to town early for a siesta before a wander of the town, made longer by getting lost. The YHA hostel we are in is very tidy and empty. The manager is keen to change money and will give a much better rate than we can get from the bank. Argentinians are not able to get US currency and their currency is not very stable at present so it is a way for them to get more secure $$