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untrustworthy winds


I’d been promised that I was going to be blown out of El Chalten all the way to the first junction eighty or ninety kilometres away with barely a pedal stroke. It would take me maybe three hours to reach the ‘pink house’, a derelict hotel complex that provides cyclists and other bypassers with a sheltered place to sleep in Argentina’s windswept Patagonian pampas.

With this in mind, I don’t end up leaving El Chalten until around 4.30 in the afternoon, neglecting to note that the days was calm and still. It wasn’t until I am actually on the road that I realise that I am pedalling into a faint but definite head wind. How has this happened?

The morning is bright and still...

... and I take advantage of the fact to get a bit closer to Fitzroy and friends, who I have still neglected to visit, thus far into my stay in El Chalten.

Eventually I do leave...

...even if I can't stop looking back. The customary tailwind out of El Chalten is not playing the day I leave and, despite the promise that I will be blown all the way to the 'pink house' in three hours, I actually pedal against a very slight headwind and consequently end up camping beside a big rock that houses a shrine to Difunta Correra instead. The same conditions prevail the following day and so at least I am spared the crosswind on the main highway.

I guess wind is a tough one to pictorialise but this sign seems simply absurd in a landscape without a single tree - let alone a palm tree!



Then finally, as I turn into El Calafate, the wind suddenly picks up. I ride against it, in the company of Sam and Jen, a young English couple I first ran into in Villa O'Higgens. 30 hard won kilometres take about 5 hours. Halfway there, we meet the French tandem couple zooming along in the opposite direction.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Cameron | April 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow!!! Those spires are unreal.

  2. Kurt | April 14, 2014 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I also had a late leaving and head wind out of El Chalten. Lunch at the pink house rather than an imagined dinner. I was in La Paz with Sam and Jen. They are some gooduns. All the best on your last bit of southbound!

  3. mauricio mahe f | April 5, 2017 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    tal vez el tiempo exista,el sonido del viento ,las llantas girando,la carreteras ,la distancia y el espacio,tal vez exista…en la tierra aun estas

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