two days to Mendosa

The previous day we’d been blown off track by storms to the west so today was catch-up day. Day one track
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Day two track
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The first day to San Juan was hard. I have never ridden through a headwind, or any wind, that had me beyond guessing what the strength was.

One of the many non-standard things about Lucinda is that she doesn’t have a windshield. Not having a windshield means when you look ahead you see you instruments then the road and the whole world without obstruction. If I lean forward just a bit I can see my front fender. Also, it feels like I’m riding a motorcycle, not a distance bike. On a regular bike you look through plastic at the ride, but you get protection from most of the wind and rain. I have a windscreen for Lucinda to ship from home in case this didn’t work out, but it’s been worth not having it. But on days like today on Lucinda you get beaten up without it.

The wind was taking off all the soil and sand. It was beyond words. When I stopped to take this photograph keeping the bike on the stand meant leaning against it with full body weight as she shuddered in the headwind.

Moments later we lost visibility almost entirely and I was worried about what the sand was doing to Lucinda. She had a new pre-filter installed which I was thankful for. Punishment looks like this

At some point we came to a town. The buildings made a great wind break in various locations although sand still swirled through the streets. This guy on a bike was the only brave soul I saw.P1010270

Four hours of this and it backed off completely. Ahead there were small drifts, so I guess the wind had been here the day before

We briefly went through some hills heading due west before heading south again. These white blocks double as a guard rail I guess as the road is elevated in places with a nice drop off the shoulder

At the first intersection of the day there was a police station with a dog looking for company so we stopped. Very hot

There were some good plants in bloom around, so we went to explore. I’ve seen this shrub several times in Argentina. I’ve looked it up and it’s Caesalpinia gilliesii. Native to here and Uruguay and hardy down to 5F.

A close-up of the flower

A tiny thistle

The dog wants me to check out this small woody plant. Didn’t get a good enough picture to ID it from

Then he wants a pat for finding it

Further down the road a perfect gas/lunch stop

We crossed a river where locals were parked in the shade

Yellow butterflies on the banks

I’d heard about the next section of road. About 50 miles of serious deep dips, like riding a steep ocean swell. They were serious enough to get air off anything above 50 mph, so it slowed us down. Here’s what it looks like, benign enough

But each dip was deep enough to hide Lucinda

We arrived late due to the sand storm and the paved whoops so crashed early. Up the next day early for the short ride into Mendosa. Virtually every street looks like this. Wide streets, big trees

In fact the happiest Liriodendrons I’ve ever seen

They look nice by the palms in the Plaza de Armas


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